Three of the Minority members of the vetting committee – Mahama Ayariga, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini; MPs for Bawku Central, North Tongu and Tamale north constituencies respectively have written to the Speaker of Parliament calling for a thorough investigation of the bribery claims against the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.
The three, in a joint letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, want the House to initiate an internal investigation to ascertain the veracity of their claims against the minister.
The letter said, “we request you to carry out an internal enquiry into the veracity of the claims made by us in the allegation of attempted bribery of the Minority members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament by the ministerial nominee.”
Mahama Ayariga on Friday [January 27, 2017] accused the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko of bribing the ten Minority members of the committee with GHc3,000 each when he realized that the Minority had refused to pass him for the position following some comments he made about former president John Mahama during his vetting.
Mr. Ayariga alleged that the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu for onward disbursement; a claim Mr Suhuyini and Mr Ablakwa both confirmed.
Although the Chief Whip and the Chairman have denied the claims, the trio have insisted they were certain about the allegations.
They noted in the letter that “We, the three (3) Members of Parliament will subject ourselves fully to the processes of enquiry”.
I swear I didn’t give Ayariga bribe money – Muntaka
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak had rejected claims that he gave Mahama Ayariga any money he received from Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
“I’m a Muslim and Ayariga is a Muslim. I’m swearing by the Allah that created him that I never gave Ayariga anything and I said it was from Osei-Owusu. Osei Owusu has never discussed any money issue with me. He has never given me any money to be given to Ayariga and I’ve never given Ayariga or anybody any money saying that it was coming from the Chairman,” he said.
‘Osei-Owusu threatens court action
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee and MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu has threatened he will seek redress in court to clear his name from the scandal.
According to him, he has no idea why Ayariga mentioned him as being at the forefront to receive the bribe money since he does not recollect ever doing so.
He has also given indications he may call for a review of the Committee to allow it run effectively as it ves other ministerial nominees named by President Akufo-Addo.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana