General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye is displeased at the aggressive manner in which police besieged the residence of Member of Asutifi South, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Tuesday to arrest him.
Prof. Mike Ocquaye says the police must respect privileges of MPs and approach his office before they carry out any action.
“We want to inform and repeat that the privileges of this honourable house have been clearly set out in the Constitution of Ghana. It applies to all members…,” Prof Ocquaye stated shortly after news broke that the Inspector General Police [IGP] ordered the arrest of the MP.
The Speaker says the early morning search conducted in the residences of the MP in his constituency as well as that in Accra, was done in a manner that “Honourable members felt were not in consonance in parliamentary privilege.”
It is not clear yet why the former Minister has been invited by the police but the MP, who is a former Deputy Local Government Minister, was not home at the time police stormed the places.
Addressing journalists covering proceedings of the House, Prof Ocquaye acknowledged that even though MPs are not above the law, a decision by police to storm the residence of Asutifi South MP Collins Dauda without recourse to the speaker should not be happening.
“It, therefore, means that essentially we ask for is not to be taken by surprise or not to be treated in a manner that will not be consistent with the dignity that an honourable of Member of Parliament should be attended to,” he stated.
“We want to put on record that in future, the leadership of the house [and] the speaker of the house should be informed of all such needs so that it would be done with the appropriate decency…so that we will not be seen to be shielding any wrong doing and at the same time keeping to the honour that should be given to this institution.”
He says in the specific incident, officials from parliament will later Tuesday accompany Collins Dauda to the police headquarters to meet the Police CID Boss and that he will not meet any official with a rank lower than that.
“If you want an honourable member of parliament…that person will report in good company of parliamentary leadership and to the commissioner in charge of investigations at the Ghana Police [Service] that should be seen to be cooperating enough,” Prof. Oquaye said admonished, adding that “after all monkeys play in sizes”.
Meanwhile, members of the Minority were locked in a meeting as at Midday, which delayed seating for the day, Joy News Correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported.