Ayariga Leaves Fate Entirely In Speaker’s Hands

Bawku Central Member of Parliament has left his fate completely in the hands of the Speaker of Parliament who will determine today what sanction he deserves for impugning the integrity of Parliament.

Mahama Ayariga has been found guilty of contempt of Parliament by the Speaker’s Committee chaired by Joe Ghartey but his supposed apology to Parliament to purge himself has done little to appease the Majority in Parliament.

In a sober voice, Ayariga told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo he is waiting for the ruling of the Speaker today.

“The report of the Committee captured everything. It asked me to apologise and the Speaker to reprimand. It is entirely left to the Speaker,” Ayariga said.

Earlier reports suggested that Ayariga had written a detailed apology to the Speaker, showing a lot more remorse than he did in his initial attempt to apologise on the floor of Parliament but the Bawku Central MP told Gakpo the “media hear and report many things.”

He would not confirm or deny whether a second round of apology will be rendered on a bribery matter that has made Parliament a laughing stock in the eyes of the public.

On Friday, which is the last sitting before the House rises for the Easter break, Speaker Prof Mike Ocquaye will reprimand Ayariga for daring to accuse, without evidence, the then Energy Minister nominee Boakye Agyarko, Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu of bribing members of the minority with GHC3,000.00 to approve the former.

He told a private radio station, 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 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.

The Committee however asked Ayariga to apologise for his conduct to mitigate any sanction to be slapped on him but he told the House, “Mr Speaker, if you want me to apologise, I apologise,” a halfhearted apology that nearly reduced the House into a boxing ring with some MPs as pugilists.

He did not understand why a fact finding committee on a bribery allegation should be transformed into a fault finding committee with a power to slap a guilty verdict on him.

The Speaker adjourned sitting last week with a promise to give a ruling later.

With today being the last day of sitting, the Speaker will rule. Ayariga, like many others, is waiting patiently for the ruling.

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