General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
The Member of Parliament for Bekwai Constituency, Joseph Osei-Owusu, is seeking the permission of Parliament to resort to the law courts to clear his name in a bribery allegation that has been brought against him by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central constituency, Mahama Ayariga.
According to Mr Osei-Owusu, his reputation and integrity has been badly affected by the allegation. Mr. Osei-Owusu made the request when Parliament discussed the matter on the floor, and eventually a five-member investigative committee, to look into to the matter.
Delivering a statement on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday [January 21, 2017] on the matter, the MP, who is also the Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, said, “I’ve never discussed, requested, demanded or received money of whatever quantum for myself or committee members from Mr Boakye Agyarko or any other person for that matter. Neither have I discussed, offered or given any money to Hon. Muntaka Mubarak for himself or for members of the Minority on the Appointments Committee. The allegations by Hon Mahama Ayariga therefore is a colossal untruth which has done grievous damage to my reputation, my hard-earned integrity.”
Mahama Ayariga on Friday [January 27, 2017] accused the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko of bribing the ten Minority members of the committee with GHc3,000 each when he realized that the Minority had refused to pass him for the position following comments he made about former President John Mahama during his vetting.
Mr. Ayariga alleged that the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu for onward disbursement; a claim other Members of Parliament, Alhassan Suhuyini and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa confirmed.
But Mr. Osei-Owusu who has in a previous Citi News interview denied the allegation, said the decision on the approval of Mr. Agyarko was taken the same day at the close of the day’s vetting.
“The charge of bribery for the majority to pass the nominee therefore does not fit in the equation as the nominee had already been recommended to be passed by the majority the same night the nominee was vetted.”
“I crave your indulgence to assist me to ventilate my grievance in court, if I am successful, it may help redeem the image of this parliament, which is often battered by its own members.”