General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has approved the setting up of a five-member in-house committee, to investigate the corruption allegations leveled against some leaders of the House, prior to the approval of the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
Mr. Agyarko has been accused of attempting to bribe 10 Minority members on the Parliament’s Appointments Committee, with GHc 3,000 each, prior to his nomination been approved.
This has become necessary following a petition to the Speaker by three minority MPs namely Mahama Ayariga, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Alhassan Suhuyini.
The three have confirmed that the alleged bribery indeed occured, hence their decision to ask for investigations, despite the denial by Minority Chip Whip and MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak. The Committee has thirty days within which to present its report.
It is to be chaired by Former Attorney-General and MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey. The four other members are MPs Ben Abdallah, Ama Pomaah Boateng, Magnus Kofi Amoateng and Hon. B.T. Baba. The decision to form the ad-hoc committee, was approved by the leadership of both sides of the House.
Prior to the setting up of the committee, the Majority Chief Whip and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei-Wusu, who stands accused for his role in the bribery scandal, requested permission to go to Court, to enable him clear himself of the allegations.
The Speaker cautioned members of the House not to interrupt with the work of the committee, and must refrain from making comments publicly that will affect the process.
The Speaker also stated that, the House per it’s standing orders, has the mandate to carry out investigations into the matter, despite suggestions that Parliament cannot be objective by investigating itself.