The five-member Ad Hoc Committee set up by Parliament to inquire into the alleged bribery scandal that has hit the Appointments Committee has scheduled February 15, 2017, to commence public hearing of the matter.
The three-day event which will take place at the Speaker’s Conference Room at 11:00 in the fore noon each day is expected end on February 17, 2017.
Among the witnesses to appear before the Joe Ghartey Committee to testify are Mahama Ayariga, a member of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, 1st deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Sampson Ahi, member of the Appointments and Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, also a member of the Appointments Committee.
The rest Alhassan Suhuyini, member of the Appointments Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, deputy Ranking member of the Appointments Committee and Eric Opoku, a member of the Appointments Committee as well as Mr. Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, Minister for Energy.
The sitting has become necessary following the reconstitution of the Ad Hoc Committee.
On Friday, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu moved the motion for Ama Pomaa Boateng, MP for Juaben who is currently in Abuja, Nigeria attending the ECOWAS Parliament, to be replaced by Abena Doruwaa Mensah, MP for Assin North.
What triggered the changes, according to the Majority Leader, was the fact that the Ghanaian MPs attending the ECOWAS Parliament will spend two weeks in Abuja and also taking cognisance to the fact that the Committee has within thirty (30) days to submit its report.
Just some few hours for the Chairman of the Appointments Committee to present the committee’s second report on the President’s ministerial nominees that had been vetted, Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central, who is also a member of the Committee alleged that Mr. Boakye Agyarko has paid some monies to some MPs on the Committee to influence them to approve his nomination which the minority had dissented to.
At the center of his allegation is the Chairman of the Committee who he claims gave out the money to the deputy Ranking member of the Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka for it to be disbursed to his members.
He further alleged that GHC 3,000.00 was disbursed to each member of the minority side but after discovering the source of the money and intent for which it was disbursed, he immediately returned it to Hon. Mubarak-Muntaka.
Since the news broke out, the 1st deputy Speaker has denied any wrong doing and threatened to institute a court action against the Bawku Central legislator to redeem his image.
Mubarak-Muntaka has also denied taking any money from the Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu and disbursed it to his members.
But Ayariga insists some money has exchanged hands.
Former deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Sampson Ahi, Eric Opoku and A. B. A. Fuseini have all thrown their support to Ayariga insisting that Mr. Boakye Agyarko allegedly paid some monies to some MPs to influence them to approve of his nomination.
Ablakwa had already hinted that it was some MPs from the majority side who assisted them to blow the whistle on the bribery scandal.
It therefore remains to be seen whether Mr. Ablakwa will mention some names when he takes his turn at the Appointments Committee.