Police is entitled to cause an arrest before informing Parliament and not vice versa – Lawyer

Legal Practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini says the police is entitled to cause an arrest before later informing Parliament and not vice versa.

 This he said is according to the 23rd Edition of Erkine May: Parliamentary Practice, which has become a legal authority that is respected across the world and used by Parliamentarians.

 “In all cases in which Members of either House are arrested on criminal charges, the House must be informed,” he quoted from the legal book.

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His assertion follows a petition by Madina MP, Francis Xavier Sosu for some two senior police officers to be hauled before Parliament’s Privileges Committee after they manhandled him and threatened to arrest him for leading a demonstration against bad roads. 

Mr Xavier Sosu on Monday petitioned Speaker, Alban Sumana Bagbin to cite ACP Isaac Kojo Asante, Regional Operations Commander and ACP Eric Winful of the Adenta/Abokobi Divisional Command for contempt of Parliament.

The Madina MP wants the Speaker to take action with respect to Article 117 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 28 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

That notwithstanding, Mr Anyenini shared a different opinion on the matter. He said it was untenable for the MP of Madina, Francis Xavier-Sosu to suggest that he was headed to Parliament to discharge a duty when he was approached by police to be picked up.

He added that the privileges for Members of Parliament is not absolute and it can never be absolute.

“The warrant of the Speaker, the prior advance notice of the Speaker is a protocol not law,” he said.

According to him, he disagrees with the Mr Sosu’s notion that he was mistreated because he is a MP by the police while they were discharging their duty of arrest; saying the “act is an affront to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.”

“If someone is enforcing law that cannot amount to manhandling, of course in the process they could do something wrong …but not to say in doing so then they are exercising their duty of arrest then they are manhandling you because you are an MP, I think I disagree with that,” he said.

He suggested that the MP could take the case up on the grounds of Human Rights, adding that he has a point in that regard if he was roughed up during the arrest.

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