General News of Monday, 10 March 2014
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, is asking the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban Bagbin, to provide evidence to support his bribery allegation against some legislators.
Mr. Bagbin over the weekend alleged that there was evidence to show that some MPs take bribes to push the agenda of civil society groups and governments.
According to him, the practice had persisted due to the lack of laid-down rules and ethics for lobbying in the country.
The Minority leader has, however, admonished Mr. Bagbin to provide evidence to back his allegations or withdraw his statement.
He told Citi News, Mr Bagbin “should come with better and further particulars about what he knows that some of us don’t know,” adding that if the allegations are true, some interrogations have to be conducted into the matter to ascertain the truth.
Mr. Kyei Mensah Bonsu, however, served notice that “if what he said cannot be substantiated, then certainly, we will have to put him to the task of reversing what he is alleged to have said".
The Suame MP clarified that Parliament has the option to summon Mr. Bagbin before the Privileges Committee of Parliament or setting up a committee “to hear him.”
He also mentioned that the rules governing the conduct of MPs will be applied if Mr. Bagbin is found to have damaged the image of Ghana’s Legislature.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has expressed fears that Mr. Bagbin’s allegations of corruption against Parliament will be shelved like other corruption cases in the past.
The GII was of the opinion that Parliament will protect their own, saying “every organization tries to protect his own, so it is not likely that Bagbin will go beyond what he has said".
Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of GII, Vitus Azeem advised Ghanaians to stand up and make sure allegations are critically investigated.
According to him, the latest corruption allegation is an indication that “our law makers engage in activities and practices that are against the laws that they make".
He charged civil society groups, media practitioners, “should now put pressure on them [Legislators] to stop that".
Mr. Azeem, however, acknowledge that some civil society groups and individuals “offer them some of these bribes and so we also need to undertake an awareness creation exercise to get people to begin to realize that these things are wrong.”