Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini

The Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, has accused the Executive arm of government, led by President Akufo-Addo of dereliction of duty for failing to call the Gender Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo to order.

According to him, President Akufo-Addo, who is the appointing officer, must act immediately as all indications prove that Ms Adwoa Safo, has abandoned her post.

Speaking on JoyNews' AM Show on Tuesday, the Tamale North MP argued that it is unfair that Ms Safo is still drawing salary when a caretaker Minister, Cecilia Dapaah, has been appointed.

"Personally, before I will support the Privileges Committee and Parliament to do anything about Adwoa Safo's presence or absence in Parliament, I think that we all must demand that His Excellency the President does something about her decision to abandon the Ministry.

"The Executive arm of government must do what it has to do about her absence. She has simply abandoned her post and to not punish her and allow her to draw salary because once you have appointed somebody to act, she is still the substantive Minister. It is a dereliction of duty by the Executive."

Interacting with host, Benjamin Akakpo, Mr Suhuyini said the Executive cannot hide and expect Parliament to sanction Ms Adwoa Safo, who is also the MP for Dome-Kwabenya for shirking her responsibilities.

"I am saying that Parliament will also do its part but let the Executive not derelict its duty of ensuring Sarah Adwoa Safo is called to order, then Parliament can take it from there. In the absence of action by the Executive, I don't think Parliament should bother," he said.

According to Mr Suhuyini, Parliament's moral right to the people of Ghana on the subject does not exceed that of the Executive.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has referred three MPs to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves for 15 sitting days.

According to the Speaker, the votes and proceedings have established that Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey; and Assin Central MP, Ken Ohene Agyapong, have breached the 15-day rule.

In a formal communication to the House today, the Speaker called on the Privileges Committee to submit their report to the plenary two weeks after the resumption of the second meeting.

The Speaker's ruling was however challenged by Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

The Asawase MP argued that the Speaker is not clothed with the powers to independently refer the conduct of the MPs to the Privileges Committee.

"Mr Speaker, with the greatest of respect, we agree you made a statement, but your conclusion ( we do not). The danger with this is that allows speakers to take petitions from outsiders to refer Members of Parliament to Privileges Committee.

"Colleagues, we will be doing ourselves the greatest disservice because we will one day get a dictator Speaker who will simply take statements from outsiders and begin to penalise individual Members of Parliament.

"It is on this basis, I call on all of us to resist the attempt by Mr Speaker to refer our colleagues to the Privileges Committee. If there is justification, let us get one of us as Member of Parliament who is convinced that our colleagues need to go to Privileges Committee," he said.

According to the Speaker, he did not err on the side of the law as the petition he received was to the Speaker and not directed to Parliament.

"There is a vast difference between a petition to the Parliament and a petition to the Speaker. I have not taken away petitions to Parliament. When I read the subject matter of the petitions and I see that the petition is to Parliament, usually, I refer the petitioner to the constitutional provisions and our standing orders, and the legal office will bear me out, that advice is written to the petitioners to root the petition through a Member of Parliament.

"That doesn't prevent the public or any person from writing a petition to a Speaker. That is different from a petition to Parliament. What I referred to was a petition to the Speaker, calling on me as Speaker to perform my constitutional duty," he said.

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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.

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