Former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini, has criticised the Police for harassing Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina Francis-Xavier Sosu.
Citing the roles of a legislator, Alhaji Fuseini who is also a former MP for Tamale Central said Sosu was within his rights to join the protests by his constituents where he was harassed.
In his view, once Sosu was demonstrating with his constituents within his jurisdiction, there was no foul play and the security operatives had no right to accost him.
“You cannot arrest a member of parliament while he’s on parliamentary duties. Parliamentary duties are many but one can just simply reduce them to three core functions.
“The representational function of a member of parliament, the legislative function and the supervisory function of the Member of Parliament. While representing his people on the floor or outside the floor of parliament, you cannot arrest that member of parliament without a fiat from the Speaker,” he told Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take programme on 3FM Wednesday October 27.
He added “Where he is in the midst of his people channeling their frustration in the public about the bad nature of their roads or lack of amenities in their constituency, he is doing that solely because he is Member of Parliament.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on Wednesday referred the complaint made by Mr Sosu against the Police to the Privileges Committee.
This was after Sosu officially lodged a complaint against the Accra regional police operations commander, Isaac Kojo Asante to the Speaker for attempting to arrest him in line of his parliamentary duty.
The Speaker in his ruling said “The committee will investigate the complaint and will submit a report to the house for the whole consideration of the matter.”
He added “I receive complaints. I receive information about police service personnel pursuing Members of Parliament on both sides of the house, and I have on a number of occasions intervened to talk to the authorities and to draw their attention to the law.”
“Members of Parliament have some special rights because of the peculiar nature of the position, functions, and duties of the Member of Parliament.
“The Police officers under the command of the said ACP Isaac Kojo Asante m, the regional operations commander and Eric Wilful the Divisional Commander of Adenta Aokobi led their boys to manhandle me and virtually held, me , humiliated me right in the presence of my constituents with whom we were demanding for better roads.”
He escaped police arrest on Monday, October 25 as he finished addressing protesters at Ayi Mensah.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP 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.
TV3’s reporter Joseph Armstrong Gold-Alor who covered the demonstration said this action by the residents led to reinforcement from the police, whose Formed Police Unit (FPU) rushed to the scene with combat vehicles.
After he addressed the demonstrators, reiterating the power of the people over people in power, the MP came under attack from the police, who attempted to pick him up.
There was commotion as a result of the attempted arrest. The demonstrating residents, however, resisted the police and vowed to fight back if their representative in Parliament is arrested.
The police then arrested one of the opinion leaders. He is said to be a chief of the area.
By Laud Adu Asare|3news.com|Ghana