Parliament on Friday reprimanded reggae musician and radio presenter Abubakar Ahmed for not showing enough remorse at his initial appearance before the Privileges Committee over contemptuous remarks about members of the House.

wpid-Blakk-Rasta2.jpgWearing a scarf to conceal his dreadlocks, with multi coloured-beads over flowing long-sleeved attire, the musician, alias Blakk Rasta, who would be 41 on September 2, sat all day in the public gallery observing proceedings.

He descended to the chamber, escorted by the marshal, to face the plenary where he was rebuked on the orders of the Speaker.

The appearance before the plenary to be scolded is called Appearance before the Bar of Parliament.

It was part of the recommendations of the Privileges Committee, which was not convinced that the musician had shown enough remorse at his first appearance on June 25, and subsequently, for his contemptuous remark that about 80 per cent of Ghanaian parliamentarians smoke marijuana.

The statement was seen as an affront to the body of law makers. He was summoned to appear before the Privileges Committee to explain himself, but the Committee noted that it was only after his own voice was played back to him that he and his lawyer began to show regret and apologised.

The committee was of the view that the apology came way too late and that he needed to be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to other people.

Blakk Rasta rendered an unqualified apology to the Parliament.

He said he was ashamed. ?I am very sorry,? he said, and expressed regret that his irresponsible comment had brought him trouble and had been hauled to the House.

He conceded that he was wasting everybody?s time, as the time Parliament should have used to discuss serious issues was being used to discuss his irresponsible deed.

The contemnor added that if he could receive a slap each from all the 275 MPs he would gladly do so.

Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensa Bonsu, was at a loss why Blakk Rasta had not apologised promptly if he said had known the contents of the tape.

He said the House would be watching if Blakk Rasta, by his fruits was really remorseful.

The Majority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, said the House had forgiven him, and would be watching the aftermath of ?this whole exercise.?

The Speaker observed that Blakk Rasta?s remarks was an affront to the dignity of the House and that Parliament has always believed that the media plays a critical role in the democratic dispensation of the country.

?This was the very reason why Parliament repealed the criminal libel law.?

He said before the comments, he had been of Blakk Rasta?s show, but was no longer such after the remarks, reminding the musician that members, who despite the shortcomings had been elected by the people of Ghana, with a clear mandate, represent Ghanaians including him.

?We are here, in this august House, not to mark English language, but to represent the people, do legislative work and other businesses of government,? the Speaker said, and urged him to be an ambassador of the House, and ?go and sin no more?.

The Speaker said: ?We have accepted the apology but we shall be watching you,? he added.

Another contemnor, Professor Alex Dodoo,a lecturer at University of Ghana Medical School, who had described members as ignorant of Ebola virus vaccine trial, was discharged because he had shown enough remorse.



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