Some Ministers of State paid bribes to Members of Parliament's vetting committee in 2011 to pass them during vetting after their nomination for ministerial appointment under President John Atta-Mills.
Anti-corruption campaigner, Martin Amidu in one of his series of statements issued on Monday [January 10] recounted the late President Mills telling him about some ministers he appointed who paid bribes to be approved by Parliament.
Mr Amidu said such corrupt practice which was non-existent in the first and second parliament.
“…the response I received when I reported the two occasions of extortion to the then President was to be consoled by the fact that Parliament had made attempts to extort money from him when he nominated persons for appointment; he added that two of my colleagues even paid to be approved for their ministerial positions. I was shocked because such extortions never took place in the First and Second Parliaments that ended on 7th January 2001 when I was Deputy Attorney General,” Amidu said in his statement.
This is not the first time such allegation has been leveled against the House. The Member of Parliament of Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Bagbin in March 2014 at a seminar in Koforidua with representatives of 40 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) said some Members of Parliament (MPs) take bribes to articulate the views of some individuals and organisations on the floor of Parliament.
Mr Bagbin said it was not only individuals and organisations which were guilty of offering bribes, but governments (on both sides of the political divide) were equally guilty of greasing the palms of MPs to ensure that “controversial” policies were accepted by members.
“The reality is that MPs are Ghanaians and there is evidence that some MPs take bribes and come to the floor and try to articulate the views of their sponsors.
“This is because in Ghana we have not developed what we call lobbying. There are rules; there are ethics regarding lobbying and we in Ghana think that lobbying is taking money, giving it to MPs and writing pieces for them to go articulate on the floor. That is bribery,” he said.
Martin Amidu, who has heavily criticized the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government including some of its Parliamentarians in various public statements urged the 7th Parliament to eschew corruption.
He also charged the new legislators to be diligent and honest in the discharge of their duty and not be corrupt as previous parliaments have been.
He said the MPs must not be toe the line of the 5th and 6th parliament that passed laws and approved loans without due diligence.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana