Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has indicated that the decision by Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye will determine what he will do next.
The Ghartey Committee was tasked to investigate the bribery claim made by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga against the leadership of the Appointments Committee.
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.”
Mr Ayariga was asked by the Speaker of Parliament to apologise to the house, with ruling on the matter deferred to a later date.
But Mr Ayariga said Prof Oquaye denied him a chance to air his concerns on the final report of the committee which, to him, raises legal challenges.
In an interview with Umaru Sandah on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday April 1, Mr Ayariga said his claims “are facts, if somebody evaluates it and says he does not believe it, that is his conclusion based on his analysis, but the fact that you have lived it and said it on oath, it should stand”.
He continued: “You can say that ‘Ayariga we don’t believe you, so you are lying,’ but to say Ayariga ‘come and say that what you said you now say you didn’t say it, you swore an oath’ and when you swear an oath and come back to say no you didn’t say it, is that not perjury?
“The first thing is to comply with the decision of the house and then you institute legal challenges to those decisions so that you state to a court your grounds and then the court will now examine all the other areas of law and then come to a conclusion… There are very interesting legal dynamics.”
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