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General News of Sunday, 2 April 2017


It will be an act of perjury to retract my bribery allegation - Ayariga

The Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP), Mahama Ayariga says it will be an act of perjury for him to retract. According to him, he swore an oath and told what he [Ayariga] went through. ‘’So you swear an oath and then you say what you have personally lived. Those are facts.’’

He said, ‘’if someone evaluates it and says he doesn’t believe it, that is his conclusion based on his analysis. But the fact that you have lived through that and you said it under oath means it should stand.”

Speaking to Accra based Citi Fm, the MP said, if he makes the attempt by retracting what he said, it will be an act of perjury.

The decision by the House for him to apologise he posited raises serious legal issues.

The five member Joe Ghartey Committee set up to probe the bribery allegation that hit the Appointments Committee in their recommendations, called on the Speaker to reprimand the MP and further asked him to apologise.

But Mahama Ayariga says there are serious legal issues with the decision by the House. ‘’So if I now say I retract, would that not be perjury?

So they are a lot of interesting dynamics and I’m not sure whether legally people are averting their minds to the different strands of the law…A good lawyer should be mindful that this issue that I’m dealing with, traverses this area of law, that other area of law.’’

He added: “Maybe, the first thing you do is you comply with the decision of the House and then you institute legal challenges with those decisions so that you state to a court your grounds and the court will now examine all the other areas of law and then come to a conclusion.”

“That is why they should have allowed debate on the report, as discerning legal minds would have had an opportunity to draw attention to all these issues and that would have enriched the conclusion of the House when voting on the matter. But the restrictive process disabled the House from benefiting from additional wisdom in addition to the wisdom of the members of the committee.’’

Mr. Ayariga maintained that his hands were tied because the decision was a unanimous one.

“…the recommendations of the committee became the decision of the House and as a respectful member of the House, I then said… since you have already put the question and it has been voted and the decision has been taken that I should render an apology, I have to show respect to the 274 members sitting, so if you say I should apologize, I hereby apologize.”

“My rendition of an apology is pursuant to a decision of the House which binds me. I am bound by the decision of the House to render an apology, whether I like it or not, I am bound by that decision.”