Adwoa Safo’s fate hangs in balance; Privileges Committee concludes work on 3 absentee MPs

The Privileges Committee of Parliament has concluded its work on the three absentee Members of Parliament (MP).

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MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey who is also the Greater Accra Regional Minister and MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, also Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection were investigated for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission for more than the stipulated 15 sitting days during the first meeting of the second session of the 8th Parliament.

They were referred to the Privileges Committee of Parliament by the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

The committee was to consider the circumstances surrounding their absence in pursuance of Article 97(1c) of the 1992 Constitution.

Henry Quartey and Kennedy Agyapong appeared before the committee but Sarah Adwoa Safo was unable to appear.

Decision

At the last sitting of the committee on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, all 15 members of the Majority voted to pardon Henry Quartey and Kennedy Agyapong.

The 12 Members on the Minority side also agreed to pardon them but with reservations on the documents tendered in as evidence.

The Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Ricketts-Hagan told Graphic Online that the committee has brought its findings on the three absentee MPs to an end but could not make any decision on Sarah Adwoa Safo.

He explained that, upon all the several efforts by the committee to get, Ms. Safo, to appear before the committee and answer as to why she absented herself from Parliament for continuous 15 sittings days without permission, she failed to come.

Mr. Ricketts-Hagan, who is also the MP for Cape Coast South stated that on the grounds of natural justice, the committee could not make any decision on Ms. Safo due to her failure to appear before the committee but rather will subject her to the plenary for MPs to decide on her faith after the committee had submitted their report to the Speaker of Parliament.

He added that Mr. Agyapong and Mr. Quartey availed themselves to the committee and explained that, their absence from Parliament for 15 sitting days was a result of ill health for which they were still under treatment even though they were now better.

He said he was surprised that as of now, the state security apparatus is still sitting unconcerned without making any effort to search for the MP Dome-Kwabenya, Ms. Safo, because, he believed the MP is missing and considering her position as MP and a Minister, she is an asset to the state and the earlier the state go rounds to look for her, the better since she carried very vital national information.

Mr. Ricketts-Hagan said whether or not, the Speaker will announce her seat vacant, will be decided by the House.

Article 97 (1c) of the 1992 Constitution stated that a Member vacates his/her seat without permission and fails to give a reasonable explanation.

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