NPP MP goes to Supreme Court over Adwoa Safo’s seat

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Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya MP

Member of Parliament for Ahafo-Ano North in the Ashanti Region, Sulemana Adamu Sanid, has commenced processes at the Supreme Court for the declaration of the Dome Kwabenya Parliamentary seat as vacant.

According to Joy News, the MP is praying the Court that by failing to appear before the Privileges Committee to explain her absence from Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

Ms Adwoa Safo has been absent from parliament beyond the 15 mandatory days without permission from the Speaker. In view of this, Parliament’s Privileges Committee was asked by the speaker to investigate circumstances leading to her absence.

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The Privileges Committee report had recommended that the Dome Kwabenya seat be declared vacant due to the absence of the MP.

But Speaker Alban Bagbin, on Wednesday, ruled that the decision by the Privileges Committee is not final.

“It is for the House that will go through it because the mandate given to an MP, representation is so crucial that it cannot be left to the subjective view of any person or group of people, but the whole House,” the Speaker said.

Reliefs

But according to the Ahafo-Ano North MP the speaker’s ruling was given in error, hence praying the Supreme Court to declare that the report of the Privileges Committee is not subject to the review of the Speaker of Parliament.

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“A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, a member of Parliament who absents himself/herself, without permission in writing of the Speaker and he/she is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on privileges, from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet, automatically forfeits his/her membership of the Parliament of Ghana,” portions of the reliefs read.

Majority’s disagreement

Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus in Parliament has also indicated that it shall be challenging the ruling of the Speaker.

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Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu described the ruling as “unfortunate”, indicating his disagreement.

“I totally disagree with the ruling. It doesn’t sit with the Constitution and I must express my discomfort with this unfortunate ruling that has been made because it is very inconsistent. We will come back with a substantive motion to challenge the ruling,” he said.

 

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