The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has alleged that the Energy Minister-designate, Boakye Agyarko, sought to bribe members of the vetting committee to approve him.
Speaking on Accra-based Radio Gold, the former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources said the monies were shared to them purposely to induce the committee members to approve him.
Explaining further, he said it was passed through the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, to induce the minority side of the vetting committee.
He said: “This [Friday] morning, we had a meeting and during the meeting, we raised the issue with our Chief Whip and asked him what was the source of the money and he said he was going to check from the Chairman because he had also assumed that it was the sitting allowance that he had given him to give to us.
“So he raised the issue this morning again and he said he had met with the Chairman, and the Chairman had said it was from Boakye Agyarko, who is a nominee. So we as Minority said we were not interested in the money.
“He should take the money and then return it to the Chairman to give it back to Agyarko. So we gave the money back to our Chief Whip and asked him to send it back to give it to Mr. Agyarko.”
“The only logical conclusion one could arrive at is that, this is money intended to influence especially when we had withheld his approval based on certain grounds; so we took a decision that we are not taking anything from anybody. We will take our normal sitting allowances as a committee, and so our leader should be mindful anytime the Chairman brings any money.”
But Mr Mubarak has denied ever paying any money to the minority side in a bid to induce them. Speaking on Joy’s Newsfile Saturday, the Member of Parliament for Asawase swore by “Allah” that he never gave any money to Mr Ayariga.
He said: ” I am saying this with a lot of difficulty…..I am a Muslim and Ayariga is a Muslim, I am swearing by the Allah that has created he and I, I never gave Ayariga anything and I said it was coming from Joe Osei Owusu and [Osei Owusu] has never discussed any money issue with me and …I have never given any Ayariga any money, saying that it is coming from the Chairman.
Also, the Chairman of the vetting committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, has equally denied the claims of Mr Ayariga.
Abu Mubarik/ Ghanadecides.com