General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
The Minority in Parliament has condemned the raid of the home of Dr Kwabena Donkor by personnel of the Ghana Police Service.
Four officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) on the dawn of Monday, July 24 stormed the Spintex residence of the Pru East MP, also a former Minister of Power.
The officers got to his private residence while he was still asleep. He is being investigated for wilfully causing financial loss with regards to the AMERI deal.
The CID search occurred for between two and three hours. His four pen drives and laptop were seized by the officers.
But in a statement released by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu on Tuesday July 25, the Minority said: “We condemn in very strong terms the dastardly act of raiding the private residence of Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor, an honourable member of parliament, early in the morning ostensibly to conduct a search and the subsequent seizure of his laptop and other media of communication. This is shameful and sad in a country that upholds the rights of its citizens to privacy.
“That it was based on the order of a lower court provides an inadequate defence. Under our constitution, the integrity of citizens’ private communication is highly protected and it is only under exceptional circumstances that it can be breached. It is even more troubling that the Honourable Member was never informed until he was shown the court order that he was a suspect in any investigation.
“The Minority considers as unacceptable any action of any state agency that impedes the work of a sitting Member of Parliament and this improper conduct amounts to contempt of Parliament under Article 122 of the constitution. This breach of privilege clearly undermines the ability of the Honourable Member of Parliament to perform his legitimate duties and by extension negate the work of Parliament.
“The dawn raid on the residence of Hon Kwabena Donkor has nothing to do with the Ameri project. After all, government itself has publicly claimed just recently that it has in its possession all relevant documents in respect of the Ameri project following the establishment of the Philip Addison committee. The invasion of Hon Donkor’s residence signals the era of a calculated programme to harass and intimidate vociferous members of the Minority and stifle the progress of our democratic process. Our democracy and the freedoms it guarantees is under attack and we in the Minority will not sit idly by and watch. We will resist it with all the force at our disposal.
“We wish to state in unequivocal terms that the Minority is willing and ready to cooperate with government and its agencies to investigate any claim of malfeasance pursuant to proper due process, however, we abhor the use of crude tactics only intended to instil fear and terror amongst our members. Available records from parliament will attest to the fact that the Ameri agreement which was submitted to the august house for approval was considered by the relevant committee and approved unanimously on the floor.
“It is, therefore, surprising the same side that spoke favourably about this project which culminated in its approval can suddenly claim it is fraught with irregularities.
“Ghanaians can attest to the hard work, strategic investment and clear vision brought to bear by the NDC government to resolve the debilitating power crisis that crippled the nation and wish to caution that by the continued act of vilification, threats and guerrilla tactics on the Ameri project and persons associated with its successful implementation, Ghana risks a return to the era of load shedding which the NDC government had resolved before leaving office. Once again, we in the Minority would like to emphasise our undiminished resolve to continue to hold the feet of the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to the fire of accountability and no amount of intimidation, brute force or cowardly acts such as is being perpetrated will cow or petrify us into inaction. We are a law-abiding people.”