New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Sekondi and Vice Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has refuted accusations that Parliament is trying to protect its own in the matter of contempt brought against MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, the MP said Kennedy Agyapong’s utterances had nothing to do with corruption, and that he’s not being protected by the house as some have suggested.
“What he is saying is that he is not against corruption, but the individual conducting the investigation and damaging the reputation of others has questions to answer and that he is in possession of tapes that were made by Anas and his team that put him in a certain light and he thinks that those should be exposed for people to draw their conclusions. How does that amount to parliament protecting its own and not committed to the fight against corruption?”
Kennedy Agyapong has been hauled before Parliament’s Privileges Committee for comments he allegedly made that suggested that the house was “useless” for having Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu as its Majority Leader.
The alleged comments compelled the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, to file a motion that led to him being referred to the committee.
On Tuesday, July 3, 2018, the Committee sat for the witness to give their testimonies, but Kennedy Agyapong’s defence team, led by K.T Hammond, raised some issues that caused the sitting to be indefinitely suspended.
Mr. Agyapong’s lawyers, Afenyo Markin and K.T Hammond, submitted letters from some members of the committee to the Chairman of the Committee, saying those individuals had requested to recuse themselves from 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 since in their wisdom, their closeness with Mr. Agyapong would constitute conflict of interest.
The Chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, after an initial objection with the excuse that the letter had not been formally tabled before the committee, eventually suspended sitting after the letters were made available to the committee.
The Committee is expected to decide on the letter after which the sitting will resume for the publich hearing to continue.
Muntaka and Agyapong exchange words in the media
Kennedy Agyapong and Muntaka Mubarak before the committee sitting, have verbally attacked each other on various media platforms.
Kennedy called the Minority Whip “dumb” for referring him to Parliament’s Privileges Committee over the purported insults. He said the referral was based on comments that were taken out of context.
“A whole member of parliament, you don’t even listen to the tape and you consume information and just come to parliament and say that I have insulted parliament. Let them play the tape,” the MP for Assin Central said.
Parliament is ready ready to forgive – Muntaka Mubarak
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, however said that he is willing to fully assist with the work of the privileges committee.
He also said Mr. Agyapong was not fit to be MP and that he should be suspended.
“If he appears and he apologises, 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.”
By: Jeffrey Owuraku Sarpong/citinewsroom.com/Ghana