Speaker to rule on Parliament bribery scandal today

Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Ocquaye, will deliver his final ruling on the Appointments Committee bribery scandal, Monday.The ruling was expected last Friday, however, before the House adjourned sitting around 10:40 pm, Second Deputy Speaker, Alban Bagbin, revealed the Speaker has indicated his intention to deliver the ruling on Monday instead.

Mr. Ayariga is said to have drafted an apology speech which he is expected to deliver before the Speaker’s ruling.

Ayariga had attempted an apology last week after he was found guilty of contempt of Parliament by an ad hoc committee constituted to investigate allegations of corruption he made against a Minister and two MPs.

He had accused the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak of collecting bribe money from the Chairman of the Appointment Committee of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu out of which he distributed Ȼ3,000 each to Minority members on the committee.

He said they collected the monies initially thinking it was a sitting allowance but returned it after they learnt it was a bribe money paid on behalf of Boakye Agyarko to bribe them to approve the Energy Minister nominee at the time.The Committee after investigating the matter, part of which was held in public, ruled that Ayariga failed to give any evidence to support his claim of bribery.

The Joe Ghartey Committee said at best what Ayariga peddled was nothing more than rumours and a multiplicity of rumours cannot become fact.The Committee found him guilty of Contempt and asked the Speaker to sanction him.

Joe Ghartey said Ayariga could purge himself by apologising for bringing the name of Parliament into disrepute.

In his attempt to apologise on Thursday, the day on which the details of the report was made public, Ayariga said the committee was not clothed with the power to find him guilty, insisting, the committee was only to fact find and not find guilt.

“Mr Speaker if you say I should apologise, I apologise,” he said, much to the disappointment of the Majority side of the House and to the relief of the Minority side.

His half-hearted apology and subsequent events caused chaos in Parliament, with some members nearly exchanging blows.

Some 24 hours later Ayariga is said to have apologised in a letter written to the Speaker.

Joy News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, says when the House sits on the matter, the Speaker may read the content of the letter or Ayariga may read himself after which the Speaker will rule on the matter.

However, Mr Ayariga is reportedly unhappy with some alterations made to the original apology speech by the leadership of the House which he (Mr Ayariga) fears will indict him.

 It remains unclear if Mr Ayariga will eventually back the altered apology letter.

Source: joyonline