A Ranking Member on Parliament's Privileges Committee, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has disclosed that the Committee is taking steps to meet with Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, following her unexplained absence from Parliament beyond the fifteen day threshold.
Speaking in an interview with JoyNews' Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson on Tuesday, he stated that he has taken notice of Adwoa Safo's denial of knowledge about the Committee's meeting to discuss her absence.
To address the issue, the Cape Coast South MP, Ricketts-Hagan said the Committee is taking steps to meet Adwoa Safo as scheduled.
"The only issue we have heard, obviously from the media is Honourable Adwoa Safo, not directly speaking with us. But we heard and I have listened to it now, where she said she didn't actually receive the invite. So I have charged the Privileges Committee's clerk to make sure that when she's served the next time, which I believe they have done or about to do, they should make sure that we receive something in writing that she has actually received it and that she'll make an appearance. The same goes with the others as well", he explained.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, April 5, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, referred three members of the House to the Privileges Committee, for their continuous absence from Parliament.
The three are; the Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey and Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong. All from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side of the House.
According to the Speaker, the three legislators have breached the 15-day absence rule, hence his decision to refer them to the Privileges Committee for the necessary actions to be taken.
Delivering the ruling on the floor of Parliament, Mr. Alban Bagbin explained that based on the relevant provisions of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament, the named NPP lawmakers are guilty of the absenteeism threshold for Members of Parliament.
“I have accordingly come to the irresistible conclusion that a Member who absents himself or herself from 16 sitting days of Parliament in a particular meeting, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, falls squarely within the ambit of Article 97, clause 1(c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 16(1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament”, he stated.
In line with the Speaker's directive, the Privileges Committee readied itself to engage the three NPP legislators over their unexplained absence.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with JoyNews' Blessed Sogah on The Pulse on Thursday, May 26, the Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, disclosed that she has not been served any notice to appear before Parliament’s Privileges Committee.
According to the Gender Minister, she only heard of the meeting through her interview on the channel.
“I am not aware such a thing has been given to me. I am just hearing it from you. As we speak, I don’t know that I have been invited. I have to be served", she disclosed.
The Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has however assured that Adwoa Safo and all other members who are expected to face the Committee, will do so accordingly.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for the Assign Central Central Constituency, Kennedy Agyapong has requested for the postponement of his meeting with the Committee to enable him complete a medical examination in the USA.
The NPP lawmaker tabled this request ahead of his scheduled meeting with the Committee for breaching the fifteen day absence rule.
Confirming the development to JoyNews' Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson on Tuesday, a Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan stated that the unavailability of the MP has compelled the Committee to draw a new schedule.
"It's unfortunate that it just happened this way that Honourable Kennedy Agyapong as well, was not able to turn up. He was aware that he was supposed to meet us and didn't turn up", Ricketts-Hagan added.
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