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Speaker to Invoke Contempt of Parliament and Breach of Privilege Rules against Misreporting

Speaker to Invoke Contempt of Parliament and Breach of Privilege Rules against Misreporting

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The Speaker Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye on Friday warned the media in Parliament against misreporting parliamentary proceedings either in the parliamentary chamber or for some other work outside It.

He has therefore given the final warning to apply appropriate parliamentary sanctions against acts that constitute contempt of Parliament or breach of privilege.He made those remarks in reaction to a front-page news story headline with the caption “Ursula Owusu Running From Accountability On $89 million Kelni GVG Deal” carried in the 7th August 2020 edition of the Herald Newspaper which he described as woefully misleading and a misreport.He threatened to invoke Rule 30 (H) of the Standing Orders of the House which listed publication of false, perverted, misleading, distorted, fabricated or scandalous reports, books or libels reflecting on the proceedings in Parliament as among acts which constitute a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker said on that day he did not order the Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to be present and render account on the controversial US$89 million Kelni GVG deal but rather that the particular issue is addressed on Friday, 7th August because she sought permissions by sending in a letter to the House on 3rd August to be absent from the House.

The Herald in the story reported that: “the Speaker of the House, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, has ordered the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to be present and render account on the controversial US$89 million Kelni GVG deal.”According to the Paper, the Minister had failed on three occasions to be in the House to answer the question on the transaction meant to monitor revenue mobilization from mobile telecommunication companies operating in the country.The story added that; “the powerful Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was nowhere to be found in Parliament on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, when she was billed to provide answers to some questions on the $89 million deal which she brokered.”The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampra, Samuel Nartey George was named to have posed some questions to the Communications Minister on the incremental revenue the state has accrued since Kelni GVG was engaged.

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