The conditional apology rendered by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga following the submission of the Ghartey committee report which cited him for contempt was “no apology,” the Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh has stated.
Following the committee’s dismissal of Mr. Ayariga’s claims that Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had sought to bribe the members of the Appointments Committee to lure them into approving his nomination, the committee chaired by former first deputy speaker Joe Ghartey indicted him of contempt.
It thus asked him to render an “unqualified apology” to the House and purge himself of the contempt “for gravely injuring” the reputation of the chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu and Parliament — which he did but in a “defiant” posture.
Commenting Friday on the development on Morning Starr, Mr. Cheremeh said the conclusions of the committee were “very appropriate” hence, Mr Ayariga’s defiance demeanour was unfortunate and unacceptable.
“Nobody doubts the findings of the Joe Ghartey Committee,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban, adding that the hesitant nature with which Mr. Ayariga apologized renders his show of remorse fake.
“It’s no apology,” stated Cheremeh.
According to the findings of the committee, Ayariga “failed to ascertain the veracity of the rumour prior to publishing same. The Committee further observed that as a result of the publication, trust and confidence among members and inter-party cohesion needed for consensus building at the Appointments Committee has broken down considerably.
“Individual members of the Appointments Committee had become suspicious of each other. The chairman of the appointments committee indicated his distrust for Mr. Mahama Ayariga while Alhaji Muntaka stressed that it will be difficult to deal with his accusers.
“The reputation and image of the institution of Parliament has been greatly injured by the allegation. The reputation and dignity of the First Deputy Speaker, other members of the Appointments Committee and that of the Minister for Energy equally suffered considerable damage.”
It added: “As a results of these observations, the committee came to the firm conclusion that Mr. Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of Parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, Section 32 of the Parliament Act (1965) Act 300 and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
“The Committee came to this conclusion because Mr. Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon. Boakye Agyarko gave money to Joseph Osei Owusu to be distributed to members of the appointments committee with a view to bribe them.”
The Speaker of Parliament on January 31 constituted the five member committee chaired by Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General to probe the bribery scandal that rocked the Joe Osei Owusu-led Vetting Committee.
This followed claims by Mr. Ayaria, a member of the committee that Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko tried luring the minority members of the committee with GHC3000 each through the chairman of the vetting committee, Mr. Osei Owusu and the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, so he could be recommended for approval following his edgy vetting.