October 7, 2019

Parliament has set the record straight pointing out to the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu that it has not done anything in any way to sabotage and obstruct its work concerning the prosecution of a former Minister in the John Mahama led administration.

According to a statement signed by the Acting Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Kate Addo, Parliament has collaborated with any law enforcement agency including Office of the Special Prosecutor.

“Mr. Amidu requested the release the release of Mahama Ayariga to be arranged before the High court in Accra on 4th June 2019, a meeting was to dialogue with your office as to how your office and court could be availed of Ayariga before court. With regards to his privileges presumption of innocence and in a manner in which would enable him to continue to efficiently perform his Parliamentary duties”.

The statement further noted that in a meeting with SP, his attention was drawn to Article 117 118 (1) and 122 of the 1992 constitution which provides that, “117 civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on or executed in relation to Speaker or a Member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to attending at or returning from any proceedings of Parliament”.

It is clear from the onset that the Special Prosecutor knew the purpose of the meeting and he elected to come and was accompanied by an official from his outfit at an open meeting in the Speakers conference Room, with the Speaker, the statement added.

The Majority and Minority Leaders, Ranking members of the constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Clerk to Parliament were part.

“To suggest therefore that the Speaker had a private meeting to get him to approach the prosecution wrongfully in unfounded, Speaker emphasised that MPs are not above the law. However there was the need to respect their privileges as in the 1992 constitution, the SP differed however with this viewpoint and the meeting ended”.

A letter of appreciation was sent to the SP and reference made to his differing viewpoint on the matter.

It was suggested to the SP that the long three month vacation was coming August to October 2019  and the MP could be tried day to day, certainly the SP did not see the benefit of the suggestion to use the vacation time in Parliament to do the trial.

“The time is almost gone and the Special Prosecutor has done nothing, Parliament wants to state categorically that it co-operated with SP during the investigation stages of the case in question. Indeed, Parliament has in the past collaborated with other law enforcement agencies in similar matters.

As a law making arm of government, Parliament will under no circumstances attempt to break the Laws of Ghana, “the Special Prosecutor should not draw Parliament into his own issues at all”.

Kwaku   Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com