Former Tamale Central lawmaker Insuah Fuseini has said the Speaker has a just cause to be angry with his First deputy Joseph Osei-Owusu for the dismissal of a private motion to investigate the government’s Covid-19 expenditure.
He noted that the First Deputy Speaker has more often taken some decisions which are not in accordance with the Standing Orders of the legislative house.
“I cannot understand the basis for the 1st Deputy Speaker’s actions. Unless of course, he thinks he ought to have been the Speaker and not Bagbin. He is overturning decisions made by the Speaker and that is not by the Standing Orders of the House,” Mr Fuseini explained.
Leader of the Minority Caucus, Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak; and the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, initially filed a motion that sought to constitute a bi-partisan parliamentary committee chaired by a member of the Minority to probe COVID-19 expenditure.
The said Private Members’ motion was captured in the order paper for Thursday, November 4th, 2021.
But Joseph Osei-Owusu while leading proceedings for the day on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, dismissed the motion, saying that the work of such a bi-partisan committee is already provided for by the Constitution, to be conducted by the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Mr Fuseini added that the First Deputy Speaker’s refusal to allow for the motion to be debated exposes his bias.
“Matters of this nature must be resolved by debate in Parliament. When a motion is debated, members are then asked whether or not they support the establishment of an ad-hoc committee and if the ‘yes’ have the votes an ad-hoc committee is set up and the matter ends.”
Mr Fuseini noted that a review of the Standing Orders of Parliament will prevent a recurrence of such a development.
“We must consolidate the hierarchy of Speakership, review the standing orders and provide clear rules to regulate the conduct of the Speaker, 1st Deputy Speaker, 2nd Deputy Speaker, or any other person.”