NPP MP goes to Supreme Court over speaker’s ruling on Adwoa safo

On Wednesday, October 26, a day after Parliament reconvened, the Speaker made a ruling in which he admitted the Motion and thus dismissed the Majority leader’s preliminary objection.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A member of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP) and Member of Parliament for the Ahafo Ano North Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Suleman Adamu Sanid has invoked the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court seeking an interpretation of Article 97c of the Constitution, 1992.

The suit is the fallout of a recent ruling by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin admitting a motion for the report of the Privileges Committee on three absentee MPs to be debated in the plenary before action is taken.

Three Members of Parliament; Hon Kennedy Agyapong of Assin Central, Henry Quartey of Ayawaso central, and Sarah Adwoa Safo of Dome Kwabenya absented themselves during the last sitting of Parliament for several days and were thus referred to the Privileges Committee.

During its sittings, two of them; Kennedy Agyapong and Henry Quartey appeared and gave ill health as their reason for absenting themselves for those number of days and thus were cleared by the Committee which made a recommendation for their seats not to be declared vacant.

However, one of them, Sarah Adwo Safo could not appear before the Committee throughout the sittings despite their various modes of service including an attempt to serve her virtually.

The Committee thus after its work, made a recommendation for the MP’s seat, Dome Kwabeny, to be declared vacant in its final report presented.

A motion was then filed for the Committee’s report to be considered by the House as a whole for subsequent voting to be done.

On his part, the Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu countered the motion insisting that per Article 97c, the Report of the Committee should be admitted as final thus admitting its recommendation.

Therefore on Wednesday, October 26, when Parliament reconvened, the Speaker made a ruling in which he admitted the motion and thus dismissed the Majority leader’s preliminary objection.

MP’s Case

Thus being dissatisfied by this event, the Member of Parliament avers that the above ruling of the Speaker is in contravention of Article 97c of the constitution.

Article 97c states that; “A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges, from 15 sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”

Therefore the Honourable Member believes that following the formal complaint being referred to the privileges Committee and the Committee finishing its work, all the Speaker was supposed to do is to adopt the findings and duly declare the Dome Kwabenya seat vacant.

As a result, he is seeking a declaration of the apex court directed at the said ruling of the Speaker of Parliament for the Committee’s report to be debated by the plenary, as unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect.