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 in 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.
Meanwhile, 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.