Former Member of Parliament(MP) for Okaikwei North, Issah Fuseini, has leveled serious accusations against the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin.
According to him, the Speaker is fully to blame for the hullabaloo that has characterized the August House of Parliament.
Since the inception of the 8th Parliament under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, there have been series of boxing in the chamber among the members of the House.
A recent brawl occurred last year where the members on both sides – the majority and minority – clashed over the Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu handing over to the Second Deputy Speaker in order to join a quorum to approve the 2022 budget.
Supreme Court Verdict
In order to end the Deputy Speaker issue in the House, the case was sent to the Supreme Court and a seven-member panel unanimously ruled that a “Deputy Speaker is entitled to be counted as a Member of Parliament for quorum” and can “vote and take part in the decision of Parliament”.
President Responds To Ruling
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, declaring his position, agreed to the Supreme court ruling stressing “the legislative power of Parliament [that is vested] that is of the State which is vested in Parliament is subject to the provisions of the constitution. All organs of the Ghanaian State including me as the Head of Executive, we are all subject to the teachings of the constitution. There is nobody in the Ghanaian State that is above the fundamental law of the land”.
He added that ”if they are denied the right to vote, [it will mean] it is tantamount to denying the right of the people you represent to have a say in the decision of the Assembly. That will not be right. So, I couldn’t understand all this furore and controversy artificially generated”.
The Speaker, in reply, says the President made a myopic statement.
In a statement issued by him, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin said, “I have resisted the temptation of making a comment on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of the voting rights of Deputy Speakers when presiding. But the unfortunate and myopic comment of the President has compelled me to let it out. The SC decision, is to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament”.
”The trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence. The President’s comment is myopic and unfortunate. It only goes to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament”, he accentuated.
Allegations Against Speaker
Issah Fuseini, not enthused about the Speaker’s utterances, in a panel discussion on Peace FM’s morning programme ”Kokrokoo”, decided to uncover an unparliamentary deed by the Speaker.
He revealed that the Speaker has turned his office into the national headquarters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), a behavior he identified to tarnish the seat of the Speaker and the image of Parliament.
He wondered why the Speaker is not taking cues from his predeccessors who left a good legacy as, to him, it will do Mr. Alban Bagbin good to also leave behind a good legacy.
Issah Fuseini noted that Mr. Bagbin is setting a bad precedent but hoped he would listen to advice and changed his ways.
“I’ve heard that when you go the Speaker’s office, it’s an extension of the NDC national office . . . because I know former NDC Members of Parliament who today work in the Speaker’s office. Hitherto, it was never the case. It’s unprecedented!”, he bellowed.
“. . the institution of Parliament is sacrosanct. If he cannot improve it, he should leave it as he came to meet it,” he slammed the Speaker.