General News of Saturday, 18 February 2017
It was gross indiscipline on the part of North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to have taken to Facebook to respond to comments about him at the sitting of the ad hoc committee investigating the bribery allegations made against the leadership of the Appointments Committee of parliament by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, has said.
Earlier this week, during the first sitting of the Ghartey committee, Joe Osei-Owusu, Chairman of the Appointments Committee and one of the persons against whom the allegation has been made, revealed that Mr Ablakwa indicated that the allegation was made up just to make the New Patriotic Party feel the heat former President John Mahama felt while in office.
“All the Minority members said was: ‘Mr Speaker, cool down, cool down’. And I said: ‘How can I cool down? This allegation is already in the public domain’. It was at that point that Okudzeto Ablakwa said, ‘Because Agyarko said our president (Mahama) was corrupt, we were spreading the corruption allegation’. The mood in the room changed afterwards,” Joe Osei Wusu told the ad hoc committee.
But Mr Ablakwa, who got livid with the comments, took to his Facebook page and wrote: “May it be known that the so-called confession attributed to me by Hon. Joe Osei-Owusu is nothing but a desperate, malicious and cancerous fabrication which would not be allowed to fester. The last time Hon. Osei-Owusu made this same allegation, he hanged it around the neck of Hon. Mahama Ayariga, I guess he had forgotten to be consistent when he appeared before the Special Committee today.
“Let no one doubt my resolve and the extent I am willing to go to vindicate the truth in this matter…Truth Stands.”
Subsequently, through his lawyers, the former Deputy Minister of Education wrote a letter to the committee requesting that he be made to appear before it else he would sue. The committee has accordingly afforded him the opportunity to appear and make his views known.
But Mr Baako has said Mr Ablakwa’s decision to take to social media to respond to Mr Osei-Owusu’s comments at the sitting amounted to indiscipline because he was going to be invited by the committee to make his side of the story known.
Speaking on Multi TV’s Newsfile on Saturday February 18, Mr Baako said: “I think that the Member of Parliament ought to have disciplined himself and waited for his opportunity.
If you read the letter that he (Ablakwa) wrote, apparently he received that earlier letter indicating that he should stand by.
Then at the committee proceedings, the chairman also indicated that those who think they had any input to make could submit a memorandum upon which if they studied you can be invited, so there was not a closure to anybody who had anything to say.
“For me, in terms of the principle of natural justice, there was no way you were going to have that thing completed without people like Ablakwa and Suhuyini called, it wasn’t going to be possible.
“…You intended to petition the Speaker, meaning that you were bringing the matter within the framework of parliament. I don’t see how you then battle your case on Facebook or in the media.”