General News of Sunday, 29 January 2017
The Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu has said he will not discontinue vetting of ministerial nominees despite the scandal in which he, the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko and minority members on the committee have been accused of bribery.
The Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga accused the Energy Minister of bribing the ten members of the committee with GHc3,000 each when he realized that the minority had refused to pass him for the position following some comments he made about former president John Mahama during his vetting.
Mr. Ayariga alleged that the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Osei-Owusu for onward disbursement; a claim, both the Chairman and Muntaka had rubbished. “My only challenge now is that we have postponed consideration of some members for appointment for so long and I’m not sure it is fair to them to postpone sitting again.
Otherwise I would have refused to sit until those matters are resolved and who ever took money in whose name is brought out,” Mr. Osei-Owusu explained. Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, he also disclosed that he will go to court to have his named cleared. “That is precisely where I’m going,” he added. Mr.Osei-Owusu further argued that his hands are clean. “I have never ever received any money from Boakye Agyarko or anybody for that matter for any such purpose.
Mahama Ayariga knows that I have never spoken to him or Muntaka or anybody about any money, never. There are not many people on that side I like anyway for me to go to that level.” “I took this thing as ordinary thing but I ignored it but when I heard that Mahama Ayariga had gone on air and was mentioning my name when he knows that I’m in no such relationship with him, I’m pissed off and I’m angry.
The leadership of been trying to prevail over me not to respond but I think it is getting overboard. “On Tuesday I will make a statement on the floor of the House and in that respect and then I will take my personal responsibility for my image from there,” he noted. I swear I didn’t give Ayariga bribe money – Muntaka The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak had rejected claims that he gave Mahama Ayariga any money he received from Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
“I’m a Muslim and Ayariga is a Muslim. I’m swearing by the Allah that created him that I never gave Ayariga anything and I said it was from Osei-Owusu. Osei Owusu has never discussed any money issue with me. He has never given me any money to be given to Ayariga and I’ve never given Ayariga or anybody any money saying that it was coming from the Chairman,” he said.