Bribery saga: Parliament’s Investigation Committee member risks replacement if…

Juabeng Member of Parliament (MP), Ama Pomaa Boateng risks being replaced as the only female member of the Special Investigation Committee set up to probe bribery allegation in parliament. 

Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who had earlier moved for the legislator’s replacement said he had been informed she would be arriving in Ghana from Abuja, Nigeria ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Committee.

“The five-member committee has called to indicate to me that the honourable member will be in the jurisdiction this evening [Tuesday],” he said.

The bribery Investigation Committee is expected to commence its probe Wednesday into the claim that Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko offered GHC100,000 to be given to members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee to seal his approval.

The MPs who are on the vetting Committee were offered GHC3,000 each.

Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga who made the disclosure said after they were told the money was coming from the Minister who had issues with his approval, they returned the money to Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka.

Chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu who was implicated had said he never took money from Mr Agyarko for distribution to the MPs. He had wanted Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye to permit him to sue the Bawku Central MP, but it was denied.

Rather, a five-member Committee was established to investigate the claim. They include;

(a) Essikadu/Ketan MP, Joe Ghartey as Chairman

(b) Offinso South MP Ben Abdallah Banda as member

(c) Juaben MP, Ama Pomaa Boateng as member

(d) Talensi MP, Benson Tongo Baba as member

(e) Yilo Krobo MP, Magnus Kofi Amoatey as member

The committee was given less than 30 days to complete its work with the following terms of reference;

(a) To establish if First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu took money from Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko and gave it to Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka.

(b) To do an internal inquiry to find out whether there were attempts to bribe members of Appointments Committee

(d) To look into the remit of complaints and assertions made by First Deputy Speaker about the matter.

But a day to its first hearing, the only female member of the Committee might be absent due to some assignments she is attending to in Abuja, Nigeria. She is undertaking a project for ECOWAS Parliament expected to last for two weeks.

Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu had moved a motion for her replacement but later amended it, urging the Speaker to withhold the decision for Wednesday.

“I will plead that we stand the motion down until tomorrow [Wednesday] to watch the radar if she doesn’t appear,” the Suame MP said.

Meanwhile, a private citizen Listowell Opoku who had petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to conduct an independent probe on the issue said he would write back to the Commission to be updated on its work so far.

“In as much as I believe Parliament’s work is compromised, I want CHRAJ to work. I don’t want them to wait for anything,”  he said.

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