The Minority Chief Whip has described as unfortunate the heated exchange between the chairman of the Parliament Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu and the member on the Minority side Alhassan Suhuyini.
Muntaka Mubarak stated unequivocally clear that the new entrant violated portions of the Standing Orders of Parliament in attempting to grill Energy Minister designate Boakye Agyarko.
The Minority Chief whip would rather have the new entrants learn and quickly grasp the rules of procedure in the house in order to avoid such needless encounters on the vetting Committee.
The former host of Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji made headlines during the vetting of the Energy Minister Designate when he sought to find out the level of involvement of the nominee in a criminal case in the Bank of New York which had some employees of the Bank prosecuted.
Boakye Agyarko, had prior to joining the Nana Akufo-Addo campaign in 2007 worked as a Senior official in the Bank of New York.
Alhassan Suhuyini gave a background of the fraudulent case involving the Bank and demanded from the nominee to assure the house that he was not at all involved in the criminal activity.
He also asked the nominee to furnish the committee with information about how he got the job, what he did at the bank, when he left the bank and why he left the bank.
The minister designate confirmed that the criminal activity happened and officials of the bank were prosecuted. He was however quick to add that the criminal activity never happened in the Bank of New York where he was Vice President but rather in another branch of the bank outside the jurisdiction of New York. He found it rather bizarre that he would be asked to advertise his innocence in a criminal activity that never happened in his branch.
He also stated emphatically that at no point did his name come up for investigation in the said criminal matter.
Shortly after the response by the nominee, Alhassan Suhini started protesting and accusing the chair of the committee of trying to intimidate him.
The Chair in apparent disgust with the conduct of the Member of Parliament for Tamale North decided to take away from him his right to ask follow up questions.
The drama at the committee has left the general public divided with some supporting the Chair of the committing and others accusing him of trying to intimidate the young MP.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, Tuesday, the Minority Chief Whip told Kojo Yankson, his compatriot erred not just by the way he framed the question but how he conducted himself.
Quoting Standing Orders 67, part of which says “questions shall not contain any argument, expression of opinions, inferences, imputation, controversial, ironical or offensive expression or hypothetical statement,” Muntaka Mubarak said Suhuni’s question had a traces of inferences and impugning ill motives to the nominee.
He added that while the MP’s question was not out of place, he certainly did not frame it well and was within the powers of the Chairman of the Committee to overrule him.
“What he said was unfortunate and I want all of us to understand, when you FIRST go to committee you have one difficulty or the other in TRYING TO ABREAST yourself with the rules.
“…If Suhini was conversant with the rules, the same question that he posed, he could have put it in a way would have made it difficult for the chairman to overrule it,” he said.