General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Oquaye has cautioned lawmakers to refrain from any public comments on the recent bribery allegation against the Appointments Committee of parliament.
Following the constitution of a five-member committee chaired by Joe Ghartey, a former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament to probe the allegation, Prof Oquaye directed all legislators to put an end to all conduct that will undermine the work of the committee.
“It would be very dignifying if members of this honourable house will not undermine the work being done by public comments. In fact, that will amount to contempt of a high-powered parliamentary special committee,” Prof Oquaye said on Tuesday, January 31.
The other members are MPs Ben Abdallah, Ama Pomaa Boateng, Magnus Kofi Amoateng, and B.T. Baba.
Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP) Mahama Ayariga had alleged that then-Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko had offered cash through Appointments Committee chairman Joe Osei-Owusu, to be shared among Minority MPs on the committee.
Mr Ayariga claimed that GHS3000 was paid to each of the NDC MPs by Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, an amount they thought was sitting allowance for MPs on the committee, but returned the monies when they heard a rumour that the amount had actually come from Mr Agyarko to influence them to endorse his nomination as minister.
Mr Osei-Owusu and Mr Muntaka have both denied the allegation.
Subsequently, Mr Ayariga, together with two other members of the committee: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini, sent a petition to the Speaker to investigate the matter.
Mr Osei-Owusu has also pleaded with the Speaker of Parliament to grant him the permission to sue Mr Ayariga and seek redress in court.