Bagbin has warned MPs that they ought not to think they are above the law
He says he will not shield any MP who goes against the law
He has referred a petition against Kennedy Agyapong to the Privilege’s Committee
Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament 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 the precincts of Parliament.
Alban Bagbin on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, reminded the MPs to carry themselves in ways that fit the office they occupy.
He urged them to be guided with their comments on media platforms and not assume that being members 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 undue protection by Parliament.
“It is important for me to emphasize here that the privilege and immunity of free speech apply 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 say they want you to say. That is why you say it here 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 a 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 Speaker Bagbin.
“As it is now, I am compelled to refer it to the Privileges Committee. I want to emphasize that it is the House that will make the decision, it is not the speaker, it is not any other person apart from the House. “That will be your collective wisdom that comes to the conclusion whether what is alleged is just a mere allegation or is supported by facts and whether those facts constitute contempt of the House and abuse of a privilege of members.”