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Hearing on Ken Agyapong’s ‘useless’ claims suspended

Privileges Committee
The Privileges Committee sat on Tuesday

Parliament’s Privileges Committee probing contemptuous allegations brought against MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has been forced to adjourn sitting sine die.

The maverick legislator was dragged to the committee for allegedly calling his colleagues “useless”.

The MP for Asawase and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak reported his contemptuous conduct to the house and he was subsequently referred to the Privileges Committee.

READ: Insulting Parliament: Prima facie case established against Ken Agyapong

But when the Committee had its first public hearing on Tuesday, its attention was drawn to a letter, by counsel for the accused, purporting that some members on the committee have applied to recuse themselves but were present at the sitting.

Mr. Kennedy Agyapong was led in counsel by Alexander Afenyo-Markin and K.T. Hammond, both Members of Parliament.

Kennedy Agyapong
Kennedy Agyapong

Mr. Afenyo-Markin early on objected to the Committee sitting on a motion that was not seconded among others when it was laid on the floor of Parliament.

He therefore challenged the propriety of the Privileges Committee chaired by Joseph Osei Wusu to go into its merit when it did not follow the due procedure.

He quoted copiously from the House’s standing orders to buttress his point and prevailed on the chair to ensure that the right thing was done.

All the objections were overruled by the chairman who however informed Mr. Agyapong’s counsel that their objections would be noted down and incorporated into the Committee’s report.

The counsel was not satisfied and sprang a surprise on the committee with a letter, Mr. Afenyo-Markin claimed was authored by the Central regional caucus some of whom are members of the Committee who have communicated their intention step aside.

Members of the caucus said they cannot be part of such process against Mr. Agyapong who is their chairman.

Backed by his colleague counsel member, K.T. Hammond, the two put up a spirited defence on why that particular letter should be considered by the chairman despite his insistance that the letter was not admissible.

According to the chairman, the letter was not brought to his attention prior to Tuesday’s sitting, through the clerk to the committee.

The petitioner, Muntaka Mubarak who went to the committee without a lawyer had wanted to put in a word before the letter is considered by the committee, but he was not allowed.

The chairman would however yield to pressure from the accused’s counsel after the clerk was given a copy of the said letter.

After a tête-à-tête with the leadership of the committee, Mr. Osei Wusu announced that it was necessary for the Committee to suspend sitting.

This, he said, would enable the Committee to consider the document presented by the accused and communicate their decision later.

The chairman said a new date would be set for the hearing to continue.

Kennedy Agyapong was present but the outspoken MP observed absolute silence throughout proceedings without uttering a word.

By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana

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