A private legal practitioner has applauded Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, for his magnanimity that ostensibly stopped a standoff between the Accra High Court trying him and Parliament.
Mahama Ayariga, he said, demonstrated utmost respect for rule of law when on his own volition decided to attend to the Accra High Court even though he had not been served with a summons.
According to him, had the Bawku Central MP been a cantankerous individual or haboured any contempt for the processes or had been engrossed by self awareness because of the limited immunity that MPs enjoy, he would have demanded to be served before agreeing to attend to Court.
Lawyer Bobby Blankson who was contributing to a panel discussion on the Special Prosecutor’s (SP) criminal case against Mahama Ayariga on TV3’s political programme, The Key Points on Saturday, expressed disappointment the MP agreed to go to the court.
He said, “I am not happy the MP agreed to appear. I wished he could have said serve me and then we will see how they were going to serve him outside these days.”
“He, out of respect for law, decided to respond to it. I wish he had not then we would have really seen the test of these constitutional interpretations.”
“At the time Ayariga was asked to go to court he had not been served with a summons and in criminal prosecution service of the summons is the most important element to begin prosecution.”
Bobby Blankson observed that the order of the judge for Mahama Ayariga to appear before the court at a particular time when he had not been served was inappropriate.
The judge, he argued, does not have a right to make an order for anybody who is a subject of a criminal prosecution to appear unless that person has been served.
“Because the jurisdiction of the court, whether in civil or criminal matters, is founded on natural justice and natural justice flows from the fact of service,” he said.
“So the prosecutor cannot go to court and say my lord, we have been trying to serve him and he says he will not receive service because of his immunity, so make an order for him to appear. That is very problematic.”
“We should rather thank Ayariga for availing himself to partake in the proceedings,” he stated and noted the MP could have insisted on his right to be served first, which would then have triggered the Parliamentary immunity provision.