Speaker "forgives" Ayariga in bribery scandal

April 7, 2017
Source: thebftonline.com/Ghana

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga has been  pardoned by the Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Ocquaye in the bribery scandal against the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko and members of the Appointments Committee.

The Speaker said Ayariga should "go and sin no more" but warned that if his conduct should be repeated he would have himself to blame.

The ruling by the Speaker comes after an apology letter read by the MP on the floor of Parliament Friday.

He had accused the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko of paying bribes in order to be approved by Minority members on the Appointment Committee of Parliament.

A Joe Ghartey committee constituted by the Speaker to investigate the allegations found nothing to incriminate the Energy Minister as well as two other members of the Appointment Committee, the chairman, Joe Osei Owusu and the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak.

The Committee reported that Ayariga peddled rumours and had no evidence to substantiate his claim of bribery.

He was therefore found guilty of contempt of Parliament and was instructed to apologise pending sanctions by the Speaker.

"Mr Speaker if you want me to apologise, I apologise," Ayariga gave a half hearted apology last week, one that got Majority MPs infuriated all the more.

The Speaker adjourned ruling hoping the embattled MP will return with a refined apology before his ruling. He did on Friday, reading his one-page apology on the floor which was followed by the Speaker's ruling.

He has however formally apologized in his letter to Prof. Oquaye.

In the letter, he said, “Pursuant to paragraph 141 of the Report of the Special Committee to investigate the Bribery Allegation and the decision of this Honourable House adopting the report, I hereby render an unqualified apology to this Honourable House of Parliament.

Thank you.

Hon. Mahama Ayariga”

Prof. Oquaye reiterated his appeal to Joe Osei-Owusu not to go to court but channel any challenge to the House for redress.