General News Fri, 17 Jul 2009

Disqualified MP is not a Ghanaian -Bagbin

Majority Leader Alban Bagbin has served notice that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani, will be walked out of Parliament if he attempts taking a seat in the House on Friday. A High Court in Accra ruled against Mr Dramani when he failed to file a defence in a suit that challenged his eligibility as Member of Parliament. A herdsman in the constituency filed the writ claiming that Mr Dramani held dual Ghanaian and British citizenship and therefore could not hold such a public office.

The court ruled Wednesday that Mr Dramani should cease holding himself out as an MP, after he failed to file his defence. The disqualified MP has however appealed against the verdict and is seeking readmission to contest the charge against his eligibility. Before the Appeal Court rules on the case, Mr Bagbin, who is also MP for Nadowli North, said by the law, Mr Dramani could no longer hold himself as MP. “As of now, by law he ceases to be a Member of Parliament and that was what was so declared by the High Court,” Mr Bagbin said. “If he comes to the House he does so as any Ghanaian. If he attempts taking his seat, the processes will be put in place for the Marshall of the House to take him out.”

Mr Bagbin said there was “incontrovertible evidence” that Mr Dramani was not a Ghanaian and that the High Court’s ruling opened up a vacancy for a bye-election in the constituency. In a sharp reaction, however, Minority Leader and MP for Suame, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, said the High Court’s ruling is rather absurd. He maintained the judge erred in law when he ruled on a matter that was still pending at the Supreme Court.

Responding to the issues, former MP for Ellembele, Freddy Blay, said it would be wrong for Mr Dramani to maintain that he is still a Parliamentarian on the basis of the verdict delivered by the High Court. The embattled Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has hinted, however, that he would not go to Parliament on Friday after all. Already the immediate past MP, Mahama Ayariga, who is now a presidential press secretary and whom Adamu Dramani beat in the 2008 election to win the seat, is lacing his boots for a bye-election. He says it would be difficult for him not to contest the bye-election if it should come up.

Source: jfm