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Sosu is still attending parliamentary duties abroad – Speaker to court

Sosu fails to show up in court again

Speaker says MP is on Parliamentary duties outside the country

Madina MP has been charged for blocking of roads and destruction of public property during a demonstration

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has once again told a Kanashie District Court that the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier-Sosu is not available to attend hearing in a suit against him (Sosu).

Mr Sosu is accused and standing trial for unlawfully blocking roads and causing destruction to public property in a demonstration he led in his constituency against bad roads over a month ago.

Following futile efforts by the police to effect his arrest and have him appear in court for hearing, the Speaker of Parliament for the second time said the MP was unable to attend to the court as he is attending parliamentary duties outside the country.

“I have been directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to bring to the attention of the Hon. Court that the Hon. Member is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the first Session of the 8th Parliament, which commenced on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, and is also currently representing Parliament and the Country in a conference in the United States of America,” the Speaker told the court in a letter.

The case against the MP was to be heard on Wednesday, September 16, 2021, after he failed to show up for an initial date.

Reading the Speaker’s letter in court on Wednesday, the presiding Magistrate Oheneba Kuffuor described portions of the letter as confusing.

According to the Magistrate, the letter in part creates the impression that parliament was sitting in Ghana and abroad.

But the legal counsel of the Madina MP, Victor Kojoga Adawudu explained that the content of the letter simply meant the MP was attending official parliamentary duties abroad.

The MP’s lawyer however assured the court that his client would be in court during the next sitting on the case.

The court then adjourned the matter to November 29, 2021.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament has said the Ghana Police Service cannot effect an arrest on the Madina MP describing attempts by the police as obstruction of his duties as a legislature.

“This public discourse in recent times about the privileges and immunities of MPs, officers of Parliament, and Parliament itself, is not new. Since I became an MP, it has been coming up from time to time, and even now, a number of these things come to my desk, and we have processed them well. You are all aware a number of MPs are before the court, and they are being prosecuted. So, there is nobody saying, MPs or Parliament are above the law no.

“But this particular instance of the Member of Parliament for Madina, I can put my neck on it. That you have no such powers after he had gone through all the processes with you, and you set the date and as well send your men to the procession. He is addressing them then you send a different contingent to go and arrest him while he is talking to his constituents. That is obstruction and Article 122 is very clear on that, which constitutes contempt. How can that be said to be the speaker preventing an MP from being arrested? We cannot tolerate that,” the Speaker stated at a Breakfast Forum in Kumasi on Monday.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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