A former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has denied media reports that he was given military protection when he was the Speaker of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
A statement issued and signed by Prof. Oquaye said he was never offered military protection nor requested for any during his four-year term of office as the Speaker.
The statement from Prof. Oquaye was in response to discussions in the media that suggested that he also benefitted from a similar arrangement during his time as the Speaker.
This followed the withdrawal of all military personnel attached to the current Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, a situation that had been described as worrying by many.
A letter from the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Major General N.P. Andoh, to the Speaker, Mr Bagbin, said the withdrawal was necessitated because the said officers were earlier attached “without proper procedure.”
The aftermath of the decision has drawn criticisms amidst claims that Prof. Oquaye benefited from a similar arrangement during his time as Speaker.
But the statement from Prof. Oquaye described those claims as “palpably false”.
“I wish to categorically state that this is palpably false. I was never offered military protection nor did I request for any,” it said.
Prof. Oquaye in the statement said, “Indeed, I had only three policemen to move with me and provide security at all material times”.
This information, the statement said, could be easily verified by anyone who cared for the truth at the office of the Clerk to Parliament at any given time.
“I will pray that my name is left out of this media discourse on military protection and call upon all discerning Ghanaians to disregard any misleading reportage on same”, the statement concluded.
A letter dated January 11, 2022 titled “Withdrawal of Military Personnel Attached to the office of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament” informed the Speaker of the withdrawal of the personnel.
The officers are WO1 Jafaru Bunwura, WOII Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince.
They have been serving Bagbin’s office since he became Speaker in January 2021.