Politics of Monday, 30 January 2017

Source: Center for Progressive Governance

Osei Owusu must recuse himself from the Appointment Committee - CenProG

Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu

The Center for Progressive Governance (CenProG) has noted with grave concern the happpenings on the Appointment Committee of Parliament since they begun vetting the first batch of ministerial nominees of President Akufo-Addo for various portfolios.

CenProG will like to put on record that, like many Ghanaians, we have not been very pleased with the conduct of the Chairman of the Committee who doubles as the 1st Deputy Speaker of the August house.

There have been times where he has been unfair to colleague MPs on the committee even to the dissatisfaction of the Majority Leader who has had cause to sometimes intervene. This intervention has mostly been treated with contempt by the Chairman who has assumed an autocratic posture alien to all Appointment Committees formed under the 4th Republic.

The crust of this call for his recusal is however the fact that Hon. Osei Owusu is on record as having made false claims to the effect that MP for Bawku Central, Hon Mahama Ayariga has apologized for an allegation of bribery against Hon. Boakye Agyarko, Energy Minister.

CenProG is hugely dissapointed in the posturing of the Chairman and believe that he should recuse himself to purge the committee of this bribery scandal. We believe it is not only in the interest of the Chairman but Ghanaians as a whole for steps to be taken to keep the integrity of the Appointments Committee intact.

Until Hon. Boakye Agyarko appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, there was no news of any such donations to Parliament by him and so if indeed, he did make such a donation to Parliament with specific reference to the committee then you do not need an MSc in Law to know that it constitutes a *BRIBE*.

If he did not make such a donation then the onus lies on Hon. Mahama Ayariga apologize but not the Chairman of the Appointments Committee. Hon. Ayariga is on record to have said that he had not withdrawn and apologized and so what could have prompted the Chairman to have made such a claim?

We are also baffled that Hon. Osei Owusu would allow himself to be used as a conduit for bribery since the minority MPs claim that Hon. Boakye Agyarko handed the money to the chairman who subsequently handed it over to the minority chief whip to be disbursed to the MPs. His role as the facilitator in this allegation of bribery cannot be overlooked.

CenProG believes that the Chairman of the committee's integrity is tainted and therefore lacks the moral authority to continue to sit and chair the vetting process. We therefore call on him to as a matter of urgency recuse himself from the Committee to restore the confidence of Ghanaians in the committee.

CenProG shall subsequently petition Leadership of Parliament and the Presidency to call for investigations into this bribery allegation since the Energy Ministry is one of the few ministries with corruption Potentials and it is too early for the new government to be embroiled in a bribery scandal. Leadership of Parliament must also impress on the 1st Deputy speaker to render an apology to the minority MP and the entire nation for the false claims which has the potential of bringing Parliament into disrepute.

God Bless our homeland Ghana and make it GREAT and STRONG.

Signed

Sawadogo Mahmoud

Executive Secretary, CenProG

0504607005

Mallam Yahya Stone

Executive Director, CenProG

0243728659