The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye has rejected a request for the House to conduct an inquiry into the Airbus bribery scandal, saying the Office of the Special Prosecutor must be allowed to deal with the matter.
“As a House of debate, this House has competently, generally, dealt with this matter, considering the circumstances of this matter in its totality and the technical prerequisites for examining it in full and mindful of the referral already to the Special Prosecutor’s Office and not forgetting that at any time, this House can by any of its appropriate procedures go further into the matter. We will hold our horses by what I will rule now and we shall revisit it in due season,” Prof. Oquaye said.
The request for the House to take an action was presented by Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin South, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, urging members to set up a full-blown parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.
“Mr. Speaker, with due regard for the diligent commitment exhibited by President Akufo-Addo in respect of the judgment by the UK and USA courts in relation to the Airbus SE bribery scandal, as demonstrated by promptly charging the Office of the Special Prosecutor to collaborate with its UK counterpart to conduct inquiry into determining the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present and to take the necessary action required by Ghanaian law, I, in the spirit of patriotism, do accordingly implore the House to explore our legitimate option fortified by Order 191 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, to conduct inquiry into the matter, as an independent institution, to establish complicity or otherwise of Ghanaian government officials, past or present, relative to this Airbus bribery scandal,” the Assin South MP said.
However, the Speaker and other Members from both sides of the house, including Old Tafo MP Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, North Tongue MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, first Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu, Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini and the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu rejected such an action owing to the fact that the case has already been referred to the OSP.
Speaking to Starr News, the Assin South MP justified his request adding the ruling of the Speaker means the matter can be revisited in future.
“In my opinion, we could still run concurrent investigations, however I agree with the ruling of the Speakers that we suspend a parliamentary inquiry, not dismissing, standing down a parliamentary and observe the outcome of the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s inquiry and at any point in time when the House so determines that it’s necessary for a parliamentary inquiry may be conducted into the matter, it may so be decided,” he said.