The Chairman of the Vetting Committee of Ghana’s Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has appealed to the Speaker, Prof. Michael Oquaye to grant him the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, for involving him in the alleged bribery scandal that has hit the Committee.
The Chairman, who doubles as the first deputy Speaker of Parliament said this on the floor of the House, when he made a statement on allegations of bribery preferred against him, by Hon. Mahama Ayariga.
‘Mr. Speaker, I have a dilemma. My fervent heart’s desire is to go to the Civil Court to reclaim my integrity. I am however aware of the challenges one has to battle with in any litigation involving a sitting Member of Parliament. But you have the power to permit service of Court processes on a sitting MP through your office. I crave your indulgence to assist me to ventilate my grievance in Court. If I am successful it may help redeem the image of this Parliament, which is often battered by its own Members’, the Chairman appealed.
Hon. Osei-Owusu narrated his ordeal on the floor of the House that on Friday, the 27th of January, 2017, at about 15:13p.m., while he was in the chamber of Parliament waiting for sitting of the House to resume following suspension of sitting earlier on in the day, he received a WhatsApp message from a friend in the media, which showed that one Sammy Ablordepey was purporting to report from Parliament that Mr. Boakye Agyarko was alleged to have given to Hon. Osei-Owusu the amount of 100,000 (hundred thousand) Ghana Cedis to be doled out to Members to pass him as Minister for Energy.
He added the message further said that ‘Each Member of the Majority was given 3,000 Ghana Cedis. The Minority has since returned the money to Hon. Osei-Owusu who has in turn given it back to Mr. Agyarko, who was spotted coming to Parliament to collect it from Hon. Osei-Owusu.
‘Mr. Speaker, let me repeat here for the avoidance of doubt that I Joseph Osei-Owusu, MP for Bekwai , first Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee have never discussed, requested, demanded nor received money of whatever quantum for myself or Committee Members from Mr. Boakye Agyarko, or any other person for that matter’, he enunciated.
He added that the allegations by Hon. Mahama Ayariga therefore is a colossal untruth which has done grievous damage to his reputation and hard-earned integrity as a Lawyer of 27 years standing, a public servant of high repute, a respected Member of Parliament of the Bekwai Constituency and Ashanti in general.
However, a 5- Member Ad Hoc Committee was proposed by Leadership on both the Majority and Minority sides of the House, which was approved by the Speaker, to investigate the bribery allegations.
The 5 Members on the Committee are Hon. Joe Ghartey, Hon. Ben Abdallah Banda, Hon. Ama Pomaa Boateng, Hon. Magnus Kofi Amoatey and Hon. B.T. Baba.
The Majority side of the House has three Members on the Committee, while the Minority has two. Hon. Joe Ghartey is the Chairman of the Committee.