AMERI invasion: Police liable for contempt of Parliament- Dafiamekpor

AMERI invasion: Police liable for contempt of Parliament- Dafiamekpor
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 29-07-2017 Time: 10:07:37:am

 South Dayi Member of Parliament says the police and others who acted in concert to arrest, search or detain Members of Parliament over the controversial AMERI power agreement are liable for contempt of Parliament.

Rockson Dafeamekpor said the police’s invasion of the homes of the three ex-government officials, two of whom are MPs, was unconstitutional.

“The Police must act according to law,” he said, adding, the court warrant shoved in the faces of Ex-Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor, his Deputy John Jinapor and Technical Advisor of the AMERI power agreement Francis Dzata which formed the basis for their arrest and detention was also unconstitutional.

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He averred on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme Saturday circuit courts have no jurisdiction or power to issue warrants.

At the very least the warrant must come from a District or High Court, he argued.

“What was the nature of the affidavit deposed and what circumstances warranted the court order,” he stated.

He was reacting to the invasion of the homes of three ex-government officials who were key in in negotiating the controversial $510 million AMERI Power agreement in 2015.

On Tuesday, Dr Donkor had his laptops and pen drives seized by the officers when they went to his residence with a search warrant.

He resisted attempts to seize his phones. Francis Dzata also had his laptops seized.

 The latest was the Ex-Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor whose house was also invaded on Friday. His phones were also seized.

The invasion has been condemned in unison by both the Majority and Minority members of Parliament.

The Speaker Prof Mike Ocquaye said by law and by Parliament's Standing Orders, MPs must be treated with some level of decorum even when they are deemed to have committed any offence.

Quoting portions of the Standing Orders he said MPs are not to be arrested on their way to Parliament, whilst in Parliament or on their way out of Parliament. 

While he will not exclude anyone from being invited to assist with any investigation, he will not sit by and watch MPs treated with scant regard.

Contributing to the matter on Newsfile Mr Dafeamekpor said the law requires that at least the Speaker must be informed before any such arrest is effected.

Dismissing the assertion that the law is discriminatory and tends to shield MPs, the South Dayi MP said, it is presumed the police in their duty can frustrate persons including MPs who might be on their way to Parliament to take key decisions that will affect the country.

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