General News of Friday, 17 February 2017

Source: 3news.com

I don’t need a lawyer to tell the truth - Ayariga

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has expressed his readiness to testify to a bribery claim among members of Parliament's Appointments Committee in the absence of a lawyer saying the truth is on his side.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, the man at the center of a parliamentary bribery scandal spoke of his willingness to ensure that the truth behind his bribery allegations is exposed.

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and other MPs are being probed after he claimed the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, then a nominee, had attempted to bribe some members of the Appointments Committee for his approval.

Even though persons invited by an ad hoc committee set up by Parliament are allowed to appear before it with their lawyers, Mr. Ayariga told journalists he would decline that offer. “When you are going to speak the truth, do you need a lawyer to mediate between you and the truth? I don’t need a lawyer.

You saw me I didn’t come with a lawyer, coming to speak the truth too…” he confidently said on Friday after the committee adjourn sitting.

He however noted that other witnesses may go with their lawyers to guide them, but since he himself is a lawyer, seeking the guidance of another lawyer as he appears before the committee was needless.

Mahama Ayariga was expected to give evidence before the committee today, Friday February 17, 2017, but sitting was suspended after the chairman announced that Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, whose name came up at the committee’s first sitting requested to be granted hearing.

The committee accepted his request made through his lawyers, and its chairman asked witnesses that are yet to appear before it to make themselves available on Monday. Meanwhile, Mr. Ayariga has expressed confidence in the ad hoc committee’s ability to “work well and produce the appropriate result”, stressing “our institutions haven’t stop functioning”.

This is in response to concerns by Ghanaians that Parliament may not do a good job investigating its own.

The MP would not also go into details on the allegation being probed as directed by the Speaker of Parliament, despite the number of times pushed by journalists.