Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon A.S.K.Bagbin has expressed misgivings on what he termed “Police brutalities” against some members of parliament (MPs)
He stated that he has had a lot of complaints from a number of MPs on how some police personnel have mishandled them (MPs), pointing out that in some cases, he has to personally intervene.
Rt. Hon. Speaker made this known in parliament last Wednesday, 26th October, 2021 after the MP for Madina, Hon. Francis – Xavier Sosu had lodged a formal complaint of contempt parliament against two Police Officers to the august House.
According Hon Bagbin, MPs like the Police and other personalities in the country, have some special rights.
He pointed out that those of MPs are contained in Order 53 and 73 of the Standing Orders of Parliament as well as Article 23 c of the 1992 constitution.
Sounding a bit emotional, the speaker pointed out that MPs are not just MPs for that sake, but also leaders of their constituents.
He hinted that at the appropriate time, he will issue a statement on this matter.
Rt. Hon Bagbin sounded caution that MPs have been guaranteed these special rights over these years, and that it is not under his administration that these rights should be thrown to the dogs or curtailed.
CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT STARES AT POLICE
Having been given the nod by the Speaker, Hon. Sosu read his statement of contempt of parliament on the floor of the chamber of Parliament. It was titled, “Request to cite ACP Isaac Kojo Asante (Regional Operations Commander) and ACP Eric Winful (Divisional Commander, Adenta – Abokobi Division) for content of Parliament under Article 117 of the 1992 constitution and order 28 of the standing orders of Parliament.”
According to the statement, upon extensive correspondence with the police, the MP, in concert with the Chiefs, Elders and Youth of his constituency embarked upon a demonstration on October 26th, 2021, against bad roads in the constituency.
In the said statement, Hon Sosu, an accomplished Lawyer, Human Rights and also Public Interest Lawyer, stated that the demonstration was done with the explicit permission of the police, in accordance with the Police Order Act, with the police supervising it.
As a result there was no casualty or destruction of property and the whole programme ended peacefully.
The law maker pointed out that at the end of the programme, he took his turn to address the people.
He stated that it was at this junction that the police plotted to arrest him. And when he heard this, he made it public. A situation, which he said, did not go down well with the police, thereby, possibly infuriating them and surging with brute force to arrest him.
In the process he was not only disgraced by the police who had increased in numbers, but also manhandled him before his constituents.
POLICE FAIL TO SEE REASON
According to the outspoken MP, who also doubles as the Deputy Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, no amount of persuation from him to the police to comply with rules on the immunity of a member or parliament would let the police see reason.
Instead, increasing in numbers, they rushed on him to forcefully arrest him like a common criminal to bundle him into their vehicle.
YOUTH TO THE RESUCE
Hon. Sosu stated that as the angry youth could not look on for the police to jostle, disgrace and manhandle their cherished MP, they also multiplied in numbers and whisked him from the hands of the marauding Police, put him into his car to speed off, albeit with hindrance from the police.
POLICE ON THE RAMPAGE
According to the MP, after he had left the scene, the police went on the rampage seeking to arrest him at all cost. In the process, they went to his house, office and other places they felt they could find him.
Meanwhile, that 26th October, 2021 was the very day Parliament had resumed from a long recess.
Subsequently, the demonstration, addressing the people were all part of the MPs Parliamentary duties, he indicated.
Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I wish to evoke Order 28 of the Standing Orders of Parliament which provides ‘An act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its function or which obstruct or impedes a Member of Parliament, or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce such a result shall be contempt of parliament’. “Hon. Francis – Xavier Sosu submitted.
He contended that the action of the police officers amounted to impeding and obstruction him from doing his legitimate duties as Member of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. What is more, it is a complete affront to Parliament.
The law make prayed the speaker to use his high office to cite the said officers for content of Parliament.
Rt. Hon. A.S.K Bagbin referred the matter to the Privileges Committee for investigation, deliberation and the necessary action to be taken.
Source: S.O Ankomah/www.newslinegh.com