The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, believes it should not matter whether his apology to the Speaker of Parliament after being charged with contempt by the Joe Ghartey committee was from his heart or not.
“Whether that [the apology] was from the bottom of my heart, whether I agree with the grounds on which you are asking me to apologize? That is for me to feel inside and decide whether I want to divulge or not,” Mr. Ayariga stated on The Big Issue.
He insisted that his apology was simply pursuant to the decision of Parliament after MPs had voted to accept the report of the Joe Ghartey committee.
The Bawku Central MP was charged with contempt for making unmerited bribery allegations against Members of the Appointments Committee and the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.
It was concluded that Mr. Ayariga fell foul 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.
In his apology to the Speaker of Parliament on Thursday, he said:”Mr. Speaker, if you say I should apologize, I have apologized,” but some have criticized the apology for not having remorse, with the Majority side expressing displeasure with the perceived disrespect of the House and its Speaker.
‘My hands were tied’
But Mr. Ayariga, defending the demeanour of his apology, explained that his “hands were tied” because it became a decision that had been adopted by the House.
“…the recommendations of the committee became the decision of the House and as a respectful member of the House, I then said… since you have already put the question and it has been voted and the decision has been taken that I should render an apology, I have to show respect to the 274 members sitting, so if you say I should apologize, I hereby apologize.”
“My rendition of an apology is pursuant to a decision of the House which binds me. I am bound by the decision of the House to render an apology, whether I like it or not, I am bound by that decision.”
Mr. Ayariga maintained that, his apology was not tied to anything external, quizzing: “What are the conditions? You asked me to apologize so I am saying that if you [The Speaker of Parliament] ask me to apologize, I apologize. Is that not ordinary English… I didn’t say I am apologizing subject to XYZ.”