Ayariga holds stance on bribery allegation, says Muntaka told him it was bribe

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, says he still stands by the bribery allegation he made against the parliament’s Appointments Committee, and explained it was all based on what minority chief whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka told him. Mr Ayariga had accused the then minister-designate for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, of attempting to bribe some members of the Appointments Committee to approve his nomination. He claimed the minority members of the Committee were given GHC3,000 each. The accused has since denied the allegation. Taking his turn Monday at the ad hoc committee of Parliament investigating the allegation, Mr Ayariga who waved his right of counsel said he never dealt directly with Mr Agyarko and the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu “I never dealt with the chairman of the committee either on the issue of the money. As I indicated, it was our whip who asked us to come and take it…He was the one we asked to find us the source and he was the one who told us the things that I said on air,” Mr Ayariga told the ad hoc committee. Mr Ayariga had told the Committee that they requested to be given sitting allowances in view of the long hours they had to sit to which the chairman of the Appointments Committee promised to work on. According to Mr Ayariga they later received money from Alhaji Muntaka believing it was sitting allowance but rumours emerged that it was a bribe from Mr Agyarko to facilitate his approval by the minority who had taken a hard stance against his nomination as Energy Minister. “It started first as rumours and so we asked for an investigation. We asked our minority whip to and check and then come back and report to us. He explained that at the time they took the monies, they assumed that it was their committee allowances but”we heard the rumour so we asked our chief whip, hon Muntaka to do an investigations”. Asked by a member of the Committee as to what whether the allegation he made on radio was based on rumours that he heard, he responded: “It was based on hon Muntaka’s statement to us.” By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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