Two more members of the minority in parliament have echoed claims by Mahama Ayariga, the MP for Bawku Central, to the effect that GHC3,000 said to be from the energy minister-designate, Boakye Agyarko, was paid to them to facilitate his confirmation as minister.
Ayariga’s fiery claim has provoked a firestorm of controversy and outrage, with a section of the condemning him and accusing him of making false claims.
The chairman of the appointments committee, Joe Osei-Owusu, who Ayariga said distributed the money to the MPs, has vigorously denied the claim.
But Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini, who are both on the appointments committee, told graphic.com.gh on Friday that they indeed received GHC3,000 each form Osei-Owusu, which they claimed to have returned after learning that it was from Boakye Agyarko.
“We stand by Ayariga and we have returned the money,” Suhuyini said.
He said he understood if the parliamentary leadership did not want to make a big issue out of the claim because bribery did not reflect well on the integrity of parliament.
“If they don’t want to make an issue out of that because it impugns on the integrity of parliament, fine,”.he said.
Ablakwa said the attempted bribery could not be in doubt, claiming that the offer was made but they returned the money.
“It was obvious the chairman was worked up over why Ayariga should go public with the issue but that was our decision. Parliamentary work is serious business and we are not here to joke. Yes, they may outvote us by their numbers but we cannot renege on our duties to the people of Ghana”, he said.