We’ll not honour police summons to appear in court on Monday – Minority MP

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National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Kunbungu, Ras Mubarak, says his minority colleagues will not honour a police summon served on them to appear before the Accra Magistrate Court on Monday.

The police have charged 20 NDC MPs, including Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, with two offences against the state for walking to the headquarters of the Electoral Commission on 22nd December 2020 to present a petition.

Clad in red and black, the MPs walked from Parliament House, broke through a police barricade at the Ridge Roundabout and marched to the EC headquarters with the petition. The petition demanded a collation of the 2020 Techiman South parliamentary elections results.

The police in a statement of offence accused the Minority MPs of failing to notify the police before holding a special event contrary to Sections 1, 2 and 9 of the Public Order Act.

The police have also charged them with unlawful assembly contrary to Section 202 of the Criminal Offences Act.

The statement of offence claims the MPs did unlawfully assemble with a common purpose and conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause persons in the Ridge neighbourhood reasonable fear.

It also accuses them of acting in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace.

“You are hereby commanded in the name of the republic to appear before this court at Accra on the 4th of January 2021,” the summons distributed in the pigeonholes (shelves) of each of the 20 MPs read.

The MPs affected by the summons include Deputy Minority Leader James Klutse Avedzi, Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, Ningo Prampram MP Samuel George, former Deputy Interior Minister James Agalga, John Jinapor, Rockson Dafiamekpor, Adam Mutawakilu, Ebenezer Terlabi, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, A. B. A. Fuseini, Kofi Buah, Rashid Pelpuo and Richard Quarshigah.

The rest are Collins Dauda, Yussif Jahja, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, and Kunbungu MP Ras Mubarack. NDC Deputy General Secretary Peter Otukunor is the other individual charged in connection with the alleged offences.

Ras Mubarak tells Joy News the police is committing an illegality by executing a criminal summons on serving members of parliament without the permission of the speaker.

Article 117 of the 1992 Constitution states that “civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.”

“In any case, parliament is sitting tomorrow (Monday) at 10am. And they of all people should know better that when parliament is sitting, unless the speaker explicitly releases any MP, no one can summon them to any court. So, this is an illegality,” Mr. Mubarak said.

“They should follow the Constitution. They should contact the speaker to inform him of what they want to do, the speaker will give directions, invite the parties, and discuss it before any such service can be served on MPs.

“But you don’t send these things to MPs and leak it to the media and expect that any MP will take you seriously. They are taking us into the abyss,” he told Joy News.

The Kunbungu MPs says he and his colleagues will not be in court tomorrow.

“Personally, I will not be in court. Because the proper thing has not been done. I get the indication that is the position of my colleagues too.

“I have not seen any letter from the speaker’s office permitting them to serve me as an MP,” he explained.

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