A Governance Expert, Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah has suggested a diplomatic way in handling the issue involving Madina Lawmaker Francis-Xavier Sosu.
Although he wants the MP to respond to the invitation to him by the Ghana Police in order to assist with investigations into his conduct, he said some form of intervention from the highest office will be required in addressing the matter behind closed doors.
Prof Agyeman-Dua said that lawmakers must not carry themselves as though they are above the laws of the land.
His comments were in reaction to refusal of the Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Alban Bagbin to grant the Police a request to release Mr Sosu to them for arrest.
Sosu had led some of his constituents to embark on a demonstration against deplorable roads in his constituency.
The demonstration started peacefully at Danfa around 6:00am but later saw demonstrators burning tyres and mounting roadblocks on the Ayi Mensah-Danfa Road.
Sosu, who has since been charged by the Police, however denied the allegation saying “That any allegation of the Police about my involvement in unlawful blockade of road and destruction of public property is false and an afterthought carefully manufactured by the police to shift attention of the people of Ghana from the key issues of bad roads raised by our protest and demonstration.”
In a letter dated October 28, addressed to the Deputy Director-General of Criminal Investigation Division, F.K. Agyei, the Speaker indicated that due to limitations of Articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Sosu could not be released.
“I am directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to inform you that proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament commenced on Tuesday 26th October, 2021 and having regard to the limitations of articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, he is unable to release the Member of Parliament as requested in your letter,” Deputy Director of Legal Services, Nana Tawiah Okyir wrote on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament.
Prof Agyeman-Dua told TV3’s Emmanuel Samani that “In a way, it is very unfortunate that this use has degenerated to a level where there seem to be a split in Parliament I think this issue could have been resolved peacefully and amicably if there have been the initial consultations between the Speaker or Parliament and the Police.
“The Police started by saying that they simply wanted to invite the MP Mr Sosu to help them in their investigations, they were not going to arrest him.
“There is a big difference between being invited and being arrested but somehow this initial issue has blown out of proportion once a power play begun to be seen in the way Parliament wanted to relate with the Police.
“I think on one hand, it is healthy in the sense that it is going to help us to test the extent of the powers of Parliament especially when it comes to the protection of parliamentarians who have been deemed to have flouted the laws , so it is good that we are testing that.
“On the hand it is important for us not to undermine the efforts of the Police. In ecr9fding the law. I think partly the problem has come partly because of the culture that we have had all these years where we simply disobey the Police. You know that individuals at times fight with the Police when they are approached by the Police for all kinds of issues so the first time we are beginning to see the Police asserting itself and enforcing we will begin to have a sense of discipline on the road.
“I want the Parliament through the Speakers office to find a way of to resolve this matter with the Police in such a way that Parliamentarians will not feel that they are above the law and the same way to help the Police to begin to enforce the laws as all of us are interested.
“The way for me is through some back door diplomacy either by intervention by the highest office, call the two sides quietly to resolve their difference. In the end I think the Parliamentarian should be asked to respond to the invitation to assist the Police.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana