Ayariga renders unconditional apology to Parliament
Mr Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central on Friday apologised to Parliament, after a committee of enquiry indicted him of contempt to the House.
The five member bi-partisan committee was, chaired by Mr Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General, and current MP for Essikado Ketan and Minister of Railway Development.
Set at the instance of the Speaker Professor Mike Oquaye, the committee indicted Mr Ayariga for spreading false rumours about the House and recommended sanctions.
Prof Oquaye, a fortnight earlier had asked Mr Ayariga to apologise to the House, but Ayariga rendered a conditional apology, to which the Speaker apparently dissatisfied, deferred his ruling.
The Speaker later told the House that the matter would be taken in due course.
And on Friday evening, moments before the House rose for the Easter holidays, the House revisited the matter and Mr Ayariga, who had a two weeks ago retorted: “Mr Speaker, if you say I should apologise, I apologise,” this time responded: “I hereby render an unqualified apology to this Parliament.”
In his ruling Prof Ocquaye said: “In all the circumstances of this case, I have come to the conclusion that the Honourable Ayariga should be shown mercy on this occasion. May he go and sin no more. He is warned never to peddle such expensive rumours in his affairs in this house.
“I must also extend a warning to some four or five honourable members who deemed it proper to make untoward lies apparently in support of Ayariga regarding the conduct for which the Honorable Ayariga has now apologised.”
Mr Ayariga last January told a radio station in Accra that the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, then a nominee, had attempted bribing members of the Appointments Committee from the Minority Side to clear him by consensus rather than by a majority decision as it appeared it not would be smooth to approve him by consensus.
He some members had initially opposed the Minister’s approval because of some comments he made during his vetting,
The MP had said minority members on Parliament’s Appointments Committee were each offered GH¢3,000 through Mr Joseph Osei – Owusu, First Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, and Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka to influence them to pass him by consensus.
Mr Osei-Owusu, in a statement on the floor of the House threatened to go to court to redeem him image
However, the speaker constituted the five-member ad hoc committee to probe the allegations.
The Joe Ghartey Committee, after its investigations indicted Mr Ayariga for gravely injuring the image of the chairman of the vetting committee and Parliament.
The committee’s report said Mr Ayariga “failed to ascertain the veracity of the rumour prior to publishing same”.
The Committee recommended that Mr Ayariga rendered an “unqualified apology” to the House and purge himself of gravely injuring the reputation of Mr Osei- Owusu.
Citing Article 112 of the 1992 Constitution as well as Order eight of Parliament’s Standing Orders, the Committee found the MP guilty of contempt.
It recommended to the Speaker to reprimand Mr Ayariga and demanded an apology from him.