General News of Sunday, 29 January 2017
The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has noted that the bribery allegation involving the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko and members of the minority on the Appointments Committee is likely to tarnish the image of Ghana’s Parliament.
According to ACEPA, the leadership of parliament has a lot of work to do in order to redeem that image especially after the Former Attorney General Martin Amidu recently accused the 5th and 6th parliament of corrupt practices.
This follows an accusation made by a member of the Minority in Parliament, Mahama Ayariga that Mr. Agyarko, then a Minister nominee, attempted to bribe them to have his nomination approved after he noticed they had kicked against his recommendation approval. Speaking to Citi News, the Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Rashid Dramani said it is prudent for the house to commence investigations into the matter. “This is bad for the image of Parliament; Parliament has a lot of work to do in terms of cleaning up its image because in the very recent couple of months, we’ve had very serious allegations against the fifth and sixth Parliament.
You remember the allegations made by Martin Amidu, before then we heard Alban Bagbin talk about some of the issues in the House and now this one.” “Whether it is true or not, I think the image of the legislative branch of government is dented and they might as well work hard to clean that. I think an investigation will be in order if it has to come to that and if it is what it takes to clean up the image of Parliament,” he added.
Bribery scandal: I didn’t pay minority a penny – Agyarko
The Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko had earlier rejected claims that he bribed the minority members on Parliament’s Appointment Committee to approve him for the portfolio. According to the minister, the allegations were only meant to smear him.
In an interview with Citi News, Mr Boakye Agyarko said “I have not given a single soul a penny. If anybody can cross the heart and say I have given them money, let them step forward. I say so, that it is not true without the fear of contradiction. It is a fabrication because the allegation is that I said Mahama was corrupt so they also have to smear me to say that I am corrupt and I have not right to accuse Mahama of being corrupt.”