Ayariga is a coward; cooked up bribery story – Lecturer

A lecturer of Economics at the Kumasi Technical University Thomas Kusi Boafo, has expressed disappointment in the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga for misleading his constituents and Ghanaians who believed so much in him.

He questioned why the lawmaker will kowtow to pressure from the speaker of parliament and render an apology if he indeed has substantial evidence to back his claim that monies exchange hands in respect of the approval of the Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko.

According to him, the conduct of Mr Ayariga smacks of cowardice and a disgrace to his constituents considering his posture at the onset of the allegations and claims he had substantial evidence to back whatever allegations he was making.

Contributing to the matter on Accra-based Okay FM, Thomas Kusi Boafo said he is certain that there were other persons like him who admired Ayariga for exposing the alleged rot but have been disappointed in the unfolding issues.

He indicates that the Joe Ghartey-led committee also did a very poor job in unraveling the truth about the matter; his greatest disappointment was however in the Bawku Central Constituency lawmaker who exhibited some degree of cowardice.

“Right from the onset, I liked Ayariga’s posture because his comments one way or the other showed that indeed he knows what he is alleging but I felt really bad and shocked when he apologized to Parliament.

“My issue is that, if you are telling the truth, nothing or no one should intimidate you but it looks like Ayariga’s case is different and I’m beginning to believe that he only cooked up this story just to make parliament unpopular” he said on Accra based Okay FM.

“Now I see Ayariga as a sacrificial lamp. He should come out and rubbish the report if he believes otherwise and explore till the matter is investigated further. If he doesn’t pursue this case till the end, then he will disappoint his constituents” he insisted.

Background

The Joe Ghartey committee was constituted after allegations by the Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga that the Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joseph Osei-Owusu had given GHC3,000 each to minority members of the committee to approve the Minister of Energy nominee at the time.

Ayariga told an Accra based radio Station Radio Gold that the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak for onward distribution to the members of the Minority.

He explained that the Minority MPs on the committee initially accepted the monies thinking it was payment of their sitting allowance.

But when they got to know it was monies from the Minister designate to bribe them, they returned the money to the Minority Chief Whip.

Approval for both Agyarko and the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo had both been shelved by the committee following controversial comments they made during the vetting process.

However the bribery allegation by Ayariga, as dramatic as it was, was met with vehement denials by Joe Osei-Owusu, Muntaka Mubarak and the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.

The Minority Chief Whip swore by the Holy Qur’an that he neither received any money from Osei-Owusu nor did he distribute same to Minority MPs on the committee.

Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko also insisted that he never bribed or even attempted to do so because there was no motivation to bribe anybody.

He argued that with the huge majority of the NPP in Parliament he was going to be approved any way even if by majority decision.

Like the chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei-Owusu, Mr. Agyarko threatened to sue Mahama Ayariga in order to clear his name and preserve his hard won reputation.

Following the denials, Mahama Ayariga insisted that even though he was told that the money was to bribe the members of the committee he did not directly receive the monies from Osei-Owusu and Boakye Agyarko.

The Bawku Central MP however maintained the money was paid by his chief whip Muntaka Mubarak.

Mahama Ayariga and two other members of the committee, Alhassan Suhuyini and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa subsequently petitioned the Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye to investigate the matter.

The Speaker then constituted the Joe Ghartey Committee to investigate the matter.

The committee made up of Ben Abdallah, Offinso South; Ama Pomaah Boateng, Juaben; B.T Baba, Talensi; and Magnus Kofi Amoateng, Yilo Krobo sat in public and heard the key players in the bribery scandal including Joe Osei Owusu, Boakye Agyarko, Muntaka Mubarak, Mahama Ayariga and Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The committee after hearing and cross examining the key witnesses compiled the report which was presented to Parliament for a debate.

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