Speaker to deliver ruling on Adwoa Safo on Wednesday
Speaker Alban Bagbin said he will deliver his ruling on the fate of Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo, the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, on Wednesday, October 26.
In a formal communication to the MPs, he said: “I will deliver that tomorrow; we have a few things to transact today….”
Formal communication forms part of the Speakers’ welcome address to the MPs after reconvening on Tuesday after a recess.
Before going on recess in July, Mr Bagbin deferred his ruling on whether the Dome-Kwabenya seat should be declared vacant or not following Madam Safo’s failure to honour an invite by the Privileges Committee on her continuous absence from Parliament.
Mr Bagbin, on May 4, referred Madam Safo, Mr Henry Quartey, MP of 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.
That was 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.
The Majority, however, wants the seat declared vacant without delay in line with stated constitutional provisions.
It observed that Madam Safo failed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to explain her absence without leave.
Meanwhile, the Majority of MPs on the committee cited Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Prof 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 story to the committee.
The committee, however, determined that the excuses from her two colleagues – Mr Agyepong and Mr Quartey – for absenting themselves were reasonable.
A copy of the report made available to the Ghana News Agency before recess, showed that the committee members gave a split decision on the fate of Madam Safo.