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Parliament considering alleged NLA corruption very seriously – Speaker

By
Benjamin Mensah, GNA

Accra, July 7, GNA – The issue in which the
Members of Finance Committee of the Parliament of Ghana are being accused of
collecting money in 2016 from the National Lottery Authority to deliberate on a
lottery law, is under very serious consideration by the Leadership of the
House.

Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of
Parliament on Friday said “no one is sleeping,” and the matter is under very
serious consideration by the Leadership of the House.

He told the House that the leadership was
examining all the parameters of the issue, and directed the leadership to
within one week come out with an approach in dealing with the alleged scandal

The Speaker’s directive follows concerns
raised on the matter after Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensa- Bonsu had presented
the Business Statement for next week.

A section of the public has alleged bribery,
and impugned on integrity of the Finance Committee following a revelation that
in 2016, the lotteries regulatory agency, the National Lottery Authority (NLA)
led by former Boss, Brigadier General Martin Ahiaglo (Retired), spent GH¢150,000
to facilitate deliberations on the amendment of the National Lottery Act, 2006
(Act 722).

The decision to receive the cash has also
raised questions about the propriety of Parliament receiving money to work, for
which MPs already drew salaries from the state.

The Speaker said: “I trust that in a week we
should have some directive, some common position on which we can act on the
matter. No one is sleeping over it at all. All Parliaments’ issues must be
seriously examined.”

Prof Oquaye said the situation provided an
opportunity for the House to take a holistic look at the relationship between the
committees of Parliament and para-statals and other bodies that have
legislative concerns.

During the debate, members indicated groups
including the GTZ had similarly facilitated training programmes of the
Judiciary and in no way compromised the work of that institution.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-
Mensa-Bonsu describing the situation as “internal bleeding in Parliament” said
the disposition of Parliament lobbying corporate bodies for assistance may
cause people to make political capital of the situation.

He suggested the restriction of all
stakeholder consultations within the precincts of Parliament, where available
committee rooms could be made use of.  

This he said would block out the allegations
of corruption that crop up anytime parliamentary committees moved outside the
capital on weekends for deeper insights on the bills they work on.

GNA 

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