General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Vitus Azeem, a former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, is of the view Parliament would not be able to adequately investigate the bribery scandal involving some of its members on the Appointments Committee.
This is after the allegations of bribery levelled against the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, by a Minority member of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga.
Mr. Ayariga accused Mr. Agyarko of bribing the 10 Minority members on the Committee with GHc 3,000 to get his nomination approved.
Mr. Ayariga, along with two other Minority members of the Appointments Committee; Alhassan Suhuyini and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MPs for Tamale North and North Tongu, have written to the Speaker of Parliament calling for a thorough investigation of the bribery claims against the Mr. Agyarko.
But Mr. Azeem has recommended that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) instead investigate these allegations as a CHRAJ probe into the matter would be more credible in the eyes of Ghanaians.
“I don’t think that an institution where the individuals in the institution accused of certain untoward actions should have that very institution investigating itself. It has something to be with the image of Parliament and natural tendencies. As human beings, the natural tendency is to try to find a way of covering it up. For Ghanaians to believe the outcome, it will be better to get an independent body that will investigate this matter,” he explained to Citi News.
CHRAJ does not even need a petition to probe these allegations, from Mr. Azeem’s viewpoint.
“The media reports are enough for CHRAJ to decide to go in and investigate the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, CHRAJ has indicated that it will allow Parliament to conduct a full-scale investigation into the bribery scandal.
The Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal who made the revelation, however, noted that the Commission will monitor the investigations closely to ensure transparency.