Bagbin directs Defence & Interior C’ttee to probe Islamic SHS disturbance

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has directed the Defence and Interior Committee to look into the alleged police brutality at the Islamic Senior High School (SHS), which occurred in Kumasi. They have one week to execute the assignment and report their findings back to the House.

 

 

Students’ demonstration in the school turned messy, when police met them with force, resulting in several persons sustaining injuries.
Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, raised the matter on the floor of Parliament.
 
 
The Speaker, directed, “I will direct the committee on Defence and Interior to take this matter up and report next week. In other words, the committee members should visit the IGP, the regional police commander and the school in question, visit the injured persons and report by Tuesday with the findings and await the final investigations and if there is the need for us to take any further action, we will do that.”
 
 
Students of the Islamic Senior High School, Kumasi, demonstrated against the repeated motor traffic accidents in front of their school by blocking sections of the road on Monday. The Police in their attempt to help open the road to normal traffic flow, the fired warning shots and opened tear gas and pepper spray on the students.
A statement by the police said “the students pelted the police with stones and the police used pepper spray and fired warning shots in attempt to disperse them.”
 
 
Thirty-eight (38) injured students were hospitalized. According to the Deputy Minister of Education John Ntim Fordjour, “…twenty-two out of the 32 have been discharged and have joined their colleagues on campus.”
 
The police, however say they are not proud of the poor manner in which their officers handled the case.

‘I did not give permission to Adwoa Safo to be absent from Parliament’ -Speaker Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin has refuted media reports that he permitted the MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo to be absent from the house on health grounds. He said this on Thursday’s parliamentary sitting and urged the public to ignore such false news.   
 

 

 

The speaker indicated, “It’s important I diffuse some fake news, which is being circulated that I granted an interview to say that Adwoa Safo received permission from me to absent herself from Parliament on health grounds. I want it to be known by all, that I have not granted any such interview anywhere. I’ve not said anything like that anywhere.”
“And the votes and proceedings of the House are so loud that if she’s absent without permission for all those days, that’s on the votes and proceedings of the House.”
 

 

 

According to him, parliament has its own processes of determining whether an MP is present or absent and this not in his power.
 
“It’s not the Speaker who determines who is present and who is absent. No. The votes and proceedings will capture those who’re present, those who’re absent and those who’re absent with permission” he explained.
 

 

The Rt. Hon. Speaker indicated he is eager to address the issue of MPs absenteeism in later sittings.
 
And that’s why I don’t want to delay in letting the world know that I have not said any such thing anywhere. Please. And tomorrow, I’m going to address the issue of absentee MPs very very clearly for everybody to understand.” Alban Bagbin added.

 

 

Adwoa Safo has been absent in Parliament for some time now. This has led her being accused by some of her colleague MPs, of deliberately attempting to sabotage the majority in parliament.

Parliamentary Updates: Speaker Bagbin will not tolerate undue delay of c’ttee reports

A formal communication from the Rt. Hon Speaker Sumana Bagbin to members of parliament, Tuesday 22, Feb 2022 reminds parliamentary committees and clerks of those committees that speedy execution of their duties are the main pillars of parliamentary work.

 

 

 

He pointed out that parliamentary committees have become slow in their delivery of work and this has generally affected the functionality of parliament as a whole. He was unhappy that a new session has begun yet no committee has submitted reports for consideration in the house.  “We are in a new session; no report whatsoever has come to the house. There is no reason given to us as to why there is a delay for us to consider the referral on what to.”

 

 

 

Parliamentary committees are required by law to comply with reporting timelines to facilitate smooth running of parliamentary business and not to carry-forward matters referred to them, into a new session, unless leave has been sought and granted by the house. “We must be guided at all times that, our commitment to our democracy means we are doing diligent work in a manner that is efficient and timely.” Speaker Bagbin told the house.

 

 

 
The speaker explained that apart from bills introduced by or on behalf of the president, which must not be delayed for more than three months, the constitution does not provide a specific period, within which a committee must complete its work.  However, the standing orders does say, “… every committee to which a matter is referred, shall report to the house before the end of each session of Parliament. If a committee finds itself unable to complete any investigations, enquiries or other matters referred to it before the end of the session, it shall so report to the house.”
 

 

 

Another source of worry to the Speaker is clerks neglecting their duty of taking minutes at parliamentary committee proceedings. He cautioned committee clerks to be sure to take minuets of committee proceedings or be ready to face the law.  
“The minuets are as important as the reports of the committee. Absence of minutes of committee meetings will be regarded as dereliction of duty. It obstructs the work of parliament and obstruction of parliament is equal to contempt of parliament. Clerks must be mindful of timelines of reporting to parliament and take steps to provide the minuets together with the report of the committee.”
 

 

 

The Rt. Hon. Speaker touched on what he describes as the growing trend of members of the various committees raising new objections to committee reports on the floor of the house instead of at the committee levels.  He instructed members to ensure to be present at committee meetings to be able to register their opinions at the committee levels.
 

 

 

He also acknowledged the heavy workload on the Public Accounts Committee and called for an increase in the number of its membership and the formation of sub committees to lighten the weight of work on the Public Account Committee.  
 

 

The leadership of the house is directed to work closely with committee leaders to streamline their reports.
 
 
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