Kennedy Agyapong Faces Privileges C’ttee Today
Parliament’s Privileges Committee is set to commence public hearing on the contempt allegations against Kennedy Agyapong Member of Parliament for Assin Central.
The second hearing this morning follows the first which ended in June as a result three MPs from the Central Region on the Committee recusing themselves over possible bias.
The MPs are 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, namely Yaw Buaben Asamoah, Adentan MP; Yaw Maama Afful, Jaman South MP; and Nana Akua Afriyie, Ablekuma North MP.
Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak has dragged Mr. Agyepong before the committee over an alleged contemptuous statement by the Respondent,
The committee is expected to determine whether or not those comments were truly made, and if so whether they constitute contempt.
It may be recalled that lawyers for Mr. Agyepong at their first appearance before the committee secured a preliminary first round victory, urging the Committee to adjourn sittings to allow some members who had decided to recuse themselves from the case to do so.
The lawyers for the maverick Assin Central MP had also stated that the adjournment was necessary for the committee to follow due process in respect of the situation.
Lawyer for the respondent earlier raised objection to the use of the phrase ‘Respondent Contemnor’ by the Chairman of the Committee and prayed that same should be amended to ‘Respondent’, on the grounds that his client had not yet been convicted for the offence to warrant the description.
Counsel for the respondent raised four preliminary objections to the complaint.
He made the argument on the grounds that an alleged Graphic publication on June 6th, 2018 sought to attribute comments allegedly being prejudicial of the hearing to certain members of the Committee.
He added that the said publication had certain members of the Committee saying that the respondent has a case to answer, and that prima farcie case had been established against the respondent.
He therefore demanded that those members recuse themselves from the hearing.
He added that “when a matter is before a Committee for hearing, you don’t go behind the committee and make prejudicial comments” adding that the said publication had injured the reputation of his client.
On the second objection, Afenyo Markin, among others said the continuous participation of those members who made those prejudicial statements aforementioned would occasion bias and injustice against his client.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson