General News of Monday, 30 January 2017
The chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has ruled out the possibility of bribery of committee members, indicating that nothing of such can take place.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai explained that legislators decide on the fate of nominees just after vetting on the same “by consensus or by majority” decision.
He emphasised that it has been the practice since he has been on the committee from 2009, so, “if anybody wants to bribe us, then I suggest that he pays the bribe before we start because there is no room after we have started proceedings to influence our decision”.
The First Deputy Speaker of parliament was responding to the recent bribery scandal that has hit the committee.
Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga had alleged that then-Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko had offered cash through the committee chairman to be shared among Minority MPs on the committee.
Mr Ayariga claimed GHS3000 was paid to each of the NDC MPs by Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, an amount they thought was sitting allowance for MPs on the committee, but returned the monies when they heard a rumour that it had actually come from Mr Agyarko to influence them to endorse his nomination as minister.
Mr Osei-Owusu and Mr Muntaka have both denied the allegation. Mr Osei-Owusu maintained before the commencement of vetting on Monday, January 30: “These are matters that are with the leadership of parliament and I believe strongly that the appropriate investigations will be done such that members of this committee, our integrity will be restored.”