The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu and Ranking Member on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Thursday, appeared before the five-member Adhoc Committee probing the alleged cash for seat saga and justified why he described the circumstances surrounding the whole gamut as extortion.
According to him, he does not understand why an office will be set up or people directed to go to room 308 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and deposit their cheque with Mr. Martin Ayanga.
He said through out his experience as a deputy minister in the immediate past government, event organisers seeking the government’s endorsement of an event are just granted their request without paying any money.
Therefore, for the Ministry of Trade & Industry to set up an office at room 308 and designate Mr. Martin Ayanga to collect cheques from the expatriates was a clear case of extortion meant to know which company was paying big to deserve big government contracts.
“It was a clear case of extortion. How can you direct people to go to the famous room 308 and deposit their cheques with Mr. Martin Ayanga. Big brother wanted to know those who are paying big to deserve big contracts”, he said.
Mr. Ablakwa had appeared before the Adhoc committee chaired by the Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh as one of the prime witnesses in the alleged levies collected by the Ministry of Trade & Industry of the Ghana Cedi equivalent of various sums up to US$100,000.00 from expatriate businesses and related matters during the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards held in Accra.
On January 5, 2017, Mr. Ablakwa seconded a motion moved by the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka calling in the House to investigate the alleged cash for seat saga.