General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
The Speaker of Parliament has vowed to haul before the House the appropriate officials to explain why some MPs are being “harassed.”
Prof Mike Ocquaye said by law and by Parliament’s Standing Orders, MPs must be treated with some level of decorum even when they are deemed to have committed any offence.
Quoting portions of the Standing Orders he said MPs are not to be arrested on their way to Parliament, whilst in Parliament or on their way out of Parliament.
While he will not exclude anyone from being invited to assist with any investigation, he will not sit by and watch MPs treated with scant regard.
He was reacting to a protest raised on the floor of the House by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
Muntaka was protesting what he said was the raid in the residences of members of the Minority without due process.
At the very least, he said the permission of the Speaker of Parliament must be sought before the homes of their members are searched by officers of the Criminal Investigative Department.
This week has been busy for officers at the CID who have invaded the homes of three ex-government officials in search of documents on the controversial AMERI power deal.
The three, Ex-Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor, his deputy, John Jinapor and the Technical Advisor of the AMERI deal Francis Dzata all had their homes searched by officers wielding warrants.
All the three searches were connected to the controversial 510 million power agreement signed in 2015 with the UAE power company, AMERI.
On Tuesday, Dr Donkor had his laptops and pen drives seized by the officers when they went to the residence with a search warrant.
He resisted attempts to seize his phones. Francis Dzata also had his laptops seized.
The latest was the Ex-Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor whose house was also invaded on Friday.
All three have insisted they have nothing to hide and are ready to go to court if at all government wants to prosecute them.
During sitting today, Muntaka Mubarak insisted the Speaker must be informed according to Parliamentary procedures before any such searches are done.
Per parliamentary rules, MPs cannot be arrested when they are on their way to Parliament.
The Speaker must also be informed before any such arrests are made, the Asawase MP pointed out.
Muntaka told the House, the Speaker must stop the harassment of the Minority members, Joy News Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported.
The Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu agreed with the request by the Minority Chief Whip.