Bribery Allegation Report Mahama Ayariga charged for contempt; Joe Osei-Owusu exonerated

Member of Parliament for Bekwai and first deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu has been vindicated

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Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central has been indicted of contempt by the five-member ad hoc committee investigating the bribery scandal that hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Joe Ghartey, laid the 50-page report in parliament for debate and Mahama Ayariga was indicted and asked to apologise to the parties defamed in the bribery scandal.

READ MORE: C’ttee begins hearing; probes Mahama, et al

Member of Parliament for Bekwai and first deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu has been vindicated.

Mahama Ayariga, Bawku Central MP play

Mahama Ayariga, Bawku Central MP

 

Joe Ghartey in the report said, the Committee found Joe Osei-Owusu, consistent in his denial.

He added that the reputation of Parliament has greatly been affected by the allegation.

The Committee, in the report, said it "came to the firm conclusion that Mr Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, section 32 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300) and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament."

READ MORE: Joe Ghartey committee report out

The Committee added it "came to this conclusion because Mr Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon Boakye Agyarko [Energy Minister] gave money to Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu [Chairman of the Appointments Committee] to be distributed to the members of the Appointments Committee with a view to bribe them," as alleged by Mr Ayariga.

The Committee has, thus, recommended that having established a case of contempt against Mr Mahama Ayariga as well as having examined the sanctions regime available, recommends to the house the following:

1. That the Hon member for Bawku Central Mr Mahama Ayariga, be reprimanded by the Rt Hon Speaker in accordance with section 35 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (300)

2. That Mr Mahama Ayariga renders an unqualified apology to the House, purging himself of contempt.

READ ALSO: Independent body should probe Parliament - Kennedy Agyapong

Background

Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central claimed in a radio interview that the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, sent money to the minority side on the Appointments Committee in an attempt to influence their decision on his approval after he was vetted for the position.

READ MORE: CHRAJ petitioned to probe Parliament bribery scandal

Former Attorney General, MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey play

Former Attorney General, MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey

 

The Bawku Central MP's allegation was later corroborated by MPs for North Tongu, Hon Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, and Tamale North, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini, who are both members of the Appointments Committee.

The allegations shocked the Appointments Committee on both sides of the house with Joe Osei Owusu (the committee’s chair) and Mubarak Muntaka (on the minority side) implicated.

READ MORE: I will not recuse myself as Chair - Joe Ghartey

The pair, together with Boakye Agyarko have denied the allegations and described it as unsubstantiated.

ACEP on the Committee's report

Meanwhile, the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has cast doubt over the objectivity of the outcome of the Committee’s report.

 

A senior associate of ACEPA, Tuinese Amuzu, believes that witnesses who appeared before the Committee did not reveal the entire story as questions that were posed to them were towards a particular direction.

READ ALSO: Suhuyini fumes over snub by Committee on Allegations and Bribery

He said the posture of the committee is as a result of the kind of training that members of the committee had.

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