Parliament to commence probe into 3 absentee MPs today

The Privileges Committee in Parliament will start its probe of three Members of Parliament from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for absenteeism today.

The 3 absentee MPs

The Committee will investigate the MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo; MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and the MP for Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey.

The three lawmakers were referred to the Committee by the Speaker of Parliament after it emerged that they have absented themselves for a long period of time.

In an interview in Accra, the Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee, Kweku Rickets Hagan said the hearings will not be held in public.

“We are going to hear all of them out before we put the report together. The report will be comprehensive. The sittings, however, will not be made public.”

However, the NDC MP for Asawase, Mubarak Muntaka has kicked against the probe saying it will set a bad precedent.

In the motion, Hon. Mubarak called on Parliament “to revoke, cancel or rescind the referral made by The Rt. Hon. Speaker on the 5TH Day of April 2022, to the committee on Privileges to consider the issue of absence without permission from the House under Article 97 (1) (c) of the constitution and Standing Orders 15 and 16 of Honourables Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.”

In their last sitting before the Easter break, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament referred Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong to the Privileges Committee for absenteeism.

He said the absence of the MPs without his permission constitutes a breach of the rules of the house.

Muntaka said if the Speaker’s decision is allowed to stand, it will set a dangerous precedence which can be used by a “dictator speaker” in future to hurt lawmakers.

“If we allow this to stand it will become precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.

The Committee has two weeks to present a report to the House.

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