The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has been dragged before the Privileges Committee of Parliament for denigrating the image of parliament and allegedly calling parliament “a cheap, useless and foolish place”.
The Minority Chief Whip and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, who made the application at the tail end of sitting yesterday, for Kennedy Agyapong to be invited before the Privileges Committee for making sacrilegious comments against an important institution like parliament, said Kennedy Agyapong made those comments on Oman FM and NET 2 TV Station in Accra on Tuesday and he has the tapes.
Kennedy Agyapong is alleged to have taken on the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on the two stations for speaking his mind on the stance taken against Anas by him (Hon Agyapong) and said on air that ‘ parliament is a cheap, useless and foolish place, that is why people like Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has been made leader of the House’.
Mr Muntaka said Mr Kennedy Agyapong is one person and an Honourable MP who has been attacking people just like that on radio stations including colleague Honourable Members of Parliament.
He said parliament is a dignified place full of respected people in society and that Honourable Members ought to respect themselves and their colleague members in the House.
He said Mr Kennedy Agyapong does not feed any MP for him to go on radio to denigrate parliament and the image of parliamentarians particularly the Majority Leader who is the Leader of the House and also the Leader of Government Business.
Supporting the call for Assin Central MP to be invited before the Privileges Committee of Parliament, NDC MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, who was so angry with the comments made by Mr Kennedy Agyapong, said if parliamentarians are foolish then it means Ghanaians in the various constituencies who voted for them are also foolish.
“I don’t think the people of Assin Central are foolish to have voted for Honourable Kennedy Agyapong who is also a member of this Honourable House,” he said adding that Kennedy Agyapong ought to be hauled before the Privileges Committee to prove why he is saying ‘parliament is useless and foolish’.
“Maybe he has evidence to prove that parliament is a foolish place and if he is able to prove that then we will go with the tag as foolish parliament,” he said adding that if he is not able to also prove his assertion then the appropriate sanctions must be applied against him as a member of the House.
The Majority Chief Whip and MP for Sunyani East, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, said what is contemptuous is contemptuous no matter who said it and that until Kennedy Agyapong is given the opportunity to be heard by the Privileges Committee, he cannot be said to be guilty.
He, however, supported the call for him to be invited before the Privileges Committee to clear himself.
The MP for Wa West, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, said the House must apply the law fairly because people like Black Rasta and Prof Duodo were all dragged before the Privileges Committee for similar utterances and that the law is no respecter of any person.
The MP for Abuakwa South and Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, said Kennedy Agyapong who is an NPP MP cannot be defended on this comment because it goes to seriously undermine the integrity of an important institution like parliament.
Quoting from Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, the MP for Abuakwa South said that the Constitution seriously frowns upon any act or omission which affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce such a result that seriously constitutes contempt of Parliament.
He therefore endorsed the call by his colleagues for Mr Kennedy Agyapong to be dragged before the Privileges Committee to purge himself of the allegations.
He said the Assin Central MP will have the right to a lawyer and if he successfully purged himself of the allegations, he would go scot-free but if found culpable, then the appropriate sanctions must be applied.
The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding at the time, upheld the application by the Minority Chief Whip and said the allegations made by Mr Agyapong are very serious and will therefore have to appear before the Privileges Committee to purge himself.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr