Politics of Monday, 31 July 2017
The Speaker of Parliament has hauled the National Security Advisor before the House to explain the circumstances under which two Members of Parliament were accosted by police officers last week.
Prof Mike Ocquaye told Council of State members the Security Minister will meet with leadership of Parliament at exactly 12:00 noon Monday.
Ex-Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor and his deputy John Jinapor both of whom are MPs and were key in negotiating the controversial AMERI power agreement had their houses invaded by police men in search for documents covering the agreement.
First it was Dr Donkor who was paid the friendly visit by the police. His laptops were seized as well as his pen drives. He resisted attempts by the police officers to seize his phones.
A day later, John Jinapor also had his house invaded by the police. He was on his way to Parliament in the morning when the police arrived.
They came demanding documents covering the AMERI deal and ended up searching every corner of the house in search for the documents.
His phones were seized by the police officers.
A third person, who is not an MP but a Technical Advisor, on the AMERI agreement, Francis Dzata also had his home searched and his laptops seized by police officers.
Even though the police officers had the authority of a circuit court to conduct the search, they ought to have sought permission from the Speaker of Parliament before arresting, searching the MPs.
By Parliament’s Standing Orders, MPs cannot be arrested on their way to Parliament, when they are in Parliament or on their way out of Parliament.
The House has, in unison, condemned the arrest, detention of the two MPs with the Speaker vowing to haul before him persons who authorized the search.
While he would not shield persons accused of wrongdoing, he said due process must be followed in the arrest of MPs.
He would not sit aloof in the face of what he referred to as “harassment” of MPs.
“Posterity will judge me on this,” he told Council of State members who paid a courtesy call on the leadership of Parliament.
Consequently, the Security Minister is expected to explain the action of the police officers when he meets leadership on Monday.
Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported that the Minister Albert Kan Dapaah has arrived in Parliament for the meeting.