Speaker will rule at his own time – Parliament

The leadership of Parliament has asked the general public to be patient in the face of the seeming  delay by the Speaker of parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye in ruling on the Joe Ghartey report which indicted the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga of contempt.

The Speaker’s ruling on the conduct of Mr. Ayariga per the report has been on hold for days now, after he was charged for denigrating the image of  parliament following his “unsubstantiated” claim that the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko,  after his edgy appearance before the Appointments committee of Parliament, attempted bribing members of the committee.

The chairman of the five member ad hoc committee presenting the report before parliament Thursday March 30, 2017, asked the former Sports minister to render an unqualified apology to purge himself of contempt.

But angered by the findings of the committee, Mr. Ayariga hesitated in issuing the apology saying: “Mr, Speaker, if you say I should apologise, I have apologized.”

Indications are that  the speaker has rejected the conditional apology offered by Mr. Ayariga.

However,  the delay in making his decision known has drawn condemnation from a section of the public.
But speaking to Starr News,  leadership of both sides of the house called for calm.

“The sitting is not over. The speaker has to come out with the ruling on this Mahama Ayariga issue. Some colleagues were saying they [have not found] on the order paper and I told them there is no need for you to see it on the order paper because it is over. It is the speaker’s prerogative to come and give a ruling and today we have adjourned he hasn’t given the ruling. We have tomorrow…and he may decide to give his ruling. Or better still when the house comes back to give his ruling,” the deputy majority chief whip Mathew Nyindam said.

The deputy minority leader James Klutse Avedzi also noted that they  are “actually waiting for him [the speaker]” and that he must be given time to prepare his ruling.

According to the report, Ayariga “failed to ascertain the veracity of the rumour prior to publishing same. The Committee further observed that as a result of the publication, trust and confidence among members and inter-party cohesion needed for consensus building at the Appointments Committee has broken down considerably.

“Individual members of the Appointments Committee had become suspicious of each other. The chairman of the appointments committee indicated his distrust for Mr. Mahama Ayariga while Alhaji Muntaka stressed that it will be difficult to deal with his accusers.

“The reputation and image of the institution of Parliament has been greatly injured by the allegation. The reputation and dignity of the First Deputy Speaker, other members of the Appointments Committee and that of the Minister for Energy equally suffered considerable damage.”

It added: “As a results of these observations, the committee came to the firm conclusion that Mr. Mahama Ayariga is in contempt of Parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, Section 32 of the Parliament Act (1965) Act 300 and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

“The Committee came to this conclusion because Mr. Mahama Ayariga failed to prove that indeed Hon. Boakye Agyarko gave money to Joseph Osei Owusu to be distributed to members of the appointments committee with a view to bribe them.”