My confirmation wasn’t at risk, why bribe MPs? – Agyarko asks

Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko says the claim that he had attempted to buy his approval in Ghana’s legislature with a bribe was contrived.

He said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has a super majority in the House for his confirmation to be resisted by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs).

“At no point did I feel my confirmation was at risk [so] I, therefore, have no motive whatsoever to…influence,” he said.

Mr Agyarko made these remarks when he appeared before Parliament’s Special Bribery Investigating Committee Monday.

The Minister has been cited alongside two others – First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu and Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka  – in a bribery allegation made by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga on January 27.

The MP had told an Accra-based Radio Gold that members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee were each given GHC3,000.

He, however, said NDC MPs returned their share after they realised the money was coming from Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, whose nomination was then being challenged.

Public uproar over the matter triggered the formation of a five-member committee by Parliament to investigate the claim.

Railways Development Minister Joe Ghartey was appointed to chair the Committee.

Mr Osei Owusu and Mr Muntaka have both denied the claim before the Committee when they took their turn despite the insistence of Mr Ayariga that what he put out was the truth.

As the main accuser in the matter, Mr Boakye said he had no motive to influence the Committee to approve his nomination since he was qualified for it.

“On matters of constitutional requirement I believe I was qualified [and] on performance before the committee I did not perform poorly,” he said.

He said he was convinced that when push came to shove NPP MPs would seal his approval.



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