Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has told the honourable Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, to go and sin no more after the lawmaker rendered his so much anticipated unqualified apology to the House.
The Speaker cited several contempt cases in other jurisdictions and concluded that indeed the Bawku Central MP was culpable of the contempt charge brought against him by the Joe Ghartey-led Special Committee.
However, he (Speaker) exercised his prerogative of mercy on the Member, urging him not to repeat same in the future.
Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Thursday, March 30, 2017, rendered a horrid apology to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, after the Ad Hoc Committee tasked to investigate the alleged bribery allegation against the Appointments Committee found him guilty of contempt of Parliament.
The Bawku Central legislator who was so emotional but unremorseful in his approach, challenged the verdict of the Committee chaired by Hon. Joe Ghartey before going ahead to render the horrid apology to the Speaker.
The Committee had found Hon. Ayariga guilty of 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 therefore recommended to the Speaker to reprimand him in accordance with Section 35 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300).
But being a first time offender, the Committee recommended that Hon. Ayariga rendered unqualified apology to Parliament, purging himself of contempt.
Hon. Joe Ghartey’s Committee came to this conclusion having established that Hon. Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that “indeed Hon. Boakye Agyarko gave money to Hon. Joseph Osei-Owusu to be distributed to Members of the Appointments Committee with a view to bribe them.”
But the Speaker of Parliament who looked not convinced to have accepted the apology postponed his ruling on the matter.
At a sitting on Friday, April 7, 2017, a calm looking Ayariga stood on his feet and told the House that he was sorry for putting the name of Parliament into disrepute.
In a letter addressed to Speaker headlined ‘Apology pursuant to the recommendations of the Special Ad Hoc Committee of Parliament’, Hon. Ayariga said “Pursuant to paragraph 141 of the report of the Special Committee to investigate the bribery allegation to the decision of this Honourable House adopting the report, I hereby, render an unqualified apology to this Honourable House of Parliament. Thank you.”
Speaker Oquaye who looked more convinced this time around with the apology from Ayariga ruled that having reviewed the matter, he has come to a conclusion that “Hon. Ayariga should be shown the quality of mercy on this occasion. May he go and sin no more. ”
“He is warned never to peddle such expensive rumour anymore in his attempt in this House,” he added.
He therefore appealed to the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu and the Minority Chief, Hon. Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka to also forgive Ayariga and put the matter to rest.