General News of Saturday, 28 January 2017
Allegations of bribery brought against the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, were fabricated, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has said.
A member of the Minority in Parliament and Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, accused Mr. Agyarko of attempting to bribe Minority MPs, ostensibly to have his nomination as the Minister of Energy approved.
Rumours were rife in Parliament that some Minority MPs had allegedly been offered GHc 3,000 each by Mr. Agyarko, to facilitate his approval, a claim Mr. Ayariga further stressed on Accra-based Radio Gold.
But Mr. Osei Owusu, also the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, said a confession had been made to the effect that the allegation was made by some Minority members to settle scores, following prior claims by the Majority side that former President John Mahama was corrupt.
The source of the confession was however not disclosed. In the supposed confession, Mr. Osei-Owusu said “… the news going round that I have received money from members of the committee was actually created to play on a level ground; the Majority had called the President [Mahama] corrupt so the corruption must be shared amongst all sides.”
Mr. Osei Owusu also assured that, tempers had been calmed and that Parliament would further investigate the matter.
“That confession has come and calmed tempers to some extent, because some of us were boiling up knowing the source and where it has come from, we will find a way to deal with it such that the entire members of the committee will continue to have the confidence of the Ghanaian populace,” the First Deputy Speaker said on the floor of Parliament.
My allegations still stand – Ayariga Despite the reports of the confession which some news reports have associated with Mr. Ayariga, the Bawku Central MP has said he has not withdrawn his allegations of corruption against Mr. Agyarko.
In a statement, Mr. Ayariga said: “Let me state categorically that I have not withdrawn any allegation against the nominee.
The basis for such a withdrawal and apology does not exist because the Minority Members actually received some sums of money from the leadership which came from the nominee.”
“I wish to also add that I was not making up any facts to equalise for the bribery allegation against President John Mahama. My colleagues and I actually returned the money to be given back to Mr. Agyarko, who we are were told gave the money.”