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General News of Thursday, 2 April 2009

Source: Chronicle

Ex-Speaker Hughes collected per diem for wife

.... and allowed wholesale carting of handbags of sale
THE anti-corruption crusader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Odoben-Brakwa Constituency in the Central region, Hon. P. C. Appia-Ofori has flayed his Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu for daring to defend the former Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes over the latter’s conduct in allegedly helping himself to state properties at his official bungalow when exiting office.
The Rt. Hon. Begyina Sekyi Hughes, the former Speaker of the House of Parliament is reported to have vacated his official bungalow with all state properties such as furniture, cutlery and many more items.
Hon. Appiah Ofori, who was incensed about the Minority leader’s defense of the former Speaker over the allegation of looted state properties at his official bungalow, used unprintable words on the Minority leader for daring to defend the beleaguered former Speaker.
The verbal attack was on the morning show programme on Kyzz 89.7 Fm, on Tuesday and hosted by Kwame Malcolm. Even when the host of the programme drew PC. Appiah-Ofori’s attention to the fact that he was using unprintable words on his Minority leader, the anti corruption crusader would not budge but kept on firing unprintable salvo. ‘I don’t condone stupidity, I don’t condone irregularity, I hate people who cover the truth’, spewed Hon. Appiah-Ofori on his Minority Leader.
Consequently, Hon. Appiah Ofori called on the government and the police to take steps to effect the arrest of Sekyi-Hughes to face prosecution, because what the former Speaker had done was tantamount to stealing, which he described as unparliamentarily and unconstitutional.
The Odoben Brakwa Legislator went ahead to tell the host of the programme about how the former Speaker operated in contravention of the regulations of the House. He alleged that the former Speaker embarked on several conferences together with the wife, and collected per diem for her, in the name of Parliament.
Mrs. Becky Sakyi Hughes was the Treasurer of the Western regional New Patriotic Party and resigned from the position when her husband was appointed Speaker in the last parliament
Continuing, he said the parliamentary planning committee held a conference and budgeted for a total amount of 5.4 billion old cedis, but strangely enough, the total expenditure of the conference eventually turned out to be 11.6 billion old cedis, exceeding c 4.2 billion cedi (old cedis).
What is more, the Speaker presided over the said conference and imported hand bags for sale to each member who attended the said conference, a situation he described as unparliamentarily and frowned upon by the regulations of the House.
Hon Appiah Ofori also noted that the conduct of the Speaker should not be swept under the carpet or covered up. Though the Minority Leader was on the programme, he described the conduct of the former Speaker as not the best, and chided P.C. Appiah-Ofori for always going public with wrong information, and later apologizing.
Earlier, the Minority Leader told the host of Kyzz FM that the Parliamentary Service Committee would sit this week to delve into the conduct of the former Speaker.
There is a widespread sympathy for the former Speaker in Takoradi, where the couple are well known.
Some people, however, blame Rebecca Sekyi Hughes who they describe as having an overbearing influence on him, as the person who cleaned the bungalow.

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