General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Retired diplomat K.B. Asante has said that the recent bribery allegation in parliament is not a shocking revelation.
The elder statesman, who was answering a question on the recent bribery scandal that has rocked the House, stated: “Actually, the recent ones do not surprise me much because I have heard from very reliable sources that sometime ago this happened, but I thought it was a minor one-off event. But as it is now, it appears it has become normal.”
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.
Mr Asante, who was speaking in an interview on Class FM, told Moro Awudu, host of the Executive Breakfast Show, that parliament must stamp its authority to redeem its image, which seems to be dented.
“It is an issue of public interest and action should be taken to put things right,” he said on Monday, January 30.
He has also suggested that Mr Agyarko steps aside until 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 emphasised.