I felt intimidated appearing before Appointment Committee – Joe Ghartey

Chairman of the five-member committee investigating Parliament Appointments Committee’s bribery allegation has revealed he was intimidated as he appeared before Committee on Thursday.

He said although he is in Parliament and has chaired committees before, he was not sure how the Appointment Committee members were going to treat him. 

Speaking to Joy News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado who was vetted by the Committee as Railways Development Minister designate said, “I was just humble and did my best.”

The former Attorney General declined to comment on how he would handle members of the Appointments Committee who would appear before the five-member committee in the case of the bribery scandal being investigated by the Legislative body.

The Speaker of Parliament has set up a five-member committee to probe the allegations of bribery against some members of the Appointments Committee.

Professor Ocquaye explained that the committee has become necessary because of the weight of the allegation made by Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP) Mahama Ayariga.

Upholding Standing Orders 191 which advises the formation of the special committee to investigate any matter of public importance, the Speaker announced the formation of high-powered parliamentary special committee to investigate the matter.

The committee members as suggested by the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, agreed to by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu and approved by the Speaker are; Essikadu/Ketan MP, Joe Ghartey as Chairman; Offinso South MP Ben Abdallah Banda;  Juaben MP, Ama Pomaa Boateng; Talensi MP, Benson Tongo Baba; Yilo Krobo MP, Magnus Kofi Amoatey. 

Criticism against Chairmanship appointment

There have been concerns about the objectivity of the work of the five-member committee constituted by Parliamentarians to investigate their own. 

Executive secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has said Mr Ghartey should not have been appointed to chair parliament’s ad-hoc committee on the alleged bribery scandal.

Beauty Emefa Nartey told Joy News the MP could have been a member but not a chair considering that he would have to appear before the Appointments Committte.

“His selection gives the indication that parliament may not have enough people to do that work with its 275 parliamentarians,” she said.

According to her, considering that there has been an earlier allegation of bribery and corruption concerning parliament, this was an opportunity for the House to “clear itself of the issue that people are accusing it of.”

Madam Nartey believes this will clear all doubts and perception about the august house of legislators. 

“Parliament has a higher standard to behold and now that the committee has been set up, the outcome should be something that would not create any doubt in anyone’s mind that it is compromised,” she stated.