Parliament: I stand by my story; Agyarko ‘bribed’ us – Ayariga

Mr. Boakye Agyarko
Mr. Boakye Agyarko

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga is resolute in his claim that Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, attempted to bribe Parliament’s Appointments Committee for his approval.

Each member of the Minority on the committee was given 3,000 cedis to influence them in confirming Mr. Agyarko, the MP confirmed on TV3 New Day which was streamed live on 3FM 92.7 Saturday.

Though Mr. Agyarko has denied the allegation, it appears it is his words against that of Mahama Ayariga after the latter’s insistence that he will stand by this “fact” wherever he goes.

He maintained, “We were given money and we returned it; that is as simple as that”. There are 26 members on the committee, 10 are from the Minority.

Mr. Boakye Agyarko has since been sworn in by President Akufo-Addo as Minister of Energy on Friday.

Recounting how the minister tried to bribe the MPs, Mr. Ayariaga said members of the Appointments Committee had on Tuesday complained about their long sitting hours, which at times extend beyond 10pm.  So when they met to evaluate the nominees, some members raised issue of sitting allowance.

According to him, the Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu assured members that he has been working on their allowance and has even sent a memo to the Speaker of Parliament, “pushing for members to be given money”.

On Wednesday, he said, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed called them individually that the “chairman has got money for us and we should pass by his office for it, and we thought it was the allowance”.

Mahama Ayariga admitted that they took the money only to learn the following day, Thursday, that the 3,000 each took came from Mr. Agyarko. NDC members straightforward rejected the offer, he claimed.

“I will stand by this fact wherever I go. Hon Muntaka told us that the chairman told him the money is coming from Boakye Agyarko, and we said no we are not interested” and returned the money, he insisted.

Panel members on New Day concurred that the allegation was serious and called for investigation into it.

By Isaac Essel ||Ghana

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