Assin North Parliamentary Election Petition moves to Supreme Court

The petition challenging the election of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Candidate, Mr. James Gyakye Quayson, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, has moved to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Quayson is asking the apex court for an order of certiorari to quash the ruling of the Cape Coast High Court asking that the case go on without critical evidence from a court in Canada.

In his petition to the apex court, Mr. Quayson makes the point that a viva voce (oral) evidence from the court in Canada, which has the power to determine when his Canadian citizenship was revoked is crucial to his case.

However, the court is insisting that the case goes on without the crucial evidence from the court in Canada.

He, therefore, wants the Supreme Court to quash that ruling by the Cape Coast High Court and allow for the crucial evidence from the Canadian court to be admitted in his trial.

The eligibility of Mr. Quayson to be MP is currently a subject of a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court.

The petitioner, Mr. Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, a resident of the constituency, contends that the MP was not eligible to be MP on the basis that at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.

With his case at the Supreme Court, the MP is seeking an order of certiorari to quash a decision by the Cape Coast High Court directing the parties to file their written address.

He argues that in line with Article 130 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the High Court should have rather stayed proceedings and referred the case to the Supreme Court to give an interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

“That I am advised by my counsel and I verily believe same to be true that the Supreme Court has not yet had the opportunity to interpret Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution as regard the material time that a person must not owe allegiance to a country other than Ghana in order for the person to be qualified to stand for election as a Member of Parliament,” the affidavit in support of the application said.

“I verily believe to be true that this Supreme Court has power under Article 129 (4) as well as Article 132 of the Constitution (1992) to make a referral to itself of the constitutional issues arising in the said High Court since the said court has refused to make same and also to order a stay of its proceedings pending the determination of the constitutional issues referred to,” the MP argues.

Mr. Quayson polled 17,498 votes against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Ms. Abena Durowaa Mensah in the December 7, 2020, parliamentary election.

On December 30, 2020, a resident of Assin North, Mr. Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the eligibility of Mr. Quayson to be a Member of Parliament (MP).

He contended that the MP was not eligible on the basis that at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.

Such an act, he argued, was against the express provision of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284).

Among other reliefs, the applicant wants the Cape Coast High Court to declare the nomination filed by Mr. Quayson “illegal, void and of no legal effect”.

He is also seeking a declaration that the decision by the EC to clear Mr. Quayson to contest as a parliamentary candidate was “illegal, void and of no legal effect”.

Again the applicant is also seeking an order restraining Mr. Quayson from holding himself out as the MP-elect for Assin North and another order cancelling the parliamentary election that took place in Assin North on December 7, 2020.

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