Court Forced To Adjourn Hearing As NDC MPs Fail To Honour Police Summons

Court forced to adjourn hearing as NDC MPs fail to honour police summons

Court forced to adjourn hearing as NDC MPs fail to honour police summons

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Twenty NDC MPs including their leader Haruna Iddrisu charged in court over their march to the Electoral Commission (EC) head office on last year have failed to show up to honour police summons in court.

When the case was called in Accra Circuit Court 11 Monday, the police prosecutor indicated his readiness to proceed with the case, but with none of the accused persons present or their lawyers in court, the circuit court judge was forced to adjourn the case without a new set date.

These minority NDC MPs walked from Parliament to the EC Head Office on and broke through a police barricade to present a petition to the EC on December 22, 2020.

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.

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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.

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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.

Court forced to adjourn hearing as NDC MPs fail to honour police summons
Court forced to adjourn hearing as NDC MPs fail to honour police summons

Earlier, MP for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak had indicated that his minority colleagues will not honour police summon served on them to appear before the Accra Circuit Court.

Ras Mubarak told 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 10 am. And they of all people should know better than 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.

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“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”, he stressed.

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