The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), has filed a complaint with the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, over recent publications made by editors of the Daily Guide Newspapers against the Speaker of Parliament.
It contends that the reports issued by editors of the Daily Guide Newspaper amounts to the issuing of false and malicious publications which is punishable under Ghana’s laws. Contained in a statement, ASEPA emphasized the need for the police to fairly apply the country’s law to the editors of the Daily Guide Newspaper just as it was applied to many other persons who were found culpable of similar activities.
“ASEPA is only calling for the laws of the Country to be applied equally to the editors of the Daily Guide Newspaper just as it has been applied to persons alleged to have made false and malicious statements against certain persons in Government including the Executive Director of ASEPA who was arrested and detained over 48 hours for similar publications”.ASEPA
The statement followed a publication by the Daily Guide Newspaper earlier this month which reported that the Speaker had requested an additional $50,000 from parliament for his trip to Dubai.
The anti-corruption and civil advocacy group, among other things, included copies of a series of “false and malicious publications by Daily Guide specifically concocted to court public disaffection for the Speaker of Parliament”. ASEPA explained that checks at the office of the Speaker revealed that several attempts to get the Daily Guide to issue a rejoinder over its false and malicious publication against the Speaker of Parliament has all proven futile.
“ASEPA is therefore employing the Police to eschew selectivity and apply the laws of this Country irrespective of whose ox may be gored”.ASEPA
Parliamentary Service refutes claims of cash requests
Reacting to Daily Guide’s claims, the Parliamentary Service, on March 18, 2022, refuted claims that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has made cash requests from Parliament. The Director of Public Affairs of the Parliamentary Service, Madam Kate Addo, indicated that the reports in some sections of the media about the Speaker’s alleged request for funds, are false and must be dismissed.
It intimated that the Rt. Hon Speaker has not, at any point in time, made direct cash requests from Parliament, emphasizing that the conditions of service of public employees, including political office holders, cover medical care, both local and foreign. Additionally, the Parliamentary Service explained that in the case of Parliamentarians and Speakers, the Presidential Commission on Emoluments details out the main areas of coverage. This, it noted, covers sitting and former Speakers.
The Parliamentary Service asserted that the current Speaker has no authority and has not made any attempt to, in anyway amend or alter what has been in existence prior to coming into office. Following this, it noted that Parliament was aware of the economic challenges facing the country and was mindful to avoid any profligate spending. It further urged all media houses to be fair and temperate in their reportage for the overall development of the country’s democracy.