Legislator for North Tongu constituency Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is of the view that lawmakers for Assin Central and Ayawaso Central Kennedy Agyapong and Henry Quartey should be probed for absenteeism following recent attacks on Dome Kwabenya Lawmaker Sarah Adwoa Sarfo over he absence.
A peeved Mr. Ablakwa said, “the focus on Sarah Adwoa Safo is most unfair and is outrightly discriminatory.”
Miss Safo in recent times has faced scathing attacks over a purported request to be made the Deputy Majority Leader before she returns to Parliament to support the Majority group.
Currently, the Majority is trying to pass the controversial E-Levy bill, but there are concerns the Majority does not have enough numbers to outvote the Minority.
Mr. Ablakwa revealed that his checks pointed to the fact that the Assin Central and Ayawaso Central legislators had been absent from Parliament for over 15 days, and were in breach of a section of Article 97 of the constitution.
“From Tuesday 26th October 2021 to Thursday 25th November 2021, these two members absented themselves for 18 working days consecutively in clear breach and flagrant violation of Article 97. 1 (C).”
“It is important that the law is applied fairly and equitably in a manner that does not respect any person,” Mr. Ablakwa said.
Article 97. 1 (C) says an MP will have to vacate their seat when “absent, without the permission in writing to the Speaker, and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”
Mr. Ablakwa further argued that there are some institutional failings that needed to be addressed in the matter.
“How is it that it is possible for members to absent themselves beyond the 15-day rule and, as an institution, we would not detect it, and they appear to have almost gotten away with it?”