According to the First Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Mathew Nyindam, since the incident described by many as dishonourable and unfortunate happened when the House had been adjourned, per Parliamentary procedures it is deemed to be off record.
There was a commotion in Ghana’s Parliament Thursday evening after a member of the Minority side was found guilty of contempt of the House in a bribery allegation.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga was charged by a 5-member ad hoc committee established by the Speaker following his allegation that the chairman of the Appointments Committee Joe Osei Owusu served as a channel by the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to bribe members to clear him during his vetting.
Ayariga was found guilty of perjury and has been asked to “render an unqualified apology” to the Appointments Committee’s chairman and the House because according to the fact finding committee, he has “gravely injured” the reputation of Mr. Owusu.
After several objections, the former Minister of Environment, Science and Techonoly stated that “Mr. Speaker if you say I should apologise, I apologise.”
The Speaker Prof. Mike Oquaye fixed Friday, March 31, 2017 to rule on the case.
But soon after the Speaker adjourned the House and vacated his seat, there was total chaos in the Chamber as some members of both sides were captured on national TV in a scuffle.
However, the First Deputy Chief Whip Majoity and MP for Kpandai claims the incident was a non issue because no MP was assaulted.
“Suhuyini is claiming that the MP for Manhyia South, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh insulted him but no one heard any insults. Apart from the gestures he (Suhuyini) was doing, no one would have noticed something was happening becuase in Parliamentary procedures, if you don’t speak to the microphone it is deemed off record until you catch the speakers eye and you speak into the microphone, that is when you have the floor and your comments captured by the hansard. If one uses any offensive language in Parliament the person is made to withdraw the word immediately. That struggle happend when the Speaker had adjourned the House and left the chamber, it was then that we started arguing about individual behaviour…that is what happend so it was off record. But it’s just that our media is so vibrant and they captured some of these things on their camera, other than that it’s a non issue because there was no assault.”