Effiduase-Asokore MP has crossed the red line – Speaker fumes

Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho has sent a strong signal, indicating that he was appalled by comments made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effiduase-Asokore, which suggested that he is corrupt.

When the house reconvened on Wednesday to start a new parliamentary session, the Speaker in plain terms stated that Frank Boakye Agyen “crossed the red line”.

Frank Boakye Agyen had alleged that the Speaker was compromised and externally influenced to dismiss a case brought by the 80 Minority MPs seeking Parliamentary inquiry into the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Private Equity Fund.

But the Majority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, who felt the comment by the MP has brought Parliament into disrepute vowed to have him punished.

He filed a motion on the floor Wednesday, bringing the comments officially to the attention of the Speaker to pave way for the MP to be dragged before the Privileges Committee.

However, Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, pleaded for clemency on behalf of the beleaguered MP for the sake of “holding this house together”.

The Minority Leader asked that the matter is rather referred to the Leadership of Parliament, which the Speaker reluctantly agreed.

Frank Boakye Agyen was absent in Parliament, when the issue was raised.

But Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reminded the house that “parliament thrives on consensus building”, and called on the Speaker to fall on his personal relationship with the MP and show him mercy.

“Mr. Speaker, I will plead that instead of, may be, the referral to the Privileges Committee, we have a forum to be chaired by your good self (Speaker) with the two Deputy Speakers, the leaders of the house and the honourable member, whose name has been mentioned for us to discuss this matter behind the curtain,” he pleaded.

Supporting Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s plea, Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor said he was “livid” when he heard the allegation.

Recognizing Frank Boakye Agyen’s issue as “human weakness”, he cautioned members against the temptation of being “overzealous” to the extent of allowing themselves to be “carried away” to pass delicate comments.

Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, earlier preferred that the matter was referred to the Privileges Committee for investigation.

But going by his conviction not to have speech criminalized, the Speaker noted how unwilling he was to refer matters to the Privileges Committee, even in his days as the Deputy Speaker.

“But where the chair is being accused of being influenced then [the MP] seems to have crossed the red line,” Doe Adjaho remarked, adding, “if we don’t go into this matter, I think that it is going to undermine the authority of this house”.

Later on Joy FM’s Top Story, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the leadership would have to establish whether there was any fact in the allegation.

“The leadership would be capable of determining the matter,” he assured.

Meanwhile, Majority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has expressed confidence in the leadership to do a good job.

He however, called on colleague legislators to be “more responsible” in their actions and not to draw conclusions based on suspicions or observations.

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