General News of Monday, 20 February 2017
A member of Parliament’s Appoitment Committee Muntaka Mubarak who was fingered in an alleged bribery allegation has taken his turn before a committee set by the Speaker of Parliament to investigate the issue.
Mr Muntaka is accompanied by private legal practioner Samson Lardy Anyenini. The MP for Asawase is alleged by Mahama Ayariga to have taken money from Chairman of the Appointment’s Committee and distributed to minority members of the Committee.
Mr Muntaka has denied these allegations and will be interrogated by the Committee to find the veracity of the claims he has made.
Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga has already been interrogated by the Committee. So has Chairman of the Appointment’s Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu.
Muntaka presents a witness statement to the committee which represents his position on the matter and he will be questioned on it.
Que: Did you take money from Boakey Agyarko to give members of the committee?
Que: Did Osei Wusu use you as a conduit to distribute bribe?
Muntaka: He has not given him any money to be given to anybody.
Que: Do You know Boakye Agyaroko?
Muntaka: I have never met him anywhere, he has never sent anyone to me, he has never called me before.
Que: Did you discuss any financial matters concerning members?
Muntaka: Not with me
Que: Did the members make request for payment of allowances?
Muntaka: I remember on the Saturday, members were asking the chairman how far he has gone with his memo about members’ allowance
Que: What was his response?
Muntaka: I remember him saying he was working on it, that is what I can remember him saying.
Que: Did the Appointment’s Committee on the day Boakye Agyarko appeared before you take a decision on him?
Muntaka: We did not take a decision on both of them, Agyarko and Osafo Maafo Que: What did you mean?
Muntaka: The minority said they couldn’t go with them. They were asked to provide some documents before their approval
Que: Did the documents come?
Muntaka: Yes, they were handed over to me and I sent it to the minority leader for us to read through but we did not get what we wanted.
I said that one of the things I was interested in seeing was a letter from the world bank as a nominee mentioned in his vetting.
Que: Did you see the letter?
Muntaka: I did not.
Que: Why were you taken aback by the allegations?
Muntaka: That had never happened and I was shocked from where he was getting that information. I had never discussed an issue of the said money coming from the Chairman.
I was really taken aback because I had never had any discussions with anyone. That is why I was taken aback.
Que: You declined the opportunity to speak to the media on what actually shocked you. Can you reconcile the two positions?
Muntaka: The media called me about an alleged comment, but I had not heard the comment myself and I was trying to reach my colleague about it.
Until I heard the comment then I decided to grant a comment on Joy FM. Que: Who was doing the interview?
Muntaka: I did not listen to the show, but I heard the voice of Samson Lardy Que: which Samson was that?
Muntaka: Mr Chairman, My counsel (Samson Lardy Anyenini)
Que: what did you say on Joy FM?
Muntaka: I said the information that is out there is never true, I have never had that conversation. I have never collected any money from Joe Osei Wusu to be given to anyone. I denied that fact.
Que: Is this your first time on the Appointment Committee?
Que: What is your reaction if this committee informed you that there is evidence that you told him that you received money from the chairman?
Muntaka: That never existed
Que: Ayariga said he received money from you and when he found out it was bribe money he returned it, how do you react to that?
Muntaka: It is a surprise because no such money was given to anyone so how will he return to me money that was not given. That was shocking. I was shocked to hear these comments subsequently.
Que: What did you do?
Muntaka: I spoke to my leader and the majority leader and all those concerned about it. I was shocked.
Que: In that conclave meeting were Agyarko, Osei Wusu present, Ayariga, Suhuyini and Ablakwa present?
Que: Was the issue raised
Muntaka: That day while we were in conclave I kept shuffling between the chamber to see what was happening …I remember the chairman asked the question but at that stage it was all about the committee and my name was not mentioned
Que: What was Ayariga’s reaction?
Muntaka: I saw him raise his hands but I was almost at the gate because I was rushing out of the place, I just heard the laughter so I can’t remember whether Ayariga said anything or any other member said anything
Que: Did you take any money from Joe Osei Owusu?
Que: Were you involved in any attempt to bribe members of the committee”?
Mr Muntaka read out his statement again and thanked the Committee for giving him the opportunity to appear before them
Chairman dismisses Mr Muntaka and urged him to refrain from making comments in relations to the issue in the public.
Mr Muntaka’s counsel was also cautioned to be mindful of his comments on the issue.