The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has strongly defended his claims that members of appointments committee of parliament were offered monies to approve the nomination of now Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko.
Appearing before the five-member ad-hoc committee investigating the bribery allegations the former Minister of Science and Technology said it is a fact that monies were given as an attempt to bribe some members on the committee.
Hon. Ayariga added that he stands by his claims that members on the minority side each received 3,000 Ghana cedis from Minority Chief Whip Hon. Mubarak Muntaka which was given to him by the Chairman of the appointments committee Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu.
“There are facts,” Hon. Ayariga said adding “it is a fact…that the minority chief whip asked us to come to his office and take some money…that is a fact, I took the money…these are facts.”
Hon. Ayariga noted that he had never spoken or met Hon. Boakye Agyarko until they met at the vetting.
“I have never in my life spoken with him, never. The first time I was seeing him physically as a politician and as somebody who goes on air and also on television and on radio was when he appeared before the committee. [That] was the first time I was physically engaging him,” he told the committee.
Narrating the sequence of events, Hon. Ayariga said minority members accepted the monies thinking it was their sitting allowance until they realized the monies were coming from Hon. Agyarko.
“We were expecting our committee allowances from the chairman, so, when we were called by our leader to come and take our money, we took it knowing that that is our allowance, so, as for the quantum we cannot tell how much money he [Mr Agyarko] might have given to the chairman, so, there are all sort of speculations about what sort of quantum he is alleged to have given, but what we know is what came to us as individuals, that is what we can bear testimony to: whether it’s GHS1 or GHS2, no matter how small it is.
“What we know is what was given to us and we found out later that it was coming from him, so, as for the quantum, it’s not important. For me the most important thing is that we were expecting to be given our committee sitting allowances, and we were promised by our chairman that it will come very soon, and we were called to pick up money from our Whip, we picked it up and assumed that it was our allowances and then later we heard rumours in the house and we called our leader and asked him: where is the money coming from? He said it came from the Chairman but chairman said it was coming from Boakye Agyarko, so, that is where we realised that we can’t take money from Boakye Agyarko, so, we asked him to take his money back, we are not interested. The quantum is insignificant, even if he had brought GHS1million, we will still return it to him,” Mr Ayariga alleged.