The Parliamentary committee examining alleged contemptuous comments by Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong suspended sitting on Tuesday following objections raised by Mr. Agyapong’s lawyers.
Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu suspended sitting because Mr. Agyapong’s lawyers claimed among other things that some members of the committee had recused themselves from the hearing.
According to them, per the standing orders, chairman of the committee is to suspend sitting, inform the leadership of Parliament while replacements are made.
Mr. Agyapong’s lawyers, Afenyo Markin and K.T Hammond, also submitted letters from the members involved to the committee.
They also argued that some members of the committee had made some prejudicial comments and as such are not to be allowed to be part of the sitting.
During the sitting, Afenyo Markin referred to the letter signed by three MPs on the committee from the Central Region, who had all sought to be excused from the session, but the Chairman of the Committee; Joseph Osei Owusu, contended that the letter had not been formally tabled before the committee and therefore could not be considered.
However, after further deliberations, Joseph Osei Owusu announced that the letter had been sent in through the clerk although he overruled the other objections raised by the counsel for Kennedy Agyapong.
Joseph Osei Owusu
He subsequently informed the audience that the committee had to curtail the public hearing of the matter to move into a private sitting to take a decision on the letter.
Last month, Mr. Agyapong reportedly described Parliament as “useless” for having Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu as its Majority leader.
The comments compelled the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, to file a motion that led to Kennedy Agyapong being referred to the Privileges Committee.
Last week Tuesday, Muntaka Mubarak, who subsequently engaged in a fierce media war with Kennedy Agyapong over the matter, appeared before the committee to give evidence to back his claims to get Mr. Agyapong sanctioned.
The committee subsequently established a prima facie case against Mr. Agyapong, hence his appointment with the committee today [Tuesday].
Muntaka Mubarak had earlier said in a Citi News interview that he believes Kennedy Agyapong must be suspended for his utterances.
“I strongly believe that Parliament should suspend this gentleman for the rest of the year. He doesn’t deserve to be sitting in the House,” Muntaka Mubarak said on Eyewitness News last week.
Muntaka Mubarak had earlier said an apology from Kennedy Agyapong would settle the matter.
“If he appears and he apologizes, I am sure it will end there, but if he appears and he is going to flex there, then obviously, it will go through the full haul.”