Embattled Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga has been pardoned by the Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Ocquaye in the infamous bribery scandal against the Energy Minister.
The Speaker said Ayariga should “go and sin no more” but warned that if his conduct should be repeated he would have himself to blame.
The ruling by the Speaker comes after an apology letter read by the MP on the floor of Parliament Friday.
He had accused the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko of paying bribes in order to be approved by Minority members on the Appointment Committee of Parliament.
A Joe Ghartey committee constituted by the Speaker to investigate the allegations found nothing to incriminate the Energy Minister as well as two other members of the Appointment Committee, the chairman, Joe Osei Owusu and the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak.
The Committee reported that Ayariga peddled rumours and had no evidence to substantiate his claim of bribery.
He was therefore found guilty of contempt of Parliament and was instructed to apologise pending sanctions by the Speaker.
“Mr Speaker if you want me to apologise, I apologise,” Ayariga gave a half hearted apology last week, one that got Majority MPs infuriated all the more.
The Speaker adjourned ruling hoping the embattled MP will return with a refined apology before his ruling. He did on Friday, reading his one-page apology on the floor which was followed by the Speaker’s ruling.
Mahama Ayariga had accused the then Energy Minister nominee Boakye Agyarko, Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu of bribing members of the minority with Ȼ3,000.00 to approve the former.
He told a private radio station in January, the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak was the channel through which the bribe was distributed to minority members.
According to him, the minority members initially thought the amount was their sitting allowance but when they were later informed it was to bribe them to approve Boakye Agyarko they returned it.
The Minority had decided not to approve Agyarko due to comments he made during his ministerial vetting, comments they claimed were not factual and in bad taste.
Ayariga alleged the bribe was to facilitate the minority’s approval of the nominee but the nominee, and the Chairman of the Appointments Committee as well as the Minority Chief Whip all categorically denied the allegation.
Apart from two members of the minority side of the committee who confirmed receiving the bribe during the initial stages of the saga, none of them have since confirmed receiving same.
A five member committee was constituted to thoroughly investigate the matter and they did after two months.
There is no indication that the two minority MPs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini who initially supported the claim, confirmed same to the committee.
The Joe Ghartey Committee said it wrote to all members of the committee to submit a memorandum on the matter but none submitted any.
After public hearing of the key witnesses, the Committee concluded that Ayariga peddled rumours and had nothing of evidential value to support his claim.
The Joe Ghartey committee found Ayariga’s conduct reprehensible, and affront to Parliament and requested the Speaker to reprimand him.
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline