Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee, says the hearing of the three absentee Members of Parliament will not be held in public.
“We are going to hear all of them out before we put the report together. The report will be comprehensive. The sittings, however, will not be made public,” he said on Thursday at Parliament House.
The Privileges Committee of Parliament will on Thursday begin meetings about the absentee Members of Parliament (MP) in the house following a referral to the Committee by the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin.
According to Mr Bagbin, the three MPs were absent for more than 15 days (about 2 weeks) without his permission during the first meeting of the second session of the 8th Parliament.
The culprit MPs are Mr Henry Quartey, MP Ayawaso Central MP; Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP Dome Kwabenya and Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central.
The Committee, therefore, has two weeks to present a report to the House.
“On the 26th of May, we will meet Henry Quartey, the 27th of May will be the turn of Adwoa Safo and then on the 31st of May, we will meet Kennedy Agyapong,” Mr Hagan said.
A former Member of Parliament for Kumbumgu Constituency, Mr Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to deal with the matter of absenteeism in the House.
He cited Dome-Kwabenya MP, Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo; Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central, Mr Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West and Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central as MPs who he said had flouted provisions of Article 97(1)(c) of the Constitution and Parliament’s Standing Order 16(1) which frowns on Members absenting themselves for 15 sitting days without permission from the Speaker.
Per Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution, a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat “if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from 15 sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”