Bagbin to ‘crucify’ MPs

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 Source: The Catalyst

Proving allegations of bribery in parliament

Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin is getting ready to explode in what would be one of the most revealing expose on his allegation that Parliamentarians do take bribe.

The outspoken MP, who has on many occasions criticized his own government over the way it is managing the affairs of the nation and his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is putting his house in order to face his colleagues in Parliament, who have dared him to provide evidence over the allegation.

Unless some underground diplomacy is done or the deliberations on these investigations are held in camera, Hon Bagbin, sources say, would reveal some interesting maneuverings that precede voting on some major bills and contracts on the floor of Parliament.

Bagbin is said to have asked those wanting him to prove the allegations to let sleeping dogs lie to save the august house the embarrassment he might cause them if he decides to go ballistic.

He is expected to call in his counterpart from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori, popularly known as P.C. to come to his aid with what he knows about the infamous bribery allegations leveled against the then majority in Parliament, the NPP, over the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone.

P.C. Appiah-Ofori, then Member of Parliament for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, alleged that his colleagues in the majority collected an amount $5,000 each to ease the sale of Ghana Telecom in 2008. A committee set up by Parliament could not delve deeper into the allegations because it was beyond its purview.

Bagbin has made it clear that he is not afraid to appear before the House in view of the evidence he has at his disposal.

Meanwhile, the leadership of Parliament, taking the allegations more seriously, is appealing to the general public to assist in getting to the bottom of the matter.

Majority Leader, Hon Benjamin Kumbuor disclosed in Parliament House that, "The leadership will want to assure everybody that whatever is appropriate will be done to get to the bottom of this," he stated.

Parliament wants to do away with the perception that, since it involved Members of Parliament, the house would find a way of covering up the matter to save its face.

It, therefore, wants any member of the public with evidence of bribery to make it available as the investigations continue.

The Catalyst has learnt that the House has already opened investigations into and would be calling Alban Bagbin to appear before it very soon.

For his part, the Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has warned his colleagues to be circumspect in their commentaries on the matter.

He wants MPs to be silent until investigations are concluded to protect the sanctity of the process, since meanings could be read into such commentaries..

Meanwhile, Collins Owusu Amankwaa (MP) for Manhyia North, who raised the issue on the floor of Parliament and demanded leadership's response on the controversy, said he was disappointed that the leadership failed to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.

His concern is that nothing should be done to create the impression Parliament is protecting its own.

Columnist: The Catalyst