Bribery saga: Ayariga’s claim shocked me, couldn’t speak to him – Muntaka

Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak has stressed as false, claims by a member of his caucus Mahama Ayariga, that bribes were paid to approve a ministerial nominee.

The Asawase NDC MP told an investigative committee hearing Monday, he was shocked when he first heard the claims.

While Mahama Ayariga has stressed these claims as facts, Muntaka has described it as ‘non-existent’ facts.

He said he had no discussion with Mahama Ayariga requesting to know the source of the supposed GHC3,000 he had received. There was no such money paid or returned.

“No such money was given to anybody so how could it be returned?” he told the Joe Ghartey-led committee.

Not taking any chances, the Asawase MP came to testify to the committee in the presence of his counsel Samson Lardy Ayenini. He is the first of four witnesses to have taken a lawyer for his testimony.

Muntaka is also the first to submit a written statement to the committee stating his version of events in a controversy that has raised questions about the code of conduct of parliamentarians.

Muntaka stuck to the position he presented to the media when the allegations grabbed media headlines last month. He swore on Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday, that Mahama Ayariga’s claim that he gave him GHC,3,000 was false.

“I am a Muslim, I am swearing by Allah, I have never given Ayariga anything” he told host Samson Lardy in the January 28,2017 interview. Incidentally, the Asawase MP was legally represented by the host of Newsfile, Samson Lardy.

Joe Ghartey joked that if he knew Muntaka’s counsel was also the host of the show where he denied the allegations, he would have also summoned Samson Lardy to testify.

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