The Committee was set up the Speaker of parliament to look into the allegations of bribery against some members of the Appointment’s Committee
The house was expected to debate the report on Wednesday after it was laid by the Chairman of the committee, but had to defer the debate to Thursday to allow members read and understand it well.
Though it is not clear what the findings and the recommendations are in the report, members of the committee have given assurance not will be hidden from the public.
The Joe Ghartey committee was constituted after MP for Bawku Central made allegations against the Chairman of the Appointment Committee, Joe Osei Owusu had given had given GHc3,000 each to minority members of the committee to approve the Minister of Energy nominee at the time, Mr. Boakye Agyarko.
Mahama Ayariga in an interview with Accra based radio station, Radio Gold said, the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak who distributed to the members of the Minority on the Appointment Committee.
Mr. Ayariga explained that initially the Minority MPs accepted the monies until it got to their attention that it was not payment of their sitting allowance as they thought, and returned it, but it was from the then Minister designate to bribe them for his approval since he was then battling to be approved by consensus following a tough vetting process.
Mr. Agyarko, like the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, approval were on hold following some controversial comments they made when appeared at the vetting.
But in a sharp contrast, Joe Osei Owusu, Muntaka Mubarak and Boakye Agarko had vehemently denied the bribery allegation by Ayariga.
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka had earlier sworn by Allah that he had never received any money from Osei Owusu or shared money to the Minority members on the committee
Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko also insisted that he never bribed or even attempted to do same because there was no motivation to bribe, explaining that, with the overwhelming majority of the NPP in Parliament he was going to be approved even if by majority decision so did not see any reason why he should bribe anybody much less members of the minority.
Joe Osei Owusu and Boakye Agyarko threatened to sue Mahama Ayariga in order to clear their names and reputation.
In the face of the denials, Mahama Ayariga insisted that even though he had been told that the money was to bribe the members of the committee he did not directly receive the monies from Osei Owusu and Boakye Agyarko. However, he maintained the money was paid by his chief whip Muntaka Mubarak.
The Speaker of Parliament was petitioned by Mahama Ayariga, Alhassan Suhuyini and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to investigate the matter.
A committee which was set up to look into the matter was chaired by Joe Ghartey. Other members of the committee were Ben Abdallah, Offinso South, Ama Pomaah Boateng, Juaben, B.T Baba, Talensi, and Magnus Kofi Amoateng, Yilo Krobo who sat in public and heard the key players in the bribery scandal- Joe Osei Owusu, Boakye Agyarko, Muntaka Mubarak, Mahama Ayariga and Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Source: Sammy Agyei//Frontpageghana.com