Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga should be expelled from the legislature for dragging the image of parliament into disrepute after being found to be in contempt of the House, PC Appiah-Ofori, former MP for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa and anti-corruption crusader has said.
According to him, such action against Mr Ayariga will serve as a deterrent to others from engaging in similar acts.
Speaking to Morro Awudu on the Executive Breakfast Show on Class91.3FM on Friday March 31, the ex-lawmaker said: “If the committee has said this is the offence he committed, then I am saying that he should not be just requested to apologise but he should be expelled from parliament so that it will serve as a deterrent to others.
“If he says the Appointments Committee had collected bribe from an appointee, it has reduced the image of parliament completely.”
The Ghartey Committee, which investigated the bribery allegation made by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga against the leadership of parliament’s Appointments Committee, has found him to have been in contempt of parliament.
The committee, in its 56-page report, said it “came to the firm conclusion that Mr Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, section 32 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300) and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament”.
The Committee said it “came to this conclusion because Mr Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon Boakye Agyarko [Energy Minister] gave money to Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu [Chairman of the Appointments Committee] to be distributed to the members of the Appointments Committee with a view to bribe them”, as alleged by Mr Ayariga in an interview he granted Radio Gold.
The Committee has, thus, recommended that having established a case of contempt against Mr Ayariga as well as having examined the sanctions regime available, recommends to the house the following:
1. That the Hon member for Bawku Central Mr Mahama Ayariga, be reprimanded by the Rt Hon Speaker in accordance with section 35 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (300)
2. That Mr Mahama Ayariga renders an unqualified apology to the House, purging himself of contempt.
The 5-member ad hoc Committee chaired by Essikado Ketan MP Joe Ghartey said it “took notice of the fact that the Hon Mahama Ayariga is not known to have engaged in acts that tend to disrupt the smooth proceedings of parliament. Neither does he have a penchant nor reputation of engaging in activities which can bring the image and dignity of parliament into disrepute. Accordingly we view the recommendation relating to the sanctions adequate in the circumstances.”