Former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Mahama Ayariga has said he feels sorry his friendship with Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has been ruined following his allegation of bribery against the latter.
Mr Ayariga, on Friday 27 January, told Radio Gold in an interview that the Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu had given ?3,000 each to Minority members of the committee to approve the Minister of Energy nominee at the time.
He said the money was given to the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak for onward distribution to the members of the Minority, adding the Minority MPs initially accepted the monies thinking it was payment of their sitting allowance, but when they got to know it was monies from the Minister designate to bribe them, they returned the money.
The fallout from the allegations saw Mahama Ayariga charged with contempt of Parliament, and subsequently compelled to apologize for the bribery allegations he made against the committee, and the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who he said had offered the bribe to have his nomination for the portfolio passed.
Hon. Muntaka in an earlier interview few months ago on Starr Chat on Starr FM disclosed that he remains shocked over why his best friend and colleague MP for Bawku, Mahama Ayariga, could spread such damning falsehood about him.
“What I can tell you is that we were the best of friends,” Hon. Muntaka told host Bola Ray, adding “he was my best man during my second marriage and I was his best man but sometimes things happen and you can’t understand.”
Speaking on the same show Wednesday October 18, Hon. Mahama Ayariga said as painful as that episode has been he expects that with time he and Hon. Muntaka whom he describes as one of his best friends will once again have a strong bond.
”What happened really tested our friendship and of course naturally it hurt both sides, but with time it will heal and I think that’s the most important thing.
I regret the strain it put on my friendship with Hon. Muntaka and as I indicated with time there’ll be healing. But then I think that it has been a complex issue to talk about especially when you have the Speaker’s order that you should not talk about it. I’m going to work under this Speaker for the next three years and I want to be able to catch his eye anytime I stand up.