General News of Thursday, 11 August 2011
Source: The Catalyst
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Pressure is mounting on the Parliament of Ghana to take appropriate disciplinary action against New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications Director and Member of Parliament (MP) for Okai Koi North, Hon. Nana Akomea, for bringing the name of the august house into disrepute, by insulting Mr. James Agyenim Boateng, Deputy Minister of Tourism as “a stupid fool on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday.
Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP), a group within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Joyce Adeline Bamford Addo, requesting her office to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Nana Akomea with a view to meting out appropriate sanctions to him.
The petition dated 9th August 2011 and signed by Felix Owusu Kwakye on behalf of the group made reference to the press conference addressed by the NPP communication director Thursday, 4th August, 2011 where he categorically stated that among other things the Government of Ghana was involved in a plot to use state resources to bribe journalists to do its bidding.
According to the group, Nana Akomea also stated emphatically at the press conference that Mr. Jamal had been captured on tape asking journalists to write favourable stories about government in return for monetary and other inducements and that, he subsequently caused to be distributed a list of names of the said journalists with supposed bank accounts.
The petition said RAP is convinced that these allegations spewed out by Hon Akomea are false and were deliberately calculated at damaging the reputation of Mr. Jamal and government in order to score cheap political points. The allegations have indeed needlessly inflicted severe injury on Mr. Jamal’s image.
“We find this deed perpetrated by the Hon Akomea extremely diabolical and regrettable. It is our belief that this action coupled with his unsavoury comments on the program referred to above have compromised his integrity as a Member of Parliament and raised serious questions about his suitability to remain a member of the august body. It also amounts to an affront to the dignity of parliament and brings the institution into public opprobrium,” it stated.
“While we find Hon. Akomea’s behaviour unbecoming of someone of his stature in society, we are even more worried Madam Speaker, about his refusal to retract and render an apology to Mr. Agyenim Boateng and the people of Ghana who he offended with his behaviour.”
The group also noted: “Madam Speaker in our respectful view these constitute contempt of Parliament under orders 28 and 30(2) of the standing orders of parliament. We therefore wish to officially petition your good office to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges in accordance with order 31 of the standing orders of parliament for immediate disciplinary proceedings against Hon. Akomea with a view to meting out appropriate sanctions to serve as a deterrent to other Members of Parliament from engaging in similar unethical conduct. We also pray you to prevail on Hon. Akomea to issue an unqualified apology to Messrs Agyenim Boateng and Baba Jamal, the Government and people of Ghana and the all fifteen journalists mentioned in this affair. We have attached a recording of the Joy fm program to aid in your investigations into this matter.”
“We trust that you will act expeditiously on this matter to safeguard the sanctity and image of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana which Hon Akomea’s conduct threatens to undermine and also help repair the unfortunate reputational slur Mr. Jamal, the Government of Ghana and all those mentioned have suffered,” the petitioners stated.