Private legal practitioner and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, has explained that the MP for the Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, should have honoured the court’s summons when he returned from his parliamentary duties outside the country.
The former MP acknowledged MPs are immuned from any form of arrest while on parliamentary duties but that the Madina MP should have appeared before the court after returning and not to ‘crosstalk’ with the court.
The Kaneshie District Court on Monday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu.
This was after the MP, who has been charged for unlawfully blocking a public road and the destruction of public property, failed to appear in court for the third time.
When the case was called Monday, November 29, counsel for the legislator, Victor Adawudu, notified the court of a motion on notice challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
Reacting to the issue on 3FM’s Sunrise on Tuesday hosted by Alfred Ocansey, Lawyer Fuseini explained that “it [court] is a power that you must submit to”.
“You need to heed to an invitation of the court and answer to the offence that you have been alleged to have committed”.
He explained, “by that time the case was called, he was outside the jurisdiction and it was legitimate reason to absent yourself but the lawyers should have advised him to appear before the court after returning but not to crosstalk with the court”.
“The authorities of the courts cannot be challenged that way because it is a serious matter within the eyes of the court. It is a contempt of court. If an accused person refuses to attend court on sermons, the next available option is contempt of court”.
The former MP explained that “no person should crosstalk with the court to reduce the tempo of the case because if the procedural requirements were complied with by the police, the Speaker has no discretion”.
Mr Fuseini noted that in the law of jurisprudence, “even if a member of parliament is committing a crime in front of the police, they would have to inform the speaker first before an action is taken”.