General News of Monday, 30 January 2017
Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini has suggested Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka is "not being candid" on the recent bribery scandal in parliament.
Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga had alleged that then-Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko had offered cash through Appointments Committee chairman Joe Osei-Owusu, to be shared among Minority MPs on the committee.
Mr Ayariga had alleged that GHS3000 was paid to each of the NDC MPs by Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, an amount they thought was sitting allowance for MPs on the committee, but returned the monies when they heard a rumour that the amount had actually come from Mr Agyarko to influence them to endorse his nomination as minister.
Mr Osei-Owusu and Mr Muntaka have both denied the allegation.
However, Mr Fuseini argues: "When I spoke to him, I realised he was worried. He feels that the integrity of parliament is more important than uncovering the rot."
He said he felt Mr Muntaka was trying to shield parliament instead of revealing exactly what transpired.
"He places the integrity of parliament higher and would rather cover up," Mr Fuseini indicated on Joy FM on Monday, January 30.
Meanwhile, elder statesman and former diplomat K. B. Asante has told Moro Awudu on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM that President Nana Akufo-Addo should privately urge Mr Agyarko to resign and offer him another appointment if he is cleared after investigations are conducted.
“It is a good idea that he should leave the scene. You cannot work with a minister with so many allegations especially when we have so many important things to do. So yes, here the president should step in [but] not in the public domain, but he should call the minister and ask him, 'In the circumstances, will you please resign so that we go into this matter and if everything is fine I will find another thing for you to do?' In my opinion, yes, he should call him not publicly but quietly and say, 'Please, I expect you to resign on this matter so that you can clear your name,'” he urged.
Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga on Friday January 27 claimed Mr Agyarko, whose approval as a minister had been frozen pending the determination of certain issues, dished out GHS3000 as bribe to each of the minority members on the committee with the aim to influence them so they approve his nomination without further delay.
Mr Ayariga claimed the money was given to Committee Chair Joe Osei Owusu by Mr Agyarko who in turn channeled it through Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak to the MPs, who, according to the Bawku Central MP, subsequently rejected it.
However, all the actors he mentioned in the bribery saga have denied the allegation.