Parliament bribe allegation: OccupyGhana pushes for independent probe

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, wants police to investigate allegations that some legislators were given money to approve the nomination of one of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ministers-designate.

The group suggests that calls for a parliamentary probe into the allegations would prove counterproductive. All the parties involved in the alleged attempted bribery are Parliamentarians.

“We call for an independent Police investigation into the damning allegations and a no-holds-barred criminal prosecution of anyone found to be on the wrong side of Ghanaian law in this scandalous development. In the same vein, we demand the harshest of parliamentary and possibly criminal sanctions for those making the allegations if they prove to be false,” said a statement from the pressure group dated January 31, 2016.

Minority MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, last Friday alleged that he and other members of the Minority caucus were handed GH¢3,000 to approve the vetting of Boakye Agyarko, whose nomination was dragging due to what some MPs say were unsatisfactory answers during his vetting.

Mr Ayariga claimed he thought the money was payment for sitting allowance but returned it when he learned that Mr Agyarko had been the source of the cash.

Boakye Agyarko

Mr Agyarko’s ministerial nomination was approved by the vetting committee, but has since denied the allegations.

He has vowed to seek redress in court for defamation.

However, Mr Ayariga, with support from two other MPs have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to launch a probe into his allegation. The Majority say they will ensure the matter gets to the Privileges Committee.

The latest allegation is one of many such claims against the Legislature.

Read below OccupyGhana’s statement justifying the call for a police probe.

OccupyGhana® calls for police probe into parliamentary bribery allegations

OccupyGhana® has observed with increasing unease, allegations and denials of corruption making the trade between Members of the Ghanaian Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

Having been profoundly disturbed by the exposés of palpable judicial corruption in Ghana’s courts, and working tirelessly over the space of our existence to help stamp out corruption in executive governance and in public service, we are unhappy about the allegations of parliamentary corruption and bribery being made by MPs against some of their number and others.

We are disturbed by the allegations of parliamentary rot and corruption by credible persons of the Ghanaian society against various other Committees selected to work on Bills such as the GIMPA Act, going as far as to accuse MPs of demanding bribes and payments before sitting on bills. We recall Parliament’s abject failure, refusal or neglect to investigate allegations of corruption made against its members by the immediate past Majority Leader, just before his elevation to that high office.

The present allegations of bribery are grave and sobering and impinge on the integrity not only of Parliament but also of the image of the Ghanaian Republic. These allegations must not be glossed over and brushed under the carpet by the usually lackadaisical or complicit workings of partisan politics.

We call for an independent Police investigation into the damning allegations and a no-holds-barred criminal prosecution of anyone found to be on the wrong side of Ghanaian law in this scandalous development. In the same vein, we demand the harshest of parliamentary and possibly criminal sanctions for those making the allegations if they prove to be false. We respectfully call on the Police CID to immediately empanel a team to commence investigations and establish the truth, or the lack thereof, in any part of the nation-wrecking allegations.

We absolutely refuse to allow Ghana’s Parliament to either add itself to the list of the country’s most corrupt institutions or become a citadel of false allegations, and our demand for this probe will settle the matter of whether or not our legislative arm of government can be trusted to uphold the rule of Law in the Ghanaian Republic.

Yours, in the perpetual Service for God & Country

OccupyGhana®

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