Leader of the Majority Caucus in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has explained the source of the confrontation that he had with Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hn. Alban Bagbin on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that Kyei-Mensah Bonsu had reportedly been put in his place by the Speaker after he presumed to tell the Speaker how to execute his function as Speaker of Parliament in regards to enforcing the comportment of MPs in the House.
However, Mr. Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said the altercation rather arose from the Speaker’s decision to break convention and directly accept a petition from the owners of the defunct uniBank and UT Bank, who had prayed the Speaker to probe the revocation of their operating license by the government.
Dr. Kwabena Dufuor, the Majority shareholder of UniBank and Mr. Prince Kofi Amoabeng, former MD of UT Bank had petitioned the Speaker over the collapse of their banks as part of the financial sector cleanup by the Akufo-Addo government.
Hon Kyei-Mensah Bonsu explains that he feared that the Speaker’s decision to accept the petition directly would open the flood gates for many other members of the public to inundate him with petitions.
“The Speaker says that, as a Speaker, there is nowhere in the Constitution or standing orders, debarring him from admitting petitions. So he is open to every petition and I can’t believe that.
“This is because the House will then be inundated with petitions from left, right and centre if the Speakership is to be reduced to a mere conveyer belt. So I disagree with the Speaker,” he told Accra-based Joy.
He said, “I expressed my opinion, I said to the Speaker that I disagree with the recourse that he is resorting to because a matter is before the Court. The Court has not exhausted the processes and the cases are being heard by the Court and from the Court, the two people run to Parliament to seek cover and petition Parliament.”
The Majority Leader’s objection had earned him a dressing down from the Speaker. “Honourable Majority Leader, the business of government is led by you in this House. You don’t lead parliament, you lead the business of the House, you lead the Majority, and you lead government business. As to the role of the Speaker, you haven’t reached there yet, when you get there, you do so.”
Meanwhile, after the Speaker overruled the Majority Leader, way was paved for a Committee to be formed to probe the matter.
The two owners of the two defunct banks prayed that the Speaker will have their licenses restored to them after the investigation.