Privileges Committee has not declared Adwoa Safo’s seat vacant - Ricketts-Hagan insists

Ricketts Hagan 620x406 1 Ranking Member of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Only Bagbin can declare a set vacant, Ricketts-Hagan

Privileges Committee completes investigation on 3 ‘absentee’ MPs

EC must be informed by Clerk that Adwoa Safo's seat is vacant, Privileges Committee

Ranking Member of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan, has insisted that the seat of Dome-Kwabenya MP Sarah Adwoa Safo has not been declared vacant contrary to assertions in the public.

According to him, because Adwoa Safo failed to appear before the Privileges Committee, members of the committee agreed not to take a decision on whether she had good reason to be absent from the house, asaaseradio.com reports.

Ricketts-Hagan added that publications that the MP's (Member of Parliament’s) seat is vacant can not be true because only the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, can declare seats in the House vacant.

“In the case of Adwoa Safo, we were not able to meet her. So, the committee agreed not to make any decision on her and to refer the matter to the Speaker.”

“Yesterday there was an article … that the chairman of the committee had gone public to say that, the committee had declared Adwoa’s Safo’s seat vacant, and that the matter is being referred to the clerk to basically proceed to the EC.

“First and foremost, nobody in this Parliament apart from the Speaker has the right to declare anybody’s seat vacant. That was not the job given to us; our job was to hear the three colleagues and to find out whether there was a reasonable or legitimate reason why they didn’t come to Parliament and report to the Speaker,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Parliament’s Privileges Committee and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has said that the Electoral Commission (EC) must be informed that Adwo Safo’s seat has been declared vacant.

According to the Chairman, the Clerk of the House must duly inform the EC in accordance with the law, that the seat of the MP is currently vacant following her failure to appear before the committee to explain issues regarding her absence.

“In accordance with the law, it is for the Clerk to inform the Electoral Commission that a vacancy has occurred, that is what the constitution says, that is what our report reflects,” Osei-Owusu said in an interview on JoyNews.

Also, the Akwatia MP and member of the Privileges Committee, Henry Boakye-Yiadom, in an interview with Citi TV, said that the committee by a 15 -12 majority decision ruled that Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong and Ayawaso Central MP Henry Quartey’s reasons for absenting themselves without permission were good enough and thus they should not lose their seats.

He added that the committee failed to decide on Adwoa Safo because of her failure to appear before the committee to explain why she has absented herself from the House since December 2021. He added that the decision on Adwo Safo has been left to the plenary.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, referred the three New Patriotic Party MPs to the Privileges Committee of the House after he was petitioned by former MP, Ras Mubarak, to remove the MPs for absenting themselves for more than 15 consecutive sittings during the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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