Here are 4 times the Speaker of Parliament became the center of attention in Ghana

The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker got the attention of the country once again by blocking the approval of Ministers nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

1 . Blocking of approval of Ministers: The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on March 20th, 2024 blocked the consideration of the nomination of Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State by President Akufo-Addo over his (President) decision not to assent to the bill on human sexual rights and family values.

The Speaker’s actions follow a directive from the presidency, which issued a cease and desist letter to Parliament, restraining them from transmitting the Bill on Human Sexual Rights and Family Values for President Akufo-Addo’s assent.

On February 28, 2024, Parliament approved the bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Those found guilty could face a jail term ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between 3 to 5 years.

The Speaker speaking on the matter said his decision stems from an interlocutory injunction filed at the Supreme Court by MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor, rendering Parliament unable to sanction new ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo.

The Speaker also reiterated Parliament’s inability to proceed with the approval of new ministers under similar circumstances, by saying that the “ongoing scenario poses a grave threat to our legislative authority and, by extension, the democratic principles we strive to uphold”.

2 . Allegation of selling Speaker’s residence: During a Speaker’s Breakfast Forum in Accra, Speaker Bagbin revealed that his residence was sold to a private developer while he was residing there.

However, the Lands Commission refuted this claim in a statement, asserting that the property was never sold to a private developer.

In a subsequent meeting with civil society groups, the Speaker provided further clarification on the matter.

“I didn’t say my residence was sold. That was not what I said. This was just a comment in passing when I said it was almost sold but luckily, I was in possession,” he said.

He explained that the revelation came to light when the developer attempted to register the land at the Lands Commission.

3 . Stance on LGBTQI: Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin expressed his dismay about the activities of Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people in the country.

Mr Bagbin stressed that he would not partake in any task that seeks to legalise the activities of LGBTQ people in Ghana.

“For you all to participate in it, count me out of Ghana because I will prefer to join my maker than to live.

“That is me, I am a Catholic and I will not do anything that will end the world because God says the world is eternal until he comes back we cannot do that to end the world,” he said.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, also known as the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, is currently under review by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs.

4 . Withdrawal of military security: The Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Bagbin questioned why his counterparts in higher positions in the country are entitled to military attaché, but he isn’t.

He argued why the Akfuo-Addo-led government withdrew his military attaché when officials in equal ranks with him are enjoying such benefits, adding that the withdrawal is politically motivated.

The 3rd gentleman of the land bemoaned that the Chief Justice who is after him in the hierarchy has four military personnel, adding that Ministers, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Interior and Defence amongst others all have been assigned with military protection while he has been left out.

Four military officers assigned to the office of the Speaker of Parliament were, on January 14, 2022, withdrawn by the Ghana Armed Forces, citing improper procedure.

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