IGP should be mindful of the constitution – Murtala

Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) George Akuffo Dampare to be mindful of the dictates of the constitution of Ghana regarding the attempted arrest of the legislator for the Madina constituency Francis Xavier Sosu for his involvement in a demonstration to demand roads to be fixed in his constituency.

Mr Mohammed hinted that the IGP who has been widely praised for his work so far done in arresting criminality in the country is now showcasing to people that he can arrest a Member of Parliament.

He however admitted that nobody is above the law but must do well to operate within the ambit of the law regarding his jurisdiction in the country.

The Tamale Central lawmaker pointed out that even the IGP himself and the police service are not above the law in Ghana.

Mr Mohammed said the only crime of Mr Sosu was to partake in a demonstration in his constituency, which is guaranteed under Article 21, clause 1.D of the 1992 constitution that one can engage in a demonstration as a means of channeling one’s grievances in consonance with the Public Order Act.

He thus pointed out that the Public Order Act does not dictate that one must seek permission from the police but rather one must notify the police authorities before embarking on such a protest.

Mr Mohammed said the demonstrators in this instance “notified the police” but unfortunately some members of the demonstration engaged in acts “that was not what they envisaged” by the organizers of the demonstration.

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He pointed out that the MP was only a participant but not an organizer of the demonstration that resulted in the roadblocks which could have lasted longer if not for his intervention when his attention was drawn to it.

Mr Mohammed said the MP engaging in a demonstration organized by his constituents is “also engaging in parliamentary work”.

He said if Mr Sosu had engaged in a demonstration outside his constituency, that could have been considered illegal since that would fall out of his jurisdiction.

Asked why the MP refused the invitation of the police in regards to the demonstration, Mr Mohammed said there are proper means by which to invite a Member of Parliament by the police by citing Article 117 and 118 of the constitution which explicitly spells out the procedure.

Mr Mohammed said this in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, Monday, November 1.

He was reacting on the back of the hunt by the police for the Member of Parliament for Madina Francis Xavier Sosu for his involvement in a demonstration in his constituency that resulted in some participants mounting roadblocks in the area on October 25.

“So I am saying that, commending the IGP for his bravery and some of the things he does, he should be mindful of the constitution. And I agree with you when you say that no one is above the law, no one is challenging that, including the IGP so whatever you do, you must do that within the confines of the law”.

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By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana