CHRAJ weighs petition to probe Parliament bribery allegation

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said a preliminary inquiry into the bribery allegation against some Members of Parliament will determine whether it can honour a petition to take up the matter.

CHRAJ boss, Joseph Whittal, says the outcome of the parliamentary probe by a 5-member committee will also inform the Commission’s decision to investigate the claims against some members of Parliament’s Appointment Committee.

A private citizen petitioned the Commission last week to investigate a claim by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, that Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, tried to bribe or may have even bribed some members of the Appointment Committee to facilitate his appointment.

The Speaker of Parliament has set up a five-member committee chaired by Essikado MP, Joe Ghartey, but anti-corruption campaigners have kicked against the Legislature’s decision to probe itself.

Listowel Nana Poku, the petitioner, agrees with the anti-corruption campaigners that the internal probe is wrong.

He argues that Parliament has no locus to investigate the matter as MPs are those cited in the corruption allegation.

However, Mr. Whittal told Joy News due process must be followed.

“By the end of next week we should be able to determine conclusively to the complainant whether his admissible for investigation and if so the reasons for which it is not,” said the CHRAJ Commissioner.

He said CHRAJ is still considering the best way forward and if the Commission takes up the matter it may continue from the findings of the parliamentary probe.