Time to redeem Parliament- Joe Osei-Owusu
Chairman of the Appointment’s Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu has admitted that the integrity of Parliament has been put in “tatters and it falls on all of us to work to redeem that”.
His comments follows the Speaker of Parliament’s decision to pardon the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga for making what the Joe Ghartey Committee found to be false bribery claims against some members of the Appointments Committee.
According to Hon. Osei-Owusu who is also the first Deputy Speaker, the evidence that were put out suggested that he did nothing wrong and that “for me that is what is important.”
Hon. Osei-Owusu had threatened to seek legal redress in court, but the Speaker restrained him.
He said; “I knew that, I knew the constitution will not permit me to go to court, not bar me so to speak but to make it difficult for me to serve a Member of Parliament and so before I came I made a statement, I anticipated that the matter will be resolved here and in the end it is the same thing, you go to court to redeem your image. In the end, it is the same thing you get here and that is what is important.”
The Speaker, while giving his final ruling on the matter cautioned Mahama Ayariga not to repeat his action in the future else “will have himself to blame.”
Prof. Oquaye’s ruling comes after he accepted an apology letter from the Mahama Ayariga on the matter which was made orally and written.
The Bawku Central MP was charged with contempt for making unmerited bribery allegations against Members of the Appointments Committee and the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.
A special committee, chaired by Joe Ghartey, the Essikado-Ketan MP that was constituted by the Speaker to investigate the matter concluded that Mr. Ayariga flouted Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, Section 32 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300) and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament in his claim that the Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu was used as a conduit by the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko to distribute a GH¢3,000 bribe to minority members of the Appointments Committee to facilitate Mr. Agyarko’s approval after his vetting.