The Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), believes the Joe Ghartey committee report on the bribery allegations against Parliament’s Appointments committee, may have only complicated matters and done little to uphold the reputation Ghana’s legislature.
According to the Executive Director of ACEPA, Dr. Rashid Dramani, the near fisticuffs and breakdown of order in the House after the adoption of the report last Thursday, was a huge dent on the image of Parliament.
“I think the outcome has further created more clouds and has muddied the waters, especially if you add the breakdown of law and order within Parliament on that day to the outcome of the report, I think it doesn’t help the image of Parliament at all,” he stated to Citi News.
The Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, was charged with contempt of Parliament for making unmerited bribery allegations against members of the Appointments Committee and the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.
It was determined that Mr. Ayariga fell foul 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.
Mr. Ayariga was subsequently asked to apologise, which he did, though members of the Majority were left unsatisfied with the apology which some criticized as being insincere, thus escalating tensions in the House of Parliament.
Investigation should have been independent
Dr. Rashid Dramani also noted that, parliament would have to do more to repair its image as he reiterated doubts over the credibility of the Joe Ghartey committee’s process.
“Right from the beginning, we were of the opinion that this work should be done by an independent body so that when we get to this kind of conclusion, you can carry Ghanaians along. I don’t know whether this conclusion carries Ghanaians along.”
ACEPA had already expressed its doubts over the objectivity of the outcome of the Joe Ghartey Committee.
According to them, questions that were posed to witnesses who appeared before the committee were too skewed in a manner that did not convey the entire story of what transpired.