The Minority Leader and Member of Parliament(MP) for the Tamale constituency, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu has stated that Ghanaians, and for that matter Members of Parliament are loyal to the laws of Ghana and nothing more or less .
According to the Minority leader, Ghana is not a lawless country, neither is it a ˜Banana Republic” and would not accept the relegation and subjugation of the laws of Ghana to might is right.
Mr Iddirissu made these remarks in parliament Tuesday March 13, when MP for Kumbungu delivered a statement on the floor over the burning if tipper trucks and motors cycles by Military against rivers sand winning.
In reaction to the contribution by the Minister of Defense,Mr Dominic Nitiwul that the military action was in conformity with the laws of Ghana, the Minority leader said, ” the Minister for Defence should be informed that he is not above the laws of Ghana, and neither is the Ghana Armed Forces also above the laws of Ghana.”
He noted that, the minority would only support the Minister, if he is operating within the limits of the law to solve the environmental issues, which in this case, it is the opposite.
Mr Iddrissu also reminded the House that, the period of impunity are well gone, and that Parliaments all over the world are the custodians of the liberties and rights of the people, and such is what the House must pursue.
He further accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government which proffers as property owning Democratic Party, and is now engaged in property destruction democracy.
He also cited Article 18 of the Constitution, stating, the constitution legitimately gave the right to own property to people, and that, this right includes the right to own excavators and tipper trucks. He emphasized.
The Minority leader also expressed surprised why the Minister did not seek Court approval for the action of the military if he was confident of its legality and is rather asking the victims to seek redress at the court.
The Tamale South MP said, the National Security, Regional and District Security bodies, are creation of the constitution, and it is improper for the minister to bypass them and use personal discretion to take security actions that has a national bearing and a bearing on the well-being of the ordinary people in a catchment area.
He further contended that, the traditional rulers feel disrespected by the action, reiterating that, they could have been accorded a little courtesy at least.
However, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs on his part, disagreed with the fact that the constitution offers the authority for the security agencies to take stringent measures to solve crime in the country, even to the extent of taking the life a person who is seen as a nation wrecker.
He rather urged the Minority and other Ghanaians to support the government efforts at fighting crime and protecting the environment.
Hon Ras Mubarak, in his statement on the operation of the Military in combating sand winning and galamsey activities in the Kumbungu constituency called on the authorities concerns investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
He said, “Mr. Speaker, I make this statement with a heavy heart. On Saturday, 3rd March 2018, a contingent of military personnel were at Afa Yile, a village in the Dalun Electoral area in my constituency, ostensibly to prevent people from polluting the Nawuni River, which is a source of water supply to the Tamale metropolis and its environs.”
While asking for compensation for the destroyed trucks owners, Mr Mubarak said, section 99(5) of ACT 900, provides that, “where a person is arrested for an offence under subsection 3 or 4, any equipment used in, or associated with the commission of the offence shall, regardless of ownership of the equipment or product, be seized and kept in the custody of the police.”
“And where a person is convicted under subsections 2,3, or 4, of section 99(6) of the ACT, the court “shall, in addition to the penalty that it may impose, order for the forfeiture of any equipment or product seized under subsection 5 to the state,” he stated.
The Kumbungu lawmaker added that, “the ACT further provided that, the Minister for Lands shall within 60days after the confiscation of equipment or product, allocate the equipment or product to the appropriate state institution and publish in the gazette the name of the institution to which the equipment or product is allocated.”
Clearly, he said the laws of the land do not prescribe the burning down of trucks and other equipments, and the military, which he hold in high esteem, acted arbitrarily and that must not be acceptable in this current dispensation.
In that regards, he said state actors, especially the military cannot and must not be seen to be sidestepping the laws of the land, pointing that, such actions sends a very bad signal, that we are still stuck in the Stone Age.
He further stated that, the Northern Region is one of the poorest regions of Ghana and that the burning down of the trucks and equipment certainly deprives some people of their livelihood and further exacerbate the already existing poverty in the region.
He ceded to the fact that, he would wholeheartedly support every effort to fight illegal mining and sand winning in the country, but it must be carried out within the confines of our laws.
The MP therefore called for, “an immediate investigation into the operation in my constituency, to find out whether or not the truckers were actually polluting the river, and if not to prescribe appropriate compensations to people whose equipments and trucks were torched.”
Sources: www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba