I instructed GEBA organisers not to collect money – Alan

The Trade Minister Alan Kyeremanten explained that the responses he got after his advice made him understand that no one was going to be charged in that regard.

He said this when he appeared before the cash-for-seat ad-hoc committee set up by Parliament to look into the scandal.

He explained that since he was not a member of the event’s planning committee, he was briefed regularly on the progress of the organisation of the event.

“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…that I am contributing to this event so that I get a seat close to the president.”

He added that he was only intuitive and thought it wise to advise the organisers.

Mr Kyeremanten said the responses he got afterwards made him 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.

He quickly added that 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.

The Minority earlier accused the Trades Ministry of using the presidency to raise funds for the organization of the Expatriate Business Awards organized on December 8, 2017.

According to the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, expatriate businessmen paid between ¢15,000 - 100,000 to sit close to the President at the Awards night.

The Presidency took some action after the news broke. But the Minority seemed unimpressed and therefore demanded an urgent sitting in Parliament during which they demanded an investigation.

The Speaker then called for the urgent sitting and subsequently constituted a five-member committee to look into the matter.

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