Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Kweku Ricketts Hagan has outlined the modalities for the hearing of the three New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) who were referred to the committee for absenting themselves without permission.
He said on Tuesday May 24 that “On the 26th of May, we will meet with Henry Quartey, the 27th of May will be the turn of Adwoa Safo, and then on the 31st of May, we will meet with Kennedy Agyapong. We will discuss the modalities at today’s meeting.”
The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has referred Kennedy Agyapong, Assin Central, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya and Henry Quartey, Aywaso Central. for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission for more than fifteen sittings.
But during proceedings, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Asawase contested the Speaker’s ruling and said if the decision was allowed to stand, it would set a dangerous precedence which can be used by a “dictator speaker” in future to hurt lawmakers.
“If we allow this to stand it will become a precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.
It is recalled that Former Kumbungu Member of Parliament, Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to discipline these lawmakers for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.
In his petition, he said “It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio reports that some four Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Hon. Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West; and Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central have all absented themselves from Parliament for more
than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr. Speaker in writing.
“In view of this reported breach of the constitutional provision, I respectfully petition your high office to direct for their conduct to be referred to the Privileges Committee for consideration and necessary action.”