The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye has finally given his ruling on the Parliamentary bribery saga.
Giving his ruling in Parliament on Friday evening, the Speaker asked Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central to ‘go and sin no more’.
“If anyone, MP or non-MP takes a bribe involving MPs, it will impede our work. If someone falsely accuses a member in that direction, it will impede our work…in all the circumstances of this case, I have come to the conclusion that the honourable Ayariga should be shown the quality of mercy on this occasion; go and sin no more” the Speaker ruled.
Hon. Mike Ocquaye however warned the Bawku Central MP “never to peddle such expensive rumours anymore in his affairs in this house….Honourable Ayariga, if this should be repeated in future after today’s ruling, you will have yourself to blame…”
Mahama Ayariga was found guilty of contempt by an adhoc committee chaired by Hon Joe Ghartey after he alleged that the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko bribed members of the Minority on the Appointment Committee to approve his nomination.
According to him they had received an amount of Ȼ3,000 from Muntaka Mubarak which they initially thought was their sitting allowance but turned out to be bribe given by Hon Joe Osei-Owusu; Chairman of the appointment committee on behalf of the Energy Minister nominee at the time.
The Energy Minister denied giving any money to Joe Osei-Owusu who subsequently threatened to go to court.
Muntaka Mubarak on the otherhand also denied taking or receiving any money.
Mahama Ayariga, however, insisted on receiving the bribe.
The Speaker of Parliament then formed the Joe-Ghartey Committee to investigate the matter.
The committee after almost two months of sitting found Hon Ayariga guilty of contempt because he did not give any evidence for the accusation he made and asked him to render an unqualified apology.
Going to court
The Speaker during his ruling on Friday, also denied Hon Joe Osei-Owusu’s permission to take the issue to court.
According to him, “…the first deputy speaker should be constrained for going to court for whatever another honourable member says in the course of our business here. He cannot go to court; infact the permission he sought cannot be granted. But he can come to the court of parliament. Parliament has the full right and duty to investigate the matter to punish who so ever should be punished in such a case but within parliament”