The 2016 flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has called on the leadership of the parliament and the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, to deal comprehensively and positively with the bribery scandal that rocked the house recently. According to him, the mere presentation of the Joe Ghartey committee report does not end the issue of bribery against the house.
In a statement copied to citifmonline.com, Dr. Nduom said, many Ghanaians still believe that legislators take bribes from persons who seek favours from them. “The report presented by the Ghartey Committee on the alleged bribery of Appointment Committee members cannot end that matter. A section of the public believes that MPs demand inducements before they act. This perception must not be allowed to stand. Some even say that bad loans and laws approved by Parliament are due to such inducements,” the statement said. The statement warned that “people may take matters into their owns hands” if parliament does not deliberately work to clear the perception of corruption tied to Members of Parliament. “The responsibility lies with the Speaker and the Leadership to address this matter positively. If the representatives of the people don’t open up and address these allegations in a manner that receives the approval of many, the people may one day take matters into their own hands.” Parliament is still reeling from a bribery allegation that was raised by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, against the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko. Mahama Ayariga alleged that, Mr. Agyarko sent a bribe of GH¢ 3,000 each, to minority members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee through its Chairman, Joe Osei-Owusu, to ensure that he was easily approved by consensus during his vetting. With Mr. Osei-Owusu and others mentioned in the scandal denying it, the speaker of Parliament constituted a fact-finding committee to look into the matter. The committee, led by Joe Ghartey in its report presented to parliament last week, found Mahama Ayariga guilty of contempt of parliament, and recommended that he unreservedly apologize to Joe Osei Owusu and the Energy minister for smearing them. But an unhappy Ayariga who reluctantly apologized on the floor of the house, had left the matter still inconclusive, with the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Oquaye, indefinitely deferring his ruling on the matter.