Speaker to summon security officials over dawn raid on MPs homes

Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, on Friday gave an assurance that he would invite the appropriate security officials to discuss matters relating to the dawn raids of the homes of some members.

The Speaker’s assurance comes at the back of an appeal by Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Chief Whip of the Minority, calling on him to restrain the security personnel from raids of homes of some MPs on the Minority Side, suspected to be linked to AMERI power deal.

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, MP for Adansi Asokwa, former Deputy Minister of Energy and Ranking Member on Energy, has filed an urgent motion in Parliament to have the House rescind the US$ 510 million Ameri power deal, alleging that the cost was bloated.

A t least four persons; Dr Kwabena Donkor, former Minister of Power, and current MP for Pru East, his deputy Mr John Jinapor, MP for Kusawgu, Dr Dominic Ayine, former Deputy Attorney General, and Mr Francis Dzata, the Technical Advisor to the AMERI, have had their homes searched by warrant holding officers in recent times. In some cases, the officers wielded weapons.

On Tuesday, Dr Donkor had his laptops and pen drives seized by the officers when they went to the residence with a search warrant. Mr Francis Dzata also had his laptops seized.

The latest were former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine and the Ex-Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor, whose houses were invaded on Friday.

It was against this backdrop that the Minority Chief Whip, after the issue was not touched on the proposed Business Statement for next week, raised the matter.

He observed that not only members on the Minority Side, but every Member of Parliament is a law abiding citizen and will not run away from any responsibility to assist the state to do anything.

“But Mr Speaker, the worry is the nature and manner the police is raiding the residence of Members of Parliament at dawn when that citizen is not running, when the person has not been served with a notice that he has been charged. This is a very worrying situation.

“We on this side can reassure not only the police but the whole state that every member on our side is more than willing and ready to assist in any investigation that the Government or the state wants to do but let’s do it in a manner that does not create panic and frustration.

“The invitation of these members on Monday when this House is sitting is an affront to the dignity of this House and will impede the members’ ability to perform their functions. It is with this that I want to humbly appeal to your good office to intervene and assure the Police that we, and I believe every member of Parliament, will be more than happy to assist in any form.”

Prof. Oquaye promised to summon the appropriate officials to explain why some MPs were being “harassed,” explaining that by law and the Standing Orders of Parliament 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.

“We will want to ascertain whether the legal process was followed. I will, soon after sitting, call the appropriate authority to my office and demand that honourable members are handled appropriately, coterminous with their office as honourable members.”

The Speaker must also be informed before any such arrests are made.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, concurred to the request by the Minority Chief Whip.

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