Editorial

Handling of alleged visa fraud by 4 MPs: Speaker worried

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye, has expressed disappointment at the manner the former British Diplomat, Jon Benjamin, handled the alleged visa fraud by four Members of Parliament (MPs), when he was the British High Commissioner to Ghana.

The Speaker said, as a result, he has held meetings with Jon Benjamin’s successor to correct the erroneous perception created.

Prof. Ocquaye was answering a question posed by a journalist as to progress of investigation of MPs “Visa Fraud” during a media encounter with the Speaker, dubbed the “Speaker’s Editors Forum.”

The question was with regards to the news a year ago that some MPs having been barred from entering the United Kingdom (UK) over suspicions of visa racketeering.

The MPs were said to have facilitated the entry of some relatives to the UK, using their diplomatic passports and left them to live there illegally.

Prof. Ocquaye said the conduct of the former diplomat left much to be desired, in the way he tried to rope in Parliament as an institution, and also because an issue that was meant to be confidential came into public domain, to create wrong impression about Parliament.

He said if the UK government felt that those people whose travels the MPs facilitated were living illegally in their country, nothing stopped the authorities from using their sophisticated mechanism to track, locate and deport them.

Prof. Ocquaye said “the parliamentary visa fraud was a nomenclature of Jon Benjamin, and I made him aware of that before he left duty post.”

The Speaker said he was glad that the issue bordered on diplomatic relationship to which he was well-vested having been a diplomat himself, adding “I have been with them, I know them, I respect them but they cannot bully me.”

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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