Ashanti Regional Police Commander Kofi Boakye could face Parliament’s Privileges Committee for ordering the arrest of Asante Aykem MP who has been accused of inciting the public against Fulani herdsmen.
Some MPs are gathering evidence which they say points to a breach of the privileges of the parliamentarian.
Ranking member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee Joe Osei Owusu says DCOP Kofi Boakye’s public threat of arrest against the MP, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang violated Article 116 and 117 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Article 116(1) states; “Subject to the provisions of this article, but without prejudice to the general effect of Article 115 of this Constitution, civil or criminal proceedings shall not be instituted against a member of Parliament in any court or place out of Parliament for any matter or thing brought by him in or before Parliament by petition, bill, motion or otherwise.
The Asante Aykem MP and Communications Director of National Democratic Party Owusu Bempah organized a press conference on Tuesday highlighting the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the area which they observed was hurting locals.
Agogo community in the Ashanti region has been having an unending trouble with dealing with Fulani herdsmen who often allow cattle to graze in people’s farms. They are sometimes armed. Unrest in the area was reported in 2011. Agogo residents are divided over Fulani resettlement
Relating what happened at the press conference, the Public Relations Officer for the regional police command ASP Mohammed Tanko accused the two politicians inciting the populace there to violence.
“They said the youths should rise up against the Fulanis and the chiefs and they have indeed risen against them,” Tanko told Joy News Friday.
“Unfortunately the following day, there was confusion at the place [Agogo] where a Fulani man was shot and wounded, five cattle killed”. On Thursday, another Fulani man was almost lynched, the PRO said.
“We are attributing all these to the comments by these individuals and so we are out to arrest the Member of Parliament for the area,” Mohammed Tanko indicated.
ASP Mohammed Tanko said the police could not find them at home after they went there to arrest them. But they will not relent in their search for them. “We are going all out for them”, he stressed.
But in response, the MP for Asante Akyem Kwadwo Baah Agyemang told Joy News, he has not been notified by the police. He viewed Kofi Boakye’s call for his arrest as a threat.
“A police officer cannot threaten a legislator like that” he expressed reservations about the police commander’s conduct.
The MP also accused the police of intimidating his family. He said they barged into his house Rambo-style and frightened his mother and some ladies. “You know how women are…they were frightened by the police in that combative nature”, he explained.
Photo: Bekwai MP Joseph Osei-Owusu
The MP’s disappointment with the police was taken up by some of his colleagues in parliament during Friday’s proceedings.
The MPs, led by Bekwai MP Joe Osei Owusu brought the law to the attention of the Speaker, Rt. Hon Doe Adjaho.
The Speaker has asked that evidence be collected and submitted to his chamber for consideration and to establish if there is a prima facie case.
The Speaker is expected to take a decision to haul the Police Commander before the Privileges Committee for questioning.