Former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Constituency, Inusah Fuseini says the Member of Parliament for North Tongu breached the constitution when he resigned from Parliament’s Appointments Committee.
According to him, although Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa claims the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin has approved his resignation, the North Tongu MP still had no right to leave the committee.
This he says is because it goes against the standing orders of Parliament.
The standing orders he says make it mandatory that in constituting committees, a person can only exit when taken away by death.
“Once a person is on the committee unless taken away by death, you have no power within…to remove yourself from the committee,” he said.
“The fact that you have written to resign from the committee does not automatically mean that you are not a member of the committee. No, you are still a member of the committee until you are discharged”, he stressed.
“You can’t discharge yourself from the committee, the selection committee must discharge you, and they must discharge you on the floor of Parliament,” he added.
The lawyer, who was speaking to JoyNews’ Evans Mensah on Newsnight, explained that the right action Mr. Ablakwa could have taken when he had reasons to believe that he is unable to perform on the committee, was “…to inform your Committee Chair that you are unable to offer your services and your Committee Chairman will then inform the Chairman of the Committee on Selection.
“And if they agree that you be discharged from the committee, then they move a motion on the floor of the House to discharge you from the Committee and might substitute somebody with you on the floor of Parliament. That is the procedure and that is the Parliamentary procedure,” he stated.
According to the Lawyer, despite Mr Ablakwa saying that the Speaker has approved his resignation, he believes the matter should be brought before the House so that he does not find himself compromised and overstepping boundaries.
“The Speaker would have to defer to the Committee on Selection, that is why Parliament works in committees,” he said.
The MP for North Tongu in a Facebook post expressed his gratitude to Speaker Alban Bagbin for a “fruitful” meeting and for accepting his resignation.
In a letter dated March 30, addressed to the Speaker, he explained that this was “after days of careful reflection and thoughtful considerations.”
It is still not clear why the outspoken and meticulous member of the Committee who takes nominees especially through rigorous CV scrutiny is stepping down.
But Mr. Ablakwa revealed that the reasons are both “personal and on principle.”