AG sued over Speaker, MPs’ immunities

Two Ghanaian citizens have sued the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice over a number of protections the Speaker of Parliament, a Member of Parliament (MP) and the Clerk to Parliament enjoy under the 1992 Constitution.

In the writ, the petitioners quoted Articles 117, and 118(1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution among others that gave the Speaker, MPs and the Clerk some immunities.

The writ has the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as the only defendants.

The plaintiffs, Hilda Mansuwa Kpentey Dongotey and Albert Gyamfi, through their lawyer, Samson Anyenini, spelt out ten cardinal areas bothering on immunities they would want the Supreme Court to scrap, and a declaration that upon a true and proper construction of article 117 of the 1992 Construction of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker or a Deputy Speaker or a Member of Parliament or the Clerk to Parliament is not granted immunity from arrest for any offence they committed while they were on their way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.

A declaration that upon a true and proper construction of article 117 of the 1992 Construction of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker or a Deputy Speaker or a Member of Parliament or the Clerk to Parliament is not granted immunity from warrantless arrest, restriction or detention while they were on their way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament, portions of the writ contended.

The decision stems from refusal of the Speaker to release Francis-Xavier Sosu, the MP for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, to assist with investigation into alleged criminal offenses during a demonstration he organised over bad roads in his constituency.

Police have tried without success on two occasions to arrest Mr Sosu, and have gone ahead to secure criminal summons against him in court, while Parliament has sent out signals it will not countenance position of the police.

The MP has so far failed to honour two court appearances due to his out of the jurisdiction and now claims he has not been served criminal summons, has also gone ahead to file a suit against the police asking the court to enforce his human rights to protest, place an injunction on attempts by the police to arrest and prosecute him until determination of his case. –citinewsroom.com

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