Immunity from arrest: Police can challenge Sosu’s privileges in court

The police service has not ruled out legal action to compel the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, to report himself for questioning.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, said police could seek interpretation into the extent of parliamentary privileges afforded legislators.

“We are in a democratic country. The police have options. Even if it comes to the interpretation of that clause in the Supreme Court, the police are prepared to do it,” ACP Ofori said.

Article 117 says that “civil or criminal processes coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relations 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”.

He stressed that the police are equally justified by the law to question Mr. Sosu for the protest he led on October 25.

Mr. Sosu led a demonstration last week to protest bad roads in his constituency, which the police contend included some unlawful acts.

“We know the constitution empowers the police to conduct investigations and other matters bordering on security and as a Member of Parliament, we expect that he will also show that respect and a good gesture towards the police.”

Mr. Sosu has said police tried to arrest him on the day of the protest.

This led to him filing a complaint in Parliament.

There were also police officers present at the MP’s church when he was attending service on Sunday.

But police have denied that there was an attempt to arrest the MP at church.

When asked, ACP Ofori said the police were at the MP’s church for “tactical reasons”.

“The police did not arrest him. Their intentions, their tactical direction perhaps may have been different for being there… If it was to be an arrest using all the necessary available means, we could have done that,” he said.

ACP Ofori, however, added that police expected Mr. Sosu to cooperate with the police.

“The honourable thing to do is to report to the police, make himself available, and cooperate with our investigation.”

The Speaker of Parliament has refused a request from police to release Mr. Sosu.