Hunt for the arrest of NDC MP Sosu begins; court issues bench warrant

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Ghbase.com has learned that a bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of NDC MP, Francis Xavier-Sosu by a Kaneshie District Court.

The MP who has failed to appear in court for the time after being charged for unlawfully blocking a public road and the destruction of public property and the court hence decided to make the decision after the prosecutor in charge of the case, ASP Sylvester Asare prayed for a warrant to be issued for his arrest.

In court today, November 29th, when the case was called, the lawyer for the MP, Mr.Victor Adawudu told the court that his client was absent because he’s part of the parliamentary committee working on the LQBTQI+ bill and that has kept him busy.

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His lawyer had also challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

The prosecutor in pleading the court stated that; “He (MP) has a clear intention and has demonstrated that this court cannot procure his attendance and it amounts to disrespect to this court”

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“I have been ambushed by this process and this even confirm by this application that he will not appear”, ASP Asare said.

Francis Xavier-Sosu

Bench  Warrant & Next Court Date

The court, in upholding the prosecution’s prayer to issue the bench warrant said there was too much deception in the system.

The presiding judge issued the bench warrant and adjourned the case to January 12, 2022.

Given that the next adjourned date is on the 12th January 2022, the MP if grabbed today or this week by the police, could spend the rest of the year in police cells, till the next adjourned date unless he makes an appeal and things change for him.

Background

The MP joined his constituents of Ayi-Mensah, Danfa and the Otinibi in a demonstration over poor roads on Monday, October 25, 2021.

During the protest, some of the protestors allegedly blocked roads, burnt tyres and destroyed some public property.

Following the demonstration, the police have been unsuccessful in their attempts to arrest Mr Sosu with Parliament upholding its privileges and requesting proper procedures for MPs who must face criminal prosecution.

It is the case of the police that Mr Sosu had questions to answer in respect of the criminal act the protestors engaged in they tried to invite the MP to assist with investigations.

However, the MP had been on the defence that he followed due process in organising the protest and, therefore, stated that there was no basis for his arrest.

After the first attempt to arrest him, Mr Sosu filed a formal complaint in Parliament accusing the Greater Accra Regional Operations Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Isaac Kojo Asante, and the Adentan Divisional Commander, ACP Mr Eric Winful, of contempt of Parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament has since referred the complaint against the two police officers to the Privileges Committee of Parliament.

He was first expected to appear in court on Monday, November 8, this year but was absent.

The prosecution notified the court that the Police had received a letter from the Speaker of Parliament indicating that Lawyer Sosu was out of the country on Parliamentary duties, a situation which compelled the court to adjourn the case.

On November 16 this year, the MP again failed to appear before the court.

His counsel, informed the court that his he (MP) was still out of the country and was expected to return the following week.

The judge, in his response indicated that he had received a letter on his file signed by the Deputy Clerk to Parliament, Eric Owusu Mensah which read: “Please refer to your letter No. KDC/202/22 and dated 9th November, 2021 which attached a Hearing Notice on the above matter for service on the Honourable Member for Madina Constituency, Hon. Francis-Xavier Sosu”.

The letter further read; “I have been directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to bring to the attention of the Hon Court that the Hon. Member is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament which commenced on Tuesday 26th October 2021 and is also currently representing Parliament and the Country in a conference in the United States of America”.

“Pursuant to article 117 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, I am unable to bring the service to the attention of the Member of Parliament as requested” the letter dated the 10th of November 2021 indicated.

The case was subsequently adjourned to today.

Suit

The MP, filed a suit seeking to stay all criminal investigations and proceedings against him by the police over a recent demonstration in his constituency.

In the suit against the Inspector General of Police, Mr Sosu is also seeking an order enforcing his fundamental human rights including his rights to freedom of movement, to protest and demonstrate, personal liberty, freedom of expression, and against unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Portions of text culled from graphiconline.com

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