ENOUGH OF THESE RECKLESS, BASELESS AND UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS!
It is always important to control our tempers and emotions at all times even in the midst of provocations in order not to regret afterwards when the truths are eventually out. Reacting momentarily to situations without examining the impact and consequences is a dangerous approach which should be avoided whatsoever. When such situations occur and retractions and apologies follow later, the end result will be a disgrace to the person and a mockery from the larger society.
The Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka is reported to have unreservedly apologised to the Supreme Court over allegations of bribery he made about an unnamed member of the bench.
In a formally written letter of apology to the Supreme Court, Alhaji Muntaka, who is the current Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament, withdrew the allegations and expressed regret about the unintended damage his comments had on the image of the judiciary and the Supreme Court in particular.
Muntaka is reported to have alleged that a certain Supreme Court judge attempted to bribe a member of parliament of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to vote for the immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, against the candidature of the NDC, Rt Hon Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin, the current Speaker of Parliament on January 7, 2021.
When this matter came to the knowledge of the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah he caused a statement to be issued by the Judicial Secretary expressing his shock about the allegation. The statement said; “The general public is hereby assured that the Chief Justice considers this allegation of impropriety a matter of grave importance to the integrity of the judiciary.”
RETRACTION AND APOLOGY:
But in his retraction and apology statement, Alhaji Muntaka said the disclosure was borne on a report from a trusted colleague which was that she had been approached by a Justice of the Supreme Court seeking to entice her to vote for a particular candidate during the contest for the Speakership of parliament.
“Admittedly because I did not specifically name any judge, this may have had the effect of scandalising the judiciary in its entirety. This unintended consequence is deeply regretted. I ,therefore, wish to respectfully retract same and apologise for the harm done to the image and reputation of my Lords Justices of the Supreme Court and the judiciary as a whole. Based upon good counsel, I have decided to let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague parliamentarian.”
RECKLESS AND UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS:
On the spur of the moment, one can make certain reckless, baseless, unfounded and serious allegations which cannot be substantiated and that will turn out to tarnish and damage his or her reputation later when there is no iota of prove to support his or her allegations.
In actual sense, Alhaji Muntaka’s case should not be taken lightly for the fact that he is a parliamentarian and one of the country’s lawmakers and ought to know best that such reckless and unsubstantiated allegations are matters that cannot be tolerated in our democratic dispensation. It does not serve any purpose to malign people and for that matter a constitutional body like the judiciary, when you don’t have any clear evidence to support your allegations. When you later realise your mistakes and retract and apologise thereof, you expose yourself to public ridicule.
PARLIAMENTARIANS AND THE POSITIONS THEY OCCUPY:
While reprimanding our lawmaker for bringing an embarrassment to himself and the position he occupies in parliament, it is important to set the record straight for other MPs and people occupying positions of trust to be careful of their negative utterances without concrete proofs in order not to soil their image and reputation thereby incurring the displeasure of the people and exposing themselves to ridicule.
Our MPs are being reminded that the people gave them their mandates to serve them in parliament based on integrity and track record in their constituencies. The institution of parliament is a serious organ of state which is one of the three arms of governance. It is the watchdog of public interest and make Standing Orders to regulate its procedures. Whilst the Executive Power is vested in the President who is the Head of State, the law making powers of state are vested in Parliament.
Therefore, it requires that players within it, must show seriousness in their actions and whatever they do in that sacred institution. The over 30 million Ghanaians look up to them for guidance and counselling and, therefore, they must behave responsibly.
Ghanaians do not want to listen or hear such baseless and unfounded allegations which have no proofs whatsoever from those we have titled honourable because of their positions in the society. We are, indeed, tired of some of these reckless and baseless statements from our leaders and we say enough of these loose talks.
TREATMENT OF THE APOLOGY LETTER:
For now, the honourable member of parliament has submitted his letter of apology and retraction to the Chief Justice and for that matter the Judicial Service for consideration and subsequent pardon, but that is not the end of the matter. The decision to accept his apology lies in the bosom of the Chief Justice and the Judicial Service in general. Ghanaians will be waiting with bated breath for the outcome of this case.
However, one important issue which is not clear in Alhaji Muntaka’s apology is for the fact that he insisted that it is a trusted female colleague MP who broke the bribery allegation to him yet he failed to name that person in his apology.
Politicians occupying positions of trust must differentiate between political activities and their status in the society and always do the right things expected of them.
BY CHARLES NEEQUAYE