Adwoa Safo accused of holding NPP government to ransom
It is emerging that the seat of Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, could be declared vacant on Thursday, February 17, 2022, if she fails to show up in Parliament.
This is because she would have fulfilled the requirement in Article 97 (c) which states that an MP shall vacate their seat ‘if he/she is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker and 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.’
Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Kwesi Parker Wilson, reports that Adwoa Safo has written to the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, to grant her an extension of leave on medical grounds.
However, the acting Speaker has turned down the request on basis that she did not attach relevant documents to back her claim.
“We have sighted a letter from Sarah Adwoa Safo to the Speaker of Parliament [Joseph Osei Owusu] asking for an extension of absence or leave in Parliament. You know that in Parliament, if you absent yourself continuously for 15-20 days, your seat is declared vacant and so she has asked for an extension of leave from Parliament.
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“The Speaker has written back to her…In fact, the letter as she wrote, she stated that her absence is due to health grounds and that the Speaker responded by letting her know that she should provide evidence to support the claim that she is absent because of health grounds.
“That hasn’t been done and so her letter or that request, permission to absent herself from Parliament hasn’t been approved.
“We are learning that next week hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday, the date will elapse for the absence of Madam Adwoa Safo and that perhaps the Speaker might be forced to declare the seat vacant,” Kwesi Parker Wilson detailed on Accra-based Joy FM on Friday, February 11.
The journalist further disclosed that Parliament has had twelve sittings since it resumed thus, if the MP is absent for three days of this week, the grace period she has by law will expire.
He said the Speaker will be forced to declare her seat vacant as pressure mounts on the Majority leadership to act on the conduct of one of their own.
“If you check the days, we have done about 12 days and you know parliament sits four times in a week. So between Tuesday (February 15) and Friday (February 18), if you check, it will happen on Thursday.
“That is when the 15 days will be up and so if she is not in Ghana and in the chamber on the 15th day, the speaker will be forced to declare her seat vacant,” he added.
The issue of Sarah Adwoa Safo’s absence has become topical in recent times as two NPP MPs have said she is holding the party to ransom.
The two being, Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong and New Juaben South MP, Michael Okyere Baafi.
“She said she will not come to Parliament if she is not given the Deputy Majority Leader position,” Michael Okyere Baafi disclosed.
Meanwhile, pollster Ben Ephson is calling for the sacking of the MP for a by-election to be conducted.