General News of Monday, 20 February 2017
Parliament’s 5-member ad-hoc committee investigating the alleged bribery scandal involving members of the Appointments Committee, today [Monday], stopped MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, from giving additional oral evidence as a witness.
The Committee at its hearing today, gave opportunity to three witnesses namely Boakye Agyako, Energy Minister, Muntaka Mubarak, Minority Chief Whip, and Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central. However, it did not allow Mr. Okudzeto to give further evidence orally aside the information he read to Parliament from his written statement.
According to the Chairman of Committee, Joe Ghartey, per the rules of the House, Mr. Okudzeto, who was not originally part of the witnesses to be heard orally, was only given the chance to appear before the Committee because he requested to be a witness.
He said the proper thing for Mr. Okudzeto to do per their procedure, was to submit any further evidence aside what he read before the committee by memoranda. He reminded him to submit the memoranda to the Committee on time, since they will soon be presenting their report to Parliament.
The petition that led to Parliament forming the ad-hoc committee, was signed by three minority MPs namely Mahama Ayariga, Alhassan Suhuyini and Okudzeto Ablakwa.
The three persons have insisted that there was indeed an attempted bribery through the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei-Owusu, who used the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, as a conduit to get the Gh3, 000 each to minority members on the committee.
However, all the three persons accused of facilitating the payment of the said amount including the supposed source of the money; Minister for Energy Boakye Agyarko, have all denied the occurrence of such an incident.
The three reiterated their position under oath when they appeared before the investigative committee.