Ablakwa Petitions CHRAJ to Investigate SSNIT Hotel Sale to Rock City Hotel

Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa addressing the press
Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa addressing the press

Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, has petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate and stop the sale of Social Security and National Insurance Trust’s (SSNIT) six hotels to Rock City Hotel Limited.

Mr Ablakwa, who made this known on Friday at a press conference at Parliament House in Accra, indicated that intercepted documents in his possession confirmed that SSNIT was far advanced in selling a controlling 60 per cent stake in six of its hotels to Rock City Hotel Limited owned by Mr Bryan Acheampong, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Abetifi and Minister of Food and Agriculture.

He reiterated that Mr Acheampong was a Director and the sole beneficial owner of Rock City Hotel Limited.

According to Mr Ablakwa the six SSNIT hotels being sold were Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort and Trust Lodge Hotel.

The North Tongu Lawmaker noted that he was inviting CHRAJ to investigate grave matters bothering on conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.

He said he had also drawn attention to blatant violations of Article 78(3) and 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution as diligent checks from Parliament’s Committee on Office of Profit revealed that Mr Acheampong had not applied and did not have the permission of the Speaker of Parliament to hold an office of profit.

He said 16 years ago, he and Dr Omane Boamah dragged the late Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, who was then a Minister of State, to court over attempts to buy his official bungalow; saying “I have always maintained that it is wrong, unethical and reprehensible for public officials, particularly, Ministers of State to participate in the purchase of state assets. It is a matter of principle.”

He mentioned that a number of these SSNIT hotels were very profitable and one wondered the rationale for the sale.

Mr Ablakwa cited the Labadi Beach Hotel was one of the viable state hotels, which had been paying dividends to the Government.

He said the Minority in Parliament was going to follow up on the petition to its logical conclusion.

He urged CHRAJ to be bold and fearless and carry out their investigations according to their constitutional mandate in a very timely order, adding that because time is of essence because they (SSNIT) had given the minority shareholders at Ridge Royal Hotel 45 days, which had elapsed.

He appealed to CHRAJ to save these six state hotels and the Ghanaian workers.

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