General News of Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Joseph Osei-Owusu will Wednesday be the first witness at a public hearing into allegations of bribery that has hit Parliament.
At least three MPs and a minister are alleged to have bribed members of Appointment Committee to push through the minister’s nomination.
Mr Osei-Owusu, who doubles as the first Deputy Speaker of Parliament will be questioned about his alleged role in the scandal.
He is alleged to have attempted to bribe each of the Minority members on the committee with GH? 3,000, monies said to have come from Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
He has since denied the allegations.
The hearing on Wednesday will be done in public instead of the previously suggested in camera investigations.
Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Rashid Draman, has lauded the decision by Parliament to make the hearing public because it will make the process transparent.
“That is a very important step in trying to ensure that the doubts that people might have had...will be dispelled,” he said.
In a related development, a private citizen who filed a separate petition with the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ says he is unhappy with the commission’s pace of work.
Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku is is set to write a second letter to CHRAJ later today in an attempt to force the Commission to expedite its investigations.
The Joe Ghartey-chaired Committee will also take evidence from the three principal witnesses who first made the damning allegation – Mahama Ayariga, Alhassan Suhuyini, and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Mahama Ayariga claimed that all ten National Democratic Congress (NDC) members on the Committee returned the bribe money to the minority Chief Whip after they were told it was given to them by Mr Agyarko to bribe them.
Tamale Central MP, Alhassan Suhuyini and North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa are the only one who have backed Mr Ayariga’s claim.