The Akufo Addo administration recently spent about GHC 1 million to bribe and charter a private jet for Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya constituency in the Greater Accra Region, According to revelations by the South Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
The reckless spending by a cash-strapped Akufo Addo administration was specifically to transport Adwoa Sasrfo, who has been sojourning in the United States, to attend a parliamentary session to vote for the unpopular Electronic Levy (e-levy) proposed to task savings of poor Ghanaians.
This is aside from the GHC 120,000 bribe given to Adwoa Sarfo by President Akufo Addo’s Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare, to convince the runaway MP to come vote on the side of the Majority in Parliament.
According to Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Akufo Addo administration chartered a Gulfstream G-550 with a hiring fee of US$4,800 per hour.
In a post on Facebook, Mr. Ablakwa explains that the jet is for a Belgian company and therefore in order to convey Adwoa Sarfo, it first had to fly to the US where the Dome-Kwabenya MP has been cooling her heels.
The Gulfstream G-550 registered HB-JOE and operated by Premium Jet AG based in Belgium.
“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,” Ablakwa wrote.
“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?” Hon. Ablakwa added.
According to him, the public’s fixation on the Ghc120,000 bribe paid by the Akufo-Addo Jubilee House to Adwoa Sarfo, is misplaced, adding that the almost 1million cedis blown on her private jet cruise down to the country should also engage attention.
In the heat of finding the needed numbers in Parliament for the e-levy brouhaha at the time Adwoa Sarfo was still in the US, the NPP Majority had reportedly smuggled in an impersonator to vote in her stead.
This resulted in the illegal coup d’etat by the Majority against the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin who had supervised a session that saw the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) overwhelmingly voting to suspend the e-levy proposal from the 2022 national budget.
Later, under a deceptive guise, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, would convene another parliamentary session and overturn the earlier decision of Parliament to reject the e-levy
According to information, Adwoa Sarfo was impersonated by her cousin, who took advantage of the 0COVID-19 masks required as part of the preventive protocols against the pandemic.
Per sources, the Akufo-Addo government had chartered the private jet to bring down Adwoa Sarfo from the US and that in spite of the arrangement, the woman had still not arrived on time hence the arrangement to have her cousin impersonate her.
However, the exact identity of the aircraft and the cost involved was not known until Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also a Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee came out with the figures.
In the same Facebook post, the North Tongu MP dismissed claims by the government and the ruling party that the jet had been chartered for Adwoa Sarfo by her friends and not with state money.
Okudzeto charged: “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?”
He referred to the controversy that surrounded the family of former President Jerry John Rawlings, who had claimed, much to the anger of the NPP then, that the expensive foreign schools attended by the Rawlings children were financed by friends.
“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,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Okudzeto wants the Special Prosecutor to take interest in the huge payments made to ferry down Adwoa Sarfo like a prima donna MP.
“The Office of Special Prosecutor must look into the entire GHS1, 068,500.00 expenditure for Adwoa Safo’s E-Vote and not only the GHS120,000.00 also deposited in her account.”
It is believed that Adwoa Sarfo’s absenteeism is caused by an alleged sexual abuse against her by some powerful individual in government.
According to US-based Ghanaian journalist, Kevin Taylor, Adwoa Sarfo’s relocation was a result of sex abuse she suffered at the hands of lecherous men at the Jubilee House.