I’m Still Bitter Over Bribery Allegation – Osei Owusu

The Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu said Wednesday that he is still outraged with the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga over his unfounded bribery claim against him.

This is despite being exonerated by the five-member ad hoc committee tasked to probe the bribery scandal levelled against him and the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

Commenting on the matter for the first time in a media interview after the investigatory committee’s report, Mr Osei Owusu who is also the First deputy speaker of parliament said he felt crossed up because he considers Mr. Ayariga’s allegation as chauvinistic.

“I am bitter because it is not fair. It is not fair at all to be treated the way I was treated,” he bemoaned Wednesday on Starr Chat with Bola Ray.

Nonetheless, he said he had no choice but to entertain the Bawku Central lawmaker during the Appointments Committee sittings as a member, but beyond that he has no relationship whatsoever with him.

“Frankly, we have never really had what we call a relationship,” he stated.

Mr. Osei Owusu said he was visibly hurt by the allegation and it was very difficult for him “to look at some people in the eyes.”

Bribery allegation

Mr. Ayariga January this year accused the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko of attempting to bribe the minority members of the Appointments committee through Mr. Osei Owusu as the chairman of the committee and the Minority chief whip.

The bribe, according to Mr. Ayariga was to facilitate the minority’s endorsement of the Energy Minister’s ministerial nomination following his edgy performance before the committee.

The investigatory committee’s verdict

Following Mr. Ayariga’s damning allegation the speaker of Parliament constituted a five-member ad hoc committee to probe the claim.

After extensively investigation into the allegation, the committee dismissed Mr. Ayariga’s claim as unfounded, subsequently indicting him of contempt of parliament for “gravely injuring” the reputation of parliament and that of Mr. Osei Owusu.

He was asked by the committee to render an “unqualified apology” to parliament and purge himself of the contempt charge—an apology he defiantly offered saying, “if you want me to apologize then I apologize.”

This caused sharp divisions on the floor of parliament, compelling the Majority Chief Whip Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh to describe Mr. Ayariga’s apology as “no apology.”

The speaker subsequently rejected the apology offering him a second opportunity to salvage his parliamentary career by properly apologizing to the house.

Following his second apology, the speaker Prof Mike Oquaye pardoned him saying “In all the circumstances of this case, I have come to the conclusion that the Honourable Ayariga should be shown mercy on this occasion. May he go and sin no more. He is warned never to peddle such expensive rumours in his affairs in this House.”

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