Minority accuses First Deputy Speaker of bias

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Joseph Osei-Owusu

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has accused the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, of bias for his refusal to admit a motion filed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu.

According to them, Mr Osei-Owusu’s refusal to admit the motion was an abuse of his office as he was not mindful of Article 296, which entreated public officers to act with discretion and while exercising that discretion, should be fair and candid and not be capricious.

“In our view, he was politically biased in his refusal to admit the motion than doing his work as the Speaker of the House,” he said.

Minority Chief Whip, Mohamed Mubarak Muntaka, made the allegation when he addressed the media in Parliament in reaction to the First Deputy Speaker’s directive to the Clerk of Parliament, through a letter, to inform the Minority Leader that his motion has been refused.

The Minority Leader filed the motion challenging the First Deputy Speaker’s ruling after his earlier motion seeking to annul the approval of the 2022 budget was rejected.

Mr Iddrisu, in his motion, complained about the unfair ruling on the part of Mr Osei-Owusu who sat for Speaker Alban Bagbin.

He contended that the December 1, 2021 ruling by Mr Osei-Owusu breaches the rules, conventions, and practices of the House and was motivated by bias.

Mr Muntaka also stated that the Minority Leader would respond officially to the letter from the First Deputy Speaker and to remind him that he was unfair by refusing to admit the motion.

He said the Order 13 (2) that Mr Osei-Owusu quoted was simply referring to the absence of the Speaker of Parliament and the First Deputy Speaker taking the authority of the Speaker and therefore it had no relation with the motion that the Minority side was seeking.

He argued that Order 81 talks about the steps to submit a motion while Order 82 clarifies the procedure to move a motion and second it, adding that, when motion is moved and seconded, it cannot be withdrawn unless, with the leave of the House and so, the purported ruling by the First Deputy Speaker on the earlier motion was of no effect.

Mr Muntaka also indicated that the Minority side intends to exploit other means to challenge the First Deputy Speaker’s refusal to admit the motion or possibly wait for Speaker Alban Bagbin to file another motion.

On the disagreements between the Minority and Majority when Parliament should rise, Mr Muntaka maintained that the House should rise for the Christmas break on December 17, 2021.

He said the Minority side was firm and ready to work and, thus, urged his colleagues from the Majority side to show the same enthusiasm to transact the business of the House.

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