Court rescinds bench warrant for Sosu

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
Court rescinds bench warrant for Sosu
Court rescinds bench warrant for Sosu

The Kaneshie District Court has rescinded the bench warrant it issued for the arrest of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Mr Francis-Xavier Sosu, after his lawyers had filed for a stay of execution.

This follows an application by counsel for the legislator, Mr Victor Adawudu, which urged the court to rescind the warrant.

Daily Graphic sources revealed that the MP appeared before the court last Wednesday, in the company of his lawyer and some big wigs in the NDC, including the Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, to justify the MP’s absence in court last Monday.

The human rights lawyer is facing charges for unlawfully blocking a public road and the destruction of public property after he led a demonstration in his constituency to protest over bad roads on October 25.

He has, however, maintained that he has not committed any crime and will not subject himself to what he describes as unlawful arrest, detention and malicious prosecution.

Context

Mr Sosu had earlier filed a motion asking the Kaneshie District Court to rescind a bench warrant it had issued for his arrest on November 29, this year.

In the motion, the legislator contends that his absence in court last Monday was as a result of his parliamentary duties.

The MP, in his affidavit, said as the Deputy Ranking Member for the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament, he had a public hearing in respect of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, which required his presence.

His absence, he said, was not out of disregard for the court but due to the fact that his presence “was necessary” for the public hearing of the bill and urged the court to rescind the bench warrant.

Bench warrant

On November 29, this year, the MP, who has provisionally been charged for unlawfully blocking a public road and the destruction of public property, failed to appear in court for the third time.

The District Court, presided over by Mr Isaac Oheneba-Kuffour, subsequently issued a bench warrant last Monday following an application by the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare.

The court, in upholding the prosecution’s prayer to issue the bench warrant, said it looked like there were too many untruths being churned out in relation to the case.

The magistrate issued the bench warrant and adjourned the case to January 12, 2022.

Demonstration

The MP joined his constituents in Ayi-Mensah, Danfa and Otinibi in a demonstration over poor roads on Monday, October 25, 2021.

During the protest, some of the protestors allegedly blocked roads, burnt tyres and destroyed some public property.

Following the demonstration, the police have been unsuccessful in their attempt to arrest Mr Sosu, with Parliament upholding its privileges and requesting proper procedures for MPs who must face criminal prosecution.

It is the case of the police that Mr Sosu had questions to answer in respect of the criminal act the protestors engaged in, for which they tried to invite the MP to assist with investigations.

However, the MP had been on the defence that he followed due process in organising the protest and, therefore, there was no basis for his arrest.