Ken Agyapong contempt hearing: Majority Leader flays 3 MPs for late recusal notice

Ken Agyapong contempt hearing: Majority Leader flays 3 MPs for late recusal notice
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 09-07-2018 Time: 05:07:31:pm
Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong

Majority Leader in Parliament has taken a swipe at three New Patriotic Party legislators for failing to notify leadership of their decision to recuse themselves from a Privileges Committee sitting.

The MPs who hail from the Central Region did not tell Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu of their decision to recuse themselves in the contempt hearing against MP for Assin Central, Kenndey Agyapong.

Cynthia Morrison, MP for Agona West; Naana Eyiah, MP for Gomoa Central and Samuel Nsowa-Djan, Upper Denkyira West recused themselves because they have a close relationship with the contemnor.

Mr Agyapong has been dragged before the Privileges Committee for describing the Legislature as useless.

The Minority caucus described the attitude as one which is unbecoming of the controversial MP, saying his comment in the media repeatedly brings the name of Parliament into disrepute.

Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak has said the Minority has evidence that Mr Agyapong called Parliament "useless" and he will push for him to be dragged before the Committee.

But the three MPs said since respondent is the Caucus Chairman for the Central Region, they are in a difficult situation to investigate him hence their decision to step down.

Photo: Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu

Speaking on the Floor on Monday, Mr Mensah Bonsu said although it is within the MPs' right to recuse they ought “to have discussed the matter with the leadership of the caucus that they belong to, but that was not done.”

“The Committee ordinarily should have taken a decision on whether to accept their late request or not but they positioned themselves as if it is a fait accompli [they had no option], and that was a bit unfortunate,” he added.

According to him, the three have been invited by the leadership of the NPP in parliament and they have explained their reasons for their action.

He said the leadership accordingly after an extensive consultation nominated temporary members - MP for Adentan, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Jaman South MP, Yaw Afful and Ablekuma North MP, Akua Owusu Afriyie – to replace them.

“This is to enable the Committee to have the muscle to go full throttle in conducting the business given them,” he said.

He clarified that the three temporary members are only sitting on the case at hand after which they will be taken off. 

Commenting on the issue, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu, said the move by the MPs undermines the work of the Committee. 

"The Privileges Committee has become the disciplinary committee of the House, therefore, we should take its business more than we do," he said.

According to the Tamale Central MP, his colleagues must be serious with what they are required do as members of the Committee as they would if outsiders are found in contempt of Parliament.

"There should be equality before the law as a principle of natural justice means that the Standing Orders and our rules and laws of the land should be no respecter of person," he said. 

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