ASEPA petitions US to impose visa restrictions on Ken Agyapong

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The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the US government to impose visa restrictions on the Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, for issuing threats on a Multimedia journalist, Erastus Asare Donkor.

ASEPA is asking the US government to extend the ban to the current Ghanaian government and all its officials until the government resolves the murder case of Ahmed Suale.

The pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) CSO also wants the US to place some sanctions on Ghana’s parliament if it fails to remove the embattled Assin Central MP.

Below is the petition:

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Parliament summons Agyapong

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has directed Parliament’s Privileges Committee to investigate the conduct of Agyapong following alleged threats on a journalist.

Bagbin wants the committee to investigate and report to the House whether the recent utterances and conduct of the MP for Assin Central amounted to contempt of the House and abuse of parliamentary privileges.

The request for the referral to the privileges committee was by the Member of Parliament for Tamale North Alhassan Suhuyini drew the attention of the Speaker to the comments by the Assin Central MP and the action taken by the Multimedia Group against him.

According to Suhuyini, the position of Agyapong as chair of the Defense Committee as well as recent unpopular comments associated with him warrants that Parliament takes action against him [Agyapong].

The Speaker in referring Agyapong to the Privileges Committee said, “The House’s attention is drawn to the conduct of one of our members and under Order 27, which I want to quote says: notwithstanding anything contained in these orders, Speaker may refer any question of privilege to the committee of privileges for examination, investigation, and report.”

Bagbin said, “In spite of the word notwithstanding, the Speaker in giving his discretion may request any question of privileges. I think that’s why the Honourable Member is seeking my intervention to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.”

He added: “This is my first time hearing this matter. As it is now, I am compelled to refer it to the Privileges Committee. It’s a matter the Privileges Committee will have to go into and then report to the House and it is for us to decide whether the Honourable Member is contemptuous of the House.

“In the circumstance, I direct that this matter be directed to the committee of privileges for investigation and report, I so direct.”

Bagbin also cautioned MPs to be mindful of their conduct and also emphasised the limitations of the privileges they enjoy.

On Friday, 9 July 2021, Agyapong was reported to have verbally abused and threatened to attack Erastus Asare Donkor, “for the journalistic work that the latter undertook during the recent shootings and killing incident at Ejura” on Net 2 TV.

Agyapong was filmed on a live programme which was widely published on social media platforms, stating that, “if he [Agyapong] were president, he would have ensured that Erastus Asare Donkor is beaten mercilessly.”

By Fred Dzakpata

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