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31 January 2017

Akufo-Addo should have delayed Agyarko swearing in – Kofi Adams

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The General Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the President should have delayed the swearing in of Minister for Energy considering that there is a bribery allegation hanging on his neck.

Kofi Adams says his concerns is not just with happenings among the Minority in parliament but believes all Ghanaians be concerned that as a country a minister who is paid by the taxpayer is involved in such a scandal.

A worried Mr Adams said he wants to hear from President Akufo-Addo, Civil Society Organisations, as well as Members of Parliament (MPs), speaking on the matter, who are keeping mum so far.

Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story news programme, he said “this is about a bribery scandal involving our MPs and a minister of state.”

Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko stands accused of paying an amount of GHC3,000 to members of the minority side of the Appointment of Committee in order to facilitate his smooth approval.

Agyarko and that of the Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo Maafo had their approval delayed because of comments they made during their vetting.

Out of 13 nominees vetted, eleven of them were approved by the committee pending a final approval by the plenary.

The two remaining were asked to bring further and better particulars to substantiate claims they made during their vetting.

The majority side of the committee was satisfied when the additional information was provided by the nominees but the Minority side.

By majority decision, the two were approved by the committee and a report was submitted to the plenary.

Just when the House will consider the approval of the two on the floor of the house, a bribery scandal broke.

Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga alleged that they had received a GHȻ3,000 bribe paid to them by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

He said they initially thought the amount was their sitting allowance so they collected it but when they were later told it was coming from the Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko, they had to return it.

According to him, the amount was given to Muntaka Mubarak by the Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Owusu on behalf of the Energy Minister-designate.

There has been denial and counter denials by the main actors fingered in the scandals.

In all this, Mr Adams quizzed, “what image are we sending about our country, parliament, government and this very person if he is going to represent us to be negotiating international deals.”

He explained, “it should go beyond NDC minority and concern us as a country who deserve a leadership that would rise above all what is happening…that is why I am worried and I think it is unfortunate that the president went ahead to swear in the nominee who was involved in the allegation.”

Mr Adams said for the President to rush to give Mr Agyarko the green light to proceed to work shows that there is something cooking which is not good for the country.

He questioned if the Akufo-Addo-led government is going to be one full of scandals at every step of the way considering that the President was caught in plagiarising a speech at his swearing only to later swear in controversial ministerial nominee.

 

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