Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I regard myself as a friendof the media. In fact, I always avail myselfto the media. Unfortunately, the Daily
Mr Speaker, your goodself agreed. Wecalled this Reporter. The Rt Hon Speaker,who is the third most important person inGhana, in addition to the Leadership ofthe Parliament, called this reporter to hisinner Chamber to advise him that the bestway was to withdraw what he had doneand put the facts correctly. That with thelaying of a C.I. and a LegislativeInstrument (L.I.), and the history of L.I.1983 behind us, when the Supreme Courthad to rule about the changes that wasmade, which were unconstitutional toensure that Parliament together with thesponsors of the L.I. or the CI, and inaddition to the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice and the Committee,consult and make all the changes beforeit is laid before Parliament. That was exactly what happened in thisparticular C.I. All the consultations weredone and when Parliament was satisfiedthat everything was all right, it was laidon Friday, gazetted copies printed for HonMembers and distributed on Monday. This Reporter claims that he has a copyof what was laid on Friday, and that thecontent, for some reason changed onMonday. Mr Speaker called him and weadvised him. For his demeanour, he didnot really show remorse as some peoplepointed out. We gave him the benefit ofthe doubt and Mr Speaker, what he haswritten here is worse than what waswritten yesterday. Mr Speaker, my personal view is that, Iwould not, unless Hon Members disagreewith me, dignify him by reporting him tothe Committee of Privileges. But I wouldinsist that he does not report in this Houseany longer and that the Marshall walkshim out of this House now.
Graphic has published two stories andthe reporter has not even given me thecourtesy of asking me what has reallyhappened, and I am very surprised. Yesterday, there was a story about me.Today, there is another story, and heappears to be sure of his stories so muchthat probably, he does not even think heshould ask me about my version. I wouldwant the whole world to know that,sometimes it is good to learn and learnvery well. In the report, the first thing he said wasthat, at the time the C.I. was being laid, Iwas the only person who had a copy. Mr Speaker, it is not possible.Instruments are sent to the Table Office,they are laid, then gazetted and copiesare made for us. It is not possible for theChairman of a Committee to be the onlyperson who has a copy of an instrument. Secondly, he said that, as far as he isconcerned, there is nothing like pre-layingin Parliament. There again, he is wrong. Ifhe cares to know, or if he should even askthe Hon Attorney-General and Ministerfor Justice, she officially wrote to ourCommittee that they had sat down with asponsoring agency or Ministry. As partof the consultation process, this Ministryor agency should also come and consultus before she can give the go ahead forthe instrument to be laid. So, for anybody to say that there isnothing like pre-laying stage, it is verywrong. Indeed, it does not happen onlyin Ghana. If we check most of theCommonwealth countries, there is whatthey call the pre-laying stage. It is just forconsultation, and it is for a good reason.In the sense that as the Hon DeputyMinority Leader said the Supreme Court
We would have to annul, reject or askthe sponsoring agency or ministry to takeit back. There is a history to it. So, for theHon Attorney-General and Minister forJustice, and the sponsoring agencies,they believe that to avert such a situation,they should always consult and theconsultation has been very useful. So, it is wrong for anybody to say thatthere is nothing like pre-laying, and thateven last Friday, the Hon Speaker did notsay that we were at the pre-laying stagewhen they were laying it. Mr Speaker could never have said it.There is no way the Speaker would saythat an Instrument is pre-laid, so it shouldbe referred to the relevant Committee. In all these Mr Speaker, I understandthe Rrorter is saying that he has a copyof what was laid on Friday and a copy ofwhat was distributed to us on Monday.Probably, he should be invited to producewhat was laid on Friday, which he saidwas changed on Monday, and then heshould tell us his source. This is becauseI have said that he has not even spokento me. He should tell us his source of thatdocument and then how he could concludethat the document had been changed onMonday. It is something that we need togo into, because it is a very serious matter,and his allegations are also very serious. We have been dragged into it. Thewhole Parliament has been dragged intoit, and it is very unfortunate that he couldnot even give me the courtesy ofspeaking to me, for me to probably tellhim how the system works.