The committee investigating the bribery scandal that has hit parliament has adjourned sitting to Monday, February 10, following its invitation of the Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to testify. The committee’s Chairman, Railways Development Minister, Joe Ghartey,
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has been invited to testify in the bribery case that hit Ghana’s parliament
by the ad hoc committee, after he was earlier excluded.
This follows his letter to the committee on Thursday [February 16] urging it to invite him because he was a party to the case.
His letter authored by his attorneys and addressed to the Chairman of the committee, Joe Ghartey said, even though he was aware the chairman had limited the number of witnesses to appear before the committee to 4, excluding him, he wanted to appear as well to narrate his side of the story.
Portions of the letter said, “our client further instructs us that it has come to his attention that your Committee has decided to limit the number of witnesses to be called to give evidence and that he has not been named as one of such witnesses.
“However, in his testimony which was beamed live on National television and which has been widely reported in the national print media, the chairman of the Appointments Committee and first deputy speaker of parliament, Honourable Joseph Osei Owusu, mentioned our client as having told him that the bribery allegation was made up… Since our client was not given an opportunity to cross examine Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu on this unsubstantiated piece of evidence, it would surely be in accord with the rules of natural justice that our client be heard in his own defence before your Committee.”
The letter also warned that Mr Ablakwa would seek redress in court if the Committee fails to invite him. Citi News have gathered that following the receipt of the letter, the committee has decided to invite Mr Ablakwa to also appear. The ad-hoc committee is expected to sit today, [Friday, February 2017] to listen to the testimonies Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, the Minority Chief Whip, MP for Asawasi, Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central, Mr Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister and the North Tongu legislator, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Three members of the minority on that committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Alhassan Suhuyini and Mahama Ayariga alleged that some monies were paid to them after the vetting of Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to help facilitate his [Boakye Agyarko’s] approval.
The allegations were dismissed by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu and Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, whose names were mentioned as conduits of the alleged payment.
The three MPs subsequently petitioned the speaker of the House, Prof. Mike Oquaye to investigate the allegations.
A five-member committee chaired by a former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey, was constituted to investigate the allegations and presents its report within 30 days.
Members of the committee’
The committee charged the investigate the matter is made up of the MP for Offinso South, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda; the MP for Juaben, Madam Ama Pomaah Boateng; the MP for Yilo Krobo, Mr Magnus Kofi Amoateng, and the MP for Talensi, Mr Benson Tongo Baba. It has Joe Ghartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Kentan as chairman.
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