A member of the Privileges Committee, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, has parried assertions the Parliamentary seat for Dome-Kwabenya has been declared vacant.
The Report on the three absentee members that the Speaker referred to the Committee, he said, has not yet been presented to plenary and therefore premature to conclude Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo will be made to forfeit her seat for being absent beyond the allowed 15 days sitting during a meeting.
“It is true we met and deliberated on these three members but we have not issued a report.”
“And on the issue of Adwoa Safo, the Committee made it very clear even though we have not composed the report yet, but we agree we have had no opportunity of hearing her.”
“You don’t condemn or acquit a person without giving the person a hearing and we have not heard her and that is the principle of natural justice.”
Mr. A.B.A. Fuseini was addressing media reports that claimed the Chairman of the Privileges Committee has directed the Clerk to Parliament to inform the Electoral Commission to declare the Dome-Kwabenya seat vacant.
According to him, the Committee did make some efforts to get in touch with Adwoa Safo but it is known whether she did receive the correspondence that Parliament sent her.
“The Committee never at any material moment made such attribution so it is important for us to disabuse our minds any such report exists.”
He argued the Privileges Committee does not even have the power to take such decision as captured in Standing Order 161 that governs the regulations of Committees in the House.
The Committee, he said, will have to put its recommendations before plenary adding, “The Committee is not an island unto itself or has authority to constitute itself, take decisions and implement them.”
“It refers to plenary for a decision to be made and then through the Speaker the requisite action can follow.”
“The Chairman will have to move a motion on the floor of the House for a resolution to be taken and for Mr. Speaker to then put the question. That then becomes the decision of the House.”
Mr. Fuseini stressed the news report is a mischievous rant and argued Chairman of the Committee Joseph Osei Owusu was either misquoted or the whole scenario is just the figment of somebody’s imagination.