General News of Saturday, 28 January 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Ayariga made bribery allegation up - Joseph Osei Owusu

Chairman of Parliament's Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu says Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP), Mahama Ayariga has withdrawn bribery allegation he made against the Energy Minister-designate.

He disclosed this to Joy News' Parliamentary Correspondent, Joseph Gakpo Friday minutes after the allegation made the headline.

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament said the former Science and Technology Minister said he made the claim up to "level the playing field" because the nominee has impugned the reputation of former President John Mahama.

Mr Ayariga has alleged on an Accra-based Radio Gold that Boakye Agyarko gifted the Committee the sum of GHC100,000 to be shared to members.

He claimed National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs on the Committee were offered GHC3,000 each, but they rejected it after they were told of the giver.

Mr Agyarko's approval together with Senior Minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Maafo has been scuttled by the NDC after some "inaccurate" information they provided the Committee.

Minority members of the Committee have requested the former Vice President of the Bank of New York to produce evidence to back some corruption allegations he made against former President John Mahama.

Mr Agyarko has also claimed World Bank had 'breathed fire' down the neck of the former Ghanaian leader to take a particular course of action.

When quizzed to substantiate the claim his explanation NDC members on the Committee found it unsatisfactory, triggering attempts to torpedo his approval.

The alleged money donated to the Committee was construed by NDC legislators as an attempt to buy their cooperation and bribe them to support his approval.

The Majority had challenged Mr Ayariga to produce evidence, but few minutes the claim, Mr Osei Owusu said the MP has withdrawn his statement and apologised.

The MP has, however, denied withdrawing his allegation. He told Joy News that he still stands by his allegation.