The National Lottery Authority (NLA) is entangled in an alleged bribery scandal which also involves the immediate-past members of Parliament's Finance Committee.
In what appears to be a case of misappropriation of taxpayers’ money, the lotteries regulatory agency spent ?150,000 to facilitate the passage of the National Lottery Act in 2016.
The Authority is reported to have used the money to pay allowances to members of the Select Committee on Finance after it organised a workshop for them on amendments to the new lottery law, Act 722.
Legal Advisor to the NLA, David Lamptey in separate emails to the Director-General then, Brigadier General Mertin Ahiaglo (Retired) in August 2016, which has been intercepted by Joy FM, requested for the approval of a total sum ?150,000 presumably to “push the bill for the consideration” by parliamentarians.
The decision to receive the cash has also raised questions about the propriety of Parliament receiving money work for which MPs already draw salaries from the state.
Head of Public Affairs at Parliament, Kate Addo said, parliamentarians are not supposed to take money from any institution to facilitate the passage of a law.
Joy FM's Kojo Yankson caught up with Mr. David Lamptey, the man who originated the several emails requesting the amounts, but he denied any attempt on the part of the NLA to bribe members of the Committee.
“I must say that our [corporate] emails are confidential; and so I’m not sure where this email is coming from; I haven’t read that email [and] I am not in the position to speak to it because I haven’t identified the email; you are reading it out to me. I don’t know the source, I don’t know whether it’s the same email [and] whether it was generated by me; I would need to check your source and then check what transpired during that process.”
Struggling to justify the need to raise such an amount of money to facilitate the passage of a bill, Mr. Lamptey said “we had to pay for the members of parliament to be accommodated” at the Royal Senchi Hotel where he claimed the workshop took place.
“Any payment made was to provide the committee the necessary resources they needed to be able to travel to the venue,” he added.
The then Chairman of the Finance Committee, James Klutse Avedzi admitted collecting money from the NLA but said they received only ?100,000. He, however, said the money was given to the committee members as per diem/sitting allowance contradicting the claim by the NLA that it was used to pay for accommodation for the MPs.
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