MEMBER OF Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has called in sick as a defence for his absence from Parliament for 15 sitting days of the First Meeting of Second Session of the House.
He told Parliament’s Privileges Committee on Wednesday when he appeared before it that his absence from the House was inadvertent due to ill health, which took him out of the jurisdiction.
Mr. Agyapong is among three NPP MPs who have been summoned by the Privileges Committee to answer questions over their absence from Parliament without a written permission from the Speaker.
The other two are Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central, and Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya, all in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr. Agyapong initially reportedly asked for permission to go for a medical trip abroad, and his meeting day with the Privileges Committee was rescheduled to last Wednesday.
However, Mr. Quartey arrived at the venue for the meeting with the committee last week, but he could not be attended to because the committee’s chairman, Joseph Osei-Owusu, was billed to take over from the Speaker in the chamber.
In the case of the Dome-Kwabenya MP, she did not show up, insisting that she was not aware of any summon that asked her to appear before the committee for interrogations.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has directed a publication of summons to her in all relevant media.
Earlier, Mr. Osei-Owusu explained that Adwoa Safo was written to by the Privileges Committee, explaining that a letter of her summons was sent to her through email and copied to her WhatsApp number and office.
“We will send her a reminder,” he reiterated and added, “In our letter to her, we stated that we would offer her the opportunity to be interviewed through Zoom, a virtual video conferencing platform.”
On April 5, 2022, Sarah Adwoa Safo of Dome-Kwabenya; Henry Quartey of Ayawaso Central; and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong of Assin Central were referred to the Privileges Committee for allegedly absenting themselves from the House for more than 15 sitting days without permission.
The Speaker, who made the referral, said evidence made available to him by the “table office indicates that three of the Hon. Members have so far absented themselves in this meeting for more than 15 sitting days without permission as recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.”
“I trust that the Committee of Privileges will consider this matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserves as the public interest in this matter is amazed. More importantly, we make the law and we must be seen to be obeying and complying with the laws we make,” he added.
BY Ernest Kofi Adu