The chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu he had no choice but to entertain Mahama Ayariga during the Appointments Committee sittings as a member, but beyond that he has no relationship whatsoever with him.
Speaking on Accra-based Starr FM he said “I am bitter because it is not fair. It is not fair at all to be treated the way I was treated.”
He added that he had no choice but to entertain the Bawku Central lawmaker during the Appointments Committee sittings as a member, but beyond that he has no relationship whatsoever with him.
“Frankly, we have never really had what we call a relationship,” he stated.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga 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.
The allegations shock 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.
The pair, together with Boakye Agyarko have denied the allegations and described it as unsubstantiated.
His allegations were backed by two others; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and first time legislator Alhassan Suhini.
The Speaker of Parliament formed a five member committee, chaired by Joe Ghartey, Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado-Ketan Constituency, to investigate the bribery scandal.
After the committee reported back to Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye, pardoned Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central, saying he should “go and sin no more” after he rendered an unqualified apology to parliament.
The Joe Ghartey Committee concluded that Mahama Ayariga was peddling rumours and that he had no evidence to back his claims.
The Speaker in his ruling warned Mr Ayariga that he will not hesitate to press tougher sanctions against him if he repeats his conduct again.
In a defiant response, Ayariga said: "Mr Speaker if you want me to apologise, I apologise.”
This half-hearted apology did not go down well with the majority side in the house, leading to exchange of words.
The back and forth continued until the Speaker adjourned sitting to Friday [April 7] where he delivered his ruling after Ayariga read his apology.