Speakerís Ruling Embarrasses Parliament

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abuakwa-South, Samuel Atta Akyea, has argued that the Speaker of Parliament embarrassed the House with his dismissal of a motion which sought to have President John Mahama investigated over the Ford gift saga.

“What is it that will prevent anybody from blocking this issue? What is it to hide? What is the fear? This phobia is giving vent to some speculations that maybe there are skeletons in the cupboard. In fact, it’s constitutional confusion to subordinate Parliament to CHRAJ, it’s an embarrassment to this House,” he insisted.

Members of Parliament were summoned from recess today [Thursday] over the matter in which the President received a $100,000 ford vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor who is said to have benefited from some lucrative government contracts.

However, the Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, dismissed the motion saying the right body to investigate the matter was the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). “Ordinarily, having regard to standing order 79(4), I would have returned the motion to the member in whose name it stands as being inadmissible.

But the motion was tied contemporaneously to the request for the recall of the house under standing order 38(1) which derives from article 123 of the constitution and therefore leaves me with no discretion in recalling the house.

Standing order 79(4) also provides as follows: Every notice shall be submitted to Mr. Speaker who shall direct that it be printed in its original terms or with such amendments as he shall direct or that it be returned to the member submitting it as being inadmissible.

I am therefore unable to admit this motion. I hereby direct the clerk to return the motion to the member in whose name it stands in line with standing order 79 (4),” Mr. Adjaho added. But speaking to Citi News, Atta Kyea, insisted that the Speaker’s ruling makes mockery of Parliament.

He also explained that the rationale for filing the motion was not to get the president impeached but to unravel the truth in the case. “We are not going to flog a dead horse.

We thought that nobody should embarrass the president by going the way of impeachment; what for? It is not our joy to embarrass the president, if we want to get him out, we will get him out electorally, not through impeachment, given the abysmal record of the NDC.”

The Abuakwa South legislator also stated that, the speaker breached natural justice by not allowing the minority to defend their motion. “Arbitrariness is indicating to us that we won’t go anywhere with it, we don’t want to waste precious time over this.

The mind is set, he came in with a prepared decision, he didn’t even give us the opportunity to articulate the position. There was a breach of natural justice right there,” he added.

Minority acted in bad faith

Meanwhile, the Majority Chief whip in Parliament, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, has said the Minority acted in bad faith in pursuing the case since CHRAJ is already investigating the matter brought before it by both the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and the youth wing of the Convention People’s Party (CPP). “In law, the process of doing something is as important as the matter itself. So you can’t jump the process.

All they [Minority] were doing was in bad faith because the matter was being investigated,” he explained.