You are not above the law – Bagbin Cautions MPs;
The speaker of Parliment, Alban Bagbin told the house that this is his first time hearing the matter. As it is now, he is compelled to refer the matter to the privileges committee over some utterances Kennedy Agyapong made against a journalist.
However, Alban Bagbin stated that the privileges committee will find out if Kennedy Agyapong’s utterances were alleged is just a mere allegation is supported by facts or whether those facts constitute contempt of the House and abuse of a privilege of members.
Alban Bagbin has cautioned members of the house to be wary of their utterances and actions outside the house stressing that the immunity they enjoy only applies to what they do within Parliament.
Alban Bagbin told the MPs to carry themselves in ways that fits the office they occupy.
He urged them to be guided with their comments on media platforms and not assume that being a member of parliament shields them from the effect of reckless statements.
Alban Bagbin said that the constitution reigns supreme in the country and any MP who falls foul of the law will not be given protection by Parliament.
It is important for me to emphasize here that the privilege and immunity of free speech applies in full force in plenary session and committee sessions, not when members are outside debating issues or on radio and TV. You don’t have that right, that privilege, that immunity to just say anything because you are a member of parliament.
“We are not above the law. It is for good reasons because you represent a large number of people, you should be given the full immunity to be able to say what the people want you to say. That is why you say it in parliament and you are covered” he said.
Alban Bagbin made the comment when he referred a petition brought before him by a media house over comments made against their reporter by member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong to the Privileges Committee of the house.
Bagbin said he is not clothed with the power to make a unilateral decision on the matter and will want all members to take a decision on the matter.
He said the decision to decide whether there is merit in the petition before the house by the media house lies in the bosom of Parliament as an institution and not just the Speaker.
I want to emphasize that it is the House that will take the decision, it is not the speaker, it is not any other person apart from the House. Bagbin added.