Bribery saga: Ayariga presents ‘no direct evidence’; sticks to his ‘facts’

Embattled Bawku Central MP failed to present any ‘direct evidence’ to back his claims that MPs were paid monies intended to influence the approval of then Energy minister-designate Boakye Ayarko.

At a cagey meeting with a special investigative committee of parliament Mahama Ayariga pointed to  a private conversation as the basis of his claim.

In that private conversation, he claimed to have found out from Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak that GHC3,000 he received was traced to Boakye Agarko using the First Deputy Speaker as conduit.

On the basis on this information, Mahama Ayariga says he returned the money which he first believed was an allowance the MPs had been expecting to receive from the First Deputy Speaker.

Mahama Ayariga maintained these are “facts”. But he was unable to provide any further justification for the bribery claims he made on Radio Gold which has triggered considerable media interest.

The Joe Ghartey-led Committee’s push for further proof beyond the conversations proved futile.

The committee however found out that money played no role in the decision of the Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee to finally approve the nominee.

Boakye Agyarko secured an agreement by consensus after he retracted two claims he could not substantiate after he first made them during his vetting last month.

Photo: Boakye Agyarko

He had claimed the World Bank was ‘breathing down the neck’ of President Mahama over government’s gasification policy and also that the then government had procured three production plants.

The Minority had vowed to resist his nomination following these two claims.

But at a closed door meeting with the Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Ocquaye and in the presence of the Appointments Committee members, Majority and Minority leaders, Boakye Agyarko won over the Minority with his retraction of some of the comments.

He was subsequently approved unanimously avoiding the need for Parliament to pass a vote on his nomination.

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