Police action to arrest Madina MP was an obstruction – Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has said the move by the Police Administration to arrest Madina MP, Francis-Xavier Sosu after they approved the demonstration was an obstruction.

Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament

The MP on October 25, 2021, led his residents and motorists in his constituency to protest over deplorable roads in the area.

Portions of major roads in the municipality have been left in a deplorable state for far too long, making life unbearable for residents who have to grapple with the intense traffic congestion daily.

Sosu has been accused of unlawfully blocking a public highway and causing destruction to public property.

Since the protest, there has been a lot of back and forth between the MP, Parliament, and the Police.

Although the Police have attempted to arrest the MP, he has resisted arrest, citing articles 117 and 118 of the Constitution.

Speaker Alban Bagbin had earlier written to the Police Service indicating his inability to release the MP to assist with investigations.

The Police secured the criminal summons against the MP after unsuccessful attempts to arrest him for his alleged breach of the law.

Speaking at the Speaker's Breakfast Forum in Kumasi in the Ashanti region on Monday, November 15, 2021, Bagbin described the attempts by the Police to arrest the MP as obstruction.

He said "This public discourse in recent times about the privileges and immunities of MPs, officers of Parliament, and Parliament itself, is not new. Since I became an MP, it has been coming up from time to time, and even now, a number of these things come to my desk, and we have processed them well. You are all aware a number of MPs are before the court, and they are being prosecuted. So, there is nobody saying, MPs or Parliament are above the law no."

He added: "But this particular instance of the Member of Parliament for Madina, I can put my neck on it. That you have no such powers after he had gone through all the processes with you, and you set the date and as well send your men to the procession. He is addressing them then you send a different contingent to go and arrest him while he is talking to his constituents. That is obstruction and Article 122 is very clear on that, which constitutes contempt. How can that be said to be the speaker preventing an MP from being arrested? We cannot tolerate that."

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