General News of Wednesday, 15 February 2017
The alleged bribery allegation against the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko Kyeremateng was a fabrication for political equalization, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has reiterated.
Three members of the minority caucus in Parliament’s Appointment Committee, Mahama Ayariga, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Alhassan Suhuyini had alleged that some monies were paid to them after the vetting of Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to influence the approval of ministerial nominee.
Following the bribery allegation, Parliament set up a five-member committee chaired by a former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey, to probe the issue and present its report within 30 days.
Appearing before the committee on Wednesday February 15, 2017, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu insisted the bribery allegation was a frication.
Even before the committee was set up, the allegations were dismissed by Mr. Osei-Owusu and Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, whose names were mentioned as conduits of the alleged payment.
“The allegation that I have taken money from Agyarko whether for myself or for members of my committee is false,” Mr. Osei-Owusu told the Joe Ghartey-chaired committee.
According to him, Samuel Okudzeto indicated that Mahama Ayariga created the bribery story for political equalization because “Hon. Boakye Agyarko had said President Mahama was corrupt.”
Informing the committee what went on a closed-door meeting, Mr. Osei-Owusu said,“In the conclave, after they had shown that they [Minority] were satisfied and were willing to withdraw their objection and agree for their report to be amended that Hon Osafo-Maafo and Boakye Agyarko be passed by consensus, we were going to leave and I said no, there was this allegation already in the public domain, and Honourbale Ayariga is the one alleged to have made that allegation so we should discuss that matter after meeting, all the Minority members said was ‘Mr. Speaker cool down , cool down’ and I said ; ‘How can I cool down? This allegation is already in the public domain’. It was at that point that Okudzeto Ablakwa said ‘because Agyarko said our President [Mahama] was corrupt, we were spreading the corruption allegation’. The mood in the room changed afterwards.”
The allegation was therefore intended to show that Boakye Agyarko was also corrupt.
Other members of the special committee investigating the allegation include MP for Offinso South, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda; the MP for Juaben, Madam Ama Pomaah Boateng; the MP for Yilo Krobo, Mr Magnus Kofi Amoateng, and the MP for Talensi, Mr Benson Tongo Baba.