"Attempts To Bypass Laid Down Procedure To Arrest Madina MP An Attack On Parliament" – Bagbin Fumes
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin has said the insistence by the Police to bypass laid down procedure to arrest Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier-Sosu is an attack on Parliament.
The police has been pursuing the Madina lawmaker after he turned down an invitation to answer some questions relating to the blockade of roads when he led a demonstration in his constituency in October. Just last Sunday, an attempt was made to arrest Francis Xavier-Sosu when some officers in plain cloth were sent to his church.
In reaction, Speaker Alban Bagbin has through a statement issued by Parliament stressed that he considers it as an attack on the house.
“These recent events should not be understood as an attack on a single Member of Parliament but an attack on Parliament as an institution and the democracy of Ghana as a whole,” part of the statement reads.
According to Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, the provisions on Parliamentary immunities and privileges for members are borne out of the experiences of various democracies the world over and are to be respected by the police.
Despite the admission that Members of Parliament are not above the law, the Speaker insists that the right procedures must be followed at all times.
“Mr. Speaker reiterates that the immunities and privileges of Members of Parliament are not absolute. The procedure for causing the arrest of a sitting Member of Parliament or serving a court process must be in accordance with the Constitution.
“The appropriate procedure is to secure from the Speaker, a certificate that the Member in question is not attending to Parliamentary Business. Anything short of this should not be entertained by the House.
“Mr. Speaker would want to reassure the people of Ghana that, he takes seriously the oath he swore on the 7h of January, 2021, by his solemn pledge to "faithfully and conscientiously discharge his duties" as the elected Speaker for all, as well as to uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,” the statement issued from Parliament concludes.
Story by: Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo