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Privileges Committee report on absentee MPs laid

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Adwoa Safo

Report of the Privileges Committee of Parliament on the alleged breach of Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 16 (1) Standing Orders of Parliament by three Members of Parliament has been laid.

It is therefore for the distribution of Members of Parliament (MPs) and expected to be debated before Parliament goes on recess on Thursday.

However, per the copy of the report made available to the Ghana News Agency by a source on Wednesday, members of the committee gave a split decision on the fate of Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo, the MP Dome-Kwabenya.

Mr. Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament on May 4 referred Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP Dome-Kwabenya; Mr. Henry Quartey, MP Ayawaso Central and Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP Assin Central to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves from 15 sittings of the House without his permission during the First session of the Eighth Parliament.

The committee failed to achieve a consensus in its recommendations on whether absenting herself for more than the mandatory 15 days without permission warranted her seat being declared vacant.

Again, the Majority wants the seat declared vacant without delay in line with stated constitutional provisions.

Madam Safo failed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to explain her absence without leave.

Meanwhile, the Majority MPs on the committee cited Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare v the Attorney General & 3 Ors, in this regard.

The Minority MPs on the committee, however, argued that according to the principle of natural justice, the seat should not be declared vacant because Madam Safo did not provide her side of the issue to the committee.

The committee, however, determined that the excuse from her two other colleagues, Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, MP for Assin Central and Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central for absenting themselves were reasonable.

Source: GNA

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