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27.03.2009 Politics

GBC Boss To Face Privileges Committee

By Samuel Nuamah - newtimesonline.com
GBC Boss To Face Privileges Committee
MAR 27, 2009 POLITICS

The Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, William Ampem-Darko, is to be summoned before the Privileges Committee of Parliament for his alleged verbal assault on  K. T. Hammond, Members of Parliament of Adansu-Asokwa in the lobby of Parliament on Tuesday. Mr Ampem-Darko, who accompanied the Minister of Information to the House to get the Ministry's budget estimate approved was said to have verbally assaulted Mr Hammond trying to register his protest against the MP's call for his dismissal.

When the House was approving the budget estimate of the Ministry, Mr Hammond made a statement on the floor of the House and  called for the dismissal of the GBC boss, citing issues bordering on competence and professionalism.

The MP was said to have accused Mr Ampem-Darko who he said, is a known member of the NPP, of taking actions lately to please the government of the day

Yesterday the Member for Atwima-Mponua,  Isaac Asiamah,  raised the issue on the floor  urging the Speaker to take steps to protect the dignity of parliament. Following this, the Speaker, Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo, referred the matter to the Privileges Committee.

The principal duty of the 31-member Privileges Committee is to enquire into any complaint of contempt of parliament or breach of privilege, or any matter of privilege which may be referred to it and to recommend to the House, such action as the committee may consider appropriate.

Jones Kugblenu, Public Affairs Director of Parliament told the Times that when a matter is  referred to the committee, it normally invites all parties concerned, as well as witnesses, and based on the evidence produced it makes recommendations to Parliament.

He explained that the committee, has the powers of a high court asking that, “if the committee thinks that an apology is enough then that will be it.”

Mr Kugblenu said “Parliament does not exist to incriminate or criminalise people, but what is important is for people to respect the rules and dignity of the house.”

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