The Speaker of Parliament on Friday ordered the Deputy Local Government Ministerial nominee John Oti Bless to apologise to Chief Justice Georgina Wood for some disparaging comments he made about her.
According to him, he was ‘misled’ to make the comments he did saying that he will ensure such a situation never recurs.
“I wish to sincerely state that I am really sorry for everything that has happened. Let me use this opportunity to render an unqualified apology to the Chief Justice who is my mother and the entire Judiciary, judges, Parliament, good people of Ghana and my constituents,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.
“I am really sorry and this will be the last time, It’s an experience. I have had my first baptism in politics. I thank the Speaker for his advice, the Minority Leader, my leader, Alban Bagbin – he’s a wonderful leader, he’s done a lot for me,and gave me guidance – and all the other leaders in Parliament.I also thank all Ghanaians for their sympathy and for understanding.
“I was misled in a way as a young guy with youthful exuberance, you can understand. That is not my nature, that’s not how I was brought up, I’ll plead that it won’t happen again. This will be the last time. They should kindly forgive me in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” he added.
His apology comes on the back of a directive by the Speaker of Parliament for deliberations over his nomination to be put on hold until he apologised for the comments he made.
Parliament on Thursday suspended the approval of the Deputy Local Government Ministerial nominee John Oti Bless.
Oti Bless was hoping to be approved by the House to enable him to begin his role as deputy minister within five months to go into the December polls.
The Minority in Parliament had earlier initiated a process to stop the appointment of John Bless Oti as a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development after a revelation that he was part of the Montie FM panel on the day contemptuous statements were made about the Supreme Court.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkwanta North was cleared by Parliament’s Appointment Committee to be approved by the house as a deputy minister.
But his approval was deferred after Joe Osei-Owusu raised the issue in the house accusing Oti Bless of being part of the panellists that made contemptuous comments against Justices of the Supreme Court on Accra-based Montie FM.
When the matter was raised on the floor of parliament on Monday, the Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu argued that the comments made by the MP were unfortunate.
“The language was disparaging to the Justices of the highest court of this land. These words are unprintable, certainly not the best from a Member of Parliament, taking the justices of the Supreme Court to the cleaners without any iota of evidence”
Oti Bless is on record questioning the actions of the Chief Justice during the 2012 election petition hearing. He accused her of doing the bidding of the New Patriotic Party.
“Today we have a CJ who because of a Political favour done her, will do anything to help the NPP. It is an agenda. The electoral commission should stop working and give it to Georgina Woode. And we have a whole CJ, look at how old you are; you have kids and grandchildren and yet you are at the Court doing politics; you deliberately appoint NPP Judges to do politics and scheme with NPP to give biased rulings. Are you not calling for war? Are you not calling for civil war? Are you not destroying this country?” he quizzed
Meanwhile, the two other panellists and host of the show have been jailed for four months by the Supreme Court for their contemptuous comments.
The house will go on recess after the sitting on Friday, August 5, and it is expected to resume in October.