General News of Monday, 6 February 2017
The five-member committee chaired by former second deputy speaker of parliament, Joe Ghartey, tasked to investigate the bribery allegation involving the leadership of the Appointments Committee of Parliament and Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko commences sitting today.
The committee is tasked to investigate the veracity or otherwise of the allegation made by Member of Parliament for Bakwu Central, Mahama Ayariga, who is the first to appear before the committee to give testimony.
Meanwhile, a Ghanaian citizen, Nana Kusi-Poki Listowell has petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the alleged bribery attempt.
A member of the committee, Mahama Ayariga, had alleged that Mr Agyarko enveloped GHS3000 for each of the Minority MPs on the committee so they could help him sail through. Mr Ayariga said Mr Agyarko and his assigns channeled the money through the chairman of the committee Joe Osei-Owusu who in turn used Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak as his conduit to distribute the money.
Mr Ayariga claimed the Minority MPs rejected the money after learning of its source and why it was given. Since Mr Ayariga made the allegation, all the actors involved have denied there was any such bribery attempt. Three Minority MPs subsequently petitioned the Speaker to delve into the matter leading to the formation of the Ghartey Committee.
In his petition to CHRAJ, Mr Listowell said it was important for the Commissioner of the ombudsman and state anti-graft body, Mr Joseph Akanjoluer Whittal, to probe the matter.
“Mr Commissioner, I believe you agree with me that the issue of BRIBERY and CORRUPTION is a very grave nation wreaking crime and must not be confronted with kid’s gloves. Bribery and corruption is the main hindrance and bane to our development and growth as a people. It is for this reason that I write to want an independent body like yours to expedite action on this very important matter without letting anything impede your quest to act appropriately.
“Mr. Commissioner, I have a strong feeling that the Parliament Committee of enquiry is set and may have started its work, nonetheless I see no reason why, with these several red flags raised, your dutiful office which is very independent and can justly work without any shred of favour, fear, biases, would not commence a detailed investigation into the BRIBERY scandal and probably go into the many other raised issues of corruption that is said to have characterised the Parliament of Ghana.
“Mr Commissioner, I have read your wonderful credentials and that of your outfit and I am much certain that you and the commission are task bound to execute this nationalistic project to help ascertain the truthfulness of the BRIBERY SCANDAL. I also look forward to see the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice effects a quick action into the investigation of the growing public perception that the PARLIAMENT OF GHANA IS HIGHLY CORRUPT.
“Mr Commissioner, lastly, I believe parliament and subsequently the president ought to have waited for the resolution of this matter and should not have gone ahead with the attitude of “we don’t care” and rapidity to approve of his appointment. Accordingly, I think it would be good to investigate both the PARLIAMENT OF GHANA (LEGISLATURE) and the PRESIDENCY (EXECUTIVE) on;
• Why the hurriedness and alacrity to approve Mr. Boakye Agyarko as Energy Minister?
• What happens if Mr. Agyarko is found guilty of the offence which is criminal?
• Whether the two (2) ARMS OF GOVERNMENT have not put the cart before the horse by approving of him (Mr. Boakye Agyarko) before setting a committee to investigate the BRIBERY SCANDAL which he is been accused of as the (GIVER) guilty party.
• Why it would not be the case that Mr. Boakye Agyarko may have bribed his way through the presidency to become the Minister of Energy if found to be true that he is guilty of the immediate Bribery Scandal?
• If unquestionably the MANDATE or POWER of the people (CITIZENS) is not being abused?
• Whether both the LEGISLATURE and EXECUTIVE who are both on oath of allegiance and office have not dishonored, in principle, their oaths.”