Minority in Parliament has dismissed claims by the Majority that the Speaker of Parliament is instituting new rules that undermine the rule of law.
This follows the Speaker’s refusal to release Madina MP, Francis-Xavier Sosu, to the police for interrogation.
A press release signed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, indicated that the Speaker has so far been in line with established protocols in dealing with matters affecting MPs, adding that it is the Police that have not followed the rules.
The Minority leader said as the rule states, the Police are advised to request for the release of an MP through the Speaker, they are then invited to the Speaker’s office and after a discussion, he will inform them of the decision he has taken.
Mr. Iddrisu said, “the MPs are then informed of the date to appear and attend to the investigations and to answer the enquiries of the Investigators and the MPs comply. The Rt. Hon. Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana has not changed any rule.”
“This is the practice. In the case of Hon Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, the Police Service neither invited him directly nor through the Rt. Hon. Speaker. The Police personnel went to his constituency where he was performing his duties as an MP,” he added.
Earlier, the Majority Caucus in a press statement, noted that, it deemed the response by Speaker Bagbin, to a request for the release of Mr Sosu by the Ghana Police Service, “as a troubling departure from how his predecessors handled such requests.”
The Majority group claimed the Speaker is instituting new rules that seem to undermine the rule of law. The Majority said no situation should be created to give the impression that there are different rules for MPs and the general public.
However, Mr Iddrisu believes that the Majority’s leadership is being “mischievous and disingenuous” by ignoring the fact that the Police refused to comply with the established protocols.
He explained that the statement from the Majority is unwarranted, especially since both the Speaker and the Caucus Leaders are not in the country.
Mr Iddrisu added that, “a criminal summons has already been issued and as such, the Police should follow the laid down procedures as per articles 117 and 118.”
He stated that, “the Minority has no intention to undermine the very laws that have ensured the stability of our society and sustained our democracy. We. therefore, wish to remind the Majority that they cannot continue to connive with the Executive to use the security agencies to abuse some sections of Ghanaians, including non-NPP MPs under the cloak of rule of law.”
Article 117, provides for immunity from service of process and arrest, “Civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.”
Article 118 which also guarantees immunity from Witness Summons states; “neither the Speaker, nor a member of, nor the Clerk to, Parliament shall be compelled, while attending Parliament to appear as a witness in any court or place out of Parliament.”Source: MyJoyOnline.com
Hon.Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader