By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency and the former Deputy Minister of Education has confirmed that he was part of the minority Members of Parliament (MPs) who received some of the GHc100,000 alleged bribe.
According to the Hon. member, he received GHc3,000 from Hon. Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, the Minority Chief Whip and the MP for Asawase Constituency as committee allowances, together with his other minority colleagues who are part of the Appointments Committee.
Speaking on Adom FM Dwaso Nsem, an Accra based radio station on Monday January 30, 2017, Hon. Ablakwa stated that they knew the money was their sitting allowances.
“A day before we receive the GHc3,000 each, the Appointments Committee Chairman, Hon. Joe Osei Owusu assure the committee members that he had written to the Speaker of the House concerning our sitting allowances. So we thought the GHc3,000 given to each of us was the allowances, until we heard rumors that the money was coming from Mr. Boakye Agarko, the Minister designate for Energy,” he stated.
He explained further that, “we had a meeting as minority caucus chaired by Hon. Haruna Iddrusu, the Minority Leader and we agreed that we cannot accept the money and for that matter we have to return it. I did return my money together with Hon. Mahama Ayariga’s money to Hon. Muntaka in the presence of Hon. Nii Lante Vanderpuye, the MP for Odododiodoo Constituency. On my way coming from Hon. Muntaka’s office, I met Hon. Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North Constituency who was also returning his money. Hon. Muntaka confirmed to me that some of my colleagues have returned theirs and he was also waiting for the others.”
Meanwhile, Hon. Ablakwa together with Hon. Mahama Ayariga and Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini have jointly written to the Speaker of Parliament, requesting the Leader of the House to conduct an internal enquire into the allegation of attempted bribery of some Members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament by a Ministerial Nominee.
“We jointly request you to carry out an internal enquire into the veracity of the claims made by us in the allegation of attempted bribery of the Minority Members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament by a ministerial nominee. We, the three (3) Members of Parliament will subject ourselves fully to the process of the enquiry,” the letter to the Speaker reads.