The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu has broken his silence on the matter of a bribery allegation against the Appointment Committee of Parliament. According to him, he supports a full scale investigation to establish the veracity or otherwise of any matter that bothers on the reputations of persons and reputations of Parliament including a full scale Parliamentary enquiry which may be at Parliament’s Privileges Committee. Speaking publicly on the matter for the first time at the sitting of the Appointment Committee on Monday morning, Mr Iddrisu associated himself with earlier comments by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu that it was impossible for nominees to influence the committee after vetting. “I am aware the media has been longing for the Minority Leader to speak on a matter which is now of public interest and I’d like to break my silence in it and to be associated with the comments of the First Deputy Speaker that, I will and we will support full scale investigation to establish the veracity or otherwise of any matter that bothers on the reputations of persons and reputations of Parliament including a full scale Parliamentary enquiry which may be at Parliament’s Privileges Committee.” “I expect that the Speaker of Parliament and Leadership will take up the matter and establish the truth or otherwise of what is being speculated around and which is undermining the integrity and the work of this committee,” he said. Early on, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu reiterated that it was impossible for members of the committee to be influenced in approving ministerial nominees. To him, one would have to bribe the committee prior to the sitting instead of after. This is because, “the decision-making of this Committee has never been deferred. On any day, as soon as we finish proceedings when we clear the gallery, members sit here and take a decision on whether a member will be recommended for approval by consensus or the Majority.” “If anyone wants to bribe us then I suggest that he pay the bribe before we start because there is no room after we have started proceedings for you to influence our decision,” Mr Osei-Owusu said. The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga last Friday alleged that the Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko had attempted to influence minority members of the committee with Ghc3000 each and that when they got wind of it, they returned the money which they had earlier taken from the Minority Chief Chip, thinking it was their sitting allowance.
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