Debates of 14 Feb 2019

PRAYERS 10:14 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:14 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday 13th February, 2019. Any correction, Hon Members?
Mr Speaker 10:14 a.m.
Hon Members, we have Official Report of Thursday, 13th December, 2019. Any corrections please?
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 13th December, 2018.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:14 a.m.
    Hon Members, item num- bered 3, Questions.
    Question number 508, which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Keta is directed to the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.
    Hon Minister, you may take your seat.
    Mr Speaker 10:14 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, you may proceed.
    Mr R. Acheampong 10:14 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question stands in the name of Hon Quashigah but he is not readily available and he has asked me to ask the Question on his behalf.
    Mr Speaker 10:14 a.m.
    All right.
    Mr Richard Acheampong 10:14 a.m.
    Thank you for the indulgence.


    LABOUR RELATIONS 10:14 a.m.

    Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Ignatius B. Awuah) 10:14 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to submit that based on data sourced from the Controller and Accountant-General's Department, thirty- eight thousand, nine hundred and forty (38,940) public sector workers retired from active public service between 2016 and 21st December, 2018.
    The breakdown is as follows:
    SPACE FOR TABLE, 10.14 A.M. - PAGE 2
    Mr R. Acheampong 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister if government is putting in place any measures to absorb the youth. This is because we have unemployment issues at hand.
    So since we know that at least 38,940 public sector workers have retired, are we replacing them or a number similar to that in order to reduce the unemployment rate in the country?
    Mr I. B. Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, even though there is a general freeze on employment, the freezing allows for net replacement. So all these people who have retired, have accordingly been replaced.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr R. Acheampong 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am done.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, we would proceed to Question numbered 509, which stands in the name of the Hon Kobena Mensah Woyome, addressed to the same Hon Minister.
    Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would like to ask the Question on behalf of my Hon Colleague, the Hon Woyome.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Hon Member, you may proceed.
    Government's Plan on the Integration of Recently Exited Personnel of the
    Security Module of NYEA into Security Agencies
    509. Mr Kwame G. Agbodza (on behalf of Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome) asked
    the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations the Government's plan to integrate the recently exited personnel of the security module of the National Youth Employment Agency programme into the security agencies.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr I. B. Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to indicate that the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is currently in discussion with the Ghana Police Service on the possibility of giving priority recruitment slots to the recently exited personnel under the Security Module of the Agency in future recruitment exercises by the Ghana Police Service.
    The initiative by the Agency is quite challenging as the Ghana Police Service, more often than not, has limited space for recruitment in terms of numbers.
    The Ghana Police Service standards are also different from that of the YEA. It is to be noted however, that the YEA churns out numbers over and above what the Ghana Police Service can accommodate.
    In that regard, may I appeal to Hon Members to add their voices to this call to ensure that a larger number of the recently exited personnel of the Security Module of the Agency are placed on the Police recruitment schedule?
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Agbodza 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Minister for the Answer.
    Mr I. B. Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I indicated that efforts have been made, and it is from these efforts that we got to know that their standards are slightly different from the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) standards.
    So going forward, what we may have to do is that, in recruiting anybody into the module, we would have to ensure that at least, they have the minimum requirement to enter the Ghana Police Service, so that when it comes to graduating from the YEA into the Ghana Police Service, it would not be difficult.
    Mr Agbodza 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister, if he would consider bringing a legislation into this House to make it easier for a known progression, provided the people go through the YEA and then they can be certified that at least, having done well to an extent -- I would want to know if there would be a legislation to give them that clear progression into the Ghana Police Service.
    Mr Baffour Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot give a commitment now, but we would engage and if in the process of engagement, it becomes necessary that we take that particular step, then we would do so. Why not?
    Mr R. Acheampong 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, we all know as a people that before one can be engaged to work with the Youth Employment Agency, this kind of partisan politics come in to play. So if we are to migrate these people into the national security institutions, then are we not infiltrating the National Security with party apparatchiks?
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr I.B. Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, YEA personnel are Ghanaians, and they are recruited in their capacities as Ghanaians, not in their capacities as members of any political party.
    Mr James Klutse Avedzi 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister, if the discussion he is talking about, which is currently on-going between the Ghana Police Service and the YEA would result into a situation where the recruitment into the Ghana Police Service could be limited to only the YEA personnel or only a percentage, so that those people who do not go through the YEA would also have the opportunity of being recruited.
    Mr Baffour Awuah 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the discussion is that a percentage of the beneficiaries under the YEA programme would be recruited into the Ghana Police Service.
    The advantage that the Ghana Police Service would have in getting a section of their personnel from the YEA team is that, the YEA personnel are already trained by the Police, so in terms of cost and getting them to comply with drill and tactical skills, it would be easier for those who have already been on the YEA security module to be migrated into the Police Service.
    Mr Speaker, however, having a wholesale transfer to the Ghana Police Service would not be possible.
    Indeed, we are looking at even the Ghana Police Service, ceding from initial start, maybe 20 per cent of the people that they are going to recruit from the YEA. We do not want to ask for too much.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
    Again, thank you very much for attending to the House and Answering our Questions.
    Is the Hon Hon Minister for the Interior ready?
    Mr Nyindam 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for the Interior has been invited by the Commission of Inquiry, and he has indicated to us to Answer this Question, God willing tomorrow morning. So if we could --
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    You said that the Hon Minister has been invited --?
    Mr Nyindam 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has been invited to attend to the Commission of Inquiry this morning. So he has indicated to Answer this Question, God willing, tomorrow morning; so if we could take it tomorrow morning.
    Mr Speaker 10:24 a.m.
    Hon Members, this Question would be asked tomorrow morning, but Hon Majority Whip, it is the Commission of Inquiry on what?
    Mr Nyindam 10:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is public knowledge that the President has established a Commission of Inquiry to look into what happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon. So I am sure it is in relation
    Mr Speaker 10:34 a.m.
    Hon Majority Whip, this business has been going on for some time. In future, I would suggest that you advice any such Hon Minister to attend to the Business of the House and go for example, tomorrow to the Commission.
    He does not have to be the first person to appear nor the last. These are all ways and means of insisting on the position of Parliament.
    If it is Parliament's Commission of Inquiry, then fine, but the Hon Minister could have also attended to our Business today, and go there tomorrow, or even in the afternoon. In future, such Hon Ministers should be advised accordingly.
    It is just right in the circumstances. So that would be tomorrow.
    That ends Question time.
    Item numbered listed 4 -- Statements.
    Hon Members, I have admitted two Statements this morning. Reading the two would give Hon Members the opportunity to know where they might want to contribute to.
    The first is in the name of the Hon Member for Mfantsiman on towards smooth implementation of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2006 (Act 609) in the 2020 Elections and the other by the Hon Member for Tamale Central, Hon Inusah Fuseini on the coronation of Yaa -Naa Mahama Abukari II as king of Dagbon.
    Hon Fuseini, you may start.
    Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 10:34 a.m.
    From the onset, let me register my gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make this Statement of historic significance on the Floor of this august House, to congratulate Ndan Yaa- Naa Mahama Abukari II, King of Dagbon on behalf of the Northern Caucus of Parliament.
    Mr Speaker, the Dagbon Kingdom, which was founded in the 15th Century is one of the ancient kingdoms in Ghana. The Dagbon Kingdom, like many other Kingdoms has experienced a number of challenges over time.
    Mr Speaker, for good reason, I do not want to dwell on any of the unfortunate incidents in the recent past, safe to say that Dagbon has always risen after it faced any challenge.
    Mr Speaker, in the 17th Century, Dagbon had serious challenges when there were several claimants to the kingship.
    Thankfully, as if that was anticipated, it is the custom of Dagbon that if such situation ever arises, the contenders should proceed to Mamprugu for a settlement. Dagbon, Mamprugu, Nanung and Moshie Kingdoms have the same great ancestor and are all sons of Dagbon. Around 1648, the many aspirants headed to the Nayiri, King of Mamprugu who settled on Naa Zangina.
    The King of Mamprugu also made consequential orders which have become binding on Dagbon till today. The wise King ruled that henceforth aspirants to the Dagbon Kingship should be
    occupants of Savelugu, Karaga and Mion. All the numerous contenders pledged their support to Naa Zangina.
    Mr Speaker, shortly after assuming the Kingship of Dagbon, the Kingdom had some challenges with its neighbours and the Ya-Na, Naa Zangina thought it wise to move the capital of Dagbon from Yen Dabari to its present location today, Yendi. This major incident was accepted by all the chiefs and people of Dagbon.
    Again, Mr Speaker, in 1888 the Dagbon Kingdom was divided between the British and Germans in what historians termed British Dagbon and German Dagbon. Tamale was part of British Dagbon and Yendi was with German Dagbon. After some years, the divided Kingdom came back united.
    Mr Speaker, realising the need to document its history, custom and method of selecting and enskinning chiefs, including the position of the Yaa-Naa, the chiefs of Dagbon held a special conference in Yendi, dubbed Conference of Dagomba Chiefs, from 21st to 29th November, 1930 to enquire into and record the constitution of the State of Dagbon.
    The Conference recorded the history of Dagbon, the boundaries of Dagbon land, the chiefs, the hierarchy of the various chiefs among others.
    The 1930 Dagbon constitution is the most comprehensive document about the Dagbon history, tradition and custom. There have since been a few amendments to this important document.
    Mr Speaker, Dagbon has gone through a number of judicial decisions, including Commissions of Inquiry right up to the apex Court, where in 1986 the Supreme Court pronounced on the Namship of Dagbon.
    Mr Speaker, I deliberately traced these instances of Dagbon history to remind my brothers and sisters that when we stand united and are committed to peace, we can overcome any challenge.
    Mr Speaker, the biggest challenge that hit the Dagbon Kingdom in modern history is the unfortunate incident in 2002. An incident that left the Kingdom without a substantive King until January this year. May the king, Yaa-Naa Yakubu rest in peace.
    Mr Speaker, following the roadmap that was agreed to by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs .and with the cooperation of the chiefs and people of Dagbon, the funerals of Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV and that of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II were successfully performed in December, 2018 and January 2019 respectively.
    On 18th January, 2019 the kingmakers of Dagbon selected the then Chief of Savelugu, Yoo Naa Mahama Abukari as the new King of Dagbon under the skin name Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari II.
    Mr Speaker, Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari II was born in Yendi in 1938. Naa Abukari is the son of Yaa-Naa Mahama II and grandson of Yaa-Naa Andani II. Naa Abukari is not just a royal but one with special gifts. He is a skilful horseman and a successful farmer.
    Mr Speaker, prior to assuming the Dagbon Kingship, Naa Abukari was first enskinned chief of Kpunkpano. From there, he was elevated to a paramountcy of Savelugu.
    On 25th January, 2019 the chiefs and people of Dagbon were delighted to witness the coronation of the new Ya-Na,
    marking the dawn of a new era. The coronation ceremony was beautifully attended by not only the sons and daughters of Dagbon, but by many well- wishers in Ghana and beyond.
    Mr Speaker, my Statement would not be complete if I fail to commend certain persons and institutions for their diverse contributions towards the restoration of peace in Dagbon.
    I commend the President of Ghana, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as well as former Presidents of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufour, John Evans Atta Mills and last but not the least, John Mahama for the various roles they played in this noble endeavour.
    Mr Speaker, I extend my deepest appreciation to the traditional authorities, especially the Committee of Eminent Chiefs comprising the Otumfuo, Nayiri and Yagbonwura, of the Ashanti, Mamprugu and Gonja Kingdoms respectively.
    Indeed, the people of Dagbon shall forever remain indebted to them for crafting the Dagbon Peace Roadmap. I also thank the National House of Chiefs for their support. Equally, I thank the chiefs of Dagbon for their cooperation in attaining this enviable feat.
    Mr Speaker, let me also thank the security services for keeping the peace during those trying moments. I express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the religious leaders, civil society groups and the entire people of Ghana for the support, sympathy and encouragements they gave the people of Dagbon during those trying periods.
    Lastly, Mr Speaker, let me thank the sons and daughters of Dagbon, for their fortitude, singleness of purpose, patience and forbearance all this while and
    Mr Speaker 10:44 a.m.
    Thank you very much Hon Fuseini, for this very well researched and very well made Statement in which you were very well within Order 70(2) and what is required in these circumstances.
    I would like it to be known as a Statement of unity and reconciliation, worthy of the time of this Honourable House, and the capacity to make a Statement on a matter of such controversial magnitude in our country is worthy of commendation and emulation.
    Hon Members, I would expect those who would comment on this well researched and well-made Statement to be within the parameters of Order 70 (2).
    Dr Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC--Wa Central) 10:44 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for this unique opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably presented by my good
    Friend, Hon Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, on the coronation of Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari II as the new Dagbon Chief.
    Mr Speaker, when I heard that the Yaa- Naa was going to be enskinned and the President announced it, I did not believe it, because of the years of turbulence, bitterness, anger and division that characterised the situation of Dagbon, and it was good news for me, when at a later time, on the day itself, it happened.
    It shows resilience and commitment by leadership, and it also shows that whenever there is a conflict in this country, we can heal through understanding and cooperation, and by good people working between the two conflicting sides to come to some conclusion.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to also thank the maker of the Statement, because this is an opportunity for us all to reflect on exactly what makes the chieftaincy system.
    The system represents the very spirit and foundation of a people. It represents the culture of the people. The chief is the custodian of the people's culture, and so whenever the chief is absent from the scene, the people are not in tune with themselves.
    It is as a result of long years of commitment of practices, norms and traditions that culminate into a chief.
    When Dagbon lost their chief and lost the spirit to have another chief, for all these years since 2002, we also lost the spirit of Dagbon. Whatever was in Dagbon, was about anger, bitterness and fighting, and so this is a good opportunity for us to say thank you to Dagbon and the many people who worked towards achieving this very important feat.
    I was very happy when His Majesty the Otumfuor made the announcement and assured every Ghanaian that this was a commitment by himself and his eminent chiefs, and by the leadership of our Government.
    Mr Speaker, never again should Dagbon move on this road any longer. It was a road that nearly put the whole country on the path of conflict. People fought in various parts of the country because of Dagbon.
    The division was seeping down from Abudu and Andani to political divisions, to divisions in families, and everything that we represented. That was a bad time for this country.
    I would like to say that we have gotten to a point where we can translate Dagbon into other areas of our conflicting situations.
    Let Dagbon be an example, that no matter how protracted any conflict is in this country, especially chieftaincy and land conflicts, we can always find time, sit and resolve them.
    Mr Speaker, I am very happy because the two traditions of Dagbon and the Wa tradition are somehow linked in their historical foundation.
    The two are part of the seven most ancient kingdoms in this country, and I know what it represents when you have a kingdom like this which the people adore and respect. I know that when you lose that trend of thought and understanding, you seemed to lose your own soul.
    So Mr Speaker, this contribution is to thank the status quo which is made up of all the people who are in leadership, right
    from those who started it to the present leadership, which is very lucky to be the one to move the final stone that is building the house, and also to say that we all are agents of peace.
    I listened to the Hon Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration today when he was narrating to me the role played by various parts and various individuals, including himself, in pushing this peace agenda forward.
    I would say that each one of us should be an agent of peace. Let us make sure that we are part and parcel of ensuring that peace prevails in this country no matter the dangers it poses when we want to ensure that there is peace. It is worth it, and it is important.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 10:44 a.m.
    Thank you very much Hon Pelpuo.
    Pelpuo: yes Hon member.
    Mr Muhammed Abdul-Samed Gunu (NPP-- Savelugu) 10:54 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the maker of the Statement.
    I would thank His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is now known in the circle of Dagbon as Abudani, that he is neither an Abudu nor Andani, because there is no more Abudu and Andani in the Northern Region.
    Mr Speaker, I would also like to use this opportunity to thank the eminent chiefs led by His Majesty Otumfuor Asantehene. They have gone through a
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are departing from your roll of honours. One thing I know is that the good Book tells us that one person sows, another waters and God gives the increase. If you would want to go the pathway of apportioning credit, then do to it to the fullest.
    Mr Gunu 10:54 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to once again state categorically that this particular peace will go down in the history books of Dagbon. I would also like to thank all the various security agencies and all the chiefs and opinion leaders of Dagbon, who in diverse ways helped in ensuring that Dagbon has now achieved the peace that it deserves.
    Dr Clement A. Apaak (NDC -- Builsa South) 10:54 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the unique opportunity to comment on such a very important and noteworthy Statement.
    Mr Speaker, it is heart-warming that today, we are all in unison to acknowledge and to speak about the great achievement that we have made as a nation.
    Clearly, we all know the history and the antecedent to what occurred and the efforts put in place by the State and many other worthy Ghanaian citizens to work towards the resolution that has given us cause to rejoice.
    Mr Speaker, it is very clear that without peace, unity and stability, development would always suffer. The resources that the State would deploy towards dealing with matters of this nature today would be channelled towards development.
    Mr Speaker, in giving the credit, I believe it is important that we emphasise and acknowledge all the people of Dagbon as well, because in matters of peace resolution, if those who are in the theatre do not agree to find ways to compromise their entrenched positions, peace can never be achieved.
    On this note, I would want to commend the new king and all those who have contributed, and to admonish all of us to do our best in support of what we have seen, which is the basis for this Statement, so that peace would be maintained entrenched for the betterment of our collective good as a people of Ghana.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    Any other person from the Majority apart from Leadership?
    Mr Daniel Titus-Glover (NPP -- Tema East) 10:54 a.m.
    I am most grateful, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my big brother and Hon Colleague, Hon Inusah Fuseini.
    Mr Speaker, the nation had gone through a lot of pain and waste of resources, but with time, hard work and sacrifices, particularly for the people of Dagbon, have come to the conclusion that there is the need for us to seek peace.
    Let me also thank the eminent chiefs for the skills, passion and zeal with which they were able to have come this far. Again, successive Presidents, including our current President, have equally contri- buted to making this success a reality.
    It is an enviable task though, but my prayer is that through politics, I have managed to know most of the constituencies in the Dagbon area and I could see able bodied men and women who are very strong and ready to contribute to the development of Dagbon and the country.
    Mr Speaker, our prayer is that we would all join hands together to make sure that we bring productivity to the land of Dagbon.
    Let me also thank the security chiefs, right from the beginning to the end, for the contribution that they have made to make sure that there is peace in Dagbon.
    Mr Speaker, I did not know until when the Asantehene was at the Jubilee House and I heard him say that most of the people of Dagbon are his kinsmen because one of the queenmothers of Ashanti married one of the chiefs in Dagbon at the time. That alone tells you the connectivity between the Ashanti and Dagbon kingdoms.
    Mr Speaker, in this country, we are one people, because when you look at the tribes that we have, intermarriages and the relationship between one another, it tells
    us that we should never give any opportunity to conflict.
    Any time we see conflict loom ahead of us, we should be able to resolve it to make sure that we bring peace wherever we find ourselves.
    In my constituency, I have a large concentration of Dagombas. These are very peace loving, hardworking and productive people. So with this peace that has come up north, it has cascaded down to those of us in the south.
    It is my prayer that we support the new Dagbon king so that the vision he has -- how he wants to turn Dagbon around, would get the support of each and every one of us, to make sure that there is peace, productivity and unity within the rank and file of the people of Dagbon.
    I say ayekoo to everybody who has contributed to making this a success.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    One more from each Side and then the Leadership.
    11. 04 a. m.
    Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo (NDC -- Ho Central) 10:54 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to commend my Hon Colleague for making the Statement and thus note that it is very heart-warming that the major Dagbon conflict has been resolved. We commend all those who participated in the process leading to the resolution.
    Mr Speaker, but that resolution in Dagbon should not subsume other conflicts across the country. Indeed, there are many chieftaincy conflicts across the
    Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo (NDC -- Ho Central) 10:54 a.m.

    country which have not been resolved and it is not only in a section of the country. So they still abound and we must make conscious efforts to resolve these outstanding conflicts as well.

    Mr Speaker, I recall that in the year 1983, the Government of the time made an effort to document all traditional rulers across the country; a comprehensive list was prepared but owing to the refusal of various factions or gates to accept what was produced at that time, conflicts continued to pop up in the various communities.

    Mr Speaker, the responsibility for resolving these chieftaincy issues rests with the Houses of Chiefs and the Traditional Councils.

    I think that it is necessary for the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to be proactive in getting to the Houses of Chiefs to identify and resolve conflicts as soon as they appear, and not to wait until it degenerates into warfare where lives are lost.

    Mr Speaker, the Houses of Chiefs need to be resourced to be able to carry out these assignments. Some of them complain that they do not have staff and lawyers who would assist their various partners on chieftaincy issues.

    I think that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs should come to the aid of the various Houses of Chiefs so that they could discharge their duties.

    Mr Speaker, I also think that there should be no secret at all about succession in the various communities. There should be public education to the very young ones so that they know that this is the programme for chieftaincy succession in their communities.

    When it is done, nobody would be ignorant of what should happen next after a particular chief passes away.

    Mr Speaker, these, when implemented, would help to give awareness to all of us and the conflict areas in particular so that when a decision is made, they would know that it conforms to their culture and tradition.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement presented by our Hon Colleague.
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    Hon Majority Whip?
    Mr Nyindam 10:54 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like
    to yield to the Hon Member for Gushegu, Dr Ziblim.
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    Are you yielding to him?
    Mr Nyindam 10:54 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:54 a.m.
    Thank you very much. Hon Member, you may go on.
    Dr Ziblim Iddi (NPP-- Gushegu) 11:14 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the oppor- tunity to contribute to the Statement.
    Mr Speaker, let me first of all take this opportunity to thank the people of Ghana, His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo and all the previous Presidents: His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama; the late Prof John Evans Atta Mills; His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor and His Excellency, Jerry John Rawlings. They all deserve our commendation for bringing us this far.
    Mr Speaker, for sixteen (16) years, the people of Dagbon went through a difficult and painful process of reconciliation trying to bring the two families together. As unfortunate as the events of March,
    2002 was, Governments since then have put in the necessary resources backing it with political will to bring us to where we are today.
    Mr Speaker, His Excellency, the former President, John Agyekum Kufuor formed the three-member Eminent Chiefs Committee.
    Even as he asked the Judiciary to look at the criminal matters, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs was tasked with the responsibility of using custom and tradition to bring the families together and find lasting peace to the area.
    Mr Speaker, we have travelled a long journey and somewhere along this journey, both parties were tempted to leave the traditional committee and rather resort to the Courts.
    I think that the resolution of these matters by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs is one testimony of the importance of alternative dispute resolution. That they have come to a point where the matters are resolved without creating adversaries; where the matter is resolved and today we can say that there are no winners or losers.
    Mr Speaker, I was privileged to be in Yendi on 25th of January, 2019 and I must say that the joy of outdooring the new King was all over the place and you could feel it if you were at the grounds.
    When the President announced that he was neither an Abudu nor an Andani but an “Abudani,” the King smiled and I saw it from afar.
    In subsequent interviews, the King alluded to the same statement made by the President that the Abudus and Andanis are things of the past and that the resolution
    of this matter and the outdooring of a new King -- and in Dagbani, Yaa-Naa means “Power of a king”.
    He becomes the absolute authority of Dagbon today and it does not matter whether you are an Abudu or Andani, you would recognise and pay homage to him as the absolute authority of the Dagbon Kingdom.
    Mr Speaker, we, the people of Dagbon are happy that we have put this behind us and are looking up to the new King; he has so far demonstrated that he wants to bring all the sides together so that we could use this opportunity to tackle the developmental needs of the people, bring societies together in the Dagbon Traditional Area beyond the divisions of Abudus and Andani's.
    I must congratulate all Ghanaians for being patient with us Dagombas even as we travelled this difficult journey.We can only pray that this would be the beginning of good things for the Kingdom. Our Imams and Mallams have been praying for this day for sixteen (16) years and their prayers have been accepted by Allah, the Almighty.
    We look forward to a new Dagbon that would take the opportunity of the peace of the area to promote tourism, economic investments and commercial activities that would create jobs for the good people of Dagbon.

    Mr Speaker, let me end by commending H. E. the President. I have had the opportunity in the past 10 years to be close to Presidents who have dealt with this matter and it had to take political will. Every President since the year 2002 has invested in the peace process.
    -- 11:14 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:14 a.m.
    Hon Member, we agreed on the rules of the game and I would want every Hon Member to respect those rules. Your time is far spent.
    Hon Minority Leadership?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:14 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would yield to the Hon Member for Chereponi, Hon Samuel Jabanyite.
    Mr Speaker 11:14 a.m.
    Hon Member, you may go ahead.
    Mr Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite (NDC -- Chereponi) 11:14 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by Hon Inusah Fuseini.
    Mr Speaker, before I come to my substantive issue, let me first of all thank all those institutions and individuals who have worked over the last 17 years either directly or indirectly, to see to it that today, Dagbon would be a peaceful place.
    Those of us in this House who are conversant with peace building processes would agree with me that conflicts of this nature are best resolved when both factions are at a hurting stage.
    Indeed, what we observed was that on the evolution of the people, they have agreed and that is how come all the interventions that have been made over
    the years have been able to come to a peaceful end.
    If I were asked to describe the new Yaa- Naa, our father, Naa Abukari Mahama II, I would describe him as someone who is cool headed, affable, good peacemaker, collected, and above all, someone with a very good retentive memory.
    Mr Speaker, I have had a personal and working relationship with the new Yaa- Naa. I happen to farm in the Savelugu area, in a community called Yepalsi. This is a community under his jurisdiction.
    Over the past five years, anytime we have had issues with members of the community or our outgrowers with the land and share of the proceeds, he settled the issue to the extent that both parties left happily at the end of it all. That is why I am tempted to say that settling on him by the kingmakers was divine.
    I can say for sure that he being the chief of Dagbon, we can be assured that Dagbon would take its rightful place, be peaceful and he would be able to bring everybody together and pave the way for the development of the area. Long live the people of Dagbon! Long live Ghana!
    Mr Speaker 11:14 a.m.
    Majority Leadership? Mr Matthew Nyindam (NDC --
    Kpandai): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this unique opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by our senior Colleague, the Hon Member for Tamale Central.
    Mr Speaker, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the people of Dagbon. On 25th January, 2019, we all went to Dagbon and the spirit they exhibited in embracing the peace was so wonderful. I urge them
    to hold that peace because it is that peace that would transform Dagbon from its current state.
    I remember on that day, H. E. the President made a unique statement that there are people who think that they are conflict entrepreneurs and for that matter, they think that it has come to an end and so shall it be.
    The people of Dagbon now understand that they cannot do anything without peace and it is only peace that they need.
    Mr Speaker, let me also add my voice to thank all Chiefs and former Presidents who contributed and followed this roadmap to give us what we have today.
    All the people who spoke on that day gave the President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a special and outstanding thank you because under his regime, we have seen what happened on the 25th of January, 2019.
    Let me also use this opportunity to caution my Hon Colleagues, those of us who have the opportunity to use the microphones. The history of Dagbon, since the year 2002 is well known to everybody.
    If we get the opportunity to speak on television and radio, we should not recount what happened but look at what we have achieved as the surest way that we could stand together.
    What I saw in Dagbon was the whole of Ghana uniting behind them. There was nothing like political parties, Konkombas, Dagombas or an individual or group of people taking credit. We all took credit and the Ghana flag was flying high. That is the spirit and I think we should all try as much as possible to hold on to that.
    With these few word, I thank you for this unique opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 11:24 a.m.
    Hon Members, I earlier announced that we would take another Statement. We would put it for tomorrow. [Pause]
    Hon Deputy Minister for Communi- cation to make a Statement on Valentine's Day, alias Chocolate Day.
    Hon Deputy Minister, next time be timeous.
    I am not amused by this interjection, but this is a special day and therefore we shall accommodate you. Please proceed.

    Promotion of Cocoa on Valentine's Day

    Deputy Minister for Comunications (Mr George Nenyi Kojo Andah): Mr Speaker, I am honoured to make this Statement in commemoration of Valentine's Day which also serves as a symbolic day for the promotion of one of Ghana's leading cash crop, cocoa and its products, especially chocolate on this day.

    Mr Speaker, we are all privy to the fact that cocoa, from which chocolate is manufactured is used predominantly among many Ghanaians on this St Valentine's Day to show love and it also doubles as a crop that the Ghanaian economy benefits from, through foreign exchange when we export it and this cannot be understated.

    In recent times, chocolate is touted and accepted as a token of affection, with its sweet and satisfying taste, a reason why it is associated with Valentine's Day.
    Mr Speaker 11:24 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Deputy Minister.
    One Hon Member from each Side and then Leadership.
    Yes, Hon Dr Heloo?
    Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo (NDC -- Hohoe) 11:24 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement which was ably made by the Hon Deputy Minister for Communi- cations.
    Mr Speaker, my point of departure on this issue is that, we have lost the meaning or the importance of the day that we all come out to celebrate.
    The day was celebrated to show agape love; the kind of love that is beyond just human love. It was a time for sharing and showing inner love for our fellow human beings.
    Mr Speaker, what do we witness today? It has turned into something else. The young are in the street taking part in amorous activities and all other things that are not really of God to mark the day.
    I would want to remind all of us that today is a day of showing brotherly and sisterly love to each other. We should talk to people we have not talked to in several years and also share with people we begrudge.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to draw attention to what was done in the olden days, and with your permission, I beg to quote from Numbers chapter 9 verse 11. It says:
    “On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they are to eat the lamb together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs''. -- New International Version
    Mr Speaker, today, we see a different thing all together. We enjoy ourselves -- We are to share this unleavened bread together with bitter leaf. Bitter leaf is really bitter so that we know what true love is.
    Mr Speaker 11:24 a.m.
    Hon Member for Sefwi- Wiawso?
    Dr Kwaku Afriyie (NPP — Sefwi- Wiawso) 11:34 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. And let me wish my Hon Colleagues, a happy Valentine's Day. With your indulgence, I would want to couch it in Latin; Ut cum pace et carite sancti valentine cum omnibus vobis hodie, to wit, May the peace and love of Saint Valentine be with you all today. — Felicem diem valenti! Happy Valentine's Day!
    Mr Speaker, it is no coincidence that this day, that is the Saint Valentine's Day has been linked, at least, in Ghana with Chocolate Day.
    For some of us, we have noticed the gradual evolution of a phenomenon which was essentially linked with secondary schools in those days. It has now become a very big cultural phenomenon worldwide and it is propagating itself, so to speak, in all cultures.
    It is a welcome phenomenon but I would plead that as the Hon Member who last spoke said, we take all the good aspects and jettison all those bad things that are associated with this day because, the good Saint Valentine actually meant
    well when he showed love to all on this day.
    Mr Speaker, but I would want to talk a bit about the Chocolate Day that Ghana has associated with this day. We farmers are faced with the paradox; we are encouraged by the maker of the Statement that there is going to be a looming shortage in the international market.
    At least, in the foreseeable future, I am not of that view. Last year, La Cote d'Ivoire produced over two million metric tonnes. And Ghana, even though we fell a bit short of 800,000 metric tonnes, I believe still there was a glut on the world market. And the paradox is that the more the farmers produced, the more their import varied.
    Mr Speaker, I have noticed that without cocoa production, there is a change on the scene. During our time, when I attended secondary school, I was called “a rich cocoa farmer's son”. Now everybody who is farming has earned the sobriquet, “a poor cocoa farmer”.
    So this industry has gradually drifted from the hands of the middle class to the poor class and there is a huge exploitation in the industry. For an industry of some 120 billion dollars per annum, less than eight billion dollars comes to the primary producers worldwide and it is something that we should address.
    In fact, internal consumption of chocolate and cocoa beverages is the way. But that would call for a huge policy shift on the part of Government.
    For example, for the pseudo regimented institutions like secondary schools, I believe that chocolate should be staple in their diet so that we have a local economy because we import beverages. And so if
    we go on the path of even import substitution, we would have secured the future of our farmers, but this is not happening.
    There are platitudes every year. Indeed, when governments in Ghana say that they want to increase cocoa production, one wonders whether they want to actually put moneys in the hands of the farmers or in the pockets of the farmers or they want to, as it were, secure the market share.
    Mr Speaker, so I would want to say that, yes, the chocolate day is a welcome phenomenon; indeed, we should take advantage of it so that we increase internal consumption and secure the economic sustainability of the average cocoa farmer.
    I would also want to end, that for the Valentine's Day, Ghana should take care of its cultural ethos so that we do not copy other cultures blindly, where this day is associated with all that is not desirable in society.
    Mr Speaker, with these comments, I beg to associate myself with the maker of the Statement.
    Mr Speaker 11:34 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Minority Leadership?
    Deputy Minority Leader (Mr James K. Avedzi): Mr Speaker, we would give our slot to Hon Sam George.
    Mr Samuel N. George (NDC — Ningo- Prampram) 11:34 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate the maker of the Statement, Hon George N. K. Andah for drawing our attention to a very important celebration today.
    However, I got lost in his submission as to whether it is Valentine's Day or Chocolate Day. I believe that in 2007, the late venerable Jake Obetsebi Lamptey declared it under the President Kufuor Administration as Chocolate Day.
    Mr Speaker 11:34 a.m.
    The two are mutually inclusive in Ghana.
    Please go on.
    Mr George 11:34 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in 2007, when Chocolate Day was introduced, the whole intention was to boost local consumption of Ghanaian chocolate. But the problem is, today, when one looks at Ghanaian chocolate and foreign chocolate and even compare the cost —
    In my hand here is a 100g or our Kingsbite chocolate which is very wholesome but goes for a cost of GH¢ 7.00 I also hold in my hand, 80g of Turkish imported chocolate which, even with the exchange rate of US$1 is to GH¢ 5.25, is selling at GH¢ 2.50.
    So what then is the incentive for the ordinary Ghanaian to spend GH¢7.00 on a Ghanaian locally produced chocolate as against foreign imported chocolate which is so cheap?
    Mr Speaker, I believe that in trying to entrench the consumption of local chocolate, government needs to look at local producers of chocolate in the Ghanaian market and incentivise their production by giving them subsidies on their utilities such as water and electricity to drop the cost of their production.
    Mr Speaker, again, we are able to give tax exemptions to companies under the Ghana Free Zones Authority Scheme for them to produce chocolate for export. But Ghanaian companies that are producing
    Mr Speaker 11:44 a.m.
    Majority Leadership? — [Pause.]
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP 11:44 a.m.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

    Mr Speaker, today, you rightly recognised that in Ghana, it is Chocolate Day and we use it interchangeably with Valentine's Day.

    Mr Speaker, I would want to share with everybody here, an e-inspirations message credited to Pope Francis and it says:

    “Valentine's Message

    1. “Build love.

    2. Commit to it forever.

    3. Living toge the r r eq u i r e s consideration and care.

    4. Be courteous and grateful.

    5. Recognise mistakes and apologise sincerely.

    6. Don't expect perfection.

    7. Don't go to bed angry.

    -- Pope Francis.”

    Mr Speaker, but on Chocolate Day, notwithstanding the contribution by the Hon Member for Ningo Prampram, that a chocolate from elsewhere is cheaper than the chocolate from Ghana, we must never

    lose sight of the fact that when you eat a chocolate from elsewhere, you are sending jobs there and you are supporting businesses there and it is to the discredit of a Ghanaian opportunity for Ghanaians.

    So, I encourage us, notwithstanding that ours may be expensive, I tell you that indeed the quality of made-in-Ghana chocolate is better and more healthy.

    I would want to end by saying that we should never forget that “Ghana cocoa na sunsum wo mu” to wit cocoa from Ghana has the best quality. I wish all Hon Members a Happy Chocolate Day.
    Mr Speaker 11:44 a.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements time.
    Hon Members, let Ghanaians be proud of our chocolate. We should ask ourselves how much pure cocoa content is there in a particular bar of chocolate. That is the reason in England, those who know will still buy Ghana chocolate as premium chocolate way above the price of the ones that are from the West. They know that.
    I believe it is for us to market ours and not to make comments that might give the wrong impression that there is something wrong with the price of made-in-Ghana chocolates.
    I thank you.
    Hon Members, we would move to the Order Paper Addendum and then to Motion 7 on the Order Paper.
    Motion - Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations, 2019.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:44 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the substantive Minister for Aviation had been with us until he was summoned to a
    meeting. In the circumstance, if you may allow the Hon Deputy Minister, the Hon Kwabena Darko-Mensah to hold the fort for the Hon Minister and lay the Paper on behalf of the Ministry?
    Mr Speaker 11:44 a.m.
    Very well.
    PAPERS 11:44 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:44 a.m.
    Hon Members, Motion listed 7 on the Order Paper.
    MOTIONS 11:44 a.m.

    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 11:44 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee of Privileges on Breach of Privilege and Contemptuous Remarks Allegedly Made by the Hon Member for Assin Central Constituency, Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong.
    Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present your Committee's Report.
    At the Thirteenth Sitting of the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament held on Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, the Hon Member for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed- Mubarak drew the attention of the House to an alleged disparaging comments made by the Hon Member for Assin Central, Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong on social media to
    , 11:44 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:54 a.m.
    Hon Members, your Leaders have agreed that we have two Members to contribute, including Leadership. At this stage, I would call the Hon Inusah -- [Interruption.]
    Mr James K. Avedzi 11:54 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Motion needs to be seconded by the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker 11:54 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, the Motion is duly moved. Who seconds the Motion?
    Mr Mathias Kwame Ntow (NDC-- Aowin) 11:54 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so make some few comments.
    As rightly said by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, this Report has taken some time. I am happy that today, it is being debated and conclusion made on this issue.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to paragraph 4 of page 3 of the Committees Report, “Response by the Respondent”. I would want to quote the last but second sentence which states and with your permission, I quote:
    “He explained that he made the statement “Parliament is cheap” out of extreme anger.”
    Mr Speaker, indeed, our Hon Colleague appeared before the Committee and he accepted the fact that those disparaging statements were made but he said that was out of anger.
    I would therefore like to urge my Hon Member, that as Members of this august House, we are sometimes constrained and that is the more reason in the wisdom of God He gave us the Adam's apple which aids one to swallow and contain him or herself so he or she would not go wayward.
    Mr Speaker, that notwithstanding, if indeed our Hon Colleague has accepted that fact, then I second the Motion and
    Mr Mathias Kwame Ntow (NDC-- Aowin) 12:04 p.m.
    since it is before the Plenary, I think the right thing should be done in order that this issue would be resolved once and for all.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Question proposed. Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini (NDC --
    Tamale Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Report of your Committee of Privileges and to commend them for a very good job done.
    Mr Speaker can appreciate the cloud of uncertainty that has descended upon this House consequent upon the presentation of the Report. That is to be expected. It is akin to a parent having to take a decision against a child.
    That parent would take that decision with a very heavy heart and that is what I discern from the presentation of the Report by the Hon Chairman of the Committee and the secondment by the Hon Ranking Member.
    Mr Speaker, but when you have to sanction for the purposes of reforming, so shall it be -- [Hear! Hear!] -- It is because we have elected unto ourselves a code of conduct to regulate our standards of behaviour, we are enjoined to live up to the very codes of conduct that we have elected unto ourselves.
    Mr Speaker, we are 275 Members in this House. In fact, my senior at the Bar and in Chambers says that any of us who is privileged to be in this House must count himself as a very favoured son of Ghana. He says, “We are about 28 million Ghanaians in Ghana and 275 of you make laws for all of us”.
    Now, because of the privilege extended to us and the fact that we are being held
    in high esteem. The motto of the Legon Hall of the University of Ghana says, “To whom much is given, much is expected”.
    Having been dignified by an election by your fellow citizens to Sit in this august House to contribute to make laws to regulate the conduct of 28 million people in this country must tell us that our conduct would be mirror for everybody to see.
    That is why the Constitution even says that no conduct of ours must directly or indirectly impact on the dignity of this House.

    It is the Constitution which is the prime law of this country and our Standing Orders repeats same in verbatim. So, when I read the Report, the subject matter of this Report is my dear Hon Friend and my Hon Colleague and we have come very far. As a legal practitioner I wanted to see whether he had apologised indeed - and I saw it.

    I realised that the apology had mitigated the decision of the Committee. Mr Speaker, what the Committee is telling us is that indeed, without the apology, they would have recommended expulsion -- that is what the Report has said.

    Mr Speaker, I said well, then as a lawyer, I would look at the acts of my dear Hon Friend and Hon Colleague consequent upon the referral.

    Mr Speaker, he would still be given an opportunity as the law demands to probably say a few things. So he still has an opportunity to demonstrate to this House that he has shown absolute remorse about what he has said.

    Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, this House is populated by 275 Hon Members. The House is duly constituted when the Speaker is in the Chair and the Clerks are at the Table.

    So when he says that Parliament is cheap, it is not limited to his Hon Colleagues but it extends to the Speaker and the Clerks- at -the-Table because that is how Parliament is duly constituted.

    Parliament cannot Sit without Mr Speaker and the Clerks, so I just believe that the Committee has done its work and my dear Hon Friend has an opportunity to show remorse.

    I know that he is a firebrand and politics is such that you must demonstrate the zeal and fire in you to be able to win admirers, but that is when we are outside the House and say things that do not affect the House.

    Mr Speaker, so I believe that the die has been cast and we either go for the suspension or reprimand and a decision would be taken today in this House.

    Mr Speaker, if he shows enough remorse -- because I have not seen remorse yet -- a reprimand would do, but if he does not show remorse then this House would have within its powers to suspend the Hon Member from this House.

    Mr Speaker, thank you so much.
    Mr Speaker 12:04 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 12:04 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to this Motion. Mr Speaker, I must say that before I get into the substance of the
    matter, with your leave, I shall raise four preliminary issues.
    Mr Speaker, the following are my grounds; firstly, the consideration of this Motion shall amount to selective justice and an exercise of convenience having regard to your ruling dated 6th February,
    Secondly, that the consideration of this Motion shall be in breach of the rules of natural justice, having regard to Standing Order 202.
    Mr Speaker 12:04 p.m.
    Hon Member, selective justice and with reference to a ruling made by the Chair on 6th February, 2018 - to wit what? What was the issue?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:04 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was going to lay the grounds and come to --
    Mr Speaker 12:04 p.m.
    No, you had moved to point two and that is why I interrupted. I knew what I was doing because you had moved from point one to point two. So finish with point one otherwise you are in
    -- 12:04 p.m.

    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:04 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regards to point one which is the ruling by your good self and dated 6th February, 2018, I contend that the complainant in this matter had been referred to -- [[Interruption.] --
    Mr Speaker, with respect, when Hon Inusah Fuseini was speaking we were all quiet and it is a matter of respect to listen in silence. Mr Speaker, they should keep quiet and listen.
    Mr Speaker, on the 6th of February, 2018. I refer you to column 780 of the Official Report -- and Sitting as the ruler of this House you held that the documents tendered in respect of an investigation to be conducted in the conduct of the Ministry of Trade and Industry should be referred to the privileges Committee.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:14 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that as
    far as the records of this House are concerned, the referral to the Privileges Committee has not considered this matter which was your ruling.

    Mr Speaker, I beg to refer you to a Supreme Court ruling in the matter - [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I am fortifying myself with a Supreme Court ruling and I would refer to the case of Kwasi Owusu and another versus Joshua Nmai Addo and another, in civil Motion number 4/50/2014 and the date of the ruling is 30th July, 2015. Mr Speaker, at page 2 of the said ruling by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana, the court held that:

    “The grant or refusal of an application for stay of execution is an equitable remedy and depends on the discretion of the court. He who comes to equity must do to equity. From the affidavit evidence and also from the annexures to these affidavits, it is clear to us that the Applicants have not come to this court with clean hands.

    The affidavit evidence before us show that the Applicants are currently facing contempt proceedings for allegedly ignoring the judgement of the trial court and the pendency of application for stay

    of execution and gone into the land to perpetuate acts on the land…”

    Mr Speaker, the principle here which I invite you to consider is the fact that your ruling which indicted applicants on a Motion which applicants included Hon Muntaka, the plaintiff in this matter has not been considered.

    Mr Speaker, ground two --
    Mr Speaker 12:14 p.m.
    Hon Member, you would want to argue in the Supreme Court that if a previous matter had not been decided upon by that honourable court, then it cannot decide on any subsequent matter, otherwise, it would be breaching the rules of natural justice. Is that what you want to tell us?
    There has been a matter which was brought to the Supreme Court in 2000 and mine came in 2016 and you want to give judgement on mine, therefore, you cannot until you have given judgement on all prior cases. Is that what you are saying?
    Now, Hon Member, with my experience, let me advise. The Catholics say mea culpa, that (my fault) is which is said three
    times before they on the pathway of forgiveness. Every Catholic here would tell you. And if you do not accept your fault, it becomes difficult for magnanimity to be shown.
    Therefore I am advising you at this stage of your advocacy to tread cautiously in favour of the Hon Member and in a manner that would not escalate the issue before this Honourable House. But one thing is certain; you would not be allowed to approbate and reprobate.
    It is not allowed in any court nor in any serious platform of this nature. So please, choose your pathway and tread it cautiously and with trepidation.
    Thank you. You may continue.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:14 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have taken a cue from everything you have said and I shall proceed accordingly in that line.
    Mr Speaker, having concluded my first argument, I proceed to the second argument.
    Mr Speaker 12:14 p.m.
    Which you are standing by?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:14 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, in respect of my second argument, I read aloud Order 202 --
    Mr Agbodza On a Point of Order 12:14 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am rising on Order 86(1):
    “A Member desiring to speak shall rise in his place, and address the Chair only after catching Mr Speaker's eye.”
    Mr Speaker, when my Hon Colleague is speaking and I look on the screen, I see another name -- [Interruption.] -- Mr Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to
    this to see if my Hon Colleague could move to his place before he addresses you.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 12:14 p.m.
    Hon Member, as much as the rule is well known to all of us, very often, Hon Members move to others on their feet or seated proximate to them for very good reasons, including those Hon Members on the Finance Committee and who have been very fond of going by this process so as to compare notes and make their points.

    You may go on.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:14 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may you have a long life.
    Mr Speaker, Order 202 (1) provides and I quote with your leave 12:14 p.m.
    “The evidence of every witness shall be taken down and a copy of it sent to him. The witness may within seven days from the date of receipt of the copy suggest corrections due to inaccurate reporting and the evidence shall be printed with such corrections as may be approved by the Chairman.”
    Mr Speaker, relying on this Order and fortified by same, I contend with all due respect and in all humility, that the Motion before us breached this very mandatory Order in our rules.
    Mr Speaker, Order 202 (1) provides and I quote with your leave 12:24 p.m.

    Mr Speaker, ground three. I contend that the principle of fairness in considering this Motion has been breached.

    Mr Speaker, interlocked with the first ground as I argued, is the issue of equality before the law. Equality before the law is provided for under article 17 of the 1992 Constitution and as I earlier argued, there is no doubt that a statement has been made by Hon Ken Agyapong, which statement in the view of the complainant amounts to contempt of Parliament.

    However, Mr Speaker, I contend that having regard to the fact that he himself by his conduct before this very House, sought to bring down the entire Government on allegations of corruption, and same was found to be untrue and his referral has not been dealt with dealing with Hon Ken Agyapong, would mean that Hon Muntaka and Hon Ken Agyapong are not equal before the law.

    Justice must not just be done it must be seen to be done. Fairness must manifest in our conduct as a House and Mr Speaker, I invite you to uphold this objection.

    Mr Speaker, ground four, this House is governed by rules, and I contend that when the rules specifically provide in mandatory terms, seeking to depart from same would require your leave, the absence thereof must render every action as otiose, nugatory, null and void, and same set aside.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Muntaka, on the 6th June, 2018, moved this House under Standing Order 78(a) and 91(b). He referred to contempt of Parliament and he interrupted a debate. Clearly, the rule under which he premised his Motion was wrong,

    because in his own words, he was relying on something that had been said on radio.

    Mr Speaker, it is not about the facts, but about the procedure that he adopted and for the sake of posterity, we can today say that we would want to presume and get to judgment, but tomorrow, just as we want to allow procedure to ensure fairness, I am inviting you to consider the procedure as followed carefully, and come to the conclusion that it was not the appropriate procedure adopted.

    Mr Speaker, on the issue of substance, I argue that this Honourable House, in considering this Motion in the event that the preliminary issues do not find favour with you, considers the following.

    Mr Speaker, one, that the subject matter of the alleged contempt, that is “Parliament aye fo” and all that, had some issue to do with the Hon Majority Leader.

    The respondent and contemnor has subsequently made peace with the Hon Majority Leader. In fact, he chose the same platform to explain matters and duly apologised to Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu.
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Hon Members, order!
    Hon Member, you are now moving on the apologetic pathway, and I am once more advising that a typical counsel at the Supreme Court on such a matter would proceed with trepidation.
    If you are proceeding on the pathway of people having apologised to others and for which matter you are arguing for due consideration and so on, then you may
    please do so, but you see, aprobating and reprobating, like you know very well, would not be accepted in any court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction.
    Hon Member, you may continue.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:24 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, at this stage, on very bended knees, I say in submission that all of us here as Hon Members of this House have had some issues regarding excesses of our conduct in one way or the other. It is therefore important that the point is made, that excesses in our conduct cannot be accepted.
    Mr Speaker, recently, there were media reports --
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Hon Member, once more, those who have justification for their conduct do not talk about human frailty. If the person did not do the thing that is supposed to be wrong, then human frailty does not come in.
    Once more, you are pursuing the pathway of human frailty, which this House is entitled to recommend or consider, if you listen carefully to the Report of the Committee. Therefore once more, let us know the path being adopted in this argument.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:24 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to make clearer the path I intend to adopt, let me come clear, and in coming clearer, I refer you to Act four, scene one of Shakespeare's play, the Merchant of Venice.
    Mr Speaker, I quote --
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Hon Member, so, this is the Shakespearean pathway?
    All right, you may proceed.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:24 p.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, with your permission, I quote, and it says:
    “The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blesseth; it blesseth him that gives; and him that takes. Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power.
    The attribute to awe and majesty wherein doth sit the dread and fear of Kings. But mercy is above the sceptered sway. It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings. It is an attribute to God himself…”
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Hon Member, have you finished reading?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:24 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, end of quote.
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Dafeamekpor 12:24 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, with all due respect to my learned Hon Colleague, he has raised preliminary objection in this matter, which procedural law permits that he could raise at any stage of the proceedings.
    He also invited you to a determination and therefore, I expect that he would rest and allow you to make a determination before he proceeds again, if he gets the opportunity on the substantive matter.
    Mr Speaker 12:24 p.m.
    Thank you very much, but it is also a practice that preliminary matters are not necessarily ruled upon before one goes on to the depth of one's Motion. The adjudicator is entitled to listen to the matter in a holistic manner, and in his ruling, come to a verdict on both preliminary and substantive.
    Hon Member, you may conclude, but once more, the quality of mercy was given as a brilliant speech on a mercy pathway. Those who proceed on the pathway of the quality of mercy of Shakespearean fame, watch justification with trepidation. So please, you should proceed and conclude.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:34 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, having relied on the virtue of mercy, I am urging this House to consider all matters relative to the very issue we have before us, and to ask the question: is demanding for a pound of flesh the solution or going on the pathway of mercy?
    Mr Speaker, after all, we are all of the same stalk; partakers of the same nature and sharers in the same home. Distinctions currently exist between us, but that does not make one superior. We are one and the same people. It is a matter of fact, and Mr Speaker -
    Mr Speaker 12:34 p.m.
    And in conclusion?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:34 p.m.
    In conclusion, today, it is Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong. The Report itself, as the Hon Chairman read, was split. I therefore invite Mr Speaker, that if issues of procedure, as raised, do not find favour, then the second leg of my argument of mitigation is to be considered. With all respect and on bended knees, I urge Hon Members that since our colleague at the Committee level rendered unqualified apology and went ahead to make peace with the Hon Majority Leader, which same has reflected in the records before us, the issue of he having to apologise again in his place be considered to bring a finality to this matter before the House.
    Mr Speaker, with these, I thank you most sincerely for your guidance and patience, and I thank my Colleague Hon Members here and there for indulging me. I rest my case.
    Mr Speaker 12:34 p.m.
    Hon Minority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 12:34 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the Report of the Privileges Committee and to say that I thank them for the work that they have done and the courage they have shown so far.
    Mr Speaker, I am worried about the lack of remorse in all the happenings. I perfectly agree; to err is human, and equally, to forgive is divine.
    Mr Speaker 12:34 p.m.
    Hon First Deputy Speaker?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 12:34 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I regret that I have to intervene to object to the complainant having the opportunity to speak to the Report again at this level unless the contemnor would be permitted to speak. Leadership might select another person.
    Mr Speaker 12:34 p.m.
    Hon First Deputy Speaker, what is the essence of your statement? I have not got it clearly.
    Mr Osei-Owusu 12:34 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my argument is that the Hon Minority Chief Whip was the complainant. Indeed, it is his evidence. He raised the matter of contempt, and it is his evidence that formed that basis of the entire investigation. I think it might not be proper for him to speak to the Report at this stage where we are considering what punishment.
    In my view, Leadership may nominate another person to also speak to the matter.
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Hon Bagbin?
    Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 12:44 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    My understanding of what is happening now is that we are now at the judgement stage. The evidence has been taken by our lawfully mandated Committee, and they are now putting it before the whole House to take a decision.
    Mr Speaker is presiding to make sure that the procedures and other rules of the House are complied with before taking the judgement. And so, I totally agree with my Hon Colleague that it is not proper for the complainant to be heard again putting across his case.
    I believe if the Majority is given two slots, we should have another Hon Member from the Minority to put across the Minority case.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. I have listened to the two Hon Deputy Speakers on this very important issue. We in the Minority are prepared to let another person debate.
    Mr Speaker, however, let me place it on record that in the same House, when the Motion on the Report of the Special Ad-hoc Committee on the Cash for Seats was moved here, the principal witness who was the Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Alan Kyeremateng , contributed to that Report.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the issue before us is about a statement that is alleged to have been made disparaging in the House.
    This is not a Majority and Minority matter. We should get that clearly -- [Hear! Hear!]-- It is not a Majority and Minority issue at all. It affects the dignity of this House, and that is the beginning point.
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. Some would manifestly be seen to be done. Anything that would create unnecessary discomfort is better avoided in applying the rule of natural justice.
    So at this stage, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has made a further nomination, and we shall proceed on that pathway accordingly.
    Mr James Agalga (NDC--Builsa North) 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I wish to be captured on record, that what the Report of the Committee of Privileges invites this Honourable House to do is
    not to determine the contempt or the contemptuous character of the statements attributed to our Hon Colleague, Kennedy Agyapong, which landed him before the Privileges Committee upon a referral made by your good self.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee of Privileges duly considered the evidence before it and arrived at the conclusion that in its view, the statements attributed to Hon Kennedy Agyapong which occasioned the referral is indeed contemptuous.
    In fact, what the Committee invites this plenary to do is to now proceed to make another determination on what type of sanction would be meted out to the contemnor in this Honourable House.
    Mr Speaker, in the circumstances, I wish to state categorically that any preliminary objection premised on procedure, which was followed and eventually led to the arrival of the conclusion of the Committee ought to have been taken at the level of the Committee, captured by the Committee in its Report if need be, to enable this Hon House to consider the objections.

    So Mr Speaker, this afternoon, the House is invited to do one thing, which is to determine whether Hon Kennedy Agyapong should be suspended or reprimanded. I wish to add that procedurally, once the Committee has arrived at this verdict, what the contemnor or his representative can do is a plea in mitigation,

    because it does appear that judgment has already been delivered.

    The conviction has already been handed down, and so any invitation which seeks to water the very nature of the statement that was made as though this plenary has what it takes to decide that the remarks are not contemptuous is inappropriate.

    Mr Speaker, having said that, one needs to underscore the fact that this Chamber is not an appellate body which can sit in judgment over the Report, especially given the nature of the Report. If the Report were opened, if the Committee --
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Hon Member, be careful of that pathway. The House itself decides on all matters at plenary, no matter the recommendation made by a Committee, and the decision would ultimately be on any matter whatsoever, not with reference to this matter, whatever the decision of this Honourable House would be.
    So let us abandon that way because it does not hold.
    Mr Agalga 12:44 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I take a cue, but having made all those arguments, my Hon Colleague and learned friend Alhaji Inusah Fuseini made a profound remark in his earlier submission, and his view was that behaviour consequent upon the referral of the remarks which formed the basis for the contempt are very important, and ought to be considered by this House in determining which of the two forms of punishment we should pursue.
    Mr Speaker, inasmuch as I agree that our Hon Colleague apologised before the Committee, I think that subsequent
    conduct of his in subsequent matters, even though I do not intend to prejudice this House with subsequent matters because they are currently properly within the custody of the appropriate Committees for consideration, we wish to state that when an Hon Member's conduct is referred to Privileges, it should form the basis for the Hon Member, even before sanction, to reform his behaviour and not to continue to charge --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:44 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my respected Hon Colleague in his submission made reference to me in respect of matters I had raised.
    Mr Speaker, for the record, the preliminary issues were raised at the Committee, and the Committee said that it did not have jurisdiction to consider them, and that same must be raised here.
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Where does this appear on the Report?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the more reason in my earlier submissions, I refereed to Order 202, that if the transcript had been made available in accordance with the rules, we would have been able to get all these matters accurately reported on, so that as it were, he would not come and say that these were not raised, it is too late to be raised.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee, in all humility and with all due respect, burst out that at a point, it even turned into a banter.
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, are you challenging this unanimous Report by the Committee now before this House or what?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the
    point I am raising in respect of my argument is that per Standing Order 202, there is a mandatory provision regarding issues --
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Leave the interpretation of that to me.
    Hon Member, you may continue.
    Mr Agalga 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to reference paragraph 5.1 of the Report. In that paragraph, Mr Speaker, the contemnor sought to deny the meaning that can be ascribed or ought to have been ascribed to the words he used which words, to wit, are Parliament aye fo.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee observed that the contemnor at the time he appeared before the Committee denied the fact that Parliament aye fo ought to carry the meaning that Parliament is cheap. The Committee's finding was very clear, that the use of the words Parliament aye fo is indeed contemptuous.
    Mr Speaker, I referenced this paragraph to underscore the point that the apology rendered by our Hon Colleague at the level of the Committee was probably half- hearted and so, if we have to treat this matter as though justice is something that when its wheels grind slowly but arrive at its estination, it ought to be tampered with mercy, the apology ought not to be half-hearted.
    I would agree with my Hon Colleague, the Hon Inusah Fuseini, that maybe, the opportunity should be provided for the Hon Member to apologise even at the level of plenary, and when that is done, plenary may consider the option of a reprimand other than the suspension. That is a conditional statement.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to observe that this exercise concerns the conduct of an Hon Member of this House.
    This House in previous times has had the occasion to cite strangers for contempt in vindication of the authority vested in the House.
    Mr Speaker, on that occasion, the precedent was set, whereby the con- temnor was called upon to apologise before the plenary. I refer to the case of Blakk Rasta when he described Hon Members of Parliament as wee smokers.
    On that occasion, when he truly demonstrated that he was indeed remorseful, we tampered justice with mercy. That is a precedent this Honourable House could follow.
    If our Hon Colleague would do what is appropriate in the circumstances by looking at us in the eye and say “I am truly sorry” and this must come from the bottom of his heart -- If that happens, Mr Speaker, why not? We should tamper justice with mercy but if he fails to do so, then the option of suspension may be pursued.
    Lastly, this exercise is a lesson to all of us and to the general public at large, that conduct that seeks to diminish the respect that this Honourable House ought to be punished in no uncertain terms. Mr Speaker, this is the position of the law.
    Often times when you even hear strangers talk about proceedings in this House and Hon Members, it leaves much to be desired.
    They sometimes criticise and attack the integrity of this House without any apologies whatsoever, and when one talks, they are quick to jump to the conclusion that we are maintained by the taxpayer's money and so they can just say anything about this House and get away
    with it -- conduct which impugns the integrity of the Hon Majority Leader of this House, like was made in the case of our Hon Colleague, is indeed contemp- tuous and should be punished.
    Mr Speaker, at the end of the day, if you harness all the conditions that I have outlined in my argument, let us tamper justice with mercy.
    Thank you.
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, first, I would want to add my voice in commending the Committee for a good job done on the referrals that you made to them. Mr Speaker, the Committee's work, like any Committee, may not be hundred per cent but we must commend them for what endeavour they have put into this enterprise.
    We have listened to some Hon Colleagues who have raised issues about procedure.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that if you want to embark on the course of investigating the procedure, we may find some fault with the Committee's work, but we may equally find fault with most of them who also appeared before them and I believe where we are, we should not go on that path.
    Mr Speaker, a few things happened before the Committee and I believe as a House, we should come to some determination on that.
    First of all, our Orders provide in Standing Order 201(2):
    “A person alleged to be in contempt of Parliament may be represented by counsel in proceedings in the Committee of Privileges.”
    Mr Speaker, in this particular case, we have an Hon Member who is alleged to be in contempt of the House and we have Hon Members of this House appearing as counsel for him.
    As a House, going forward, we should come to some determination that it is not the best of practice to engage in that exercise.

    Secondly, in the course of the hearing, we have Committee Members who elected not to appear before the Committee for reasons of the fact that they are from the same region.

    Mr Speaker, we have leadership of Committees. Let the proper thing be done so that going forward, nothing is sprang on any Committee as a surprise.

    1. 04 p. m.

    Mr speaker, now the substance of the matter before us is that the Hon Member, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong is alleged to have made two statements to the effect said that ‘Parliament aye fo', which literally translates into Parliament is cheap. And that Parliament foo, which literally translates; Useless Parliament.

    The Hon Member admits one leg of the allegation but he disputes the other leg. I was not part of the Committee and I do not know what transpired at the level. I have heard what he said; I have watched the video clip and I know what the person said on the video clip. If I have to translate
    Mr Speaker 12:44 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Second Deputy Speaker?
    Mr Bagbin 12:44 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, sorry, I am compelled to stand on a point of order to draw the attention of the Hon Majority Leader to the point that was raised which we responded to.
    The point that was raised was that there was a directive that two people should speak from each Side of the House; two from the Majority and two from the Minority Side.
    That is what we referred to and that is in the consideration of the matter before us, there should be two from the Majority Side and two from the Minority Side. That is not to say that this is a Minority and Majority matter. That was what we referred to.
    I think we should get that point right. The early referral to the Minority was to say that once we agreed, that that is the formula, it should be obeyed. Two from the Majority Side and two from the Minority Side not that it is a Majority- Minority matter. That should be clarified.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:14 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague was not here perhaps from the outset. He would have heard the undercurrents which is why I am speaking the way I am speaking. It is not in any way to retract on the point that you have made.
    Mr Speaker, the issue is this; the conclusion of the Committee is that the Hon Member apologised before the Committee. I was looking for the place where they have made that explicit in the Report and I saw that in the bullet 4.0, that the Hon Member therefore apologised for describing Parliament as cheap.
    What he did not admit is, ‘Parliament is useless'. He did not admit that leg and yet, the Committee has come to some determination that indeed, he made that statement and that is my worry. I think we should grant the Hon Colleague space to make a statement on that.
    He has apologised before the Committee and I think we should grant him space in the House in plenary, if he meant what he said, to render that apology to us.
    The Hon Chairman of the Committee, in submitting his Report, which Motion was seconded by the Hon Ranking Member; the Hon Ranking Member came to dwell on that point that he should apologise to this House. If he apologises to us, then, the option of reprimanding him would lend itself to us.
    The Hon Inusah Fuseini also added his voice to that same issue. Hon James Agalga has also made a point that space should be created for our Hon Colleague to apologise to this House on these allegations that he has made. When Hon Afenyo-Markin was making his point, his only intervention was about procedure.
    Mr Speaker, let me say that the issue that he raised has nothing to do with this. If a referral has been made against the Hon Muntaka on another matter, the Committee exists to deal with the matter.
    We should not mix apples with oranges. If that matter is on the back-burner, it could be brought to the front-burner.
    It cannot be a dead issue. He brought my attention to it and as a matter of fact, I had forgotten about it. If it is still pending and we have to bring it to the front-burner, the Committee exists to deal with it.
    Let us not at this stage, mix apples with oranges. What is before us is to come to a determination at the instance of the Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong that what he said — and he said to us, that he said to the Committee, and I am quoting him, that he explained that he made the statement that ‘‘Parliament is cheap'' out of extreme anger.

    When people are angry, they can go out of bounds. He admits that he was propelled by anger to go out of bounds. That is why I say that we should grant him the opportunity to purge himself, and once he has done so, we could reprimand him.

    If he fails to do that, then the other option may be open to us. I have no doubt that once he has done so before the Committee, he would do the same thing in plenary.
    Mr Speaker 1:14 a.m.
    It is important for us to address our minds to a couple of issues. The Committee is a Committee of the whole House chaired by the Hon First Deputy Speaker.
    There is no evidence of any procedural or protestations at the Committee level and estoppel applies in this regard because at the earliest opportunity, there should have been a complaint with regard to any procedural or other deficiency.
    There is no contention about what was stated at the hearing and no reference to any matter that Hon Agyapong allegedly said, but which was omitted or did not allegedly say but which was added to the Report.
    That goes to the root of the matter of copies being given to a person in such circumstances. In other words, it is at that stage that there could be doubts to be cleared about anything that was allegedly said or not said at the hearing.
    The Report of the Committee is unanimous, the chronology of other complaints is neither here nor there, that some other complaints have been made and have not been taken, yet this particular one has been taken.
    All those things could be dealt with in the appropriate way. It could be raised at the time of discussing Business State- ments, so they could be taken up accordingly.
    It is important for us to put on record that the Hon Member apologised at the end of the exercise to the Committee and also apologised, as we heard on the Floor of this House, to the Leader of Parliament. We cannot blow hot and cold in such circumstances and ignore such facts.
    The accused, if I may so say, also pleaded guilty to one of the two charges. If one is enough to hold contempt, it does not even matter going into the nitty-gritty of the other one as well.
    Hon Members, at the end of the debate, the decision involved in this matter is in two parts. The first part relates to the adoption of the Report of the Committee, that is the privilege of the House. Adoption of the Report of the Committee may be by voice vote and if there is any doubt, then we would have to do a head count.
    If the Motion is carried, then the House would move to the next stage. If the Noes have it, then the Motion is lost and it ends the matter.
    The second part, the sanctions regime, requires taking a specific vote, voice or secret as to what should be done. When we come to the sanction level as is normally done in any tribunal of competent jurisdiction, the offender may then be asked if he has anything to say, which would then be a determinant factor
    in this Honourable House, determining the way the punishment, if agreed on at this stage, should go.
    In the circumstance, I would put the Question.
    Mr Speaker 1:14 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:14 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    I was not getting up. I was beckoning the Clerk-at-the-Table.
    Mr Speaker 1:14 a.m.
    Am I calling you wrongly? [Pause.]
    Hon Members, item numbered 7.
    Mr Speaker 1:24 p.m.
    Hon Members, we shall proceed with a headcount. [Interruption.]
    Hon Majority leader?

    Question put and Motion --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:24 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    -- 1:24 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 1:24 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, is there any difficulty?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:24 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question that you put before the House is for a determination on item numbered 7, which relates to the Motion and it reads:
    “That this House adopts the Report of the Committee of Privileges on Breach of Privilege and Contemptuous Remarks Allegedly Made by the Hon. Member for Assin Central Constituency, Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong''.
    So what we are doing now, is adopting this Report. [Interruption]. It appears some Hon Members did not appreciate the import of the Question. The Report is what we are voting on, and we vote to adopt it. [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 1:34 p.m.
    Hon Members Order!
    The House would stand suspended till the hour of 2.00 p.m. and I will give the leaders the opportunity to see if they can resolve the impasse.
    1:37 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
    3.20 p.m. - Sitting Resumed.
    Mr Speaker 1:34 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to. Hon Members, the next issue before

    The Motion has been carried. Shall we now hear from the Hon Agyapong?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:34 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as you have done now, I think before we suspended Sitting, you put the Question on the Motion listed as item numbered 7 on the Order Paper for the House to adopt the Report of the Committee of Privileges on the breach of privilege and contemptuous remarks allegedly made by the Hon Member for Assin Central Constituency, the Hon Ken Ohene Agyapong.
    Mr Speaker, the Question was put initially but the verdict was not pronounced whereupon Parliament came to be suspended. Upon resumption, you have
    Mr Speaker 1:34 p.m.
    Hon Ken Ohene Agyapong, this Honourable House having accepted the Report of the --
    Mr Speaker 1:34 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Ahmed Ibrahim?
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:34 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Question has not been put for the adoption of the Committee's Report. If that is agreed to, I heard the Hon Majority Leader say that we are at the stage where we would call the Hon Member to come and be either reprimanded or what -- ?
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Report has two legs; either for him to be suspended or to be reprimanded. If the Question is put for the adoption of the Report -- Yes, the Report has been adopted. In the Conclusion of the Committee's Report, there was a tie either for reprimand or for suspension.
    Mr Speaker 1:34 p.m.
    Hon Members, order! I am very clear in my mind as to the steps to take, so let us make progress.
    I said this earlier in the morning, that the House has found him liable for contempt of Parliament. Before we go into the arena of punishment in any manner whatsoever, just as in a court of competent jurisdiction, we would hear what the person who is found guilty has to say for himself and then we shall come to the final position accordingly.
    Hon Kennedy Agyapong, this House, having found you liable for contempt, before it takes any sanction against you, whether by way of suspension, apology or in any manner whatsoever as this Honourable House may find fit, we would want to hear briefly from you.
    Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong (NPP - - Assin Central) 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to the issue. Today, is the first day the entire House is here to listen to my side of the story. I have said that to the Committee and I would want to repeat that they did not get the understanding of some of the things that were said in the tape clearly. [Uproar.]
    Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Order, Hon Members!
    Mr Agyapong 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I apologise, I would want to explain what exactly happened. In doing so, I would first plead with the House to remove the words, “Parliament is useless” because I never said that. I would still insist today or tomorrow, that I never used those words.
    Mr Speaker, with this opportunity, I would want to make my statement clear, that I was furious that day because two things happened. First, I had heard the Hon Leader on two occasions on different radio stations criticising my allegations against Mr Aremeyaw Anas.
    Then second, where the words, “Parliament is cheap” came in, I do not blame the Committee for taking this decision because at that particular time, the radio presenter did not allow me to finish my statement.
    I was referring to the first vice chairman of the Ashanti Regional Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who had gone on air on several radio stations to insult me by saying that for criticising Anas Aremeyaw Anas who is fighting corruption, I do not deserve to be a Member of Parliament and he would never call me so. He rained a lot of insults on me.
    Unfortunately, the radio presenter did not allow me to complete my statement.
    The moment I said, “because Parliament is cheap…” he cut me off. What I meant was that, if Parliament were not cheap, the first vice chairman of the Ashanti Regional NPP could not go on air and insult me, a Member of Parliament, like that; but the radio presenter cut me off.
    So when one listens to the voice, with the anger and everything, I could not articulate my issues clearly. That is how it seemed.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to state clearly that I respect Parliament and I would never disrespect Parliament. Nobody is above the law and I do not feel shy apologising because from the first day I apologised.
    Today, I still maintain that, first of all, I never called Parliament useless. The misunderstanding was on, “because Parliament is cheap…” I did not finish and the radio presenter cut me off. Therefore, if one listens to the voice, one could reach this conclusion for which I would then have to apologise.
    Mr Speaker, therefore, I sincerely apologise to the House if they find it offensive that -- [Uproar.] --
    Mr Speaker, if I say Parliament has been cheapened and it is misconstrued as Parliament being cheap, whether cheapened or cheap, I still apologise; but as a House, we should also give everybody equal rights.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Muntaka made this allegation and I was never given the opportunity to cross-examine him. [Interruption.] I have to go there because it is going on record.
    Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Hon Agyapong, those who admit guilt and ask for forgiveness are very circumspect in the statements
    Mr Agyapong 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much. [Hear! Hear! ]
    Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, you have all voted on this matter already. I would want us to be very careful about any statements that affect issues regarding the dignity of this Honourable House as a whole and I would ask you to be very circumspect.
    Now, the issue before us is, having heard the apology from the Hon Member who clearly says he is sorry, will Hon Members accept this and move the pathway of a warning or would insist upon suspension?
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader? Mr James K. Avedzi(NDC -- Ketu

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is, first of all, challenging your Committee's Report. Secondly, he prefixed his apology with “if”, which is conditional.

    Mr Speaker, you rightly advised that he should take note and give the apology unconditionally but he sat down. So it is not clear if he has taken your advice to apologise unconditionally.

    Mr Speaker, could you give him the opportunity to come again, because the apology he rendered -- [Uproar.] It is conditional.
    Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Order! Hon Members, I hope you would take a cue from
    somewhere and let us end this matter with dignity. After all, it is not any individual whose dignity is being affronted by what you yourselves have decided upon; it is the dignity of Parliament.
    Leave what will happen tomorrow for tomorrow; leave what will happen to others to others. When tomorrow comes, we shall decide on tomorrow's matter. Meanwhile, let us all be honest with ourselves and conclude this matter in a manner coterminous with the dignity of this Honourable House.

    Hon Majority Leader (Mr Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu): Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, I thought that we were moving towards a consensual position that the Hon Member should be granted space to apologise.

    He has apologised and I appreciate the point that has been made by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader, that he qualified it initially but subsequent to that, I think he came back and declared so uncondi- tionally.

    He initially qualified it with “if” and if it offends anybody he apologises but subsequent to that he rendered an unqualified apology. Mr Speaker, I think that we can leave it at that, unless maybe Hon Members insist that he should re- state what he said. But I think that should be for --

    Mr Speaker, having said so, I believe that we should all appreciate that if the dignity of one individual in this House is affronted, it affects every Hon Member in this House.

    I want to believe that going forward, my Hon Colleague and others whose matters have not come before Parliament,

    but who also have some penchant in running some individuals down, would know that we are a collective; we float together or we sink together.

    So let us be mindful of this. We may criticise each other on issues but not on personal attacks.

    Mr Speaker, I believe that it takes a man of courage, who realises that he has committed an offence, to stand up and say to us that he is apologising. In my considered opinion, if the last leg of what my Hon Colleague said is anything to go by, then it seems to me that he has sufficiently purged himself and we could say to him that he should go and sin no more.

    If he goes to sin again, then maybe, the House as a collective would be harsher and harder on him than we have demonstrated today.

    Mr Speaker, otherwise, I would say to us that sufficient on to the day, is the evil thereof.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, we have heard the Hon Member.
    Pursuant to this Honourable House and having found him liable of contempt of Parliament, it is a serious offence in terms of any Ghanaian or any person whatsoever so far as the dignity of Parliament is concerned.
    It is important in such circumstances to hear from the accused person before we pronounce a sentence, so to speak which this Honourable House has done.
    The Hon Member has explained that despite the fact that he accepts liability
    for his remarks, for the sake of the record, he wants it to be said that he never said that Parliament is useless.
    He accepts that the remark “Parliament is cheap” did come from his lips; nevertheless, the statement was not completed and for that matter aspects of that statement which would have made his position really clear were truncated from the record.
    The Hon Member has said that he respects Parliament and I would urge Hon Members to take this into account. Let us remember that even a person found guilty of murder may have an explanation which would hold even to the grave, and it is known well to jurisprudence, both home and abroad, that this happens.
    Therefore, let us be advised by greater wisdom that goes beyond what is before us now. The important thing is that the Hon Member has admitted that he is guilty and has apologised to this Honourable House. We are enjoined by the Hon Majority Leader to prefer the path of caution and ask him to go and sin no more.
    I hope that if this Honourable House should come to the conclusion that indeed, the Hon Member should go and sin no more, we would not have the opportunity to have this same matter revisited in one form or the other in the annals of the history of this Honourable House, whether from him or anybody else.
    In the circumstances, I would put the Question on whether or not this Honourable House is of the view that the path way of caution should be adopted at this instance.
    Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the issue is whether we should take the apology by our Hon Colleague into consideration in deciding on the two options but -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, I feel sad about the lack of patience when we are debating. Why do we not listen to an Hon Member who is on his or her feet before another gets up for the opportunity to reply?

    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you may continue.
    Mr Avedzi 3:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was saying that the issue is whether we should take the apology by our Hon Colleague in deciding he should be reprimanded or suspended. Mr Speaker, these are the two options before us and that is the recommendation of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, if you are asking whether we should take a leg of asking him to go and sin no more, then that would become a third option to us and this is not part of the recommendation.
    So we are of the view that if you could ask the House to decide on either suspension or reprimand, then we could take a decision. Mr Speaker, this is our humble view.
    Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
    The Question is whether the House must pursue the pathway of reprimand or not; and to reprimand is, in fact, to say that he should go and sin no more.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
    The House has accordingly adopted the pathway of a reprimand.
    I therefore say, Hon Agyapong, do not give Hon Members the opportunity to regret giving you this opportunity.
    The Hon First Deputy Speaker would take the Chair. We are still in the extended hours of Sitting. [Pause].
    Hon Members, item listed 5 -- Procedural Motion to be moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, having done what we had tackled, I believe we could stand the Motion listed item number 5 down and bring the Business of the day to a conclusion. We can take that one tomorrow. We can take the Motion on the State of the Nation Address tomorrow.
    I believe we can end the Business of the day by adjourning and come back tomorrow to continue Business.
    Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 3:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would go by the suggestion of the Hon Majority Leader that we take the Motion numbered 5 tomorrow because we have spent the whole day on this earlier Motion. We are now in your hands.
    Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
    In the circumstance, Hon Members, this Honourable House stands adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 in the forenoon.
    ADJOURNMENT 3:50 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 3.54 pm till Friday, 15th February, 2019 at 10.00 a.m.