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Did Ablakwa breach the Standing Orders of Parliament with his resignation? – Inusah Fuseini explains

INUSAH FUSEINI ?resize=1000%2C600&ssl=1 Inusah Fuseini, former MP, Tamale Central

Fri, 2 Apr 2021 Source:

Inusah Fuseini, the former MP for Tamale Central, says Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa’s resignation from the Appointments Committee of Parliament, “is unknown to Parliamentary practice and procedure”.

Ablakwa communicated his resignation from the Committee in a letter addressed to Speaker Alban Bagbin.

Though the immediate and direct triggers are subjects of wild speculation, Ablakwa himself says the reasons for his resignation are both “personal” and based “on principle”.

Describing the resignation as a “difficult” decision, Ablakwa said he took the step after “careful reflection and thoughtful considerations.”

But Alhaji Inusah Fuseini avers that regardless of the reasons - including the controversial approval of ministers by the Appointments Committee which Ablakwa obviously does not like, “that is not the route to take in circumstances such as this.”

“I thought that it was important to hold fast to the principles that you have, stay and be a conscientious objector on the committee than to walk away,” Alhaji Fuseini told Joy FM in a report monitored by GhanaWeb on Thursday.

According to him, the Standing Orders of Parliament are used to first constitute the Committee on Selection which then constitutes the other committees of Parliament. Therefore no member can just say they have resigned without first informing the chairperson of their committee.

“The [relevant] committee Chairman will then inform the chairman of the Committee on Selection and if they agree that you will be discharged from the committee then they move a motion on the floor of the House to discharge you from the committee and might substitute somebody for you on the committee,” Fuseini explained.

Inusah Fuseini further argues that the Speaker cannot unanimously accept the resignation of a member from a committee; the Speaker must defer to the Committee on Selection.

He added that the Committee on Selection, will then have to bring a report on the resignation of Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and “reasons for his resignation and whether that is the route to take. The chairman must also make an input before a motion to discharge him.”

“The fact that you have written to resign from the committee does not automatically mean that you are not a member of the committee. No, you are still a member of the committee until you are discharged. You can’t discharge yourself from the committee; the selection committee must discharge you and they must discharge you on the floor of the house.

Parliament is not done in the chambers of the Speaker,” he stressed.

Inusah Fuseini further stressed that until Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is discharged from the floor of the House, he is still a member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

After handing over his letter to Mr Speaker privately, Ablwaka posted on Twitter: “Concluded a fruitful and frank meeting with Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban S.K. Bagbin a while ago….I am enormously grateful to him for accepting my resignation from the Appointments Committee of Parliament.”