No probe on bogus Oslo allegations - Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has strongly rejected calls by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament to launch an investigation into the purported acquisition of a chancellery for Ghana’s new mission in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
The president said the call for probe was an attempt by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to distract the government.
The president explained that the NDC, which consistently comes up with bogus allegations with no substance, would jump to another issue later.
The President believes there is no prima facie case for an investigation.
While contributing to the debate of the budget of the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday, December 16, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, alleged that the ministry was seeking to purchase a six-bedroom property whose value had been inflated by over $8 million, equivalent to GH¢41.7 million.
Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa explained that the NDC, through its internal investigations, had discovered that the six-bedroom apartment was sold at $3,598,108 in 2017, adding that the same property was being bought at an outrageous price of $12,218,487.
He alleged that in that country, a Norwegian financial newspaper by name Finansavisen wrote about the sale of the property at the quoted price of $3.6 million in 2017.
Consequently, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa held a press conference on Tuesday, December 17 to call on President Akufo-Addo to institute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter, arguing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its response, did not speak to basic issues he raised on the floor of parliament.
Answering questions from a journalist at his last meeting with journalists for 2018 at the Jubilee House, the seat of government yesterday, the president stated emphatically that he would not set up any independent commission to investigate the matter.
According to him, the Minority did not provide any substantial evidence to merit a probe.
According to him, the NDC has adopted ways to distract the current administration from the great things it is doing to improve the lives of Ghanaians, adding that he won’t allow his government to be set on a wild goose chase.
According to him, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government shall remain focused on the good works.
“I shall not pay attention to what the Minority is doing because I do not want them to turn around in 2020 and state that I have failed to work for the nation after being given the mandate in 2016.”
The President, therefore, asked the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, to speak to issues raised over the Oslo deal.
The Minister emphasized that claims that the Foreign Affairs Ministry was seeking to pay for the Chancellery were erroneous.
According to her, the Ministry of Finance has the responsibility to make payment after the completion of the process.
Ms Botchwey said the Finance Ministry has not made any payment, stressing that the loan agreement with the Societe Generale Bank could only be drawn with the approval of the Ministry of Finance.