I Won’t Judge Ayariga – Agyarko

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, has said that he leaves Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga to defend allegations of bribery against parliament and will not condemn him.

Mr Agyarko is brother to Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, who is at the centre of allegations of having bribed some Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee to approve his nomination as Minister.

The Ghartey Committee was tasked to investigate the bribery claim made by the Bawku Central MP.

In its 56-page report, the committee said it “came to the firm conclusion that Mr Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, section 32 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300) and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament”.

The Committee said it “came to this conclusion because Mr Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon Boakye Agyarko [Energy Minister] gave money to Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu [Chairman of the Appointments Committee] to be distributed to the members of the Appointments Committee with a view to bribe them”, as alleged by Mr Ayariga in an interview he granted Radio Gold.

The Committee has, thus, recommended that having established a case of contempt against Mr Ayariga as well as having examined the sanctions regime available, recommends to the house the following:

1. That the Hon member for Bawku Central Mr Mahama Ayariga, be reprimanded by the Rt Hon Speaker in accordance with section 35 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (300)

2. That Mr Mahama Ayariga render an unqualified apology to the House, purging himself of contempt.

The five-member ad hoc committee chaired by Essikado Ketan MP Joe Ghartey said it “took notice of the fact that the Hon Mahama Ayariga is not known to have engaged in acts that tend to disrupt the smooth proceedings of parliament. Neither does he have a penchant nor reputation of engaging in activities which can bring the image and dignity of parliament into disrepute. Accordingly we view the recommendation relating to the sanctions adequate in the circumstances.”

He said even though the report seemed to have vindicated the Energy Minister, his brother, the Ayawaso West Wuogon MP, who was a guest on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday, April 1, said he would not hang Mr Ayariga.

“He is a Harvard-trained lawyer, a long-standing Member of Parliament (MP). He has been everything in this country. He has been a former spokesperson for the president; he has been a deputy minister in various ministries, he has been a cabinet minister, he is of age and can answer for himself,” he stated.

“His subsequent actions or inaction, he is completely competent to take decisions for himself. I will not sit here as a colleague MP and pass judgement on him.”

He said he was “proud of his brother in whom he is well pleased”, adding that he did not think his brother would offer bribe to influence his approval by the vetting committee.

He was of the view that his relatives would protect the integrity of the family in all endeavours.

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