General News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
Member of Parliament for Bawku Central says the Chief Justice was right for stopping MPs from using honorable as a title as a prefix to their names in court but said she cannot stop its use especially on the streets.
According to Mahama Ayariga the title honorable has become so “bastardized” that in popular parlance anybody of political significance is referred to as honorable.
“When you express your intention to contest for an MP they call you honorable. When you file and contest, they call you honorable. Even when you lose they call you honorable,” he said on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme Saturday.
He was contributing to the discussion on the striking out of a case brought against the Gender Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba.
At least two Members of Parliament, Ernest Norgbey and Kwabena Minta Akandoh who represent Ashaiman and Joaboso respectively proceeded to court seeking to nullify the appointment of Madam Djaba as minister merely because she did not do her national service.
The Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, who presided over a panel of Supreme Court judges threw out the writ, describing it as incompetent.
The Chief Justice also took on the plaintiffs, who prefixed their names on the writ with the title honorable.
She said it was dishonorable for them to have used the title honorable as a title.
The matter triggered some huge controversy with some MPs angry with the way their compatriots were treated in court.
Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Saturday, Mahama Ayariga jumped to the defence of the Chief Justice.
Quoting Standing Order 83 which spells out the rules of debate, Ayariga said during a debate on the floor, MPs may refer to one another as Mr Ayariga, honorable Member of Parliament for Bawku Central.
He said nowhere in Parliament are MPs allowed to use honorable as title.
“The Chief Justice simply pointed out what is contained in the Standing Orders of Parliament,” he said.
He was quick to add, jokingly, that while the CJ is right in pointing out the anomaly in court, she cannot stop the use of title on the streets which has become so popular and bastardized.
The Member of Parliament for Sekondi Andrew Mercer who was also on the show also supported the position of the Chief Justice.
He said it is inappropriate for MPs to assume the title honorable as a prefix to their names. He said he at no time used the title even on his call card or his letterhead.