Mr Speaker, I have one hundred and forty thousand human beings in my constituency and of this, we have seventy thousand voters who decided that I should be their representa- tive in this august House. If I were a “weed” smoker, they would not have done that, and if they thought that I was a criminal, they would not also have done that.
Mr Speaker, to say that 80 per cent of Hon Members of Parliament smoke “wee”, is just to translate that two hundred and twenty Hon Members of Parliament smoke weed, and only fifty- five do not smoke weed.
Mr Speaker, I support the call of the Hon Member, that whoever is alleged - his nickname is “Black Rasta” but we would get the real name, is brought to this House, referred by you, Mr Speaker, to the appropriate Committee, to come and tell us and the nation, the criminals that are in this House.This is because smoking “weed”, is a criminal offence, and one can be jailed for it.
Mr Speaker, I support the call of the Hon Majority Leader that the Constitution of Ghana, article 110, gave Parliament the authority to have Standing Orders. Articles 122 and 123 talks about contempt, and I believe that in this case, article 123 should be applied. Not only should we deal with the contempt matters, but we should refer to article 123 and look at the criminal aspect of it.
Mr Speaker, I believe that when the opportunity comes, it is important to educate the people of Ghana, about what causes contempt. Many people do not really know what causes contempt. Standing Order 30, spells out; (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l) and (n), and if you add the Standing Order 30 (2), then that would give us fifteen offences that the Standing Order spells out.
There is no time, otherwise, I would have read each of them, one by one, for the people of Ghana to understand what causes contempt of Parliament and why Parliament hastens slowly to drag people to the Privileges Committee, for contempt of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, this is because it covers everything. Hon Members of Parliament, by the powers vested in this Constitution, and given by the people of Ghana, are held in high esteem. That is why Hon Members of Parliament take it upon themselves to behave in a way that reflects their status. When there is no
Parliament, there is no democracy, unless people want us to forget about this House called Parliament and go back to the dark days, when people used to sleep from six to six. Even the freedom of speech that we have, that enables him to go to an FM station - Hitz FM and insult Parliament, is because of Parliament itself.
Mr Speaker, I would want to apply and support my Hon Colleague, when he refers to Standing Orders 30 and 73 (1) together, that the gentleman be brought to this House - In fact be referred to the Privileges Committee by Mr Speaker, and invited to appear before the Committee, to explain himself out, so that Hon Members of this House, would have the opportunity to comment on it, when the report comes.
Mr Speaker, we should expedite action. For once, this House should bite. It should bite because people take the powers of Parliament for granted. After all, there are other people who have been referred to the Committee and nothing happened. So people believe that they can just denigrate Parliament, insult Hon Members of Parliament, molest them and impede their work, and go scot-free.
But that is the path we have chosen as a country; the path to hand over power to Parliament as it is.
Mr Speaker, by the Constitution, it is only in this House that the President of Ghana can be impeached. This House, if we so decide that there is a cause to impeach the President, we would impeach the President. The people of Ghana have given the authority to this House and so I will support the call by the Hon Member, for you to refer that matter to the Privileges Committee and I believe all Hon Members on the Minority Side of the House support that call.