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We’ll not tolerate ‘undue stigmatization’ by foreign missions – Oquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, says as head of the legislature, he would not tolerate any acts of bullying from foreign missions with regards to alleged visa fraud committed by some Members of Parliament.

Prof. Oquaye, made the remark at an Editors Forum where he expressed misgivings about the approach of former British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin in addressing an alleged issue of visa fraud against some Members of Parliament.

A few years ago, the British High Commission blacklisted three sitting MPs and a former Member of Parliament for engaging in acts of alleged visa fraud.The MPs were accused of facilitating the entry of some of their supposed relatives to the UK using their Diplomatic Passports. In some cases, the supposed relatives failed to return to Ghana when the visas expired.

The MPs cited included Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region; Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North in the Brong Ahafo region; Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo.

The accused persons were as a result banned from entering the UK for ten years.But speaking about the issues for the first time, Prof. Oquaye said although “this had happened before I became Speaker, it was one of the things I inherited and I did not run away from, I confronted it.”

The Speaker added that, “I told the [former] British High Commissioner that if an individual introduces a person who unfortunately does not return when that person went to the US or UK, the person is in your country, look for her. Sometimes we worry ourselves so much and we allow ourselves to be stigmatized unduly.”

He said he duly indicated his displeasure over Jon Benjamin’s handling of the matter to his successor, Iain Walker. “I told his successor that I was not too happy with the approach of his predecessor.”


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