Member of Parliament for South Danyi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said the Police who are supposed to implement laws are rather violating the laws especially in the case of the attempted arrest of Madina Lawmaker, Francis-Xavier Sosu.
This follows a letter written to the Police by Parliament about the inability of the Speaker to release Sosu to them as requested by the law enforcers.
The Police are seeking to arrest the lawmaker for allegedly partaking in a violent protest in his constituency.
But 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 cannot be released.h
“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.
Article 117 stipulates the immunity legislators enjoy.
It says “Civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.”
Article 118 also states; “neither the Speaker, nor a member of, nor the Clerk to, Parliament shall be compelled, while attending Parliament to appear as a witness in any court or place out of Parliament.”
The Speaker had earlier ruled on a complaint filed against the police by Sosu that “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 Parliamen.”
Sosu was seeking the police chief and others to be hauled before the privileges committee for contempt 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 opposition 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 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.
In a twee, Mr Dafeamekpr said “So the IGP and the Ghana Police decided to behave the way they did today (to arrest Sosu in Church) even after the Speaker sent them this letter and same receipted on [email protected]:40am? It is ironical that those who seek to implement the law do not want to follow the law themselves.”
Meanwhile, the police have described as untrue reports that some officers were at the premises of the church to pick up Sosu for interrogation.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the police said any plain-clothed personnel found on the premises of the church may have been there for intelligence purposes and not to effect an arrest.
The Head Pastor of the church, Bishop Chris Ablordey, told journalists, however, that the men had intimated to him that they were there to arrest the MP for investigations, having invited him four days ago.
In confirming the invitation and subsequent decline on the part of the MP, the police said so far three persons have been interrogated as regards last Monday’s demonstration at Ayi Mensah.
They said their resolve to get Mr Sosu to subject himself to interrogation was halted after he cited Parliamentary privilege. He has since reported the officers to the Speaker of Parliament.
But the law-enforcement agency said “we shall continue to use every legal means to interrogate all other suspects including the Honourable MP for Madina”.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana