Fomer Deputy Attorney General and Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, has revealed that Parliament is currently fleshing out the portion of their Standing Orders on the privileges and immunities of MPs.
According to the Bolgatanga East lawmaker who doubles as the Chairperson of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee, this would clarify any ambiguity about the scope of Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities, as well as explain what constitutes a breach of such privileges.
“We have the new standing orders that are coming before the house and those orders have actually been deliberated upon by the committee of which I am chairman that is the subsidiary legislative committee. And we’re fleshing out the Privileges and Immunities portion,” he stated.
“Now the question is whether the standing orders are justiciable, for instance in situations where let’s say the IGP arrests a Member of Parliament in a manner that is in breach of the standing orders when they’re passed. Can there be a resort to court for purposes of let’s say determine whether or not there has been a breach of privilege?” he quizzed.
According to him, “we tend to want to resort to court interpretation but sometimes the courts may even end up confiscating the situation making it more confusing for us.”
He further called for the Standing Orders on Privileges and Immunities tobe enacted as an Act of Parliament, so that judges can evaluate if an action is in violation of parliamentary privileges within the statute’s bounds.
His comment was in reaction to recent attempts by the Ghana Police Service to arrest the Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Hon Francis Xavier Sosu.