The Minister-designate for Communications and Digitization, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has described sitting on her fellow legislator, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh‘s lap, during the dissolution of the 7th Parliament as using physical restraint to subdue him.
Her comment was in reference to the incident that happened in the Chamber of Parliament during the early hours of Wednesday, January 7, 2020 during the election of a new Speaker of Parliament.
As part of the events of that day, Members of Parliament (MP) of the National Democratic Congress occupied the seats meant for their colleagues on the other side of the aisle, creating confusion in the House when the New Patriotic Party MPs came in.
According to Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, the Juaboso MP, had occupied her seat after she took a trip to the bathroom and refused to vacate her seat even when she had returned.
His refusal to vacate her seat, according to her, left her with limited options, of which sitting on his lap was the preferred choice given the circumstances. This, however, was in defiance of his decision to occupy her seat and as a means to subdue him from pushing her off and causing any “unintended consequences” to himself.
“After all the excitement of that day, I didn’t want to be party to such a thing. But I did need to sit down. So I sat in the chair that I was occupying before I went to the washroom, which he happened to be sitting on. When I sat down, he started trying to shake me off and was moving back and forth before he quickly realised that it would have unintended consequences that would not be good for him.
“And so he quickly stopped and froze. And at that point, I decided to restrain him from causing any further damage to himself,” she explained.
“I used physical restraint to subdue him. So it was a physical restraint to subdue an obstreperous adult,” she stated emphatically.
She also noted that that in her experience “even when there are seats available, the gentlemen get up to offer their seats to ladies who may not have a seat in the house. They do not leave the chair that they are sitting on to come and occupy the seat that the lady is sitting on.”
As such, in her opinion, it was evident that Mr Akandoh – whose seat was empty – was “hoping to provoke an incident” when he decided to occupy her seat even after she had returned from the washroom.