The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, has once again slammed the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu for overturning his ruling to admit a motion tabled by the Minority for the constitution of a bi-partisan committee to probe the Covid-19 expenditure.
Presiding over the sitting on Wednesday, February 2022, he said the penchant of the First Deputy Speaker to overturn his rulings when he takes over as chair is not only offensive, disrespectful but unconstitutional.
The First Deputy Speaker on Tuesday dismissed a motion by the Minority to probe the Covid-19 expenditure by the government although the Speaker had admitted the motion when he presided.
According to him, the work of such a bi-partisan committee is already provided for by the Constitution, to be conducted by the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
“All the committees of the house including the Public Accounts Committee are bipartisan, and the Public Accounts Committee is designed by nature to be chaired by members of the Minority. In all its forms, the Public Accounts Committee, if it is minded to investigate anything related to the Covid-19 expenditure, fully sees to the authority and power to investigate that, particularly because all the accounting of it has been provided for in the budget which budget has been provided by the House and is before the committee. My view is that this motion ought not to have been admitted, and it’s improperly before the House.”
The Speaker reacting stated that the ”penchant of the First Deputy Speaker to overrule my rulings is, to say the least unconstitutional, illegal, and offensive”.
He reiterated that the First Deputy Speaker or any other person presiding in the absence of the Speaker cannot be called to overturn a ruling by the substantive Speaker.
”Be that as it may, I shall not be taking any steps to overrule the decision of the First Deputy Speaker to dismiss the motion as moved for the probe into the Covid-19 expenditure.
He hinted of plans to meet with the Deputy Speakers on ways to deal with such matters so the House would be guided at all times during deliberations.
The standing orders of the House, he explained provide avenues to challenge the rulings of the chair, and those aggrieved by the rulings will take the necessary steps.
He stressed ”the responsibility of the admission of a motion in the House is reserved for the Speaker and the Speaker alone”.
Meanwhile, he has told the MPs that Ghanaians are not happy about the performance of the House, so legislators must up their game.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal/Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana