Privileges C'tee suspends Kennedy Agyapong's ‘contempt’ hearing

Privileges C'tee suspends Kennedy Agyapong's ‘contempt’ hearing
Source: Ghana|| Oswald K Azumah|
Date: 03-07-2018 Time: 07:07:27:pm
Kennedy Agyapong is before the Privileges Committee for alleged contempt comments against Parliament

The Privileges Committee of Parliament has suspended hearing into alleged contemptuous comments by Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong.

The decision is to enble the committee to be reconstituted after some members recused themselves from the hearing.

Lawyer for Mr Agyapong, Afenyo Markin submitted the letter during the hearing; stating that some members of the committee wished to recuse themselves.

The members are Cynthia Morrison, Nsowah-Djan Samuel and Naana Eyia. They excused themselves from the hearing because, Mr Agyapong is the leader of the Central Region caucus, a caucus they belong to.

Mr Markin and KT Hammond, both of whom are lawyers for Mr Agyepong, also raised concerns about the fact that some members of the committee are conflicted, having already made public comments on the case. 

The First Deputy Speaker of the House, Joseph Osei Owusu, who is the Chairman of the committee, had earlier raised concerns that the said letter was not brought to his attention neither had the clerk of Parliament received it before the defence raised it at the hearing but he finally admitted it.

Osei Owusu MP

Joseph Osei Owusu

While this was ongoing, Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, who raised the contempt issue in Parliament, requested to speak but Mr Osei Owusu disallowed his request on grounds that he [Muntaka] was just a witness before the committee and he will be allowed to speak when the need be.

Joy News' Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported that, the committee went into a closed door session to decide what next after the chairman suspended sitting. After the meeting, Vice Chairman Andrew Agyapa Mercer disclosed that a decision has been taken to suspend the public sitting until speaker and leadership has reconstituted the committee.

He added that the Minority Chief Whip was unhappy with the turn of events.

Muntaka Mubarak1.jpg

Muntaka Mubarak

The Speaker has also advised the committee members and friends of the committee to desist from publicly commenting on the issue to avoid prejudice.

Outspoken MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong was hauled before the Privileges Committee of Parliament after Muntaka Mubarak accused him of making derogatory comments about the Majority Leader and parliament as a whole.

Mr Agyapong has since denied the allegations; saying that he never said Parliament was useless.

“What I said was Parliament is cheap,” he said.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP was speaking on his Accra based Akan radio station, Oman FM.

He was reacting to the recent exposé by undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas which detailed corruption in the football circles of Ghana.

Mr Agyapong accused Anas of double standards and said the journalist should release the investigative piece he has done on Parliament.