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Allow independent probe into NLA bribery allegations – CSOs to Parliament

Three anti-corruption civil groups; the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition have called for an independent probe into the bribery allegations made against the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) and members of Parliament’s Finance Committee.

It emerged that the NLA spent about GHc 150,000 on allowances to members of the Finance Committee in the previous Parliament to facilitate deliberations on the amendment of the National Lottery Act, 2006.

But in a joint statement, the three anti-graft bodies noted that Parliament’s integrity was gradually coming into question hence their call for a probe.

“This revelation, coming on the back of the unsatisfactory handling of Honourable Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central’s bribery allegation presents a further challenge to the already dented image of Parliament and growing eroding trust in politics and the political class in the Fourth Republic,” they noted in a statement.

They thus recommended “the setting up an independent body outside of Parliament possibly chaired by someone of the reputation of Mr. Emile Short, former Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) or someone of similar standing, to look at the alleged bribery case, to investigate this issue, review the payment practices in Parliament and make clear recommendations for regulating these processes.”

They also urged the leadership of Parliament not to sweep these allegations under a rug and “pretend there are no problems with the image and integrity of our Parliament.”

Find below the full statement

GII, CDD and GACC Call for Independent Probe into Finance Committee– NLA Bribery Allegation

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) are dismayed with yet another allegation of bribery involving Ghana’s Parliament.

The reported news that the National Lotteries Authorities (NLA) paid some monies in 2016 to members of the Finance Committee of Parliament prior to the consideration of amendment to the National Lottery Act, 2006 (Act 722) is very worrying.

This revelation, coming on the back of the unsatisfactory handling of Honourable Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central’s bribery allegation presents a further challenge to the already dented image of Parliament and growing eroding trust in politics and the political class in the Fourth Republic.

Ghanaians would recall that when the Honourable Ayariga allegations surfaced, our three organisations called for an independent body or committee outside of Parliament to investigate the matter to ensure that the findings of fact will lead to necessary broader reform of some of the wrong practices in Parliament. Unfortunately, that opportunity was missed when the Committee set up by Parliament was given a narrow remit to work with.

Considering that sections of the Ghanaian public were not satisfied with the way Parliament managed the Hon. Mahama Ayariga bribery allegation against the appointment committee, it may be useful and helpful for Parliament and the country as a whole for this new allegation be handled differently.

The current allegation presents an opportunity for Parliament not to attempt to investigate this matter on their own. GII, CDD-Ghana and GACC recommends for the setting up an independent body outside of Parliament possibly chaired by someone of the reputation of Mr. Emile Short, former Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) or someone of similar standing, to look at the alleged bribery case, to investigate this issue, review the payment practices in Parliament and make clear recommendations for regulating these processes.

We wish to encourage the leadership of Parliament not to sweep this allegation under the carpet and like the proverbial ostrich, bury their heads in the sand and pretend there are no problems with the image and integrity of our Parliament.

It is in the utmost interest of Parliament and Ghana’s young democracy that the integrity and image of Parliament are protected at all cost. Short of these go to undermine the fundamental tenets of checks and balances in a democracy.

Finally, GII, CDD-Ghana, and GACC call on Parliament to use this as an opportunity to holistically address the general public’s perception of parliamentary corruption and incessant allegations made by individuals, including Hon. Martin Amidu, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Alban Bagbin, current 2nd Deputy Speaker, Hon. P.C Appiah Ofori, former MP, Professor Stephen Adei, Former Rector of GIMPA and recently by Hon. Mahama Ayariga.

SIGNED:

Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director , GII

Dr. Franklin Oduro, Head of Research & Programmes and Deputy Director CDD-Ghana

Beauty Emefa Narteh, Executive Secretary, GACC

 

 

 

Source: citifmonline

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