General News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

Investigative Committee will not bring finality to Parliament's bribery saga – Ken Agyepong

Maverick politician and Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken Agyepong believes the setting up of a Parliamentary adhoc committee to investigate the bribery scandal that has rocked Ghana’s legislature is not the way to go.

According to him, the situation where Parliament investigates itself in such a controversial matter which has caught a large section of the publics attention is not the best, as the outcome of the probe may not be believed.

Parliament on Tuesday established a 5-member ad-hoc committee to look into the allegations of rot that has hit the legislature.

The Committee is to be chaired by Hon. Joe Ghartey, MP for Ketan and will be assisted by four members namely; Ben Abdalla Banda, Ama Pomaa Boateng, B. T. Baba and Magnus Kofi Amoatey.

The Committee is to establish whether the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu indeed took some money from the Energy Minister, Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko and handed it over to the Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka for it to be distributed to members.

The Committee has within thirty (30) days to submit its report to the plenary for consideration and adoption. The Ad Hoc committee was proposed by the Majority Leader and seconded by the Minority Leader.

The proposal was necessitated by the fact that if the matter had been referred to the Privileges Committee it will be the 1st Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu who would have chaired it.

But Hon. Ken Agyepong in an interview on Kasapa FM, stated that he doubted if the investigation by the 5-member committee would bring closure to the allegation.

“This time around an independent body should investigate Parliament; we shouldn’t leave this matter with the Speaker to settle. Once Parliament is investigating itself, we might not get the full brief; an independent body like CHRAJ must come in and do the investigations. We’ve had enough allegations of bribery about Parliament, let’s have another body go into the matter and bring finality to the issue.”

He added: “The Chairman of the Investigative Committee, Hon. Joe Ghartey himself is a ministerial nominee who will also later appear before the same Appointment Committee which has been accused of bribery to be vetted so I have a problem with his choice.”