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Politics of Saturday, 29 June 2013

Source: citifmonline

Do not serve MPs writs through my office – Clerk of Parliament

The Office of Ghana’s Parliament has asked all parties engaged in litigation cases with Members of the Legislature to avoid using the office of the Clerk to serve writ or other court summons on Members of Parliament (MPs).

The office of the clerk made the announcement at a press conference in Parliament on Friday.

This followed what the office called misleading media reports that second Deputy Speaker, Joe Ghartey, had evaded service of a recent court summon, inviting him to testify in the case in which some top members of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) are challenging the legality of the controversial sale of Ghana Telecom under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) rule.

In an interview with the head of the legal department in Parliament, Ebenezer Dzietror said “a clerk’s office could not be used for that purpose quoting articles 117 and 118 of Ghana’s constitution.

“117. Civil or criminal process coming from any court or place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament.”

“118. (1) Neither the Speaker, nor a member of, nor the Clerk to, Parliament shall be compelled, while attending Parliament to appear as a witness in any court or place out of Parliament.

(2) The certificate of the Speaker that a member or the Clerk is attending the proceedings of Parliament is conclusive evidence of attendance at Parliament.”

He said on the face value of the constitutional provision, the clerk has a difficulty receiving a court process in Parliament and having the service effected on a member in the house.