Ayariga apologises over bribery allegation

Bawku MP Mahama Ayariga has apologised to the legislature for the allegation of bribery he made against the leadership of parliament’s Appointments Committee.

“Mr Speaker, if you say I should apologise, I apologise,” the lawmaker said in the chamber on Thursday March 30.

This came after the Ghartey Committee which investigated the bribery allegation made by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga against the leadership of parliament’s Appointments Committee found him to have been in contempt of parliament.

The Committee, in its 56-page report, said it “came to the firm conclusion that Mr Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of parliament on the strength of 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”.

The Committee said it “came to this conclusion because Mr Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon Boakye Agyarko [Energy Minister] gave money to Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu [Chairman of the Appointments Committee] to be distributed to the members of the Appointments Committee with a view to bribe them”, as alleged by Mr Ayariga in an interview he granted Radio Gold.

The Committee has, thus, recommended that having established a case of contempt against Mr Ayariga as well as having examined the sanctions regime available, recommends to the house the following:

1. That the Hon member for Bawku Central Mr Mahama Ayariga, be reprimanded by the Rt Hon Speaker in accordance with section 35 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (300)

2. That Mr Mahama Ayariga renders an unqualified apology to the House, purging himself of contempt.

The 5-member ad hoc Committee chaired by Essikado Ketan MP Joe Ghartey said it “took notice of the fact that the Hon Mahama Ayariga is not known to have engaged in acts that tend to disrupt the smooth proceedings of parliament. Neither does he have a penchant nor reputation of engaging in activities which can bring the image and dignity of parliament into disrepute. Accordingly we view the recommendation relating to the sanctions adequate in the circumstances.”