What started as a bribery allegation against two members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has now turned into a vicious clash within a section of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Some known NDC supporters and communicators took to social media to blast Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak for denying the alleged bribery.
Some have even questioned why Minority leader, Haruna Idrissu, had not spoken on the matter even when it had not been established that he had any knowledge of the alleged bribery.
The battle on social media between NDC supporters, who either oppose or support Muntaka Mubarak and Haruna Idrissu, was really fierce with some using unprintable words while others made wild allegations without proof.
Mahama Ayariga allegation
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central Constituency, Mahama Ayariga, alleged that he and other NDC MPs on the Appointment Committee of Parliament had received GH₵3,000 from Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, and when they enquired, they were told that Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko, gave the money through the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu, who is chairman of the Parliament’s Appointment Committee.
Boakye Agyarko, Joe Osei Owusu threaten legal action
Mr Boakye Agyarko and Joe Osei Owusu have denied the allegations and announced that they were considering legal action to clear their names.
Muntaka Mubarak denies allegation
Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, who Ayariga described as the key witness to determine the truth or otherwise of the matter, has also denied the allegation saying "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 created he and I, I never gave Ayariga anything and I said was coming from Joe Osei Owusu and [Osei Owusu] has never discussed any money issue with me and ...I have never given any money, saying that it is coming from the Chairman”.
NDC supporters open fire on social media
This denial irked several NDC supporters, including some communicators of the party, who took to social media to make all kinds of insinuations against leadership of the minority in Parliament.
A lot of those, who took to social media, questioned the reliability of Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak and Minority Leader Haruna Idrissu to provide effective leadership.
For NDC supporters and communicators, who oppose Haruna Idrissu as Minority Leader, they claim they have been vindicated by Haruna Idrissu’s silence on the matter.
These NDC supporters and communicators expressed sentiments to the effect that, the fact that MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and MP for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, also confirmed receiving the said money Mahama Ayariga alleged, the denial by Muntaka raises doubts.
No Minority statement
In their view, bribery is a serious crime and, therefore, they expected a statement or press conference by leadership of the minority.
In defence of Haruna Idrissu, Muntaka Mubarak
However, NDC supporters and communicators, who support Haruna Idrissu, Muntaka Mubarak, also replied the critics demanding proof that the minority leader had knowledge of the said bribe.
Calls for probe
Some civil society groups and individuals have called for investigations to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegation since it has serious consequences for parliament as an institution.
Parliament dismisses allegation
Parliament has dismissed allegations made by Bawku MP that GH₵3,000 was offered some NDC members on the Appointment Committee to unduly influence them to approve Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
The legislature in a statement released said, no member of the Committee was bribed by any of the nominees for ministerial positions in the Akufo-Addo government.
It said the claim put out in the public by the former Science and Technology Minister Friday is "frivolous and vexatious."
"Parliament attaches a lot of importance to its constitutional duties and abhors practices that will not only affect its work but also bring the institution into disrepute. Therefore extreme care is taken and thorough background checks are made before chairpersons to the various committees are appointed. This is to ensure that the work they oversee are meticulously carried," the statement said.
ACEPA fears for Parliament’s image
The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has noted that the bribery allegation is likely to tarnish the image of Ghana’s Parliament.
According to Centre, the leadership of parliament has a lot of work to do in order to redeem that image, especially after the former Attorney-General Martin Amidu recently accused the 5th and 6th parliament of corrupt practices.
Source: The Finder
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