Speaker Warns Ayariga

Ablakwa, Ayariga and Suhuyini

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has been sternly cautioned by the speaker of parliament to behave as an ‘honourable’ MP and not peddle any unfounded allegations against colleague MPs without any proof or shred of evidence.

The speaker issued the warning to Mr Ayariga after he (speaker) had finally decided to pardon him (Ayariga) in his ruling on the bribery allegation he (Ayariga) made against the chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu and the minority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, which occasioned the setting up of an ad hoc committee headed by the former second deputy speaker, Joe Ghartey.

The committee eventually found Ayariga to be in contempt of parliament after failing to prove his allegations against the two members of the committee.

Ayariga had alleged that Mr Osei-Owusu and Muntaka had collected money from then Energy Minister-designate, Boakye Agyarko, to be distributed to minority members on the committee because they had pledged to torpedo his (Agyarko’s) nomination.

Mahama Ayariga was found guilty of contempt of parliament by the Joe Ghartey Committee which recommendations were presented to the plenary on Thursday, March 30, resulting in chaos in parliament after the Bawku Central MP had refused to accept the recommendations and angrily decided not to properly apologise to the house as recommended.

The speaker, Mr Mike Oquaye, therefore decided to give his final ruling on the matter on Friday, April 7.

Before the speaker’s ruling was delivered, the Bawku Central MP had written to apologise to him and also offered a written apology to the entire house for his conduct.

The speaker, giving his final ruling, said the conduct of Ayariga was highly reprehensible but the committee had recommended that he only apologises.

He said Ayariga would be forgiven his offence but if it happens again, he will be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Mr Oquaye used the occasion to warn all other members of parliament to refrain from indulging in such act of rumour peddling against fellow MPs and the institution of parliament as a whole.

He said anytime any MP does not show respect to parliament and drags the name of the institution in the mud, he will be dealt with according to the law.

The speaker also warned some ‘rebel’ NDC MPs who were strongly supporting  Ayariga, to also be of ‘good behaviour’  and desist from any acts that will bring the image of the institution into disrepute stressing, “All those people will not be spared if they are also found to be in contempt of parliament.”

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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