General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
It will be out of place for the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, to step down or be sacked by the President due to his alleged involvement in the bribery scandal that has hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Linda Ofori Kwafo, Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, has said.
There have been calls on the minister to step aside as investigations are carried out into the scandal.
For instance, anti-corruption crusader, Vitus Azeem on Monday, 30 January told Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM that: “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 (President) thinks the allegations are credible, I think that is the best way to go about it.”
However, Mrs Ofori Kwafo told Acccra-based TV3 on Tuesday, 31 January that: “I will not agree that the honourable (Agyarko) should step down or be sacked.”
She further indicated that “parliament cannot be a judge in their own court,” therefore, an independent body should be tasked to investigate the bribery allegations.
On Friday, 27 January, Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga alleged that Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy, 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 channeled it through Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak to the MPs, who, according to the Bawku Central MP, subsequently rejected it.