The committee investigating the bribery scandal that has hit parliament has adjourned sitting to Monday, February 20, following its invitation of the Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to testify.
The committee’s Chairman, Railways Development Minister, Joe Ghartey, explained that the break in the committee’s sitting was to accommodate Mr. Ablakwa’s request for the transcript and recording of the first sitting, where the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Parliament’s Appointment’s committee, Joe Osei-Owusu appeared.
Mr. Ablakwa made a request for an audio recording of the proceedings on Friday morning, and the committee has obliged the request.
“We have agreed to oblige that request. We are taking steps to give him a copy and a transcript of the proceedings of that day, and when he receives it, he will be in a position to come before us,” Mr. Ghartey said.
Mr. Osei-Owusu was the first witness before the committee as he was alleged to have attempted to bribe each of the Minority members on the Appointments Committee with GHc 3,000, said to have come from the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
Mr. Osei-Owusu, reiterated his innocence in the supposed bribery scandal that rocked the Appointments Committee when he appeared before the five-member committee investigating the matter.
During his testimony, Mr. Osei-Owusu, also said he refused to push for investigations into the alleged bribery scandal because Mr. Ablakwa claimed it was framed.
It was this claim before the committee that forced Mr. Ablakwa to request to appear as witness to clear himself via a letter from his lawyers. The committee was set to admit only four witnesses.
Mr. Ablakwa, along with two other members of the minority on Appointments Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Alhassan Suhuyini and Mahama Ayariga alleged that some monies were paid to them after the vetting of Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to help facilitate his approval.
Mr. Osei Owusu and Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, whose names were mentioned as conduits of the alleged payment.
The three MPs subsequently petitioned the Speaker of the Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye to investigate the allegations.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana