Speaker of Parliament Alban S.K Bagbin has deferred his ruling on the recommendations made by the Privileges Committee of Parliament on the three Members of Parliament (MPs) who were hauled before the Committee for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.
According to him, he needs time to give the reasoned written ruling as he is not prepared to give hasten ruling on the fate of the three MPs, thereby deferring his decision until resumption of sitting from break as Parliament rises today July 28, 2022.
“Honourable Members, I have consulted the old lady, the old lady has given me an advise and I think that advise is correct. The issue raised by the Majority Leader is both of substantive and procedural law.
“I need time to submit to this house a reasoned, written ruling. I cannot in a haste of today, give you the ruling. In the circumstance, I will urge this House for us to call it a day,” Mr. Bagbin said when addressing the House on the matter on Thursday July 28.
The three MPs, Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, Henry Quartey Ayawaso Central MP and Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya were hauled before the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.
Both Ken Agyapong and Henry Quartey appeared before the Committee give reasons in relations to ill-health for the absence from the house for 15 consecutive days without permission.
However, Adwoa Safo who was out of the jurisdiction could not make it to meet the Committee.
Per report of the committee and by majority decision, agreed that “Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Hon Henry Quartey admitted having absented themselves for more than the fifteen Sittings threshold. “However, the explanations given by Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Hon Henry Quartey for being absent were found reasonable.
“By the provisions of Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution, the onus is on Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to provide a reasonable explanation to the Privileges Committee why she shall not vacate her Seat, for having absented herself for forty-two (42) Sittings, during the period under consideration.
“The Minority Members on the Committee concede that reasonable efforts were made to get Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to appear before the Committee, however, the Minority Members are of the view that, the lack of response of Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to the numerous invitations of the Committee should be reported to the House without any conclusions.
“The above notwithstanding, the Majority, was of the view that, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo failed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and facilities offered her to provide reasonable explanation to the Committee with regard to her absence without leave.
“Therefore, pursuant to Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare v the Attorney General & 3 Ors, the Dome-Kwabenya seat should be declared vacant.”