Politics of Sunday, 2 July 2017
Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram in Accra, Samuel Nartey George has kicked against calls for independent probe into the bribery scandal involving Members of the Finance Committee of Parliament.
Head of Legal Department at the National Lottery Authority (NLA), David Lamptey requested then Director General, Brigadier General Martin Ahiaglo (Rtd.) to authorise the release of a total sum of ?150,000 to facilitate passage of the amendments in the Act 722, in 2016.
In an email intercepted by Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson, Mr. Lamptey indicated the funds were intended to be used to “push” the bill to ensure its smooth passage by the legislature.
Former Chair of the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi admitted receiving the money but maintained he received only ?100,000 from the NLA and not 150,000.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in a joint statement issued Thursday, called for an independent probe into the possible bribery scandal that has hit Parliament and the Lottery Authority.
However, speaking to Joy News, Sam George asserts that, since the bill was not passed into law, the claim that the said money was induce the committee members, is unfounded.
According to him: “The environment we’ve created gives room for people to make speculations” that the MPs are corrupt.
He rather said 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?”
However, his colleague MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has stated the development “has actually cast a negative image on parliament”.
Speaking on Joy FM’s weekly news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday July 1, 2017, Mr. Inusah Fuseini yielded to the call for a probe.
“I am tempted to support the need for investigation into the case”.
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 the workshop in Senchi and receive money while “the very sitting you are having, parliament recognizes it [and] you are paid allowance”.