Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo

Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan has refuted the assertion by the Chairman of Parliament’s Privileges Committee, Joseph Osei- Owusu that the Dome-Kwabenya seat is vacant.

Joseph Osei- Owusu in an exclusive interview with JoyNews reiterated that it is automatic for Sarah Adwoa Safo’s seat to be declared vacant, once she failed to appear before the Privileges Committee despite several opportunities afforded her.

Speaking on Top Story, Friday, Mr. Ricketts-Hagan, who is the Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee took a different view.

According to him, the view expressed by the Chairman of the Commitee s an attempt to preempt the Speaker’s decision.

“I don’t know why the Honourable Joe Osei-Owusu is trying to tell the Speaker what he should be doing. I know he is the First Deputy Speaker but he is not the Speaker…my Chairman is not entitled to his own facts,” he said.

He contended that the constitution mandates Members of Parliament who vacate their seats for fifteen sittings to be given a hearing before their seat is declared vacant.

“It is for that reason that these matters were referred to us by Rt. Hon. Speaker. We did hear from two of our colleagues but on the third person we have made it very clear that we have not been able to reach her…so it is for the Speaker to put it to the plenary for voting or whatever decision the Speaker will take, we cannot preempt that decision,” he noted.

He stressed that the Dome-Kwabenya seat cannot be declared vacant because “natural justice suggests that if you have not been able to reach someone then you cannot basically exercise judgement.”

After the Privileges Committee’s meeting with Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong and Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey, no decision was taken on Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo since the MP did not appear before the Committee.

The fate of the Dome-Kwabenya MP was left to the decision of the Speaker as the Committee prepares to lay its report in Parliament next week.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection is currently in the United States.

Speaking to JoyNews earlier on why she had left her parliamentary and ministerial duties, she said her son is unwell and would return when his condition becomes stable.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.