The Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka, has initiated contempt proceedings against the Member of Parliament for Effiduase-Asokore,Frank Boakye Agyen, for suggesting that the Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, was influenced to rule against the motion filed by the Minority which called for investigations into the Merchant Bank and Fortiz deal.
Just when sitting was about to end yesterday, Alhaji Muntaka, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, drew the attention of the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, who was in the Speaker’s Chair at the time, of the contempt proceedings and sought to have action taken against the member but Mr Barton-Odro said since the allegations were against Mr Adjaho, it would be appropriate if it was raised at the time Mr Adjaho himself was in the chair.
Mr Agyen is said to have, on a programme on Joy FM, alleged that Mr Adjaho would have ruled in favour of the Minority group and was actually in the process of doing so until the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Hanna Tetteh, intervened.
He is alleged to have said that just when Mr Adjaho begun proceeding in a direction which clearly pointed to the fact that he agreed with the Minority, Ms Tetteh rose from her seat and whispered something into the ear of the Speaker, .
What Ms Tetteh whispered, he alleged, was a message from certain persons in government, a situation which led the Speaker to adjourn for an hour to reconsider his decision.
Alhaji Muntaka told the Daily Graphic that he was on a programme with Mr Agyen when he made that allegation and felt that he was under an obligation to initiate the proceedings against him.
“I am convinced that the statement is contemptuous and I believe he should be made to appear before the Privileges Committee to answer for those statements,” he said.
He said the rules on contempt of Parliament were very clear and if any member disagreed with the Speaker, he or she needed to follow the rules and guidelines on disagreeing with the Speaker.
To suggest that he was influenced and doing so on a radio station, in his opinion, was contemptuous of the Speaker and the House.
“My purpose for initiating contempt is not to damage him. I am only concerned with the way we are carrying out our politics in this country. Ghanaians are beginning not to take us seriously because of this and if we are not careful, things will degenerate,” he said.
He expressed the hope that any punishment meted out to Mr Agyen would serve as a deterrent to MPs who make false allegations on air against the leadership of the House..
According to the Standing Orders of the House, sanctions for MPs guilty of contempt of Parliament range from being made to render an apology on the floor of House to suspension from the House for a number of days.
Source: Daily Graphic
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