Speaker sets new rules on ‘arrest’ of MPs; says monkeys play by sizes

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Henceforth, any state security agency deployed to arrest a Member of Parliament can do so with the prior notice of the Speaker, 3news.com has gathered. This is to ensure that Members – irrespective of the side they belong to – are ‘arrested’ with the “appropriate decency”. These were gleaned from an address by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye, to Members on Tuesday after reports of police officers raiding the Brong Ahafo Region and Accra residences of Collins Dauda, the MP for Asutifi South Constituency. According to reports, he had aided and abetted thugs in a riot back in his constituency and was wanted by the police to aid investigations. But commenting on the issue, Speaker Oquaye said the privileges of members are clearly spelt out in the 1992 constitution and the security agencies are well abreast of it. He was therefore incensed by Tuesday’s action by the police. “Nevertheless, we are also mindful of the fact that we are not above the law.” He decreed that no police officer should attempt or appear to attempt to storm the residence of any member of Parliament and since “monkeys play by sizes”, members can only respond to invitations from the Commissioner of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) of the Ghana Police Service. He said Parliament will not budge an inch over its stance on privileges and it is high time the security agencies abided by it. “In fact, there have been occasions that I have invited the police to my conference room and even on some occasions in my presence and the presence of leadership and ask the security agencies to ask what they want to ask so that we will not be seen to be shielding wrongdoing.” Speaker Oquaye, who was also an MP for Dome-Kwabenya between 2004 and 2012, ruled that from hence any invitation should not be handed directly to the MP but must be routed through the appropriate authority and the MP in question will make an appearance in the presence of some leaders.

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Source: 3news.com|Ghana  ]]>