Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has revealed that the NPP government spent a whopping one million Ghana Cedis to get the MP for Dome Kwabenya Hon. Sarah Adwoa Sarfo to vote on the controversial E Levy last year. According to the North Tongu legislator, many Ghanaians including civil society organisations who have contributed to the discussion only look at the amount the Chief Justice sent to the MP. He disclosed that the amount the Government spent to rent the private jet to airlift the lady from US to Ghana far outweighs the alleged bribe. Hon. Ablakwa added that, his checks revealed that Adwoa Sarfo was flown in by Gulfstream G-550 registered HB-JOE and operated by Premium Jet AG based in Belgium. He added that the flight cost about $4,800 per hour. He said the MP spent a little over 11 hours and that makes $140,000 equivalent to some GHC 948,000. According to Ablakwa, when one adds the GHC 120,000, it leaves him at over GHC1m. He made this revelation in a Facebook post .
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It is surprising that the focus of many including Civil Society Organisations in the series of Adwoa Asafo revelations has been on the alleged GHS120,000.00 transfer into her bank account from the Chief of Staff.
The cost of the private jet used to ferry her from the USA to Ghana which is much higher than the GHS120,000.00 cannot be ignored.
We now know that a Gulfstream G-550 registered HB-JOE and operated by Premium Jet AG based in Belgium was the executive aircraft chartered to bring in Hon. Adwoa Safo for her vote on the obnoxious E-Levy.
It cost US$4,800 an hour to rent the HB-JOE.
With an 11-hour flight distance, payment of reposition fees (as it flew from Belgium to pick her up in the States), payment of one-way fees (as the business jet flies back home empty), crew per diem fees, landing and wait-time fees; it cost a staggering US$140,000.00. At today’s exchange rate, that is GHS948,500.00
It is most intriguing that an economy which is said to be broke can lavish a fantastic GHS948,500.00 plus GHS120,000.00 (a total of GHS1,068,500.00) just for one E-Levy vote. Imagine what our country can do with 1million Cedis in the midst of our economic challenges, NABCO demonstrations and labour agitations?
The dubious claim that Adwoa Sarfo’s flight cost was paid for by her friends is most insulting. Who are these friends? What is their motivation? Why do these friends want the unpopular E-Levy passed so badly? What do these friends expect in return? What are the tax records of these friends? Why are these friends being shielded?
How ironic, that the political tradition that in time past roundly rejected the reported kindness of President Rawlings’ friends will today be boldly canvassing a bizarre kind of friendship support.
The Office of Special Prosecutor must look into the entire GHS1,068,500.00 (ONE MILLION, SIXTY-EIGHT THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED GHANA CEDIS) expenditure for Adwoa Safo’s E-Vote and not only the GHS120,000.00 deposited in her account.
The current composition of Ghana’s 8th Parliament should lead us to a patriotic, mature and frugal path of consensus building in the national interest; and not the present embarrassing spectre of opting for an extremely partisan, destructive, wasteful, small-minded and reckless road to perdition.