General News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Bribery scandal: Minority to demand public hearing

The Minority in Parliament is set to demand a public hearing of the committee set up to investigate the bribery allegation against the appointments committee of the House.

The move, according to StarrFMonline.com sources, is part of the minority’s attempt to prove their case in the controversial matter.

The Speaker of parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye on Tuesday set up a five-member Special Committee headed by former second deputy speaker Joe Ghartey to investigate claims by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga and two others that attempts were made to bribe members of the House to approve the then Energy minister-designate, following his vetting.

The Committee has four weeks to conclude with its investigations.

The setting up of the Committee is at the behest of the leadership of the House after the First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu had formally made a complaint to the Speaker on Tuesday.

Background

Last Friday, the Bawku Central lawmaker Ayariga alleged Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko tried enticing Minority members of the Committee with Gh¢3000 each through the chairman Joe Osei-Owusu so he could be recommended for approval.

According to Mr. Ayariga, details surrounding the sharing of the money reached him through his chief whip Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak.

Both Alhaji Mubarak and Osei-Owusu have denied the allegations although Mr. Ayariga insists there was exchange of hands.

“We jointly request you to carry out an internal enquiry into the veracity of the claims made by us in the allegation of attempted bribery of the Minority Members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament by a ministerial nominee.

“We, the three (3) Members of Parliament, will subject ourselves fully to the processes of the enquiry,” the trio signed in a joint petition to the Speaker.