Ken Agyapong hauled before Parliament’s Privileges Committee – An action too little, too late

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It was refreshing on Wednesday when the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (MP, Asawase), taking advantage of the opportunity available under Order 53 (a) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, drew attention to comments attributed to the MP for Assin Central, Mr. Ken Ohene Agyapong, allegedly suggesting that the House was foolish to elect the current Majority Leader as Leader of the House.

For a legislator who has consistently taken to the media to make comments that are clearly acts that affronts the dignity of Parliament and directly/indirectly brings the name of Parliament into disrupt, as clearly provided for under Order 28 and 30 (2), it was shocking to me as a player within the civil society space to realise that the House had waited until now to do the needful.

Even when he had used very terrible words on many Ghanaians and officials of State, and had been on rampage attacking everyone who dares cross his path, including calling for the ace investigative journalist, Anas, to be hanged because he is corrupt, we saw very little from our Parliament – the very House that is expected to seek our interest as Ghanaians. I listened to both Hon. Muntaka and Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Majority Leader) on Citi Fm on Monday who in turns described Mr. Agyapong’s comments about Anas and other Ghanaians as “regrettable” and a “personal blistering attack”, yet could not commit to bringing up the matter in Parliament when asked by the Host of the Citi FM show. Yet less than 48 hours after their refusal to make commitments, our MPs have now been quick in changing their mind when the tough-talking MP now took the Leader of the House to the cleaners.

Does it mean some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than other Ghanaians?

I’m excited to see how the proceedings of the Privileges Committee (PC) will go.

A lot of questions run through my mind now and I will be observing keenly as a parliamentary monitoring person to find answers to the following questions;

1. Will Mr. Agyapong be given a treatment different from the other persons who have appeared in the past before the PC because he’s an MP? Eg. Will the PC’s sittings be in-camera or open to the cameras?

2. I am minded by the fact that the 1st Deputy Speaker who chairs the PC was the same person in the Chair as Speaker when the directive was given. Will he Chair the PC hearings?

3. Will Parliament take advantage of this situation to repair it’s image in the eyes of the ordinary Ghanaian?

We will be watching. Ghana will be watching!

Source: Sammy OBENG, Executive Director of PNAfrica

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