Parliamentary bribery: 4 witnesses shortlisted for public hearing
The five-member ad-hoc committee formed to investigate bribery allegations against some members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament has shortlisted four witnesses for public hearing.
They are Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, the First Deputy of Speaker and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai who appeared before the committee on Wednesday morning.
Others are Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, the Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawasi, Mr Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central and Mr Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister
Mr Joe Ghartey, Chairman of the committee who made this known at the first public hearing on Wednesday which was telecast live said any other member of the committee who has any information that would be useful to the committee should submit a memorandum by Friday.
“Upon receipt of the memoranda we will decide whether it is necessary to call that person as a witness or we shall just examine the memoranda that the person has submit and prepare our report,” he said.
He explained that the committee has already met a number of times and Wednesday’s meeting was only the public hearing part of the work and that they have decided to call four witnesses.
After Wednesday’s meeting, they would meet again on Friday.
Parliament formed the committee following allegations by the MP for Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga that the Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko attempted bribing Minority members on the Appointments Committee with Gh¢3,000 each with the aim to influence his approval as Minister.
Mr Ayariga further claimed that the money was handed to the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu for onward disbursement, a claim both have denied.
Mr Ayariga together with two of his colleagues, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Mr Alhassan Suhuyini subsequently petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to investigate the claims.
The ad-hoc committee is chaired by the MP for Essikado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey who is also a Minister in charge of Railways Development.
The four other members are Mr Ben Abdallah, Mrs Abena Durowaa Mensah, Mr Magnus Kofi Amoateng and Mr Benson Tongo Baba.
The terms of reference of the committee is to establish whether the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu took money from the Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko and gave it to the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka to the distributed to Members of the Appointments Committee.
It is also to establish whether there was an attempt to bribe Members of the Appointments Committee and to look into the merits of the complaints and assertions made by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu about the matter.
Credit: Daily Graphic
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