Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has said he refused to push for investigations into the alleged bribery scandal involving Energy Minister, Boakye Ayarko, because MP for North Tongu claimed it was framed.Speaking during the first public hearing of the ad-hoc committee investigating the alleged scandal, Mr. Owusu revealed that, when he initially raised the matter for discussion, Mr. Ablakwa trivialized the issue, saying the Minority made the allegation to equalize Mr. Agyarko’s corruption allegations leveled against former President Mahama during his vetting.
Narrating what actually transpired at the closed-door meeting, Mr. Osei-Owusu said : “In the conclave, after they had shown that they [Minority] were satisfied and were willing to withdraw their objection and agree for their report to be amended that Hon Osafo Maafo and Boakye Agyarko be passed by consensus, we were going to leave and I said no, there was this allegation already in the public domain, and Honourbale Ayariga is the one alleged to have made that allegation so we should discuss that matter after meeting, all the Minority members said was ‘Mr. Speaker cool down , cool down’ and I said ; ‘How can I cool down?This allegation is already in the public domain’. It was at that point that Okudzeto Ablakwa said ‘because Agyarko said our President [Mahama] was corrupt, we were spreading the corruption allegation’. The mood in the room changed afterwards.”
Mr. Osei-Owusu was however unable to tell whether Okudzeto was just joking or telling the truth when he made that statement.
Mr. Boakye Agyarko , Minister of Energy and Petroleum, has been accused of attempting to bribe 10 Minority members on Parliament’s Appointments Committee, with GHc 3,000 each, prior to his approval.
A five-member ad-hoc committee was subsequently set up by the Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye, following a petition by three minority MPs namely Mahama Ayariga, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Alhassan Suhuyini, who have confirmed that the alleged bribery indeed occurred, hence their decision to ask for investigations, despite the denial by Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak and Mr. Osei-Owusu.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana