National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak has challenged the decision by the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin to refer three New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs to the privilege’s committee of Parliament.
Mr Bagbin during proceedings on Tuesday April 5 referred the NPP MPs after receiving a petition against them for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission for more than fifteen sittings.
The MPs are Kennedy Agyapong, Sarah Adwoa Safo and Henry Quartey.
But Muntaka contested the Speaker’s ruling and said if the decision is allowed to stand, it will set a dangerous precedence which can be used by a “dictator speaker” in future to hurt lawmakers.
“If we allow this to stand it will become precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.
But replying to Muntaka’s submission, the Speaker defended his decision saying “You don’t want speaker to be a dictator but you are prepared to create room for committees to be dictators. When the committee decides then that is it.
“The matter is before the House, it is not just before the Committee. I can’t come and sit here to declare a seat vacant without following a procedure.”
He added that the matter will be submitted to the House and the House will take a decision on its report.
“Privilege’s committee, you are so directed, handle the matter, report back to the House,” Mr Bagbin said.
This whole matter came up after a Former Kumbungu Member of Parliament, Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to discipline these lawmakers for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.
In his petition, he said “It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio reports that some four Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Hon. Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West; and Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central have all absented themselves from Parliament for more
than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr. Speaker in writing.
“In view of this reported breach of the constitutional provision, I respectfully petition your high office to direct for their conduct to be referred to the Privileges Committee for consideration and necessary action.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana