General News of Wednesday, 15 February 2017
The Ad Hoc Committee set up to investigate the bribery allegation that has hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament has said it will not grant any media interviews once it has begun public hearing into the matter.
According to the Commitee, given that the hearing is being broadcast and televised live, it is important that members remain quiet lest they are accused of being bias by witnesses who’ll appear before the committee.
At the commencement of its sitting on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon Joe Ghartey announced that the Committee has by consensus agreed to invite only four (4) witnesses to assist it to discharge its mandate given to it by Parliament.
The witnesses include the 1st deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, Minority Chief Whip, Hon Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga and the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
The Committee, according to the Chairman, has the responsibility among other things establish whether the 1st deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu took money (GHC100,000) from the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko and gave or to the Minority Chief Whip for it to be distributed to Members.
The Ad Hoc Committee is to also establish whether there were attempts to bribe the Appointments Committee Members.
But Hon. Joe Ghartey has made it clear that no member of the Committee will be part of any public post hearing discussion.
“We’re not discussing this matter, we have given you the opprtunity to listen to us…we’re not going to hold post hearing discussions. Don’t call us…we’ll not answer the questions, when we leave here don’t thrust a mic into my face, I’ll not speak to you, not because I don’t want to speak or I don’t want the public to hear. But it’s because we’re holding the hearing in public, what else cab we do you and at the end of the day the report that we’ll bring forward will be chamber and it will be discussed in public. So please allow us to do our work, if we speak the persons who will appear before the committee will say we’re bias. So please we’re not communicating with the media…that doesn’t mean there’s a media blackout, a word to the wise is enough.”