Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu has petitioned Speaker Alban Sumana Bagbin to cite two Police officers for contempt of Parliament for attempting to forcefully arrest him, despite being on parliamentary duty.
The request is in response to the officers’ attempts to arrest the sitting MP for Madina on Monday, October 25, 2021.
The officers are ACP Isaac Kojo Asante, Regional Operations Commander and ACP Eric Winful, the Adenta/Abokobi Divisional Commander of Police.
Hon. Sosu wants the Speaker to draw on 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 way to, attending at, or returning from any proceedings of Parliament”.
And 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.”
In spite of these, the Police on Monday tried to arrest the MP by force when he led his constituents to protest over the poor state of roads in the Constituency. The Police’s attempt was resisted by the constituents who surrounded the MP in order to prevent the officers from forcefully taking him away.
According to the legislator, prior to the protest, he had been informed that some of the protestors had blocked roads and were burning tires, 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 then tried to forcefully take the MP in for questioning.
“In flagrant 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,” he charged.
“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.”
According to him, the Police’ action was not only disrespectful but also tantamount to an attempt to obstruct him from legitimately discharging his duties as MP to his constituency.