3 Privileges C’ttee members who recused themselves from Kennedy Agyapong case replaced

Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong

Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong

PARLIAMENT has found a replacement for the three Central Region lawmakers on the Privileges Committee who recused themselves from hearing a contempt case brought against Assin Central MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.

The new members of the committee in this contempt case in particular are Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Adenta MP; Yaw Afful, Jaman South and Nana Akua Owusu Afriyie, Ablekuma North.

Mr Agyapong is facing a contempt case brought against him by Asawase MP and Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, for calling Parliament a “cheap” House which has “useless” Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as its leader.

On the day the matter was to be heard substantively after the complainant, Alhaji Muntaka had presented his evidence to the Committee; three members of the Central Region Caucus recused themselves from the committee on the matter.

The recused legislators, all members of the governing New Patriotic Party, are Cynthia Morrison, Agona West MP; Naana Ayiah, Gomoa Central and Samuel Nsowa-Djan, Upper Denkyira West.

They argued in a letter that they could not sit on the matter involving Mr Agyapong, the Chairman of the Central Region Caucus, forcing the hearing to an abrupt end.

Announcing the new Committee Members in Parliament yesterday, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said though the members were permitted by Standing Order 164(1) to recuse themselves from the hearing “they ought to have discussed the matter with the leadership of the (Majority) Caucus they belong to but that was not done.”

Describing the turn of events as “unfortunate” the Suame MP said the leadership of the Majority side has, nonetheless, settled on the three first-term MPs to fill in the void created by the three who have excused themselves from the Committee.

By replacing them, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Committee would be given the “muscle” to start a full conduct of business referred to them, stressing that “this is not a full-scale replacement. The three (who recused themselves) will be reinstated after the work.

Without any objection to the new membership, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu wondered why the Committee could not continue with the hearing though there was quorum after the three recused themselves.

Noting that the Committee serves as a disciplinary working group of the House, the Tamale South MP said its work ought to be taken “much more seriously than we do” to instil the needed discipline in members.

With this hurdle cleared, the Joseph Osei-Owusu chaired Committee is expected to continue the hearing of the matter.

It is, however, unclear when the Committee, which suspended sitting indefinitely, would reconvene to continue with the matter.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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