The Speaker of Parliament has been petitioned to initiate an investigation into the snatching of ballot papers by the Tema West MP, Carlos Ahenkorah, during elections for a new Speaker in Parliament on January 7.
The petitioner suggested either the privileges committee or an ad-hoc committee look into the incident that shocked many onlookers.
The petition is coming from a Mfantseman resident, John Bambir, who wants Mr. Ahenkorah to step aside from Parliament pending the investigation.
In the petition, Mr. Bambir says the Tema West MP’s actions were not only “criminal but has also cast dark clouds about our democracy and has once again exposed the undemocratic tendencies of the Akufo-Addo-led administration.”
He also wants Mr. Ahenkorah held in contempt of Parliament in line with article 122 because “his dastardly act is a clear obstruction of Parliamentary business.”
The case of one Christian Nukpete is cited in the petition who has been jailed and banned for five years from registering and voting in any election in Ghana and fined GHS 3,600 for snatching a ballot box during polls in Sene West.
“As a matter of fact, the lawmaker must also be taken through the same laws to forestall such an occurrence in the future,” Mr. Bambir insists.
Mr. Ahenkorah has since apologised for snatching the ballots.
He, however, tried to justify his actions which have been widely condemned.
“I did it for the grassroots who relied on us in power to survive, the president who needs some peace to run the country and the greater NPP party as a whole because we cannot always allow the NDC to threaten and vilify us,” the MP said in a statement.
Mr. Ahenkorah snatched the ballots when it looked like the National Democratic Congress’ nominee for Speaker, Alban Bagbin, would emerge winner in the election.
Find the full petition below
PETITION DIRECTED TO THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT TO CAUSE TO SET UP SPECIAL COMMITTEE, IF NOT PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE, TO THOROUGHLY CONDUCT A FULL-SCALE INVESTIGATION INTO THE SNATCHING OF BALLOT PAPERS BY HON. CARLOS AHENKORAH, MP FOR TEMA WEST AND BRING HIM TO BOOK.
The petition as follows;
1. That, I watched the dishonourable action by the above -mentioned MP, who snatched ballot papers during the election of the speaker for the 8th Parliament last Thursday.
2. That, what the gentleman did is not just criminal but has also cast dark clouds about our democracy and has once again exposed the undemocratic tendencies of the Akufo-Addo-led Administration.
3. That, I know Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah’s inaction actually reaffirmed the dastardly acts of convenience to abuse judicial processes, intimidation, brazen disregard for the provisions of the 1992 constitution of Ghana and naked acts of day robbery witnessed at polling stations and collation centres across the country of the 2020 December 7 elections that Ghanaians complained about.
4. That, Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah was not the polling agent for the NPP caucus in parliament before, during and after the election so he has no locus in showing total disregards for the people’s law on elections and also obstructing parliament in the performance of its functions.
– That, the speaker should invoke article 122 of the 1992 constitution on Mr Carlos Ahenkorah’s since his dastardly act is a clear obstruction of Parliamentary business.
– That, Carlos Ahenkorah is not more Ghanaian than Christian Nukpete, 39, who has been jailed, banned for five years from registering and voting in any election in Ghana and fined ¢3,600 for snatching a ballot box at the just ended general election in Sena West. As a matter of fact, the lawmaker must also be taken through the same laws to forestall such an occurrence in the future.
– That, Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah must immediately step aside pending investigation into an action which contravenes the people’s laws on election or even the provision of C.I. 127.
– That, I pray the august house does not take this matter lying down as it is a dent on its image globally.