June 24, 2024
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Ejisu by-election: Why would I bribe election officials in public? – asks Kingsley Nyarko

The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Professor Kingsley Nyarko, has denied allegations that money he offered electoral officers during the Ejisu constituency by-election on Tuesday, April 30, was meant to bribe them.

The incident which was captured on camera, has since Tuesday afternoon when it emerged, been the talk of town, with the Electoral Commission immediately withdrawing the officers involved and handing the matter over to the police for criminal investigation.

In the video, Prof Nyarko is seen engaging in conversations with electoral officers, and at one stage as he moved to another table manned by some of the officers, he fished out a white envelope and offered it to the officers, who were apparently reluctant to take it. Prof Nyarko subsequently dropped the envelope on a table and left.

He has since told Joy FM that the envelope contained money he intended as a favour he was doing the election officials to use for lunch.

He said what he offered them could not be a bribe as he would not have dared to bribe election officials in an open space as happened.

Professor Nyarko asserted that if he had intended to bribe officials, he wouldn’t have done so in a public space.

“If I were to influence them, do you think I will do it in that public space? What I want to put on record is that I did not bribe anybody, I have not influenced anybody to vote or to do anything untoward for my candidate,” he said.

He further argued that individuals were free to interpret the event as they pleased, but his conscience was clear because he couldn’t influence EC officials who were “trained, honest, and disciplined to engage in any untoward actions in a public place.”

Professor Nyarko clarified that despite the widespread circulation of the video, he did not feel bad because he did nothing wrong. He added that he was aware that many individuals would dwell on the incident and spin it to suit their own narratives.

The legislator emphasised that he was a teacher of high repute and that his track record demonstrates his discipline and integrity.

Again, he said he will avail himself for investigations if the need be.

When questioned about his relationship with the EC officials that led to him handing them the envelope, he said, “So if I see you, do I have to know you before I do you a favour? …. So there should not be any relationship before [handing an envelop]. I have not influenced anybody negatively to turn the people in a certain direction.”

Meanwhile, he was optimistic that his candidate, Kwabena Boateng of the New Patriotic Party, would win convincingly.

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