The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has expressed worry that members of parliament who have a duty to their constituents would need inducements to attend parliamentary proceedings.
He explained that it gets even more disturbing that MPs, who campaigned and won their respective elections at constituency levels, would be giving the government a tough time in trying to get them to be at post to do the exact works they signed up for.
He was reacting to the claims made by the MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, to the effect that some of his colleagues were paid huge sums of monies just to get them to appear in parliament to help with the business of the House.
The MP alleged that the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, gave him GH¢120,000 to be deposited into the bank account of the Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, just to get her to be in parliament.
“I have vowed not to insult like I will blast her today. Adwoa Safo, Chief of Staff called me; I went there and [she] said now this is what she is saying, I swear [on] my mother’s grave, Chief of Staff gave me GH¢120,000 to deposit in Adwoa Safo’s bank account.
“I put the money there; I deposited it in her Fidelity Bank account; you can ask her PA if what I am saying is not the truth. I deposited the money there. Now, because of how she is behaving, we are in opposition,” a furious Kennedy Agyapong said on Asaase Radio on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
But reacting to these claims, Kwesi Pratt Jnr said it is unimaginable that with the calendar of parliament being public knowledge, some MPs would still need some coercion to appear at work.
“One of the things we do is that the calendar of parliament is known – everybody knows the calendar of parliament. Before they left the country, everybody knew that the Minority had 137, the Majority had 137, and if you followed the calendar, everybody knew that it was going to be tight, if not impossible.
“So, why were they in the first instance allowed to leave the jurisdiction? I’m sure some may argue that some of them left on health grounds. Now, if that argument is made, then perhaps we may also want to look at whether or not the health condition was such that it could not be handled in this country and they had to leave by all means possible and so on. So, you can explore those angles,” he said.
Kwesi Pratt further expressed worry at the claims that such huge sums of monies, whether they are allegations or not, could have been paid to some MPs in that regard.
He added that if these claims are established, then it gives rise to a lot of worry over earlier allegations of this nature, as well as their veracities.
“And then we’re told of 120,000 something – we don’t know whether it is dollars, or cedis, or it is pounds, or it is deutschemarks, but 120,000 something which was given to Hon. Adwoa Safo to induce her to go to parliament to do the work for which she was elected is a bit strange. But whatever it is, it raises an issue about parliamentarians having to be given special inducements to do the work for which they campaigned and got elected.
“And this may tie into other allegations that have been made before: you heard about the other allegations before about parliamentarians sometimes being induced to vote a certain way and so on – all of these may tie into that. But as it is now, it remains an allegation,” he said.
Kwesi Pratt Jnr made these comments on the Tuesday, February 22, 2022, edition of Good Morning Ghana and monitored by GhanaWeb.