Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye has issued a strong warning to the police command against invading homes of MPs or arresting them without his knowledge.
According to him, the police administration must respect MPs’ privileges and the law by following due process when investigating matters concerning the lawmakers.
Eight armed police officers on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 raided the home of Asutifi South MP Collins Dauda in his constituency around 4 am, according to Member of Parliament for Asawase and Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak.
Mr Mubarak told Katakyie Obeng Mensah on Ghana Yensom that the former Minister of Works and Housing was on his way to Accra following the recall of parliament when the incident happened.
He added that the leadership of parliament, together with Mr Dauda, will, after Tuesday’s sitting, visit the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the police service, over the incident.
Prof. Oquaye cautioned the police to desist from arresting lawmakers without recourse to laid-down procedures since, according to him, MPs’ are accorded certain privileges in that regard by the 1992 Constitution.
“Hon. Dauda’s residences in Accra and his constituency have been searched by the police in a manner that honourable members felt were not in consonant with parliamentary privileges…
“We want to inform and to repeat that the privileges of this honourable House have been clearly set out in the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. It applies to all members upon whatever side and at all times and in all circumstances, and those also in charge of security agencies are very much aware of this.
“Nevertheless, we are also mindful of the fact that we are not above the law. It, therefore, means that what we essentially ask for is not to be taken by surprise or not to be treated in a manner that will not be consistent with the dignity that an honourable member of parliament should be attended to, and that is the essence of our parliamentary privilege…
“We would want to put on record that in the future, the leadership of the House, the Speaker of the House should be informed of all such leads so that it can be done with all the appropriate decency…”
Prof. Oquaye reiterated that: “When an invitation is required, we will want it to be routed rightfully and the appropriate honourable member will attend to the appropriate invitation at the highest quarters, preferably the Commissioner of Police CID in-charge of investigations because monkeys play by sizes.
“If you want an honourable member of parliament, that person will come in the good company of parliamentary leadership and to the Commissioner in-charge of investigations at the Ghana police.
“We want the security agencies to be mindful that the police should not invade the premises of a member, or appear to be doing so in a manner that will raise unnecessary difficulties for us.”
Prof. Oquaye stressed that members of parliament are not claiming to be above the law but that the privileges given to them by the Constitution should, at all times, be respected and protected.