After apologizing to his colleagues and parliament for contemptuous remarks make against them last July, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central was reprimanded by the House and asked to “Go and sin no more”.
The Speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye repeated the statement “Go and sin no more” earlier made by Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Menah-Bonsu in his final admonition to Mr Kennedy Agyapong, found guilty of contempt of parliament by the Committee of Privileges set up by the House.
At its thirteenth sitting of the second meeting of the second session of the seventh parliament held on Wednesday, June 6, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak, Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase drew the attention of the House to an alleged disparaging comments by Mr Agyapong on social media to the effect that “The House is useless and cheap, and if the house was not useless it would not have Kyei-Menah Bonsu as its majority leader”.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak further indicated in the complaint that, the alleged comments were in contempt of parliament, under Standing Order 28 of the House and prayed the Speaker to refer the conduct of Mr Agyapiong to the privileges Committee for investigation and report.
The House obliged and following the receipt of the Committee’s report at the plenary, rather had a tough time in taking a decision on adopting the report. The vote to adopt the report was initially inconclusive as there was no clear Aye or Nay when Speaker Prof. Oquaye put to question as to whether to adopt the report or not.
The House then suspended sitting for some time, and when it resumed sitting then voted a soundly Aye to adopt the report. The Committee’s report recommended a reprimand or suspension of the contemnor.
After intervention by both Majority and Minority sides, Speaker Prof Oquaye gave Mr Agyapong the opportunity to speak on the matter and the findings of the Committee at which Mr Agyapong apologised for the contemptuous remarks made against the House. He however repeated an earlier position that he never called parliament “useless”
He further stated that the remark that parliament was cheap was made out of anger and that if the presenter on the radio station on which he was speaking had not truncated him from speaking he would have been able to explain himself better on that allegation.
My Agyapong used “if” during his apology, a word which was geared at by the Minority side; and later dropping the word “If“ and rendered an unqualified apology to the House. In his ruling, Speaker Prof Oquaye advised the House not to engage in any activity that would bring the dishonour to the House, as some member giggled and made fun of Mr Agyapong during his apology.
The Speaker Prof Oquaye admonished Mr Agyaopong “to go and sin no more” and urged members to continue in the path that would always bring honour to the House. Majority Leader Kyei-Menah Bonsu, in an earlier submission, told the House that the contemnor had called him and the wife separately at one dawn and apologized to them.
Mr Kyei-Menah Bonsu urged members of the House to adopt a reconciliatory stand on the matter, explaining that, “We float together or sink together”, adding, it takes a man of courage to render such an apology.