Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu has petitioned Speaker Alban Sumana Bagbin to cite ACP Isaac Kojo Asante, Regional Operations Commander and ACP Eric Winful, the Adenta/Abokobi Divisional Commander of Police for contempt of Parliament.
He wants the Speaker to take action with respect to Article 117 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 28 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Article 117 states: “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 was to, attending at, or returning from any proceedings of Parliament”.
Per Order 28 of the standing orders: “An act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its functions or which obstructs or impeded a member or officer of Parliament in the discharge of his duties or affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce such a result shall be contempt of Parliament.”
His recent action stems from an attempted arrest against him by the aforementioned officers when he embarked on a protest that had been approved by the Police, with his constituents over bad roads on Monday, October 25.
According to the legislator, prior to the protest, he received news that some protestors had blocked roads and were burning tyres, thus the need to rush to the scene and deescalate the issue before matters got worse.
“Together with the Police, I spoke with the youth and they deescalated even before we began the demonstration and protest from Otinibi to Ayi-Mensah,” he stated.
But after restoring calm, the police he said tried to forcefully take him to the station for questioning without relaying the motive and also failed to acknowledge him as a siting Member of Parliament who had a parliamentary call to attend and could not be apprehended until the Speaker of Parliament is contacted.
“In fragrant breach of the laws of Ghana which relates to privileges of Members of Parliament, the officers mentioned herein, led the way and attempted to forcefully apprehend me in the presence of my constituents, an act which I verily believe amounts to contempt of Parliament.
“It took the intervention of the teeming youth to rescue me and lead me to my vehicle where I finally sped off from the scene,” he added.
This gross disrespect and manhandle for the Madina legislator amount to an act intended to impede and obstruct the legitimate discharge of his duties as a Member of Parliament and the said act is an affront to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
“Mr. Speaker, I consider the said conduct as not only being unprofessional and against Police Service Instructions, but also an act which turns to undermine the authority and dignity of Parliament and a Member of Parliament,” he further argued.
Mr Sosu, therefore, in his petition submitted the matter before the House and prayed that Speaker Alban Bagbin uses his high office, to cite the said officers for contempt of Parliament.