Finally, Akufo-Addo sacks Adwo Safo from his Government

In a related development, the Speaker of Parliament has deferred the decision on the Privileges Committee report on the matter of the three absentee MPs including Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sacked Sarah Adwoa Safo as the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection in accordance with Article 81(a) of the Constitution.

A release signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, says Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, will continue to act as caretaker Minister for the Ministry until such a time the President appoints a substantive Minister.

In a related development, the Speaker of Parliament has deferred the decision on the Privileges Committee report on the matter of the three absentee MPs including Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo.

A preliminary matter was raised even before the report could be considered whether Parliament should debate the report or the position of the Committee for the seat to be declared vacant should be operative.

The Privileges Committee, by a majority decision, had determined the seat should be declared vacant.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who was expected to move the Motion on the Report, however, argued Article 97 of the Constitution should automatically trigger the fate of the three MPs since the Committee has made a determination.

According to him, it is not for the plenary to make a determination and argued locating the Motion on the Order Paper was unfortunate and unnecessary.

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, countered the Majority leader and expressed displeasure the leader rather chose to express an opinion instead of moving the motion.

He stressed the House is governed by the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

He said, “There is a Motion 55… and even by our Standing Orders a motion is defined to mean a proposal made by a member that a member or a committee does something or order something to be done or express an opinion concerning some matters.”

“If he is moving a motion, let him move it but to rise up on a motion and say my view…”

Mr. Haruna argued in 2005 former MP for Nkoranza Eric Amoaten who fell into similar circumstances while incarcerated in the United States on narcotic drugs-related charges went through Privileges Committee and the House took a decision.

According to him, considering the Eric Amoaten case any recommendation coming from the Privileges Committee must be subjected to the same choice of legal and constitutional requirements.

The Speaker, however, indicated the matters raised by the Majority leader are both substantive and procedural law and therefore need time to submit to the House a reasoned written ruling.

According to him, he cannot in haste give the ruling in the present circumstance and added, “On return, I will deliver the written rule.”

Meanwhile, the Committee in its report indicated Hon. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Hon Henry Quartey admitted having absented themselves for more than the fifteen Sittings threshold with reasonable explanations.

On the other hand, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, in spite of all the efforts made to invite her to attend upon the Committee did not appear to provide the reasons for her absence from the House without written permission for more than the fifteen Sittings threshold.

It urged the House to take advantage of the ongoing review of the Standing Orders to provide a procedure for the operationalization of Article 97 (1) (c) of the Constitution.

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