A private legal practitioner is urging the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), George Akuffo-Dampare, not to be intimidated by the summons issued by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, to police officials who attempted to arrest the Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis Xavier-Sosu.
Kwesi Fokuor Benyin said the police are not duty-bound to seek Parliamentary approval for MPs’ arrest.
The Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, summoned two police officers who allegedly attempted to arrest the Madina MP before the House.
This is pursuant to contempt of Parliament charges filed by the Madina MP against the officers for their conduct when he joined his constituents to demonstrate over bad roads on Monday, October 25, 2021, that was approved by the police.
The demonstration, however, turned chaotic when the protesters blocked a section of the road and set car tyres ablaze.
Some police personnel, who were at the venue, attempted to arrest the MP during his Parliamentary duties for questioning for staging the protest which created a public nuisance.
When he filed a complaint on the floor of Parliament, the Speaker further referred the matter to the Privileges Committee for investigations and a report submitted to the House.
But Mr Benyin on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem Monday, described the summon as “hollow commands” from a Speaker who has exaggerated his importance and powers attendant to his office.
He explained that the argument of the MP engaging in Parliamentary duties as enshrined in articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution during the protest is null and void.
“The said provisions [articles 117&118] relate only to the service of court processes on Members, and their compellability by a court to appear before it and give evidence whilst attending to or from, or in Parliament for Parliamentary duty. They by no means relate to arrest for crimes, and indeed, it could never be the policy of the law to create a separate regime of social justice for a group of politicians that will enable them to overreach the law and evade justice,” he explained.
He urged the IGP to get an arrest warrant from a Magistrate to arrest “the errant MP wherever he may be, including in the Speaker’s own chamber, and no person or authority can legally stand in your way.
“The law is behind you. The facts are behind you. The people are behind you. We trust you will do the right thing.”