You didn’t follow the right procedure–Afenyo Markin to Alban Bagbin
Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin says procedural process was not followed in the referral of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, to the Privileges Committee of Parliament.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban of S.K. Bagbin, on Wednesday directed the Privileges Committee to look into allegations of breach of parliamentary privileges against Mr. Agyapong.
It followed a submission by the NDC MP for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, that his colleague from the NPP had breached the privileges of parliamentarians for “continuously bringing the name of Parliament into disrepute through conducts that affront the dignity of the House.”
The tough-talking politician was said to have made statements that Multimedia Group have said amounted to threats on the life of one of its reporters with Luv FM in Kumasi, Erastus Asare Donkor.
Following Alhassan Suhuyini’s report, the Speaker, Mr. Bagbin, then exercised his discretion under Order 27 of the Standing Orders of the House and referred Ken Agyapong to the Committee on Privileges which is chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Wusu.
However, the Deputy Majority Leader is pointing to an error in the procedural process and prayed for the Speaker to request the applicant to ‘particulise’ the substance of the allegation of breach for a prima facie case to be established first before the referral, which request was turned down by the Speaker.
Mr. Afenyo-Markin said that the applicant, Alhassan Suhuyini, only made reference to a “supposed letter” from Joy FM to the police without procuring the substance of the breach of parliamentary privileges.
He cautioned that the House “may be sacrificing procedure” to create a “new path” that might set precedence for the future, but the Speaker ignored him, intimating that he was compelled by the circumstances to direct that the matter be referred to the Committee on Privileges for investigation and report to the House.
“This is my first time hearing this matter. As it is now, I am compelled to refer it to the Privileges Committee. It is a matter the Privileges Committee will have to go into and then report to the House, and it is for the House to decide whether the Honourable Member is contemptuous of the House,” the Speaker stated.
He continued, “In the circumstances, I direct that this matter be referred to the Committee on Privileges for investigation and report to the House, I so direct.”
Before Mr. Babgin’s ruling, the Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, had asked the Speaker to overrule the application for prima facie, saying, “I want to emphasise that it is the House that will take the decision.”