February 21, 2012

The Speaker of Parliament Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo has tasked the leadership of the House to set up an ad-hoc committee to find ways of preventing the continuous breach of parliamentary immunity.

She has asked that the report of the committee be submitted to the House for debate and a subsequent report sent to the law enforcement agencies.

Article 117 of the Constitution of Ghana provides that a Member of Parliament (MP) on his way to and from parliament or executing parliamentary duties is immune from arrest.

The establishment of the Committee follows the objection raised by the Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in the House today over the mode of arrest of the MP for Aburi-Nsawam O.B Amoah on Sunday night by armed police men in connection with an award of contract to Waterville for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.

According to the Minority Leader, the arrest of O.B Amoah who was also the former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports violates Article 117 of the Constitution as O.B Amoah was arrested on his way from a Parliamentary meeting.

Osei Kyei Bonsu also recounted a similar manner of arrest of honorable Atta Akyea few years ago of which the IGP apologized and assured that such arrest will not happen again.

He expressed worry over the violation of MPs immunity and called on the house to as a matter of urgency find ways to protect the integrity and rights of MPs.

He noted that such wrongful arrest of MPs to a large extent affects parliamentary work which also impacts negatively on governance of the country.

Kojo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh