Kennedy Agyapong dragged before privileges committee

Kennedy Agyapong

Kennedy Agyapong

Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken- nedy Agyapong, has been dragged before the Privileges Com- mittee of Parliament over alleged contemptuous utterances against the House and the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. The firebrand New Patriotic Party lawmaker was referred to the committee by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, in Accra yesterday following a motion moved by Mi- nority Chief Whip, Alhaji Moham- med-Mubarak Muntaka. Ahaji Muntaka, the member for Asawase said he had in his posses- sion an audio and video recording in which Mr. Agyapong referred to the House as a “cheap and useless” assembly. According Alhaji Muntaka, Mr Agyapong in the recordings said “if this House were not useless, they would not have the like of Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as its leader.” “Mr Speaker, I find this to be very offensive, unbecoming of a
Member of Parliament (MP) and for the past weeks, he has been on rampaging insults,” Alhaji Muntaka added. The 1992 Republican Consti- tution, the Minority Chief Whip said gave everyone the right to offer their views on national issues but such rights needed to be exercised responsibly. Alhaji Muntaka said Order 28 of the Standing Orders of the House stipulates when a person was in contempt of the lawmaking body. The Order states that “An act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the perfor- mance of its functions or which obstructs or impedes a member or officer of Parliament in the discharge of his duty or affront the dignity of Parliament or which tends to either directly or indirectly to produce, such a person may be in contempt of Parliament.” Order 30 (B) also states that; “Any act or omission which affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends to either directly or indirectly
bring the name of Parliament into disrepute is contempt of Parlia- ment.” “I think these comments and insults are not only to the Majority Leader but to many others and to Parliament. They are defamatory, libelous and contemptuous”, the Minority Chief Whip stated mov- ing that the Assin Central lawmak- er faced the Committee. Alhaji Muntaka received support from MPs for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, Tamale Cen- tral, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini,  Wa West, Joseph Yieleh Chireh and the Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Amey- aw Cheremeh for the maverick politician to be questioned. Mr. Akyea said if some of their colleagues decided to denigrate the House in any medium without any action taken against them, “then we are not worth to be in the House.” “The capacity to control your behaviour is evidence of maturity and if in the heat of anger, you want to denigrate this House and the leader and the rest of us, then it
is wrong”, he said. In the view of Mr. Akyea if Mr Agyapong had said that Parliament was an assembly of “buffoons”, then it should be investigated. “I used to defend him as an Attorney but on this occasion, this House is so big and important. I take my significance from here, so if somebody wants to besmear this House no matter how exalted that person is, I will not endorse it”, he said. Giving his ruling, Mr Osei-Ow- usu said the words attributed to Mr. Agyapong were clearly against Order 28 and provisions of Article 122 of the Constitution.  “In the circumstances, I direct that Mr Kennedy Ohene Ag- yapong, Honourable Member for Assin Central appears before the Privileges Committee for the committee to determine whether indeed he uttered those words which are attributed to him,” the Bekwai MP ruled.

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