It has emerged that, on Monday, December 20, before the MPs engaged themselves in fisticuffs, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over Parliament at the time, wanted to vacate the Speaker’s seat and hand over to Andrew Asiamah Amoako, in order for him to go and take his medication and also use the washroom.
According to Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Bekwai MP, took the action not to cast his vote during the voting on the controversial e-levy as the minority had suggested.
He, however, said the deputy speakers are not barred from voting per the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
The Suame MP explained to Joy News that, “Is it the case that a Speaker can’t even excuse himself to visit the loo? Is it the case? The man was indisposed. He was shivering. And he went to the clinic, the record is there. So we had to persuade him to come and sit. He was in the chamber and he was shaking like a leaf.”
“The First Deputy Speaker (Joseph Osei Owusu) wasn’t feeling well and was on medication, and we have to persuade him to come to preside over proceedings.
“That is why he asked the Second Deputy Speaker to take the chair, so he could go and take his medication and use the loo,” he stressed.
What happened in Parliament
On Monday night, the First Deputy Speaker decided to take leave of the Speaker’s chair for the Second Deputy Speaker to take charge allegedly to enable him to participate in voting, which occasioned disagreement from the Minority, and a subsequent tussle over the Speaker’s sitting area ensued.
Dozens of the opposition parliamentarians exchange fisticuffs with their colleagues on the Majority side while some officials of parliament tried to protect the Speaker’s seat and the mace of parliament from being attacked.
However, calm returned moments after, before the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, adjourned the sitting.
Meanwhile, the House, without the Speaker, Alban Bagbin has adjourned sitting to take a break for Christmas and will resume sitting on January 18, 2022.