Members of Parliament are concerned about the apparent delay in the release of committee report about bribery allegations against members of the Appointment Committee of Parliament.
Even though the report is tabled for a debate on the floor on Thursday, members are yet to receive copies, Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported.
A day before, the paper covering the report was laid by Joe Ghartey, Chair of the Committee tasked to investigate the circumstances under which monies was said to have exchanged hands in the vetting and approval of the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.
The laying of the paper signaled a completion of the bribery investigation that has the potential of denting the image and credibility of Parliament.
The House was supposed to debate the content of the report but somehow, the debate had to be rescheduled to Thursday with the explanation that MPs would have to be given copies of the 50-paged report for them to read before the debate takes place.
It appears members are yet to receive the report on the day of the debate.
According to Gakpo, the House is on an hour break and will resume after 1:00pm to discuss matters relating to the report.
Even before sitting resumes some of the MPs have expressed disappointment with the delay in the release of the report.
Joe Ghartey is chair of the committee
The law making body had to extend the period of investigations for three more weeks to allow members of the committee to complete investigations on the matter. Yesterday March 29, 2017 was the final day on which the committee was supposed to present the report.
With the House expected to rise today and with members yet to receive copies of the report, it is not clear if the matter will be debated.
MP for Nsawam Adoagyiri Frank Annor Dompreh however expects that the report will settle a matter that has truly affected Parliament.
“Our image has been dented. Other institutions of government has come under allegations of corruption
“We never slept over it. So far it has been good. It was a public sitting, open to the med. I just hope that what we saw will translate into the report. Nothing will be compromised,” he said.
He assured the public will know what the truth is adding, “we will do a good job.”
The Joe Ghartey committee was constituted after allegations by the Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga that the Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu had given Ȼ3,000 each to minority members of the committee to approve the Minister of Energy nominee at the time.
Ayariga told an Accra based radio Station Radio Gold that the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak for onward distribution to the members of the Minority.
He explained that the Minority MPs on the committee initially accepted the monies thinking it was payment of their sitting allowance but when they got to know it was monies from the Minister designate to bribe them, they returned the money.
Boakye Agyarko was at the time battling to be approved by consensus following a rather combative vetting process.
Approval for both Agyarko and the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo had both been shelved by the committee following controversial comments they made during the vetting process.
But the bribery allegation by Ayariga, as dramatic as it was, was met with vehement denials by Joe Osei Owusu, Muntaka Mubarak and the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.
After almost two months of investigations most which was held in publi,c the report has been compiled by the five member committee and has been tabled for a debate.