General News of Thursday, 16 February 2017
The Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu says he wouldn’t trust Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga to discuss any matter
The Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu says he wouldn’t trust Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga to discuss any matter after the latter wrongly made bribery allegations against him and his committee.
Ayariga had leveled bribery allegations against Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak and Joseph Osei-Owusu who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
The Bawku Central MP had alleged that Osei-Owusu and Muntaka had been conduits through, which Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko attempted to bribe members of the Appointments Committee for him (Boakye Agyarko) to be approved.
When a Member of Parliament’s ad-hoc committee investigating the bribery allegation asked Osei-Owusu if he had spoken to Ayariga after the allegation, the First Deputy Speaker replied that he didn’t think it was prudent to speak to the man who made the allegation, especially when he is also a member of the Appointments Committee.
“I wouldn’t trust him to do such a thing [talk to him] after he had made those allegations and had gone on air to repeat them.
“I think it would be suicidal to get into any one-on-one meeting with him. It would be very dangerous,” Mr Osei-Owusu said.
He was the first and only witness to be called on Wednesday February 15, 2017 after the Speaker of Parliament constituted the ad-hoc Committee to investigate an alleged bribery allegation.
The Committee is chaired by former Second Deputy of Speaker Joe Ghartey who is also the MP for Esikadu/Ketan.
Other members of the committee are MP for Offinso South, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda; the MP for Juaben, Madam Ama Pomaah Boateng; the MP for Yilo Krobo, Mr Magnus Kofi Amoateng, and the MP for Talensi, Mr Benson Tongo Baba.
According to Mahama Ayariga, the Chairman of the Appointment’s committee was alleged to have given some monies to Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak to be distributed to minority members on the committee.
The said money was to influence a decision on the then Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko. However, Osei-Owusu has vehemently debunked the claim, saying “The allegation that I have taken money from Agyarko whether for myself or for members of my committee is false.”