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NLA Bribe "Parliamentary corruption scandals disgusting": MFWA

The Executive Secretary of MFWA in a Facebook Sunday questioned whether parliament can exercise its oversight roles in protecting the public purse following the latest bribery scandal.

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The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has called out cases of corruption in parliament as "shameful, embarrassing and disgusting," after report emerged that members of the Finance Committe took money from the National Lottery Authority to deliberate on a lottery law.

The Executive Secretary of MFWA, Sulemana Braimah, in a Facebook post Sunday questioned whether parliament can exercise its oversight roles in protecting the public purse following the latest bribery scandal.

He said: "The parliamentary corruption scandals are so shameful, embarrassing and disgusting.

"That is the institution that is supposed to have oversight over the public purse. Is our purse safe at all?"

READ MORE: We cannot punish MPs who took NLA cash - Parliament

According to him, he was told he could face the privilages committee of parliament if he complained about the cash taking culture in parliament.

He said: "Last year when i complianed about MPs and the phenomenon of "T&T" and compared it with Soli by journalists, i was told i could face the priviledges committee for contempt of parliament. Then it was explained that the MPs dont request for the T&T, they only receive them."

Mr Braimah also called on the public to revolt against parliament over corruption allegations in the house.

"Time for action against parliamentary corruption. A demo against parliamentary corruption will be in order," he said.

On Thursday, three anti-corruption civil groups; the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition have demanded an independent probe into the matter.

In a joint statement, the three anti-graft bodies said that the claims, if not investigated, will gradually ruin the reputation of parliament.

"This revelation, coming on the back of the unsatisfactory handling of Honourable Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central’s bribery allegation presents a further challenge to the already dented image of Parliament and growing eroding trust in politics and the political class in the Fourth Republic,” they noted in a statement.

READ MORE: Do not sweep latest NLA allegations under the carpet: Anti-graft bodies warn

They further argued that there should be “the setting up an independent body outside of Parliament possibly chaired by someone of the reputation of Mr. Emile Short, former Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) or someone of similar standing, to look at the alleged bribery case, to investigate this issue, review the payment practices in Parliament and make clear recommendations for regulating these processes.” 

But the Director of Public Affairs at Parliament, Kate Addo, has indicated members of the Finance Committee who received money from the NLA to deliberate on a Lottery Law cannot be sanctioned.

She said said that members of the committee that were involved in the act belonged to the 6th parliament which ceased to function immediately the 7th parliament came into being on January 7, 2017.

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