Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, on Tuesday denied allegations that Members of Parliament (MPs) were bribed with mobile handsets before approving the $129.9 million contract between the government and ZTE Corporation of China.
He said the allegation was a fabrication meant to create the impression that the legislators were corrupted before approving last month’s contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of the Dedicated National Security Information System in northern Ghana by ZTE Corporation of China.
Parliament had to defer the approval of the contract for a week, after law makers raised concerns of irregularities in the deal.
The Minority had then argued that the nature of the contract agreement granted blanket indemnity to ZTE Corporation, and asked that the deal be withdrawn for further consideration, and that due diligence be carried out to ensure Ghana was not short-changed.
The House later approved the deal after the concerns raised were addressed.
The project is the second phase of the contract under which ZTE Corporation is installing some security gadgets in certain parts of the country, to enhance the operations of the security agencies in the country.
Days after the contract was approved, media reports suggested that the law makers had been compromised by accepting mobile handsets from the Chinese company before approving the contract.
Mr Adjaho who cleared the air on the issue, said he referred the matter to the Privileges Committee when it came to his notice, but that after conferring with the Leadership of the House, it was realized that the allegations were baseless.
He said the supposedly handsets the Parliamentarians received, were a part of an on-going project to improve security for members, adding that other parliamentary staff had earlier received similar gadgets.
“This is part of the occupational hazards in holding public offices. I do not see how mobile phones can be used to bribe members of this House,” he said.
The leadership on both sides of the House said the rumours were untrue and that the move was part of efforts to boost security for MPs.
The House also approved various amounts for the workings of two ministries for the 2014 fiscal year, namely, the Ministries of Communications and Water Resources, Works and Housing, with an amount of GHc93,288,999 for the former, while GHc735,288,999 was approved for the activities of the latter.