Deputy Communications Director of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fred Agbenyo has called for independent investigations into the bribery allegations leveled against Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
Bawku Central Member of Parliament, in an interview with Radio Gold, revealed that the Energy Minister attempt to induce them financially to win the approval of the legislators.
He accused the Energy Minister, Chairman of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee Joe Osei Owusu and the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak of giving the members of the Committee some money he perceived to be bribe.
Although the PAC Chairman and Mr. Muntaka have dismissed the claims with the latter swearing an oath by the Quran that he is a "Muslim and Ayariga is a Muslim. I’m swearing by the Allah that created him that I never gave Ayariga anything and I said it was from Osei-Owusu. Osei Owusu has never discussed any money issue with me. He has never given me any money to be given to Ayariga and I’ve never given Ayariga or anybody any money saying that it was coming from the Chairman,” Fred Agbenyo believes an independent body of inquiry set up by the Legislative House would help bring closure to the issue.
He said on Peace FM's Kokrokoo that the bribery allegation may potentially mar the integrity of the Parliament House.
To him, his "prayer is that at the end of the day when we finish the investigations, it will come out that the issue is not true. It didn’t happen. I am more particular about the image of Parliament," but this he noted can only happen when the legislators do not brush the allegation aside and trivialize its implications.
Mr. Agbenyo added that though there's no substantial evidence to ascertain the truth of the issue, it however doesn't rule out the fact that there's has been claims against the Energy Minister and it involves financial inducement.
Also commenting on the issue on the same platform, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper indicated that an independent body of inquiry may not be enough to unveil the truth.
In his view, there's separation of powers which makes it difficult for Parliament to hear their own case.
“We have a principle in the nation’s laws called Separation of Powers. Parliament makes its own rules and so on. The Parliament doesn’t have to be subordinate to any other organ of State. So, now, what can we do to maintain the principle that makes Parliament independent and also investigate the issue to ensure that because it involves the Parliamentarians, they won’t hear their own case?”
Nonetheless, Mr. Pratt called on CHRAJ and other State institutions to begin investigations into the matter.
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