The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has told the police that he is unable to release the MP for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, to assist in investigations.
The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Ghana Police Service wrote on Wednesday (27 October 2021) to the Speaker requesting the release of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP in connection with investigations regarding a demonstration in his constituency over poor roads.
In his response, issued through the deputy director of legal services, Nana Tawiah Okyir, the Speaker said: “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 26 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.”
The Speaker said he had already referred the case to the privileges committee of Parliament, which has been asked to probe a “breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt by ACP Isaac Kojo Asante and ACP Eric Winful of the Accra Regional Police Command and the Adenta Divisional Command respectively”.
Below is the full letter:
Sosu petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to cite Assistant Commissioner of Police Isaac Kojo Asante, regional operations commander, and Assistant Commissioner of Police Eric Winful, the Adenta/Abokobi divisional commander, for contempt of Parliament.
He said the police tried to take him forcibly to the station for questioning without relaying the motive to him.
Sosu further said the two police officers failed to acknowledge him as a sitting MP who had a parliamentary call to attend and could not be apprehended until the Speaker of Parliament is contacted.
“It took the intervention of the teeming youth to rescue me and lead me to my vehicle where I finally sped off from the scene,” Sosu said.
“Mr Speaker, I consider the said conduct as not only being unprofessional and against Police Service Instructions, but also an act which turns to undermine [sic] the authority and dignity of Parliament and a Member of Parliament,” he added.
Failed arrest on Sunday
On Sunday (31 October), Sosu escaped another arrest at the Believers House of Prayer Ministries in Madina.
NDC supporters massed up at the church as security men reportedly arrived there to pick him up.
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, was seen in a clip widely circulated on social media whisking his colleague MP away to an undisclosed location.
Meanwhile, the MP for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, has questioned security personnel who were present at the church.
“So why is the Ghana Police Service disregarding a directive from the Rt Honourable Speaker of Parliament on the intention to arrest the Honourable MP for Madina, Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu?” he asked in a Facebook post.
“Who are the police officers at the church premises at Ritz Junction in Madina seeking to arrest the MP?” he continued. “Is the IGP aware of this order and what it means in the face of Mr Speaker’s directives?”
George added: “Well, we can assure the IGP and the police officers involved that the full might of Parliament’s Privileges Committee would be brought to bear on their actions if they want a showdown.
“Enough of the disrespect for Parliament. The constitution is clear on the processes to arrest a sitting Member of Parliament. We would respond in full measure and drastically! That is a promise!”