I never dealt with Agyarko, Osei Owusu – Ayariga confirms before bribery Committee

Mahama Ayariga NewMahama Ayariga accused Boakye Agyarko of bribing the minority side during the vetting process

Bawku Central Member of Parliament Mahama Ayariga will begin to walk his talk on allegations of bribery when he appears before the Joe Ghartey committee Thursday.

He takes an oath to speak the truth and nothing but the truth about a bribery allegation that has left Parliament bruised.

Chairman of the committee reminds him of his right to counsel but Ayariga who is himself a lawyer rejects the offer of a counsel.

Ghartey reads the committee’s first terms of reference which is whether indeed the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko gave an amount of 3000.00 cedis bribe in order to have him approved, and asks the witness to comment.

Ayariga says on 27th January he received a call from radio Gold in respect of a bribery allegation in Parliament and was asked to comment on it. He confirmed that indeed he received the money from the Minority Chief Whip, monies he initially thought was their sitting allowance but when he was told it was a bribe coming from a ministerial nominee he together with other minority members on the appointment committee decided to return the money.

Chairman makes reference to the transcript of the radio Gold interview and asks him if he stands by his claim that the minority chief whip Muntaka Mubarak was the one who gave him the money.

Ayariga stands by his claim.

Chairman probes further quoting another transcript this time from the Joy FM interview in which he said that he did not deal directly with Boakye Agyarko and Joe Osei Owusu. Ayariga confirms that he never dealt with Agyarko.

At the time the money was given to you was it explained what the reason for the payment was, another committee members asks Ayariga. The witness said they were agitating for their sitting allowances having sat deep into the night at previous sittings and they were assured that the chairman had raised a memo to the Speaker for the payment.

He says when he got the call from the Minority Chief Whip that the money had come, he thought it was the allowance and not money to bribe.