General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
A five-member ad hoc committee has been set up by Parliament to probe a bribery scandal against the chairman of the Appointments Committee.
The Speaker Prof. Mike Oquaye ruled in favour of the setting up of the “special committee” after both sides of the House had mooted the idea.
The Committee will be chaired by Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General and the members include Ben Abdallah, Ama Pomaah Boateng, BT Baba and Magnus Kofi Amoatey.
Prof. Oquaye assured that nothing will be “swept” under the carpet although the Committee members are made up of legislators.
The Committee has four weeks to conclude with its investigations.
The setting up of the Committee is at the behest of the leadership of the House after the First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu had formally made a complaint to the Speaker on Tuesday.
Three National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs being led by Mahama Ayariga have also petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Mike Oquaye over the same allegation.
The other two are Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini – MPs for North Tongu and Tamale North respectively.
Last Friday, the Bawku Central lawmaker alleged a ministerial nominee Boakye Agyarko tried enticing Minority members of the Committee with Gh¢3000 each through the chairman Joe Osei-Owusu. According to Mr. Ayariga, details surrounding the sharing of the money reached him through his chief whip Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak.
Both Alhaji Mubarak and Osei-Owusu have denied the allegations although Mr. Ayariga insists there was exchange of hands.
“We jointly request you to carry out an internal enquiry into the veracity of the claims made by us in the allegation of attempted bribery of the Minority Members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament by a ministerial nominee.
“We, the three (3) Members of Parliament, will subject ourselves fully to the processes of the enquiry,” the trio signed in a joint petition to the Speaker.