Tamale Central Member of Parliament is accusing Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak of not being candid in the recent bribery scandal that has left the Minority side of Parliament even more divided.
Inusah Fuseini told Super morning show host Kojo Yankson Monday, he suspects the Minority Chief Whip is rather covering up the rot in the house to protect what is left of Parliament’s integrity.
His comments on Monday is the new twist to a fluid bribery scandal that has hit the second arm of government just days after its personnel were sworn into office.
The scandal broke out last Friday and was triggered by Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga who claimed the Minority MPs on the Appointment Committee of Parliament had been bribed with an amount of GHȻ3,000.00.
According to him, they received the money from Muntaka Mubarak thinking it was their sitting allowance only for them to be told that the money came from the chairman of the Appointments Committee Joe Osei Owusu on behalf of the then Energy Minister Designate Boakye Agyarko who had been struggling to be approved unanimously without rancour.
The money was supposed to bribe them into approving the nominee, he hinted stating they had to return the money.
Ayariga was however unequivocal that at no point did he directly receive money from the Chairman, or from the nominee.
His only key witness, Muntaka Mubarak, in an interview on Saturday, categorically denied giving him any money, swearing on his integrity, his belief in Allah and challenging Ayariga to prove his claim.
The nominee, Boakye Agyarko who was alleged to have paid the bribe also swore on his life that he never gave out any money to bribe anybody to approve him and suggested that his lawyers have taken up the matter and will most probably take legal action.
The Chairman of the Committee accused Ayariga as a liar and also hinted he will take the matter up in Court or at the Privileges Committee of Parliament.
The House has issued a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs Kate Addo denying the claim and describing it as “vexatious.”
But Mahama Ayariga remains resolute even in the face of the denials by the key witnesses in the scandal. Together with two other MPs, Alhassan Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North, and Okudzeto Ablakwa MP for North Tongu have all petitioned the Speaker to investigate the matter.
The Majority side are also considering to haul Ayariga before the Privileges Committee of Parliament for disciplinary action to be taken against him.
On Monday came new revelations. Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini who is not on the Appointments Committee but on the side of the Minority said he has spoken to the key actors in the scandal and can say on authority that the Minority Chief Whip is “not being candid” to the matter.
“When I spoke to him, I realized he is worried. He feels that the integrity of Parliament is more important than uncovering the rot.”
“He places the integrity of Parliament higher and would rather cover up,” Fuseini stated.
He wondered why Muntaka Mubarak would swear by Allah on the matter and suggested it was not necessary.
Was it sitting allowance?
According to Inusah Fuseini all the Minority members on the Appointment Committee were each called and paid the amount.
He added that at the point of receipt they all knew it was not the sitting allowance because allowances are only paid quarterly, contrary to the claim by Ayariga that they received the money initially believing it was their sitting allowance.
He also revealed that it was Samson Ahi who later told the Minority MPs that the money came from the Energy Minister nominee, something that may have forced them to return the money.
He confirmed that all the MPs on the Minority side of the Committee including Nii Lante Vanderpuye returned the money but suggested Nii Lante can only speak to the return of the money and not about the motive to bribe or where the money came from.
Inusah Fuseini has called for an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter.