Parliament’s Privileges Committee refuse live media coverage of Absentee Hearings over privacy issues


The Absentee Members of Parliament who have been accused of breaching the 15-day absence rule are expected to appear before the Privileges Committee today.

Contrary to the assurance given by the Ranking Member of the Committee that members may consider telecasting live hearings, the barrage of Journalists who thronged the venue were disallowed entry.

The three including Members of Parliament for Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey; Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong and Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya, were hauled before the Committee for absenting themselves from duties for more than 15 sittings as provided in the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.

Mr Quartey is expected to face the Committee today, Adwoa Safo appears tomorrow, Friday, May 26, 2022, while Mr Ken Agyapong appears on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Ahead of the hearing proceedings, Ranking Member of the Committee, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, says the media would be blocked from covering the sittings since “the nature of evidence as we’ve been hinted might be on medical grounds…”

“And it is on that basis that the Privileges Committee came to that conclusion that it would be best that we give the opportunity for people to come and be able to discuss with us, charged with that responsibility on what the reasons were or the evidence,” he told the media.

“I’m telling you the committee’s decision is that we didn’t think that it will be appropriate to discuss what is likely to be health matters because we know that at least two of them or all three of them have been dealing with some medical issues and we thought that it will not be appropriate,” the Cape Coast South MP added.


In earlier reports, ranking Member on the Privileges Committee of Parliament, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South Constituency in the Central Region, Mr. Kweku Ricketts Hagan has outlined modalities for the hearing of the three (3) New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) who were referred to the committee for absenting themselves without permission.

Speaking to Journalists on Tuesday, May 24th May, 20022, the Cape Coast South Lawmaker hinted, “On the 26th of May, we will meet with Henry Quartey, the 27th of May will be the turn of Adwoa Safo, and then on the 31st of May, we will meet with Kennedy Agyapong. We will discuss the modalities at today’s meeting.”

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has referred Kennedy Agyapong, Assin Central; Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya; and Henry Quartey, Aywaso Central for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission for more than fifteen sittings.

But during proceedings, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Asawase contested the Speaker’s ruling and said if the decision was allowed to stand, it would set a dangerous precedence that can be used by a “dictator speaker” in the future to hurt lawmakers.

“If we allow this to stand it will become a precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.

The Former Kumbungu Member of Parliament, Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to discipline these lawmakers for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.

In his petition, he said, “It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio report that some four Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Hon. Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West; and Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central have all absented themselves from Parliament for more than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr. Speaker in writing.

“In view of this reported breach of the constitutional provision, I respectfully petition your high office to direct for their conduct to be referred to the Privileges Committee for consideration and necessary action.”