Parliament has stated its inability to release Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis Xavier-Sosu to assist in investigations as requested by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Service.
In a letter dated October 28, addressed to the Deputy-Director General of Criminal Investigation Division, F.K. Agyei, Parliament indicated that due to limitations of Articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution, the MP cannot be released.
“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 26th 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,” Deputy Director of Legal Services, Nana Tawiah Okyir wrote on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament
Also, the legislative body noted that the issue is currently before the Privileges Committee to probe “breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt by ACP Isaac Kojo Asante and ACP Eric Winful of the Accra Regional Police Command and the Adentan Divisional Command respectively.”
Meanwhile, the Police Service has been urged by Parliament to conduct its investigations mindful of the provisions of articles 117, 118 and 112.
Article 117, provides for immunity from service of process and arrest, “Civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.”
Article 118 which also guarantees immunity from Witness Summons states; “neither the Speaker, nor a member of, nor the Clerk to, Parliament shall be compelled, while attending Parliament to appear as a witness in any court or place out of Parliament.”
The latest development follows the MP’s refusal to avail himself for questioning at the Police station when he was invited for being involved in a protest against bad roads by his constituents on Monday, October 25, 2021. The demonstration took a wrong turn when protesters blocked a section of the road and set tyres ablaze.
The legislator argued that he had a parliamentary call to attend and could not be apprehended until the Speaker of Parliament is contacted.
The MP later filed a complaint of contempt of Parliament against two police officers to the Speaker of Parliament.