January 31, 2017

Parliament has established a 5-member ad-hoc committee to look into the allegations of rot that has hit the legislature.

The Committee is to be chaired by Hon. Joe Ghartey, MP for Ketan and will be assisted by four members namely; Ben Abdalla Banda, Ama Pomaa Boateng, B. T. Baba and Magnus Kofi Amoatey.

The Committee is to establish whether the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu indeed took some money from the Energy Minister, Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko and handed it over to the Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka for it to be distributed to members.

The Committee has within thirty (30) days to submit its report to the plenary for consideration and adoption.
The Ad Hoc committee was proposed by the Majority Leader and seconded by the Minority Leader.

The proposal was necessitated by the fact that if the matter had been referred to the Privileges Committee it will be the 1st Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu who would have chaired it.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in moving the motion said even if the the Chairman of the Privileges Committee recuse himself, the issue may attract unnecessary partisanship argument, hence, the need for the Ad Hoc committee.

The setting up of the Ad Hoc Committee, according to the Majority Leader was premised on Order 191 of the Standing Orders of the House.

Haruna Iddrisu seconding the motion said “it is important we need to win the the public trust back in whatever we do.”

The move comes after a petition was made by three minority MPs pleading the Speaker, Prof. Mike Ocquaye to institute a probe into the scandal that has hit the House.

Earlier, both majority and minority caucuses of parliament were engaged in a crunch meeting separately in relation to the  bribery allegations in the legislature.

Meanwhile Chairman of the Appointments committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu who within his remit the scandal emerged from in the ongoing vetting process has said the accusations are a “colossal untruth” and smacks of “bad faith”.

He’s asked the Speaker  to grant him the leave to sue Mr Ayariga to redeem his dented image.

“Mr Speaker, I have a dilemma, my fervent heart desire is to go the civil court to reclaim my integrity. I’m, however, aware of the challenges one has to battle with in any litigation involving a sitting member of parliament but Mr Speaker, you have the power to permit service of court processes on a sitting member of parliament through your office, I crave your indulgence to assist me to ventilate my grievance in court, if I’m successful, it may help redeem the image of this parliament which is often battered by its own members.”