The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, has sent a notice to the Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, informing him to get prepared for a showdown when they meet at the Privileges Committees for hearing.
In the view of the maverick politician, he does not see the reason why the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker for Asewase will lodge a complaint with the Speaker for him to be dragged before the Privileges Committee for his alleged unsavoury remarks about the legislature.
Hon. Agyapong is expected to appear before the Hon. Joe Osei Owusu-led Privileges Committee on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, for a hearing over his alleged unsavoury remarks about Parliament.
He was dragged before the Committee following a complaint filed by the NDC MP for Asewase for allegedly calling the House a “cheap” and “useless” Assembly without which it wouldn’t have had its leader in the person of the Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
“Mr. Speaker, I have the video and tape here. Our colleague [Kennedy Agyapong] is referring to this House as a cheap and useless House and just to paraphrase that if this was not just useless, we will not have the like of our leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to be our leader. Mr. Speaker, I find this very offensive and unbecoming of a Member of Parliament and for the past week or so, he has been on rampaging of insults”, noted Hon. Muntaka in his complaint lodged on the floor of the House Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu who presided over the sitting, having listened to the Asewase lawmaker, and some other Members of the House, directed that Hon. Agyapong is hauled before the Privileges Committee to determine whether indeed he uttered those disparaging remarks about the legislature and recommend appropriate sanctions against him.
His ruling was based on Order 31 of the Standing Orders of the House which reads that “in all cases of proceedings where a complaint is made of a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament, Mr. Speaker may direct that the matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges”.
But the Assin Central lawmaker, Friday, June 22, 2018, in an interaction with some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps said he finds it very difficult to believe why Hon. Muntaka will lodge a complaint against him over his outburst when he hasn’t even listened to the audio recordings.
“Where did I insult Parliament? Then I responded to my leader which I have apologized that when he has a problem with me, he should call me and ask. If you have information why are you talking like this? I mean, we are in the same party and I will be in a radio station talking and my leader will condemn me and I said I respect him but I don’t like the way he tries to disrespect and when it comes to success, I don’t think he has done much than me that anytime he tries to discredit me. Is that an insult?”
“I said Parliament has become cheap and that is why the guy at Happy FM spoke that way, okay. I’ll repeat it because Parliament is cheap that is why Muntaka will put up that attitude without even a whole Member of Parliament – you don’t even listen to the tape and consume information and you just come to Parliament and say that I insulted Parliament. Let them play the tape – where I insulted Parliament.”
“Don’t even annoy me and I say worst things. I’m not scared of anybody, okay. I’m not and I repeat I’m not scared of anybody in this country. I made my life and I’m telling you – you see they consume information and that is the most dumb statement he has ever made. He is a dumb MP and now I take him on one-on-one. Let him go to the Privileges Committee that I Kennedy Agyapong says he is a dumb MP because he did not even listen to the context of the issue and just dragged the matter to … – where did I insult Parliamentarians? The guy rather insulted me and I responded that Parliament doesn’t give me money – how much – GH?11,000? I give ‘chop money’ more than that and that is what I said. And I said because we’ve made Parliament cheap that is why the guy could go to Happy FM and talk the way he spoke. Is it an insult to Parliament? If he is not a dumb MP – now I am saying it – if he is not a dumb MP, he wouldn’t have taken the thing to Privileges Committee because he did not even listen”.
“I am not scared of anybody. I am telling you because I am pissed. I respect Parliament and therefore I am going to be there [Privileges Committee] but Muntaka is a dumb MP. Let them play the tape for people to see where I am coming from. I respect people but if somebody will go to Happy FM and say that that MP I will never call him an MP and if he can’t stand Anas, he should go and live in Togo and you MP do not find anything wrong? That is a dumb MP. Now I am stressing it, he is a dumb MP and I’m not scared of anybody. They shouldn’t challenge me. I am restraining myself because of the Leader. If Muntaka wants a showdown with me, I will give him a showdown but I want to remind him during the vetting what he told me to go and tell Ursula.”