First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu, has opened up over the bribery allegation that was levelled against him by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Central, Mahama Ayariga.
The Bawku Central lawmaker some few days after the public hearing of the Energy Minister-designate, Boakye Agyarko, alleged on Accra-based Radio Gold that he’s head the minister-designate gave the Appointments Committee of which Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu is the Chairman, the sum of GH?100,000.00 to be shared to the Minority members.
He claimed the NDC MPs on the Committee were offered GH?3,000 each, but they rejected it after they were told the money had come from Mr. Boakye Agyarko.
Mr. Ayariga said he was told that the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament handed over the alleged bribe money to the Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka to be disbursed to the Minority MPs on the Committee.
Hon. Osei Owusu and Montana both denied the allegation.
An Adhoc Committee was therefore set up by Parliament to investigate the allegation. The Committee which was chaired by the MP for Essikado-Ketan, Hon. Joe Ghartey, found the duo not guilty of the alleged allegation.
Hon. Mahama Ayariga was therefore made to apologize to Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu and Hon. Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka for bringing the name of the legislature and the two personalities into disrepute and public ridicule.
Prior to the Committee’s report to Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu threatened to go to court to seek redress over the matter, an action he later abandoned.
But speaking in an interview on Accra-based United Television, Saturday, the First Deputy Speaker who is also the MP for Bekwai in the Ashanti Region said he rescinded his decision to sue Ayariga in court because of an advice he received from the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
“I sit beside the Second Deputy Speaker, Hon. Bagbin in Parliament. So, when the issue broke out and I had wanted to go to court, he told me to exercise restraint since I am a Speaker. He asked me that if I should fight any Member of Parliament in court can I preside over a sitting in Parliament and say I am fair in respect of those persons that I have sued”? he explained.
When asked whether he was satisfied with outcome of the Parliamentary inquiry, he retorted “the net effect is the same. My intention was not to go to court to claim money from him [Hon. Ayariga] but to ensure that I was exonerated”.