General News of Monday, 30 January 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must withdraw the appointment of Boakye Agyarko as Minister of Energy until investigations into allegations that he attempted bribing members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament have been concluded, Vitus Azeem, former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has said.
According to him, the allegation, depending on how it will be handled, could have dire consequences on both sides of the house and parliament as a whole, and, so, if the president thinks those allegations are credible, he can withdraw the appointee until after he has been exonerated by an independent body.
On Friday January 27, Bawku Central Member of Parliament Mahama Ayariga alleged that Boakye Agyarko, whose approval was frozen pending the determination of certain issues, dished out GHS3000 as bribe to each of the Minority members on the committee with the aim to influence them so they approve his nomination without further delay.
Mr Ayariga claimed the money was given to committee chair Joe Osei-Owusu by Mr Agyarko, who in turn channelled it through Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak to the MPs, who, according to the Bawku Central MP, subsequently rejected it.
Mr Muntaka has also vehemently denied Mr Ayariga’s claims saying: “I never gave any money to Ayariga.”
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Monday January 30, Mr Azeem said: “They (Parliament) should not limit the investigations to this particular case, they should extend to the other allegations that have been made by people like Martin Amidu.
“Whichever way they will handle it, it will either be a dent on the image of the Minority or a dent on the image of the Majority … or a general dent on the image of parliament. And, so, the leadership of parliament must handle this thing very carefully.
“The president probably needs to hold on or probably withdraw his nominee (appointee) for now until the investigation is carried out and the person has been exonerated or otherwise implicated. If he (the president) thinks the allegations are credible, I think that is the best way to go about it.”