General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The bribery claim made against the Appointment Committee of Parliament by the MP for Bawku Central is “Bizzare”, president Akufo-Addo has noted.
Mahama Ayariga in January this year alleged that Energy minister, Boakye Agyarko, attempted to bribe the minority members of the committee, to clear him following his edgy vetting – but they rejected it.
According to him, the alleged bribery attempt was made through the Chairman of the committee Joe Osei Owusu and Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
And acting on a petition from some members of the Minority including the MP for North Tongu in the Volta region, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, the Speaker of Parliament on January 31 constituted a five-member committee chaired by Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General to probe the bribery claim.
After days of sitting and scrutiny of the evidences provided by the witnesses that appeared before it, including Mr. Osei-Owusu and Mr. Mubarak, the Joe Ghartey Committee in a 50-page report dismissed the bribery claim, charging Mr. Ayariga for “gravely injuring” the image of the chairman of the vetting committee and parliament.
The report explained that Mr. Ayariga “failed to ascertain the veracity of the rumour prior to publishing same,” hence his indictment.
Indicted for contempt of Parliament, he was thus asked to render an “unqualified apology,” which he did but not without controversy.
Commenting on the allegation for the first time during his encounter with media Tuesday July 18, 2017 after six-month in charge of the country, Akufo-Addo said the allegations by the Bawku Central MP are “bizarre, incomprehensible and nonexistent.”