General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
“From Monday it was difficult for me to look at people’s faces,” an emotional Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu said last week when he faced Parliament’s Special Investigative Committee.
“Friends took a photo of me to show me…I was truly not myself,” he added.
When it was his turn to face the committee, Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP), Mahama Ayariga said, “If you are going to speak the truth do you need a lawyer to mediate between you and the truth? You don’t need a lawyer. Maybe to guide you…but I know the basic rules so I probably don’t need the assistance of a lawyer to guide me.”
“There are facts that Minority chief whip asked that we should come for money. We took the money and later returned it upon hearing the rumour that it was a bribe. It is a fact that we asked Muntaka to investigate the matter,” he told the investigative committee, Monday.
“No such money was given to anybody so how could it be returned?” Minority Chip Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak told the Joe Ghartey-led committee.
All the above might be confusing to take in if you have followed proceedings at the parliament committee investigating bribery allegations against MPs. There is confusion who to believe as the plot thickens.
MP for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga claims Majority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak allegedly gave him and others GHC3000 bribe on behalf of Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, both men have denied offering any money.
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye, constituted the 5-member committee to look into allegations by Mr. Ayariga that the Energy Minister, Mr. Boakye Agyarko attempted bribing Minority members on the Appointments Committee with Gh¢3,000 each with the aim to influence his approval as Minister.
The interesting thing is that all witnesses before the committee either swear with the Quran or Bible before offering testimony.
2016 Convention People’s Party (CPP) flagbearer, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet says they appear not to be afraid of the two holy books.
In an interview with Joy News’ parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, he said it’s about time the local shrine option is considered.
“One would hope that the testimonies and memoranda that have been supplied by the witnesses would be taken seriously by the committee. Also to ensure that things would be done in an open manner ensure that things are not swept under the carpet.
“It appears as though they have greater fear testimonies in our local shrines as I don’t think swearing on the Bible or the Quran seems to put them in fear of telling the truth or otherwise.
He believes the local shrines is something that should be encouraged to those involved to tell the truth especially in the case at hand because all of them cannot be telling the truth.