Ranking Member on Parliament’s Privileges Committee, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, says there is nothing wrong with the Privileges Committee’s failure to reach a conclusive determination on the case of Adwoa Safo’s absenteeism.
According to him, the issue as to whether or not a Parliamentary seat should be declared vacant is a very critical one and thus poses a never before challenge for the Committee considering the circumstances that surround the case.
“This is a critical issue that where we’ve gotten to, it’s not an issue or decision to be made by 30 odd people out of the 275 Members of Parliament. And there’s nothing wrong with us failing to reach a decision. I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.
He said, while there had been attempts to reach the Dome Kwabenya MP to present herself before the Committee, all had proven futile.
He said the failure of Adwoa Safo to answer for her absenteeism thus posed an obstacle for the Committee to go ahead and make a conclusive determination without her justification.
“There are provisions in the law as to how you reach someone to serve them and all that. We have completely failed to reach the honourable lady. We have never arrived in this area before. And for me , I’m not a lawyer, but for me in my mind it is only fair that the matter, and we should not be ashamed to say this, that the matter has actually gone beyond the current powers of the privileges committee which has not been tested to this level before.
“And it is right for that matter to go back to the plenary for that determination to be made by the whole house through the process of deliberation and debate on the recommendations that [were presented] whether conclusive or inconclusive, there is a recommendation there to make a determination on it and the Speaker will obviously end up doing whatever the Speaker has to do,” he said.
“We are putting our hands up not reason of incompetence but we’re at a territory that we’ve never been before. We’ve never actually been here before. This is how laws are looked at, and how laws are reviewed and how laws are changed.
“What we are doing so for future generations to come and have a look at. And we have to make sure that we get it right because as Doc said this will not be the first time we will have a hung parliament, this will not be the first time that people will be absent and they’ll be put before the court of Parliament,” he added.
The Speaker of Parliament has directed that the fate of Adwoa Safo be determined by the plenary in a vote, however, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, has threatened to move a motion to challenge and possibly overturn the Speaker’s directive.
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