Powers of Parliament being tested over Sosu’s issue – Agyeman-Dua

Speaker of Parliament, (M) flanked by Majority Leader (R) and Minority Leader

A Governance Expert, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah believes that the issue involving Madina Lawmaker Francis-Xavier Sosu and the Ghana Police, is testing the powers of Parliament.

In his view, although the matter could have been resolved amicably, it is also healthy for Ghana’s democracy.

The CEO of the John Agyekum Kuffuor Foundation explained in an interview on the mid day news on TV3 Friday November 5 that the initial position of the Police was to invite Sosu to assist with investigation and not arrest him.

But, he said, the issue escalated after the Speaker refused to grant the Police their request to have him assist them investigate the matter.

This comes after Rt Hon Bagbin had denied a request by the Police 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.

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“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.

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“On the other hand, I think it is important for us not to undermine efforts of the Police to begin to enforce the law. I think the problem has come out of the culture that we have 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.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana