Controversial Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who described Ghana’s parliament as “cheap and useless,” has been found guilty for contempt, and is to be suspended by the House.
The privileges committee which investigated the matter concluded in its report that “Mr. Ken Ohene Agyapong is indeed in contempt of parliament for the remarks he made that ‘Parliament is cheap’ and ‘parliament is useless’”.
Members of the entire House will in few minutes determine whether to accept the recommendation of the privileges committee and accordingly suspend the firebrand who is currently facing another contempt charge.
‘Cheap, useless parliament’
The MP in June last year while speaking on Adom FM and his own Oman FM, made the contemptuous comments against parliament and the majority leader Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka who filed a complaint against the MP on June 6, 2018, told parliament that he had audio and video recordings of Mr. Agyapong making remarks that put the name of parliament into disrepute.
He quoted the Assim MP as having said: “if this House were not useless, they would not have the likes of Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as its leader.”
But Mr. Agyapong denied the claims when he appeared before the privileges committee in July 2018, but after the videos were played to him, he admitted stating the House is cheap and apologized.
“If Parliament feels offended, I apologize. I apologize to Parliament; I don’t have a problem. I never said Parliament was useless. I only said Parliament was cheap (‘aye fo’). I admitted the word cheap, but not useless. I did not say that the Majority Leader was useless,” he said.
Why he ‘escaped expulsion’
The Committee explained it did not consider expulsion as a recommended sanction against the MP because he rendered an apology for his remark.
“The Committee noted the apology rendered by the member and therefore did not consider as a sanction to be imposed. The Committee was however in favour of either a reprimand or a suspension.
Members of the committee consequent put the two sanctions to vote but recorded split, hence resolved to leave that to the entire House to decide the appropriate sanctions.