The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sekyi Hughes has asked that the law courts should be left alone to decide whether or not the Parliamentary seat of the jailed Keta MP, Mr. Dan Abodakpi should be declared vacant.
Mr. Jones Kugblenu, Director of Public Affairs of Parliament told The Crusading Guide in an interview on Monday that the above comments were the Speaker's "initial response" to a letter from one Mr. Danso Acheampong, an Accra Legal Practitioner requesting that Parliament should declare the said seat vacant.
Mr. Kugblenu disclosed further that Mr. Abodakpi, on the 16th of February, 2007, wrote to the Speaker, notifying the House of his absence from Parliamentary proceedings, to enable him defend himself in court.
The Public Affairs Director explained that as it stands now, Parliament regards Mr. Abodakpi as an MP who is absent with permission and until his appeal to the Court of Appeal is disposed of, constitutionally the, Keta Constituency Seat cannot be declared vacant.
Mr. Kugblenu pointed out further that there is a possibility that Mr. Abodakpi could emerge victorious in the court case as the case is still pending thus until the court passes a final decision, Parliament cannot on its own declare his seat vacant.
He made it clear that though in jail, Mr. Dan Abodakpi still enjoys his full salary and allowances as a Parliamentarian.
On the 5th February, 2007, the Accra Fast Truck High Court imposed a 10-year imprisonment term on Mr. Abodapki, former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Mr. Abodakpi was found guilty of wilfully causing financial loss to the state. He has however appealed against the ruling and has since then been denied access to bail.
Credit: The Crusading Guide