General News of Thursday, 2 February 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Anti-corruption group criticises Joe Ghartey's selection

Executive Secretary Beauty Emefa Nartey

Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) says former Attorney-General, Joe Ghartey should not have been appointed to chair parliament's ad-hoc committee on the alleged bribery scandal.

Executive Secretary Beauty Emefa Nartey tells Joy News the Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado could have been a member but not a chair.

The Speaker of Parliament has set up a five-member committee to probe the allegations of bribery against some members of the Appointments Committee.

Professor Ocquaye explained that the committee has become necessary because of the weight of the allegation made by Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP) Mahama Ayariga.

Upholding Standing Orders 191 which advises the formation of the special committee to investigate any matter of public importance, the Speaker announced the formation of high-powered parliamentary special committee to investigate the matter.

The committee members as suggested by the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, agreed to by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu and approved by the Speaker are; Essikadu/Ketan MP, Joe Ghartey as Chairman; Offinso South MP Ben Abdallah Banda; Juaben MP, Ama Pomaa Boateng; Talensi MP, Benson Tongo Baba; Yilo Krobo MP, Magnus Kofi Amoatey

The terms of reference given the Special Committee are;

(a) To establish if First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu took money from Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko and gave it to Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka.

(b) To do an internal inquiry to find out whether there were attempts to bribe members of Appointments Committee

(d) To look into the remit of complaints and assertions made by First Deputy Speaker about the matter.

But Madam Nartey says his position must not compromise the outcome of the investigation into the bribery scandal.

She cites the judiciary investigating itself during the corruption scandal as an example saying because its work was not bias the outcome was accepted by all leading to the Chief Justice taking action to sack some judges.

"His selection gives the indication that parliament may not have enough people to do that work with its 275 parliamentarians," she said.

She told Joy News' Hannah Odarmey that considering the fact that there has been an earlier allegation of bribery and corruption concerning parliament, this was an opportunity to "clear itself of the issue that people are accusing it of."

Madam Nartey believes this will clear all doubts and perception about the august house of legislators.

"Parliament has a higher standard to behold and now that the committee has been set up, the outcome should be something that would not create any doubt in anyone's mind that it is compromised," she stated.