Parliament’s Privileges Committee is hearing the case involving Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, in camera.
Class 91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Annan, reported that the committee issued a statement that the hearing will be done out of public view.
Mr Agyapong is facing the Committee today, Tuesday, 26 June, for allegedly describing the law-making body as a “useless” entity and also denigrating Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
Mr Agyapong’s alleged insult was reported to the house by Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, and the Speaker subsequently referred the matter to the Privileges Committee.
Since then, there have been heated exchanges between Mr Agyapong and Mr Mubarak, who, on Friday, said it was high time he put “some sense” into the head of the maverick Assin Central MP, who doubles as the Chairman of the Communication Committee of parliament, and also made him understand that he does not own Ghana and cannot go about insulting and denigrating every human being just because he thinks he is rich.
“It’s about time”, Mr Muntaka said: “That somebody knocked some sense into his head because he thinks that this country belongs to him and this country doesn’t belong to him, you have the right to make your views in the strongest terms that you can, but you don’t have the right to be insulting people all around”, the Asawase MP said in response to Mr Agyapong’s description of him as a “dumb MP”.
Mr Agyapong had earlier told journalists on Friday that the Minority Chief Whip was a dumb legislator who took his comments out of context. He also threatened to expose Mr Muntaka as far as certain comments he allegedly made about Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, are concerned.
Responding to Mr Agyapong’s insults, Mr Muntaka waxed philosophical, saying the NPP politician, who always boasts about his wealth, is “rude” and “poor” because he has “no value” to his life.
He told Umara Sanda Amadu of Accra-based Citi FM that: “I don’t think anybody is afraid of him because nobody eats from his home, and for him to say: ‘If I dare him…’, I’m daring him now, he should say anything because he’s never been a friend …”
He continued: “That’s a rude person because everything he has is about money, and you know, when all the things that you have on this earth is about money then you are very poor, he’s a very poor person but he doesn’t know, he’s throwing his weight all around that he’s rich, rich in what, money? Ask any wise person: If all you have is money, then you are very poor. So, nobody eats from his home, nobody is afraid of him, I think that what he has done is a contempt to parliament”.
Mr Muntaka also threw a challenge to the Assin Central MP, saying: “I dare him, if he thinks he’s a man, he should meet me in the corridors of parliament and try to misbehave towards me and the whole world will hear us. I grew up [in] the jungle where every day we wrestle and I can’t come to Accra and be afraid of anybody, not even somebody like him Hon. Ken. …If he is a man, he should just meet me in the corridors of parliament and try to misbehave towards me and the whole world will hear us. I’m not afraid of him, and I don’t think anybody in that house is afraid of him”.
He added: “You know how we behave in the zongo, we have a common proverb that you are very much aware of: ‘You don’t cheat but you don’t allow anybody to cheat you’; ‘you don’t start the fight but you won’t allow anybody to bring it to you and you walk away’”.
“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 throwing insults at everybody when he is a member of parliament, we need to take that privilege off him so that people can deal with him as a street person because he doesn’t regard anybody … He is the poorest man in this country because all he has is money. He has nothing. Go to the streets and ask the ordinary person whether they see him with value, all he has is money”.