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Bribery Scandal hits Parliament; Ayariga fingers Agyarko

A new bribery scandal is raging in Parliament with members of the Minority on the Appointment Committee accusing Energy Minister designate Boakye Agyarko of trying to bribe them.

Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga claims Mr Agyarko, who is sweating to be approved by the committee paid GHȻ3,000 each to the Minority members in order to approve him without any further resistance.

According to him, they received the money thinking it was payment of their sitting allowance, only to be told later that the money was coming from Boakye Agyarko. They therefore had to return the money, he disclosed in an interview on Radio Gold.

Myjoyonline.com cannot independently confirm the claims being made by the MP.

Background
Boakye Agyarko and Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo are the two ministers designate belatedly approved by a Majority decision. The Minority members on the Committee failed to their blessing for the approval of the two.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu says the two have unfinished business with the committee following unsubstantiated claims they made during their vetting.

According to him, the claim by Agyarko that the World Bank put pressure on the ex-president John Mahama to pull back on a gasification policy was untrue and must provide evidence.

He also said the figures given by Agyarko as debts owed by VRA and the ECG were inaccurate and had to provide accurate figures.

On Osafo Maafo, the Minority Leader is saying the Senior Minister designate must acquit himself of a potentially divisive ethnic comment he is alleged to have made, a comment he has denied categorically and accused propagandists of altering a tape recording to tarnish the reputation.

Even though the Majority in the House have given their blessing for the two to be approved in addition to the 11 appointees, the Minority would have nothing to do about it.

Agyarko bribe?
In a jaw dropping claim by Mahama Ayariga, the Energy Minister designate had given an amount of GHȻ3,000 to them; an amount they received thinking it was their sitting allowance, but returned it later when they became aware it came from Boakye Agyarko.

According to him, they had discussed issues about their sitting allowances with their chief whip Muntaka Mubarak and he promised to find out from the Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Owusu as to when the allowances will be paid.

He said they later recieved the amount from the chief whip who told them the money was coming from the Chairman of the committee only for them to hear it was coming from Boakye Agyarko.

Ayariga said they have had to return the amount.
Attempts to contact Boakye Agyarko to respond has been difficult. When Myjoyonline.com contacted him, he was driving and could not react and promised to call back. Several efforts to get a response has since proved futile. But the Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Owusu who was alleged to have given the money on behalf of Agyarko insists the allegation is untrue. He told Evans Mensah the allegations should be ignored.

Meanwhile, Joy News presidential correspondent Elton John Brobbey reported Agyarko and Maafo were part of a number of ministers ready to be sworn in by the president.

The swearing is yet to take place suggesting the president is waiting for Parliament to approved the two ministers before he will swear all 13 vetted ministers into office.

Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah

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