Inusah Fuseini is a former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central

Former Tamale Central MP, Inusah Fuseini, says the long absence of Sarah Adwoa Safo from Parliament without the Speaker’s permission is a disgrace to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, he said the Dome-Kwabenya MP must face the consequences of her actions as her conduct is untoward as a legislator.

“The conduct of Adwoa Safo and the matters and information coming out of her absence in Parliament is not only embarrassing but shocking. This is because she is an MP, and per Article 97 (1) (C) of the 1992 Constitution, an MP cannot be absent without permission from the Speaker for 15 days,” he said.

According to Mr Fuseini, Adwoa Safo “must be referred to the privileges committee for a reasonable explanation without which she vacates the seat.”

He said any citizen can equally petition the Supreme Court to remove her from office over her conduct.

“The constitution is very clear. You can trigger it by going to court…If her explanation is reasonable, she is okay. But if the privileges committee conclude that it is not reasonable, her seat will be declared vacant, and a vote was taken,” he noted.

Sarah Adwoa Safo has been criticised by some NPP MPs and party members for absenting herself from Parliament without the Speaker’s permission since the House resumed sitting this year.

Some party members accused the Dome-Kwabenya MP of holding the NPP to ransom, considering the current hung Parliament and the numbers needed to pass the controversial E-levy bill.

The party members have also alleged that the MP’s conduct is due to the government’s denial to grant her request of being made the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, her previous position in Parliament.

Meanwhile, a member of NPP’s Communications Team, Awal Mohammed, has hinted that the Party will take a firm decision on Adwoa Safo’s issue in due time.

“The government and the party is taking a firm decision on the issue, and in the coming weeks, the result will be out,” he stated.

Speaking with Emefa Adeti on Prime Morning on Wednesday, Mr Awal noted that though her absence from Parliament adversely affects government business, it is a constitutional issue that needs to be treated.

The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Obiri Boahen, has also rejected calls for Sarah Adwoa Safo’s outright suspension.

Nana Obiri Boahen explained that the Party must apply the proper procedures before taking any final decision.

He argued that the Speaker of the House is the only authority to bring the MP to book due to her absence from Parliament, not the leadership of the Party.

“If for one reason or the other a Parliamentarian is absent, it doesn’t lie in the mouth of the party leadership to bring that fellow to book… With all humility, we are not in a jungle; we are in a democratic country.

“We have the three organs of government…if, for instance, a Member of Parliament is absent for twenty or thirty days, it is the Speaker who will declare the seat vacant, anything short of that, legally that should not be the position,” he said on The Pulse last Tuesday.