The Privileges Committee of Parliament has established that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, has a case to answer regarding his alleged contemptuous remarks against Parliament and the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. The committee came to that determination after taking evidence from the witness, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, at a pre-hearing meeting in Accra Tuesday.
Consequently, the committee has fixed July 3, 2018, as the date for Mr Agyapong to cross examine Alhaji Muntaka on the evidence he provided to the committee.
The meeting was held in camera, which meant that journalists did not sit in the meeting.
In fact, journalists were ready with their pens and cameras to capture the event but the Chairman of the committee, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, said since it was a pre-hearing meeting, the journalists should excuse the committee.
Mr Agyapong was dragged before the Privileges Committee of Parliament over his purported contemptuous utterances against Parliament and the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, referred Mr Agyapong to the Privileges Committee following a motion moved by Alhaji Muntaka.
Ahaji Muntaka said he had an audio and video in which Mr Agyapong referred to the House as a cheap and useless assembly.
He said Mr Agyapong had stated in the audio and video that: â€œif this House were not useless, they would not have the like of Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as its leader.”
After the meeting, a member of the committee, Mr Sampson Ahi, told journalists that the committee had determined that there was merit in the complaint.
Therefore, he said, the committee had decided to invite both Mr Agyapong and Alhaji Muntaka to appear before it for cross examination.
The Member of Parliament for Kumbungu and a friend of the committee, Mr Ras Mubarak, who sat in the meeting, told journalists that the committee had indeed established a prima facie case against Mr Agyapong.
“The committee thinks that he is in breach of Article 112 of the Constitution, the Standing Orders of Parliament and Code of Conduct of MPs”, he said.
Speaking with journalists, Alhaji Muntaka said he had substantiated all that he had said about the contemptuous remarks by Mr Agyapong with video recordings and documents.
“They looked at it. Fortunately because we have a video, we played and everybody heard what is in it.
“I have done my part. They have asked me questions. I have answered all the questions. I am done. It is for the committee to determine what I have put before them and what they themselves have seen amount to what I proposed on the floor being contemptuous”, he said.
Alhaji Muntaka said he made reference to the Constitution and the Standing Orders and indicated that some members of the committee also quoted certain sections of the Code of Conduct for MPs.
He said My Agyapong’s description of Parliament as cheap or useless, his choice of words about the Majority Leader and his attack on the public “all put together leave a lot of questions than answers.”
He expressed the hope that looking at the tape and listening to its content as well the conduct of Mr Agyapong, “I want to believe that the committee will come to that determination and probably open up the public discussion.”
Mr Agyapong’s appearance
Before the meeting, the impression was that Mr Agyapong would also be appearing before the committee together with Alhaji Muntaka.
But the Vice Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Mr Andrew Kofi Egyapa, told journalists the committee had not extended any invitation to Mr Agyapong.