Nii Lante, Suhuyini, others didn’t come to us – Member of Ghartey C’ttee

A member of the Joe Ghartey Committee says they wrote to members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee to help with investigations into the bribery claim, but none responded.

Ben Abdallah Banda says apart from North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who sent in a memo, no other member of the committee presented any evidence to the committee in support of the claim.

Speaking to Joy News’ Elton Brobbey Monday, the Offinso South MP said the Committee could have compelled legislators to appear before it to testify, but they could not be forced to speak.

“We wanted anybody who had any information to come forward [willingly],” he said.

The Joe Ghartey Committee that investigated a bribery allegation against some MPs, has been accused of failing to invite some key witnesses.

The allegation was levelled by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga who said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs on the Appointments Committee were offered GHC3,000 each.

The MP, a legal practitioner, said Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka who handed out the money claimed it was a gift from Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko whose nomination was under consideration.

Chairman of bribery investigative committee, Joe Ghartey

Mr Ayariga told journalists the NDC MPs returned the money because they considered it as a bribe for the approval of Mr Agyarko.

But the Joe Ghartey Committee set up following a motion filed in Parliament said it found no evidence to support the claim that money was given to some MPs as bribe.

It said its investigations revealed the Bawku Central MP acted on a rumour which was in the media.

Former Sports Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuye

The Committee found him in contempt of Parliament and prescribed milder sanctions for him since that was the first time he had brought the name of the House into disrepute.

Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye was asked to reprimand Mr Ayariga and demand an apology from him.

Mr Ablakwa who had appeared before the Committee to refute some information claimed other key witnesses were excluded from testifying.

Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini

He cited the Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini and Odododiodio MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye as some of the people who were not invited.

But Mr Abdallah Banda said they wrote to the 25-member Appointments Committee of which the two MPs are members but they never replied.

He said the Committee could have invited them, but it did not want to compel anyone to testify.

For him, if the two or any other member had any useful information relevant to the probe, they had an obligation to supply the Committee with same. 

Their failure to submit any memos, he stressed, was a clear indication that they didn’t have any relevant facts and that there was, therefore, no point inviting them to testify.