Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken Agyapong, has apologized for making alleged contemptuous comments about the legislature in public.
He rendered the apology after he was queried by the Chairman of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Joe Osei Wusu for reportedly describing Parliament as “useless and cheap.”
In his apology however, the NPP MP said: “I do not have a problem if Parliament feels offended. I apologize. I’m not a tin god..”
Despite the apology, the MP insisted that he described Parliament as cheap and not useless. This is in spite of the fact that a tape was played to the hearing of all present. Interestingly, the two words, which he is reported to have used in the local Akan dialect, have similarity in sounds, a situation that leaves it to interpretation depending on how one heard it.
Mr. Agyapong is reported to have described the House as “useless” for having Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu as its Majority leader on Accra-based Net2 TV, which belongs to the Assin Central MP. But Mr. Agyapong said he did not make this particular comment, and that the Minority Chief Whip who dragged him to the Privileges Committee erred.
“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 Assin Central MP said.
Despite the apology, the Committee will sit again to make a final determination on the matter.
Ken Agyapong’s bid to suspend Privileges C’ttee sitting falls flat
Before his apology today [Monday], the Assin Central MP failed in his bid to have the Privileges Committee suspend its inquiry into the matter.
He had written to the Committee urging it to suspend the sitting after he filed a motion to have the Speaker of Parliament rescind the referral of his case to the committee.
But Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, held that the mandate of the committee was to only inquire into the matter and not oversee a trial.
MPs recuse themselves on Ken Agyapong’s case
The first sitting in June ended inconclusively after three MPs from the Central Region on the Committee recused themselves over possible bias.
The MPs were Gomoa Central MP, Naana Eyiah Quansah; Agona West MP, Cynthia Morrison and Upper Denkyira West MP, Samuel Nsowah-Djan.
The three have subsequently been replaced on the committee from the Majority.
The replacements are Yaw Buaben Asamoah, Adentan MP; Yaw Maama Afful, Jaman South MP; and Nana Akua Afriyie, Ablekuma North MP.
Why Ayapong was hauled before Parliament
Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, filed a motion accusing Mr. Agyapong of making contemptuous comments about the House in public.
Mr. Agyapong was subsequently summoned to appear before Parliament’s Privileges Committee which addresses such matters.
Muntaka Mubarak, who engaged in a fierce media war with Kennedy Agyapong over the matter, appeared before the committee to give evidence to back his claims.
Following a media tirade from Kennedy Agyapong, Muntaka Mubarak called for the suspension of the Assin Central MP from Parliament.
Kennedy Agyapong had described Muntaka Mubarak as dumb for referring him to Parliament’s Privileges Committee over the purported insult.
He reiterated that Kennedy Agyapong’s conduct was unfit for someone in the legislature.
The committee subsequently established a prima facie case against Mr. Agyapong, hence his latest appointment with the committee.