I have never spoken to Agyarko in my life

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has told Parliament’s Bribery Investigative Committee Monday that he has never dealt with the Energy Minister in any kind.

He said until Boakye Agyarko appeared before the Appointments Committee he has never spoken to  on the phone or anywhere else.

Mr Ayariga, described in some circles as a whistleblower in an alleged bribery case involving Parliament has reiterated that the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, handed him GHC3,000 which he returned.

The former Sports minister also told the Chairman of the Investigative Committee, Joe Ghartey that he never dealt directly with the Chairman of the Appointment Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu.

The Parliament public hearing has become necessary following allegations by the  Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga that the Energy Minister-designate at the time, Boakye Agyarko paid an amount of 3,000 cedis to members of the Minority to facilitate his approval.

He explained that they took the money from the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak thinking it was their sitting allowance only for Muntaka to tell them later that the money was coming from Joe Osei Owusu as a bribe to facilitate the approval of the Energy Minister.

Boakye Agyarko’s approval had been delayed because of controversial comments he made during his vetting.

Mahama Ayariga said once they were told that the money was bribe they returned it. Two other MPs on the Minority side, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini have both confirmed the claims by Ayariga but all the persons named in the scandal have denied it.

The Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, and the Energy minister-designate at the time Boakye Agyarko have all denied the allegations with some of them threatening to sue Ayariga.

The matter became a huge scandal with civil society demanding a probe into the allegations.

The Speaker Prof Mike Ocquaye on the advice of the leadership set up the ad-hoc committee to investigate the veracity of the allegations made by Mahama Ayariga.