REPORT ON CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS IN PARLIAMENT, A POLITICAL BLANKET.

REPORT ON AYARIGA'S BRIBERY ALLEGATION IN PARLIAMENT, A POLITICAL "BLANKET".

Ever since this bribery allegation in the appointment committee came out, I have been avoiding any temptation of commenting on the issue not because I do not have an opinion but because of the trivialities brought into the whole saga by some political sycophants, probably for cheap political scores. Many people including some members of the majority described Hon Ayariga's allegations as lies even before the committee was set up to investigate the issues.

One thing that is very  obvious is that Parliament cannot indulge in a crime, then investigate itself and accept the allegations. That is naturally expectant. Following the matters ensuing the work of the committee and how long it has delayed, one could logically predict the outcome which of course, I'm vindicated.

I am of the view that it sounds ridiculous to have not involved an independent investigation. Well, that is Parliament and they would use their own standing orders to protect their own integrity. That is why I will not be wrong to say that the committee was working to protect the integrity of the house and not to do due diligence to the issue. The committee in presenting its report stated it without ambiguity. The chairman, Joe Ghartey said, putting evidence of the committee before the public is a threat to the integrity of Parliament. Like seriously? Contrary to the report of the committee, I see signs of truth in the allegations.

Let Ghanaians be reminded that this is not the first time Parliament has been accused of bribery and corruption. Some where 2013, the former NPP Member of Parliament, Hon P C Appiah Ofori accused members of Parliament of taking a bribe to a tune of $5000 each in order to push through the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone. Call it " the Vodafone deal saga". Be apprised with the publication below
https://www.newsghana.com.gh/ghanaian-mps-took-5000-bribe-p-c-appiah-ofori/amp/

What did we get from that allegation? It was swept under the carpet because it is Parliament. Is the national house of Parliament beyond reproach? Hmm.... There is certainly no equality in our rule of law but only posterity shall judge us.

Again, in march 2014, one of the most prolific, respectable MP who happens to be the oldest in Parliament Hon. Alban Bagbin, also made serious allegations that corruption exist in the house. As a person who has served the house for decades and who is known for his unrepentant objectivity in public discourse, one does not need a litmus paper test to ascertain the veracity of his claims. Let me take you through the memory lane with this article
https://www.google.com.gh/amp/www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/mps-take-bribes-bagbin-confirms-in-koforidua.amp.html

Some members of Parliament refuted the claims and rubbished it. It ended there because it is Parliament. Indeed, the general public feels threatened to chastise the house in the name of contempt of Parliament.

In all these instances, nobody cares to dig out the truth. My question is who is protecting the public purse? I have observed that anytime there is an issue which has to do with the general good of members of Parliament, I hear almost one voice among them but same cannot be said on very pertinent national issues, without showing partisan patriotism.
The bribery allegations made by Hon Ayariga is not an issue that is alien in the house, I have cited the instances so why should the report of the committee be surprising to somebody who has been following politics for more than a decade? I cannot trust the findings of the committee. In any case, it is not stated anywhere in the report that Ayariga lied. All I could read was no evidence. Really!!

I am not a lawyer and I'm not closer to becoming one but which evidence are they talking about? Physical, oral or circumstantial evidence? For me, the issue has been covered by a political blanket just to prevent any embarrassment and pubic opprobrium on the house. That is absolutely pathetic. The integrity of the house is not important than that of the country. Ironically, the house is not unaware that the nation loses millions of cedis annually through corruption but when any cases of such is reported, they sing the evidence song. Very very pathetic.

I hold this strong conviction that many a citizen can make judgement on the work of the committee. We are not politically powerful but we own our conscience. Ayariga must not be bastardized for that bold decision: he should be eulogized. As for the mandate of the committee to recommend those sanctions including citing contempt of Parliament, I leave that to the legal luminaries though in my ordinary perspective, the whole process of the so called fact finding is legally pathetic.

The issue does not call for any political side taking. Those who are celebrating over the exoneration of the house should think again. The convoluted nature of bribery and the lazy methodology we as a people always seek to adopt to minimize it are incongruous and inconsequential. The " evidence debate" is what is rather escalating this cancerous epidemic. We have forgotten that rumors and perceptions are fundamental benchmarks of measuring bribery and corruption globally. So why are we allowing the "evidence debate" to cover people? We cannot take relativity out of the " evidence debate". Yes we must know that.

Whether a lie or the truth, God remain our judge.

Denis Andaban.

denisandaban@gmail.com

Author: Denis Andaban

Denis Andaban is a young writer and practising journalist. He is also a young teacher who has an unrepentant passion for writing. He has written feature articles ranging from politics, social issues, academic and relationship. He also writes news for many online media portals. Currently, He is reading B A English Language Education at the University of Education, Winneba, Kumasi. Denis Andaban is a native of Fian in the Upper West Region

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