THE LEADERSHIP of Parliament has taken the bold decision to purge itself of bribery allegations and the impression that Members of Parliament are influenced to articulate views on the floor in the interest of individuals and organisations.
At yesterday’s sitting, the Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor said leadership was making efforts to meet the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban Bagbin to verify the truth or otherwise of his allegations that some MPs took bribes in the discharge of their duties.
The Majority Leader said leadership was going to treat the issue with all seriousness because it affects the integrity and dignity of Parliament.
“Leadership is assuring that whatever is appropriate would be done to elicit the truth in this matter and no effort would be spared in this regard,” he noted.
Dr Kunbuor therefore appealed to members of the public or any person who may have any evidence of bribery against any MP to present such information to the Clerk of Parliament for onward transmission to the leadership which was going to look into the matter.
The Majority Leader corrected the impression created by Hon Bagbin that Ghana’s Parliament has not developed when it comes to lobbying, stressing that leadership of the House was very much aware of the line of distinction between lobbying and bribery, especially in Ghana where there are no specific rules to govern such practice and has been cautioning Members of the House in their dealings with stakeholders over the years.
He said resulting from such eventualities that would bring Parliament into disrepute, leadership of Parliament set up a special committee in July last year chaired by Hon Alban Bagbin himself to draft a code of conduct for Members of Parliament.
He said it was important that Parliament which served as a fulcrum of democracy was strengthened to perform its functions effectively.
The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said since the issue of bribery allegations against MPs came up, some members of the society have made comments that scandalise the institution.
He said it was worrying that members of Parliament who are to ensure that the nation’s resources are judiciously utilised were being tagged as corrupt themselves, adding that it was important to clear this perceived impression to enable MPs to do their work without fear or favour.
The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho urged the leadership to ensure it got to the bottom of the matter to help protect the dignity of MPs.
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