General News Fri, 21 Dec 2018

Oslo Chancery deal: Minority considers petitioning Special Prosecutor

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The Minority in Parliament is considering petitioning the Special Prosecutor, among others, after President Nana Akufo-Addo shot down its calls for an independent probe into the attempted bloated purchase of a building to house Ghana’s new mission in Norway.

“It is now clear to us the President cannot be relied upon as an ally [in the fight against corruption] and so we have to use other institutions,” the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said on Eyewitness News.

“We are considering the office of the Special Prosecutor, we are considering CHRAJ [Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice], we are considering EOCO [Economics and Organised Crime Office] because we want to get to the bottom of this,” the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP said.

But President Akufo-Addo described the allegations as fabricated when he met the Press on Wednesday and rubbished the call.

“I think that for us, for a government and a President to say that he is going to acquiesce for an enquiry, you need to have some basis that raises some kind of prima facie case and in that case the President is duty bound to say let this matter be investigated.”

He said if he was to take the allegations seriously, his government will spend all its time on “enquiries because it clearly is a pattern of the opposition to throw these accusations in the air.”

Mr. Ablakwa, who has already expressed his disappointment with the President’s remarks said a probe was needed to ensure there was no plot to fleece the state.

The MP said he feared there may be a syndicate behind this perceived attempt at corruption.

“We want to know if this is a syndicate. Remember that there are many more missions. About 33 are going through renovations or purchases and all of that and we have just busted one. You don’t know if it is deeper.”

He, however, remains sceptical of the government’s assurances despite the Foreign Affairs Minister, despite the announcement that the transaction had been cancelled.

“We haven’t seen a copy [of the cancelled agreement]. It is just by word of mouth. We want to see it,” Mr. Ablakwa said.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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