We are extremely shocked by the conduct of The Joe Ghattey Committee in violation of standing orders 191 and the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The deliberate attempt to sacrifice Hon. Mahama Ayariga for the so-called reputation and integrity of parliament is far below the belt. He represents the good people of Bawku Central Constituency, on whose mandate he exposed the rot of bribery and corruption under the Nana Addo – led government. We, the Upper East Regional Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) want to simply sound a strong caution across the county that “any attempts to bring down the hard – earned integrity and respect of Hon. Mahama Ayariga would culminate into what might not be pleasant to the eye in the Upper East Region and the nation as a whole.”
First of all, the natural public court of opinion has rejected the shoddy work of The Joe Ghattey Committee with vivid outcry throughout the country. The Facts – Finding Committee ended up convicting innocent Mahama Ayariga without executing criminal processes in its work. Ghanaians all over the world and the international communities have seen for themselves the hidden truth behind this terrible situation created by Mr. Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister in his attempt to bribe the members of the Appointment Committee in parliament. The terms of reference for the investigation led by Hon. Joe Ghattey given to the Special Committee were:
(a) To establish if the First Deputy Speaker Hon. Joseph Osei-wusu took money from the then Energy Minister-designate Hon. Boakye Agyarko and gave it to the Minority Chief Whip Hon. Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak.
(b) To do an internal inquiry to find out whether there were attempts to bribe members of the Appointment Committee.
(c) To look into the remit of the complaints and assertions made by the First Deputy Speaker about the matter.
So, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the Speaker of Parliament invoked Standing Order 191 for the Special Committee to find facts and not to wrongfully and selectively charge people with Contempt of Parliament. Standing Orders 30, 31, 32 clearly spelt out issues on Contempt of Parliament alongside what Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution established. It can be found from the Parliament Hansard that the Rt. Hon. Speaker never invoked the aforementioned Standing Orders but that was what the Committee actually applied. This major deviation in the work of the Special Committee was brilliantly exposed by the Harvard – trained lawyer, Hon. Mahama Ayariga.
Another mind-boggling approach adopted by The Joe Ghattey Committee was its decision to probe into the CCTV footage in camera, when indeed, the whole process was to be conducted in the full glare of the public. Even the House of Commons in the United Kingdom released CCTV records publicly to aid investigations. The turn of event to block the public display of CCTV footages of Parliament of Ghana to help find facts compromised the decision of the Special Committee. Our outfit is terribly worried over that decision instituted by the Facts – Finding Committee. Hon. Okudjeto Ablakwa alleged in his memo that in the CCTV footage; you would see hands exchanging strange envelopes in the Job 600 building, State House. The questions therefore are, where from these envelopes, what was in them and what were they meant for?
Most people have also asked, why Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini (Tamale North Constituency), Hon. Sampson Ahi (Bodi Constituency), Hon. Eric Opoku (Asunafo South Constituency), Hon. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye (Odododiodioo Constituency) and Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu Constituency) were not by default called to meet the Committee with their evidence in support of its work? These Hon. members attested to the fact that they received envelopes containing an amount of GHC3,000 each and later returned them upon knowing the source and purpose of the monies. Their claims of receiving such amount of money from the Minority Chief Whip never varied from what our Bawku Central MP said and in fact, they have been very consistent with their allegations. So, why were they not invited to help with the investigation? The Speaker of Parliament and the Special Committee must explain this basic legal violation to the ordinary Ghanaian.
At this juncture, we the Youth Wing of the Upper East Region want to wholeheartedly salute Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini, Hon. Sampson Ahi, Hon. Eric Opoku, Hon. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye and Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa for supporting Hon. Mahama Ayariga in the exposé that brought to bear the hypocrisy and lies of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) when it comes to matters of morality. The bribery and corruption campaign they used to convince Ghanaians for their votes against the NDC government is tormenting them since they assumed office. So they want to use Hon. Mahama Ayariga as a scapegoat. We are by this damming orchestration, sending a strong warning to the Minority Leadership in Parliament to be mindful of their utterances, and any persuasion to denounce the NDC at this critical hour in order to gain favour from NPP would only amount to destroying their own political dreams.
We finally want to call on Ghanaians to give Rt Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye a briefing space to take a second look at the situation and apply his much – cherished wisdom to handle this issue once and for all in order to properly redeem the image and integrity of the August House of Parliament. Otherwise, we suggest that the rightful body, Commission of Human and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), takes up the issue and investigate it for Ghanaians to get fair view on the matter. The Youth Wing of the NDC in the Upper East Region vehemently standby and believe in Hon. Mahama Ayariga who has never misconducted himself in Parliament as ascertained by The Joe Ghattey Committee itself. We are convinced that our Senior Comrade would be exonerated at the end of the day if only the Special Committee would revisit its decision and allow appropriate procedures to take place for the realization of the truth.
We stand for Mahama Ayariga!
We stand for Bawku People!!
We stand for Upper East!!!
We stand for NDC!!!!
We stand for Mother Ghana!!!!!
Robert Yeli – Oni, Upper East NDC Youth Organizer (0208864431 /0248498611)