Parliament absolves Ken Agyapong: 'Go and sin no more'

Kennedy Agyapong

Kennedy Agyapong is the MP for Assin Central Constituency[/caption] Parliament has absolved Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency Kennedy Ohene Agyapong of any wrongdoing in a contemptuous case brought before its Privileges Committee last year. Though the Committee’s report had found Mr Agyapong guilty of contempt and even recommended his suspension, he was asked to “go and sin more”. The report of the Committee was read by Chairman Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is also the First Deputy Speaker. It was followed by a heated debate, leading to a suspension of proceedings for at least an hour. Mr Agyapong rendered an apology to the House, insisting he did not refer to Parliament as “useless”, in vernacular as accused. He explained that he has absolute respect for the House and that his reference to Parliament in that derogatory fashion was as a result of incessant aspersions cast on him by the First Vice Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region. According to him, the NPP regional executive had said his perennial criticism of Anas Aremeyaw Anas makes him undeserving of being a parliamentarian. He said the radio presenter – on whose programme he made the remark – had worsened the issue because he interrupted his sentence and “did not allow me to finish my statement”. “The moment I said ‘Parliament is cheap’, he didn’t allow me to finish and he cut it. What I meant was that if Parliament is not cheapened the First Vice Chairman will not go on air and insult me like that, a member of Parliament but the presenter cut it.” He admitted that even the fit of anger did not make him articulate his issues clearly. In pronouncing judgement, Speaker Mike Oquaye warned members to be careful in making statement that border on the dignity of the legsilative arm of government. He particularly advised Mr Agyapong not to give members the opportunity to regret the decision they have come to by allowing him to go without punishment.

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Was the Minority happy? The Minority in Parliament appeared taken aback by the option laid before them for the popular vote by the Speaker. Deputy Minority Leader James Klutse Avedzi said the Committee’s report clearly gave two options of a reprimand or a suspension as the recommended actions to take against the accused. The caucus was therefore surprised the Speaker wanted the apology to be considered for the accused to be unleashed. This triggered an uproar from both sides of the House. But Speaker Oquaye said: “I feel sad about the lack of patience when we are debating. Why can’t honourable members listen to one man on his or her feet and then you may get up and I will give you an opportunity to reply.” He threatened to slap contempt on some members as they consider a case of contempt against a colleague. Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed expressed sadness and disappointment in the decision reached. “I don’t intend to challenge it. I have nothing personal against him but I am disappointed because I thought that we are not helping our democracy with the way we are running our House.” Source: 3news.com|Ghana    ]]>