14 February 2019

Ghana: Parliament Fails to Decide On Kennedy Agyapong's Contempt Case

PARLIAMENT once again failed yesterday to take a decision on the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, regarding his alleged contempt of the House.

The House had indicated it would act on the Privileges Committee's report on Mr Agyapong which established that he had called Parliament "useless" and "cheap."

But the House was unable to take that motion which was the sixth on the Order Paper, the activity schedule of the House for yesterday even though Mr Agyapong was in the chamber throughout proceedings.

It is unclear when the House will take the motion to reprimand or suspend Mr Agyapong.

He was dragged to the Privileges Committee by Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, in June 2018, for alleged contemptuous description of the House.

The Privileges Committee after investigating the allegation against Mr Agyapong, concluded that the MP was in contempt of the House and recommended that he be punished.

In its report authored during the second meeting back in June 2018, the Privileges Committee said it reached the conclusion after carefully considering the matter in the light of the totality of the evidence gathered and in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, the Standing Orders and other relevant enactments.

Should the Plenary agree with the recommendations of the Joseph Osei-Owusu-chaired Committee, Mr Agyapong could be reprimanded or suspended from Parliament.

An attempt by Mr Osei-Owusu to urge the House to hold on with the approval till the report of a second case against the Assin Central MP was shot down by Speaker, Aaron Mike Oquaye.

In Speaker Oquaye's view, once the first report was ready, it should be presented as the House waits for the second with a commitment to act on the report yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mr Agyapong is being queried by the Privileges Committee for allegedly inciting the public against slain Tiger Eye PI member, Ahmed Hussein-Suale.

He waged a campaign against Tiger Eye following the airing of the 'Number 12' which investigated corruption in Ghana football and called for violence against the late Hussein-Suale.

Mr Agyapong during the airing of a counter piece titled, "Who Watches the Watchman", splashed Ahmed's pictures on his Net 2 Television channel, disclosed his residential address and called on people to beat him anywhere they saw him.

Following the murder of the undercover journalist, Alhaji Muntaka hauled Mr Agyapong before the Committee, heightening the tension between them.

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