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Speaker supports death penalty

Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye has kicked against calls for the taking away of death penalty in Ghana’s statute books.

The death penalty has been in Ghana’s statute books since the application of the English Common Law in 1874, but in practice, no execution has been recorded since July 1993, when then-President Jerry John Rawlings ordered the execution of some 12 convicts via a firing squad.

Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye however, argued Tuesday in Parliament after the approval of President Akufo-Addo’s nominees to the Supreme Court, that death penalty is a fallback measure for the nation in punishing heinous and horrendous crimes thus, it must be maintained.

“It is a very interesting matter when people talk about the right of the criminal. Supposed a psychopath sets out to go and kill people in the mosque on Friday, people in the church on Sunday, mows everybody down, and at the end of it, he says, I have got the right under the law not to be executed. It is ridiculous. He has got the right not to be executed, but he has the right to go and kill thousands of worshipers. So, the state must reserve for itself the death penalty. It’s good that in Ghana we have not executed people for so long of the death penalty.

But, I believe the State of Ghana must have it death penalty in its pocket reserved so that where necessary, the most heinous of crimes can still be subject to such executions. These are parameters that some of the Human Rights advocates don’t seriously exam and we must be very mindful of them in the future,” he stated.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Near fight as Communications committee meet with GIBA

Investigation conducted by Ghanamps.com in Parliament can reveal that the meeting of the Communications committee with Ghana Independent Broadcast Association (GIBA) on the 10th floor nearly turned into a physical fight between the Chairman Kennedy Agyapong and Samuel George Nartey.

As at Thursday 10:00am a hot exchange ensued between the chairman of the committee and the Ningo-Prampram lawmaker, with the chairman using very unprintable words in front of the visitors.

The meeting came to an abrupt end when the chairman of the committee threatened to beat up Samuel George Nartey who was restrained during the verbal exchange, resulting in the meeting being halted for two hours, but resumed midday with the Ningo-Prampram legislator returning back as at the time when the chairman had not returned.

In an interview with a member of the committee, Ras Mubarak as to what happened at the committee meeting, he said unfortunate spectacle happened “that is all I can say”. When pushed to throw light on the fight at the committee room he said, “let what happened in Vegas stay in Vegas”.

He further noted that what happened today is something that should have never happened, these are the sort of things that dent the credibility of Parliament, we need to protect our image.

Mr Ras Mubarak added that there are hard working men and women that are serving this institution; the clerks, Speaker and the rest, we cannot allow petty party political interest to take over the workings of Parliament.

“The exchange between the Chairman and Samuel George Nartey in the meeting was embarrassing, we have to meet with the leadership of the House, we have to look at re composing the committee again, it is a very important committee that has oversight on an important sector”, he said.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Haruna calls President, IGP and Interior Minister to order over CID harassment

Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, has said Ghana is not a “banana Republic” for the Police Criminal Investigations Department to be harassing a sitting MP Collins Dauda.

According to the Minority Leader President Nana Akufo-Addo, Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu and Interior Minister Ambrose Derry should be called to order.

“We are a country govern by law and under pin by rule of law, no citizen including MPs are above the law of this land, but our immunities and privileges are constitutionally guaranteed”, he lamented.

He further expressed serious reservation about the police CID harassing and intimidating a senior sitting MP and a former Minister Collins Dauda both at his home in Accra and his constituency, looking for taggers’ or well built men.

And recounted that “we were in this country when NPP vigilantes attacked the court and chase away members of the peace council, the police should have gone after them and investigated them. We expect respect to be accorded an MP and do what is legally appropriate”, he said.

“We have never and ever said MPs are above the law or above criminal investigation, but to besiege the home of an MP with that with men in uniform it is intimidating and unacceptable for us”.

Again let them be reminded that, we are not cowards we would not be intimidated by some of these, “it must stop, we are very capable of responding to those threats, we are law abiding and we would continue to be”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Monetization is not allowing MPs stay on the floor for two hours—Muntaka

Minority Chief Whip, Mohamed Mubarak Muntaka is lamenting over the kind of politics the various political parties are conducting themselves in, in the various constituencies.

According to the Asawase lawmaker the kind of monetization is not making Members of Parliament stay more than two hours in the chamber of Parliament. They walk out.

He further added that by just sitting on the floor of the House, you learn a lot of things, because it is biggest university; “we have archeology to zoology passing through this place, many of us who learn to stay in the House we have learnt a lot”.

In the days of late Joseph Henry Mensah our senior Members of Parliament would sit in their seats and listen to debate, and further pointed out in the days of J. H Mensah even when you disagree with him you would listen to him.

He made this remarks when he paid tribute to late J. H. Mensah on the floor of the House, “we have left debate on the floor of the House into petty politics; we do not have quality debate national interest is left aside”.

“It was through the effort of J. H. Mensah that the Minority began shaping how they should conduct themselves, the kind of courage and force they had to put in to challenge the Majority, it was through the effort J. H. Mensah, today we have left everything to shouting we have now turn things to when you were here you did this and we are here we are doing it this way”, he lamented.

The Minority chief whip lamented over the insufficient time allocated to them to debate on the floor of the House and pointed out that the quality of debate is affected this days.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Parliament scrutinizes six ministers – designate

Parliament has officially received communication from the President announcing the appointment of six individuals Ministers of State.

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye read a communication from His Excellency the President informing the Speaker and the House of his nominations of six (6) persons for appointment in accordance with articles 78(1) and 256(1) and (2) of the constitution.

The nominees include: Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah – Minister designate for Information, Cynthia M. Morrison- Minister designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Paulina T. Abayage – Minister designate for Upper East Region.

The rest are Evans Opoku Bobie – Minister designate for Brong Ahafo Region, Martin Oti Gyarko – Deputy Minister designate for Brong Ahafo Region and Samuel Nuertey Aryertey – Deputy Minister designate for Eastern Region.

The Speaker has accordingly referred the appointments to the Appointments Committee for vetting.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com.

Reshuffled Ministers must be vetted again – Haruna Iddrisu

Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has suggested the need for Ministers of State who have been reshuffled from one portfolio to the other to be re-vetted.

According to him it is time Ministers are vetted for positions for which they have been appointed unlike the current norm where a Minister who is reshuffled from one sector to another is made to assume duty without the due process of Parliamentary scrutiny.

He quoted provisions of article 256 and 78 of the constitution where appointments are done with the prior approval of Parliament.

Mr Haruna who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South feared that if Ministers of State are not always scrutinized for the specific positions for which they are appointed, a time would come where square pegs would be mixed in round holes lacking the needed competence for the detriment of the whole nation.

The Majority leader, Osei Kyei- Mensah- Bonsu technically agreed with the argument saying it is time to interrogate the matter further to help improve the Nation’s governance structure.

By Christian Kpesese/ghanamps.com.

Parliament considers critical issues during five day sitting

Ghana’s lawmakers are expected to deliberate on certain critical National issues as Parliament is recalled for a five day emergency sitting by the Speaker of Parliament.

Among the issues the House is expected to consider during the period includes approval of some Loan facilities for infrastructure projects, Tax waivers, consideration of and passage of the Right to Information Bill, 2018, consideration and passage of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Bill, 2018, adoption of the Appointments Committee Report on the four Supreme court judges who were vetted and approved as well as the vetting of Ministers of State- designate.

As a result, the House is expected to begin extended sitting effective Wednesday on order to complete schedule business before close of the week.

By Christian Kpesese/ghanamps.com

Business Committee must sit earlier – Ras Mubarak

Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak has according to Order 56 of the Standing Orders of Parliament urged the need for the Business Committee of the House to sit during an earlier designated day before the day of the recall of Parliament to enable it schedule business ahead of time in order for sitting to start on time.

According to him the phenomenon where the Committee meets on the day of commencement of Meeting delays the start of proceedings unduly hence must sit earlier.

Order 56 (1) requires that “every Friday the Chairman of the Business Committee shall make a statement in the House of the Business arranged for the succeeding week, but where the first week of a Meeting commences on a day earlier than Friday, he shall make a statement of the business arranged for the remainder of the week, if possible on the day of commencement of the Meeting”

Mr Ras Mubarak made the observation on the floor of Parliament as parliament began a five day emergency sittings to consider some critical national issues.

Proceedings of day one started late because the Business Committee had to meet that morning in order to plan the five day activities.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

J. H. Mensah was an iconic politician- Majority leader

Majority leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has paid glowing tribute to the memory of late Senior Minister Joseph Henry Mensah who was popularly known as JH Mensah describing him as “brilliant, selfless and iconic politician”.

In a tribute read on the floor of Parliament, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs said the deceased who was also former legislature was always more of a character than a person.

According to the Suame Member of Parliament, the late JH Mensah spoke truth to power, provided voice for generations and different in an indifferent world.

Mr JH Mensah was a generalist who knew not just a little but very much about every subject matter making him an astute and consummate debater on the floor of Parliament when he was an MP.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the late JH Mensah was a workaholic who worked himself overnight for God and country that inspired him to become what he was as Minority leader for eight years and now as Majority leader.

He thanked the late Senior Minister for all he did for him saying he was “a character of unknown intelligence, commitment, bravery, energy, endurance, humility, simplicity, and boundless integrity”

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

JH Mensah was friend & a mentor- Rashid Pelpuo

The Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Dr Rashid Pelpuo has described the late JH Mensah as a friend and a mentor.

Contributing to a statement in memory of the late astute politician, Dr Pelpuo said the late JH Mensah distinguished himself everywhere he went during his days on earth.

He noted that the exploits of JH Mensah attracted Dr Kwame Nkrumah who invited him to be part of his seven year Development Plan for the country and subsequently became Finance Minister at a very prime age.

According to Dr Rashid Pelpuo who was a former Minister of State in-charge of Public Private Partnership (PPP), the late JH Mensah exhibited great quality of debate and versatile in all subject matter as a great debater who reads wide, cuts across all political decide and is respected by all.

He noted that the deceased rose above his training during the pre-colonial days and made himself relevant during the colonial era in the post-colonial periods.

Dr Pelpuo advocates for the documentation of the life of late JH Mensah to serve as an inspiration even as his name is immortalized as a man of deference.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com