During Monday’s parliamentary session, there was some friction as the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, ignored Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu during discussions over the amendment of the Criminal Offences Bill.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stood on his feet for close to two minutes, and all that while, Speaker Bagbin refused to pay heed to him.
During that period, Alban Bagbin strongly criticized President Akufo-Addo’s decision not to assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill and Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill.
In a passionate address to Parliament, Bagbin accused the President of being “tragically wrong” and “ill-informed” in his rationale for rejecting the bills.
President Akufo-Addo, in a letter, cited financial implications on the state’s consolidated fund and potential breaches of Article 108 of the Constitution as reasons for his refusal. He specifically highlighted the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill, sponsored by MP Francis-Xavier Sosu, as having financial burdens associated with replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.
However, Bagbin vehemently dismissed these concerns, asserting that the President was misguided in his assessment of the bills’ financial implications.
After making his submission, a disgruntled Majority leader stated that “You don’t even know what I’m going to say.”
The Speaker gave the indication that he should not be interjected while making his submission or a point of order or information must be raised – a gesture we cannot confirm whether or not Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu used per the video sighted.
“Majority leader, you are not a first-timer in this House,” the Speaker said.
The Majority leader quickly replied, “I know” and was quickly told to resume his seat by the Speaker.
The two individuals, who would no longer listen to each other began speaking at the same time. The Speaker continued with proceedings while the Majority leader kept saying “What is this that you are seeing in Ghana’s Parliament. What is this?”
After receiving no attention from the Speaker, Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu resumed his seat.