The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has cautioned Kennedy Ohene Agyapong. The Member of Parliament for the Assin Central for the New Patriotic Party, who is also currently the Chairman of the Parliament’s Defense and Interior Committee.
The caution came about after a video circulating had Kennedy Agyapong threatening for Mr Erastus Asare Donkor, a broadcast journalist, to be beaten mercilessly for giving out a false report as a witness towards the Ejura killing during the demonstration by the people of Ejura, where two were confirmed dead.
The matter was brought before parliament, and the Speaker of Parliament said, it was his first time hearing that matter. Adding that, he is compelled to refer it to the privileges committee. “I want to emphasize that, it’s the house that will make the decision, not the speaker of parliament, and it is not any other person, apart from the house. That will be your collective wisdom.
We will come to a conclusion to know if what is alleged is a mere allegation or whatever fact. And whether those facts really constitute contempt of the house and the abuse of privileges of members.” He said.
In his continuation, he made mention that it was important for him to emphasize that, the privileges and immunity of free speech apply in full force in both Parliament and committee sittings. And not when members are outside debating issues on radio or TV.
“You don’t have that right, that privilege, that immunity, to just say anything, because you are a member of parliament. Not at all!” He stated.
He again made it k own to the house that, they were not above the law. Rather, it’s for a good reason they all find themselves in Parliament. And that is to effectively represent the people who elected them into that position.
“We are not above the law. It’s for a good reason. Because you represent a large number of people, you should be given the immunity to be able to say what the people say they want you to say. That is why you say it here, and you’re covered.
That immunity doesn’t extend to you in the market square and anywhere, just saying anything because you feel like you are a member of parliament.” He said.
He ended by tasking the Committee to go into the matter.
“So please, the committee should go into the matter, submit a report and I want to urge the house to do this as a house. Because it is something that affects us including all members, and I, as a speaker.”