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The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, was on Friday grilled by members of the adhoc committee set up by Parliament to probe allegations of extortion during the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).
He could not answer some of the questions that were thrown at him by the members of the committee.
Mr Kyeremanten who was the third to appear before the committee after the appearance of Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak and the Minority Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, used the occasion to distance the President’s involvement in the awards.
Mr Kyeremanten told the committee that he verbally asked the organisers of the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA) not to charge businessmen who sat on the same table as President Akufo-Addo.
“Since I was not a member of the planning committee of the event, I requested to be occasionally briefed about the progress towards staging the event”, he stated.
“In one of these briefing sessions this discussion came up and my understanding is that let us be sure if it is sponsorship it is only sponsorship…not that I am contributing to this event so that I get a seat close to the president,” Mr Kyeremanten explained.
The minister noted that the responses he got made to understand that no one was going to be charged in that regard.
“When the event was finally organised, it was clear that either it was not intended to be or my instructions were followed…Mr Chairman, at the time my understanding was that on the day of the event nobody has paid a $100,000 to sit at that high table,” he said.
But, Mr Kyeremanten revealed that the CEO of Interplast, who was at the President’s table, gave the ministry a cheque equivalent to $100,000 a day after the event.
Source: African Eye Report