We’re sorry for fighting in Parliament-MP’s apologise
Members of Parliament (MPs) have rendered unqualified apologies to Ghanaians for the brawl that happened on the floor of the house after the presentation of the Joe Ghartey Committee report.
Some members of the House nearly exchanged fisticuffs shortly after the Speaker, Mike Ocquaye, left the chamber.
The speaker of Parliament was forced to suspend debate on the Joe Ghartey Committee report following a half-hearted apology by Mahama Ayariga, the man found guilty of contempt of Parliament in the infamous bribery scandal, threw the House into complete chaos.
Videos have circulated on social media about the brawl with the MPs for Ningo Prampram and Tamale South seen throwing their hands and exchanging strong words with some Majority MPs.
One can however not hear the content of the words which were spoken by Sam George and Alhassan Suhuyini but the actions depicted the inherent anger.
This video, the MPs said speak of the House of the Honourables in a distasteful manners and hence have appealed to members of the public whom they represent to forgive them.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for South Dayi, Rockson Defiamekpor and MP for Fomena, Andy Amoako Asiamah were unanimous in offering the unqualified apology to Ghanaians.
“We agree it didn’t augur well in Parliament especially as we were on live videos and others in the public gallery were covering with their phones, we apologise for that and I am sure today, there will be statements offering the apology…,” they said on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’.
The Railways Development Minister, also former Attorney-General, Joe Ghartey, was tasked to lead the five-member committee approved by Parliament, to investigate the bribery scandal.
The genesis of the bribery scandal stemmed from a Minority member of the Committee, Mahama Ayariga, who alleged that Mr. Agyarko, attempted to bribe the ten minority members on parliament’s Appointments Committee with GHc3000 each to ensure the approval of his nomination as the Energy Minister.
Prior the alleged bribery, Mr. Ayariga, the Bawku Central MP, had narrated that Minority members on the committee had confronted the Chairman of the committee about their sitting allowance. This was followed by them taking receipt of the money which they thought it was to cater for the purpose.
But they returned the money when they realised that it was instead coming from Mr. Agyarko, who the Minority had refused to approve because of some alleged derogatory comments he made about former President John Mahama during his vetting.
The MP for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini and the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, backed Mr. Ayariga’s claims and joined him to petition the Speaker of Parliament to thoroughly investigate the bribery claims against Mr. Agyarko.
In the immediate aftermath of the allegations, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu had said he was privy to an admission that the bribery claims were fabricated.
Mr. Osei Owusu, also the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, said a confession had been made to the effect that the allegation was made by some Minority members to settle scores, following prior claims by the Majority side that Mr. Mahama was corrupt.
The Chairman was himself implicated in the scandal with Mr. Ayariga alleging that he served as a courier for the bribe money which was given to the Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka for onward disbursement; a claim Mr Suhuyini and Mr Ablakwa both confirmed.
But the Chief Whip and the Committee’s Chairman vehemently denied the claims.