General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
The Executive Director of Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rasheed Draman, has urged the leadership of parliament not to be protective in dealing with the bribery allegation that hit its Appointments Committee.
Speaking Tuesday in an interview with Nii Arday Clegg on Morning Starr, he said the allegation was damning and not good for “our country and our democracy.”
He told Clegg that the leadership of parliament needs to thoroughly investigate the allegation to re-claim its damaged reputation.
“We need to claim back the image of Parliament. However, we look at it, it is not a good time for our nation at all.The corruption allegation is not good for our country and our democracy,” said Mr. Draman.
“Our parliament should not take a protective stand, but rather deal with the issue as it is,” he added.
The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and Member of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga last week accused Energy minister, Boakye Agyarko of attempting to bribe the minority members of the committee, to clear him following his edgy vetting—but they rejected it.
According to him, the energy minister’s bribery attempt was made through the chairman of the committee, Joseph Osei Owusu which was given to the minority caucus by its chief whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
He had since petitioned the speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye to constitute a committee to investigate his claim.
Bribery Allegation preposterous
The chairman of the committee, Osei-Owusu and Minority chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak have both denied the allegation, describing it as preposterous.
Speaking Saturday in an interview, Mr. Mubarak said the allegation is untrue and strange maintaining that by Allah he “never gave Ayariga anything that it was coming from Osei Owusu.”
Also, Osei Owusu in an interview with Starr News rubbished the allegation hinting that he would proceed to court Tuesday to clear his name.
“I will make a general statement on the floor and then on Tuesday proceed to the court to clear my name in this matter legally; and that’s what I will do,” he said.
Minority leader breaks silence
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu on Monday broke his silence on the bribery allegation calling for full scale investigation.
“I will support a full scale parliamentary enquiry which may be at parliament’s privileges committee. I expect that the leadership of parliament will take up the matter and establish the truth or otherwise of what is being speculated around which is undermining the integrity and the work of this committee,” Mr. Iddrisu noted.