Speaker goes wild over arrest order for MP

Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye and Minority Members of Parliament have shown their displeasure at the aggressive manner in which some police personnel from the Ghana Police Service invaded the residence of Member of Parliament (MP) for Asutifi South Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, Alhaji Collins Dauda, on Tuesday dawn to arrest him.

Prof. Mike Ocquaye responding to the issue raised on the floor of Parliament by the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu cautioned the police respect privileges of MPs under the 1912 Constitution and approach his office before they carry out any such action in future.

“We want to inform and repeat that the privileges of this honourable house have been clearly set out in the Constitution of Ghana. It applies to all members…,” Prof Ocquaye reiterated.

According to the Speaker the early morning search conducted in the residences of the MP in his constituency as well as that in Accra, was done in a manner that “Honourable members felt were not in consonance in parliamentary privilege.”

However, Prof Ocquaye acknowledged that even though MPs are not above the law, a decision by police to storm the residence of Asutifi South MP without recourse to the speaker should not be happening.

“It, therefore, means that essentially what we ask for is not to be taken by surprise or not to be treated in a manner that will not be consistent with the dignity that an honourable Member of Parliament should be attended to,” the Speaker noted.

“We want to put on record that in future, the leadership of the house and the Speaker of the house should be informed of all such needs so that it would be done with the appropriate decency…so that we will not be seen to be shielding any wrong doing and at the same time keeping to the honour that should be given to this institution.”  He directed.

“For the specific incident, leadership of the House will accompany Collins Dauda to the police headquarters to meet the Police CID Boss and that he will not meet any official with a rank lower than that.

“If you want an honourable MP…that person will report in the company of parliamentary leadership and to the commissioner in charge of investigations at the Ghana Police Service that should be seen to be cooperating enough, after all monkeys play in sizes” Prof. Oquaye stated.

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader addressing the press in Parliament earlier before the day’s sitting called on the police to adhere to the laws governing the country.

“The police or whatever institution cannot just get up and act arbitrary, we are governed by laws and for that matter should stop taking arbitral actions” he warned.

 

 

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com  

 

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