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Ambulance case: We’ll not be available in Parliament on hearing days unless court has closed — Minority caucus

Headlines Leadership of the Minority Caucus in Parliament
TUE, 11 JUN 2024 LISTEN
Leadership of the Minority Caucus in Parliament

The Minority Caucus of Ghana's National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has said they will not participate in parliamentary proceedings on days scheduled for the hearing of the ongoing ambulance procurement case involving their leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.

The NDC lawmakers say they will only be available at the legislative house only after the hearing has closed on such days.

In a press statement dated June 11, the Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza said "The NDC Minority Caucus will only be available for the business of Parliament after proceedings of the court have ended on the days scheduled for the hearing of the ongoing ambulance case trial."

This was in response to the refusal of the presiding judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, to grant Dr. Forson permission to attend to important parliamentary duties when the House resumed sitting.

"Last week, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe again rejected a similar request from the Parliament of Ghana to enable the Minority Leader take part in a meeting of the Parliamentary Service Board which was due to take critical decisions ahead of the resumption of Parliament, among others. The NDC Caucus was left with no representation at these important meetings," the statement said.

The Minority Caucus said the judge's actions showed "an attempt to prevent the Minority Leader from performing his constitutional duties as an elected Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Minority Caucus."

They have therefore decided to boycott parliamentary proceedings and solidarize with their leader anytime he has to appear in court for the ongoing case.

Read the full statement below:
PRESS STATEMENT
NDC MINORITY CAUCUS TO SOLIDARISE WITH MINORITY LEADER, DR. CASSIEL ATO FORSON IN ONGOING COURT CASE

The NDC Minority Caucus will only be available for the business of Parliament after proceedings of the court have ended on the days scheduled for the hearing of the ongoing ambulance case trial.

The decision comes on the back of the refusal of the presiding High Court judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe (Mrs), to grant a request from the lawyers of the Minority Leader for the leave of the court to enable him attend to important parliamentary business on Tuesday, 11th June, 2024 when the House resumes its third meeting of the fourth session.

Last week, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe again rejected a similar request from the Parliament of Ghana to enable the Minority Leader take part in a meeting of the Parliamentary Service Board which was due to take critical decisions ahead of the resumption of Parliament, among others. The NDC Caucus was left with no representation at these important meetings.

Today, as Parliament commences its third meeting of the fourth session of the eighth Parliament, the Minority Leader is expected to deliver a resumption address, join parliamentary leadership to engage the press and undertake other important activities, as part of his legislative mandate. These are part of very important parliamentary duties exclusively reserved for the leader of a Parliamentary Caucus at the commencement of a parliamentary meeting.

The NDC Minority Caucus has taken notice of this worrying trend that shows an attempt by the trial judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, to prevent the Minority Leader from performing his constitutional duties as an elected Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Minority Caucus.

In the light of the above, and the continuous persecution of the Minority Leader, the NDC Minority will continue to solidarise and stand by its Leader anytime he is due to appear in court.

The NDC Minority Caucus further reserves the right to apply all other tools available to us in our approach to business on the floor.

***END***
KWAME GOVERNS AGBODZA, MP
MINORITY CHIEF WHIP

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished

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