General News of Sunday, 2 July 2017
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini has expressed concern about the increasing number of bribery allegations leveled against the legislature.
According to him, the development “has actually cast a negative image on Parliament”.
The recent bribery allegation is against Members of the Finance Committee of Parliament in the 6th Parliament
The Head of Legal Department at the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Mr David Lamptey according to a Joy FM report in 2016 requested then Director General, Brigadier General Martin Ahiaglo (Rtd.) to authorise the release of ?150,000 to facilitate the passage of the amendments in Act 722.
The funds were alleged to be used to “push” the bill to ensure its smooth passage by the legislature.
Former Chair of the Committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi has admitted receiving the money but maintained he received only Gh?100,000 from the NLA and not Gh?150,000.
Speaking on Joy FM’s weekly news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday, the former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in the erstwhile John Mahama administration, questioned why the MPs will agree to the NLA’s decision to organise the workshop in Senchi and receive money while “the very sitting you are having, parliament recognises it and you are paid allowance”.
Anti-corruption organisations in the country such as the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) have issued press statements to call for an independent probe into the allegation.
Seconding the call to investigate in to the matter, Mr. Fuseini said “I am tempted to support the need for investigation into the case”.
Sam George kicked against calls
In a contrary opinion, the MP for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George thinks there was no need to probe the allegation, since the bill was not passed into law,and therefore the claim that the said money was to induce the committee members was unfounded.
“The environment we’ve created gives room for people to make speculations that the MPs are corrupt”.
He added that the gesture by the NLA could best be described as lobbying as it is the case in Western countries instead likening it to bribery.
“In the West they have groups that are officially recognized as lobbyists. So if there are lobbyists who are beginning to emerge in Ghana who have a certain policy direction and they think that the way to get is to get legislation by lobbying Parliament [then] why they call it corruption?“