Anti-graft body questions Joe Ghartey committee report

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) says the report of a probe into allegations of bribery in Parliament is not convincing.

Programmes Director at GII, Mary Awelana Addah, says the contents of the report were predictable.

“Based on the terms of reference of this committee, we are not too surprised with the findings that have come out. We didn’t expect much…we were expecting rather that a committee that would do a better job would have been set up,” said Mrs Addah on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Friday.

The ad hoc committee set up by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, said in its report to parliament on Thursday that there is no evidence to support the bribery claim made by Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP), Mahama Ayariga against two legislators and a Minister.

Mr Ayariga alleged that Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, and Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, worked together and attempted to bribe Minority members on the vetting committee.

The bribe money, GHC3,000, was meant to grease the palms of Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee to facilitate the approval of Mr Agyarko, who was then Minister-designate.

The Joe Ghartey Committee report said on Thursday it arrived at the conclusion after a thorough interrogation of submissions given by witnesses who appeared before it.

Presenting the report before Parliament, the Committee Chair said Mr Ayariga’s allegations were based on a rumour.

“After a critical evaluation…[it was found] Mahama Ayariga gave credence to what was circulating in the media by repeating the rumour,” Mr Ghartey said.

“We found it unfortunate as he failed to ascertain the veracity of the rumour,” he adds.

However, the GII said a CCTV footage that came up as evidence should be made public.

“From the findings, we realise that there is an opportunity for Ghanaians to see…[the CCTV footage]. How come that is not being made available to everybody to see?” he quizzed.

She added that in the absence of evidence, the publication of the CCTV footage would “clear any mischief that Ghanaians would have.”

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