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Opinions of Saturday, 6 March 2021

Columnist: Alhaji Iddi Muhayu-Deen

Parliament must cite Sammy Gyamfi for contempt to protect its image

The Parliament of Ghana is being urged by many Ghanaians to cite Sammy Gyamfi, for CONTEMPT of Parliament following his recent unprovoked incendiary attacks on some Members of Parliament including the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban Bagbin, for the conduct of parliamentary business on March 4, 2021.

This call has become necessary for Parliament, which is the bulwark of the country’s democracy, to purge itself of Sammy Gyamfi’s denigration and indictment in order to protect its integrity.

The maverick young politician, Sammy Gyamfi, who is the Communications Director of the NDC, went berserk following the parliamentary approval of President Akufo-Addo’s first batch of Ministerial Nominees on March 4, casting aspersions and making direct bribery allegations against the leadership of the Minority Caucus, the Rt. Hon. Speaker and the institution of Parliament in its entirety. His conduct has undoubtedly desecrated the good name of Parliament and lowered its image in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.

While describing them as “renegades”, Sammi Gyamfi also accused the Members of Parliament of selling their conscience and proceeded to launch a scaling attack at the person of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, whom he accused of “riding on the back of the NDC into Office to pursue his own parochial agenda and nothing more”.

There is no gainsaying that the greatest measure of Ghana’s level of conformity to democratic dictates, is the strength of our parliamentary democracy. We must, therefore, at all times, religiously guard against any act that seeks to desecrate the revered institution of Parliament and subject it to public opprobrium.

It is in recognition of this scared duty that, the framers of our 1992 Constitution provided for CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT in order to protect the sanctity of the legislature. Contempt of Parliament has been defined in Article 122 of the Constitution, 1992, to include, inter alia, acts that obstruct/impede Parliament or MPs in the performance of official functions, or which tend to affront the dignity of Parliament [emphasis].

Sammy Gyamfi’s reprehensible conduct has certainly affronted the dignity of Parliament and some of its members, and therefore falls squarely within the offense contemplated in Article 122 of the Constitution. On account of this, it is expected that Parliament will assert its authority by citing the loud-mouth Sammy Gyamfi for contempt in order to protect its image and integrity. This cannot be said enough!

Assalamu alaikum