The Parliamentary Ad hoc Committee probing the bribery scandal that has rocked the Parliament Appointments Committee will present its findings to the plenary of the House on March 29, before it rises.
A statement dated March 22, 2017, and signed by the acting Public Affairs Director of Parliament, Ms. Kate Addo, copied The Ghanaian Times, said the five-member committee, Chaired by Esikado-Ketan MP, Mr Joe Ghartey, “met and took evidence from more witnesses” on the day of the issuance of the statement.
It said: “In all, three witnesses were admitted. The Committee is now considering its draft report and would present the final to the House on the 29th of March, 2017, subject to the approval of the Business Committee”.
Ms. Addo’s hint comes on the heels of an earlier one by Deputy Majority Whip, Mr Matthew Nyindam, who told newsmen in Parliament on Monday that the report has been held back because witnesses had come with fresh evidence to support the Committee.
“We met last week at the Business Committee and I raised that issue with the majority leader and I asked him when this Joe Ghartey thing (report) will be ready because the public is interested. We are also interested as a house because it is an alleged issue and we all have to clear it,” he said.
The Kpandai lawmaker said it was important no stone was left unturned to unravel the truth or otherwise of the allegation.
The committee, constituted by the Speaker of Parliament on January 31, had not more than a month to present its report to the House, but it appears it had overlapped its timeframe.
It followed accusations by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, that then Energy Minister-designate, Mr Boakye Agyarko, had attempted bribing the 10 minority members on the 26-member Appointments Committee with GH¢3,000 each through the Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei-Owusu.
He said Mr. Osei-Owusu used the Minority Chief Whip and Deputy Ranking Member on the Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, to distribute the money to the minority caucus, but Mr. Muntaka and Mr. Osei-Owusu have denied the allegations.
The Committee has so far met witnesses in the matter, Mr Ayariga, Mr Osei-Owusu, Mr Muntaka, North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Energy Minister, Mr Agyarko, in a live telecast hearing.
Other members of the Committee are Mr Ben Abdallah, Offinso South MP, Ms Ama Pomaa Boateng, MP for Juaben, Magnus Kofi Amoatey, MP for Yilo Krobo, and Benson Tongo Baba, lawmaker for Talensi.
By Julius Yao Petetsi