General News of Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

MPs' bribery inquiry: I was visibly angry – Osei Owusu

The chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has told the five-member adhoc committee probing the bribery scandal that hit his committee that the damning allegation has rendered him “visibly livid”.

Appearing before the Joe Ghartey Committee on Wednesday, he said: “I get emotional on these things” – referring to the allegation.

He added: “I must confess that the first one week after the [bribery allegation] from Monday it was very difficult. It was very difficult for me to look at some people in the eyes. I was visibly angry. Friends kept on taking photographs of me and sending it to me seeing how I look it [showed] too clearly that I was not myself. I was truly not myself.”

That was when he discussed with the speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye whether it was possible to disband the committee and reconstitute it, he told the five—member probing committee “so that the public confidence in the institution of Parliament will be restored.”

He said after looking at the Standing Orders of Parliament they realized that it was not possible.

Reiterating his initial denial of the bribery claim, Mr. Osei Owusu who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, said “the allegation that I took money from Boakye Agyarko for myself or members of the committee is false.”

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and a member of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga last month accused the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko of attempting to bribe the minority members of the committee to clear him following his edgy vetting when he appeared before the vetting committee.

According to him, the bribery attempt was made through the chairman of the vetting committee and that the money was given to the minority caucus through its Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak. The minority side, he said was offered GHc3000 each.