14:02, 27.Aug 2018
If Parliament decides to merely suspend, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Assin Central Member of Parliament after finding him guilty of contempt, it would be like “just asking a truant student not to come to school,” Odekro, a Parliamentary research group has observed.
According to Odekro, Parliament would not have meted out enough punitive measure against Mr Kennedy Agyapong if it decides to suspend him for the rest of the year’s sitting without making financial deduction from his salary.
The Head of Research at Odekro, Mr Ernest Armah Ashietey made the observation in a radio interview on Accra based Starr FM on Friday.
The Privileges Committee of Parliament concluded that the Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong was indeed in contempt of Parliament for the remarks that "Parliament is cheap" and "Parliament is useless."
Accordingly, the Committee has recommended that Mr Kennedy Agyapong, should be sanctioned by "suspending him for the rest of this Session or reprimand him," Graphic Online has gathered.
It has been gathered that the Committee members were divided as to the kind of punishment to be meted out to Mr Agyapong. Whilst some were of the view that he should be reprimanded, others thought he should be suspended.
This means that if the House goes ahead to adopt the recommendations of the Privileges Committee, Mr Agyapong could be suspended from Parliament for the rest of this year (2018 session) or reprimanded.
Commenting on the development in a radio interview on Accra based Starr FM on Friday, Mr Ernest Armah Ashietey, the Head of Research at Odekro said their findings have shown that Mr Agyapong was someone who was not regular at Parliamentary meetings.
Therefore merely suspending him and asking him to stay away will not be deterrent enough.
“From where we’re standing, we at Odekro believe that to a large extent the sanction is inconsequential. Because checking the records, Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong has not been very punctual on the floor of Parliament and he hardly participates in Parliamentary activities. He has been consistently absent from Parliamentary proceedings from the fifth Parliament to the current one,” Mr Ashietey told Starr FM.
“So this decision we think is not biting enough unless they’re saying that his suspension is going to attract some financial deduction from his salary and benefit as a Member of Parliament that would be understandable and that will make more sense. But just suspending him from this session of Parliament is like telling a truant student to stop coming to school. It will not amount to anything.”
However he added: “To be fair to honourable Ken Ohene Agyapong, some information we’ve picked from his constituency suggests to us that he happens to very good in terms of ensuring that there is local development in his constituency, so he has this great rapport with his constituents and they like him, they love him.”
“But his conduct as a Member of Parliament in the House is a different matter altogether and if we are taking a decision, it should be a decision that will have an effect in the future so that, in the coming years, if an MP also misbehave in a similar manner, the sanction will bite, and actually make an impact to serve as a deterrent to other MPs," Ashietey added.
Source : graphic.com.gh