James Gyakye Quayson
James Gyakye Quayson

Court tries Quayson in absentia

The trial in which Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin-North, James Gyakye Quayson, is facing perjury and forgery charges, continued last Friday in the absence of the accused person. 

This decision by the court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, stems from orders of its November 3, 2023 proceedings which ruled that it would try the case in absentia if the accused or his lawyers failed to show up.

When the case was called yesterday (Nov 9), lead counsel for the accused, Tsatsu Tsikata, said he only became aware of the November 3 proceedings through a www.graphic.com.gh publication. 

What happened?

When the court resumed from the legal break in October, this year, the case was expected to be heard on October 27, this year, but the court did not sit since the presiding judge had to attend a training.

The court subsequently adjourned the matter to (Nov 3).

On October 13, this year, Mr Quayson though his lawyers submitted a note from a medical doctor about a medical test to be conducted on him.

Quayson’s lawyers said they were absent because on October 27, the day the court fixed November 3 for the hearing, they had proposed November 17, 2023 to a court clerk after several attempts to reach the Attorney-General’s Office to agree on a mutual date for the trial failed.

Mr Tsikata cited this as the reason for their absence when the case was called on November 3, this year.

But on November 3, this year, the presiding judge ruled that the court would conduct the case in absentia if the accused and his lawyers failed to participate in the next hearing.


Under cross-examination, Counsel for Quayson asked the prosecution witness, Richard Takyi Mensah, why he stated different dates (July 29, 2019 and July 30, 2019) in his witness statements  to the police as the dates Mr Quayson applied for a passport.

In his explanation, the witness told the court that he could only speak to his witness statement which had July 29, 2019  since that was written by him adding that his statement to the police was recorded verbally.  

Counsel further said: “I am putting it to you that ever since the accused won his parliamentary election, you have been determined by hook or crook to get rid of him as an MP”.

In his response, the witness said that was not true.

The case has been adjourned to November 15, 2023 for the state to call its second witness. 

Today’s proceedings

When the case was called for hearing last Friday, Mr Quayson was absent.

Asked about the whereabouts of his client, Mr Tsikata said Quayson was in Canada to attend to a medical situation.

He added that he wrote to the High Court registrar to request for the proceedings of November 3 but had not been served.

Mr Tsikata, who described his client’s situation as serious, prayed the court to allow them to invite the medical doctor who attended to Mr Quayson and required that Quayson was attended to by specialist doctors.

He added that they were only served with a hearing notice and not the record of proceedings for November 3, this year.

But the court said there was no reason for Quayson’s absence.

The judge, subsequently ordered the first prosecution witness, who had been in the box since July 2022, to mount the box for cross-examination. 


Mr Quayson is facing charges of forgery and perjury in relation to certain alleged offences in the run up to the 2020 Assin North parliamentary election.

He has pleaded not guilty to five counts of forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury and false declaration for office.

It is the case of the prosecution that Mr Quayson allegedly made a false statement to the Passport Office that he did not hold a passport to another country when he applied for a Ghanaian Passport.

In addition, the prosecution has accused Mr Quayson of making a false declaration to the Electoral Commission (EC) to the effect that, he (Quayson) did not owe any allegiance to a foreign country when he filed to contest as a candidate for the Assin North seat.

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