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High  Court dismisses Quayson’s motion for stay of proceedings

High Court dismisses Quayson’s motion for stay of proceedings

The Accra High Court has dismissed an application filed by the Member of Parliament for Assin-North, James Gyakye Quayson which sought to put his perjury and forgery trial on hold until the Court of Appeal determines an application against the trial Court.

In a ruling today (July 11), the court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, said no exceptional circumstance had been proven by Quayson’s lawyers to warrant the grant of stay of proceedings. 

Justice Yanzuh said, “I am unable to agree with the submission that the appeal has a brighter chance of success because of errors of law. 

“The fact that the applicant believes his appeal will succeed does not by itself warrant and it does not warrant a special circumstance for a stay to be granted,” the presiding judge said. 

The Court emphasised that its decision to hear the case on day-to-day basis was still in force. 

But lead counsel for Quayson, Tsatsu Tsikata, notified the court of his intention to file another application at the Court of Appeal to put the trial on hold. 

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He added that he needed more time to attend to a private matter, hence he would be unable to attend proceedings. 

He further prayed the court to choose a later date for the trial instead of Wednesday, July 12, 2023. 

The trial was subsequently adjourned to Friday, July 14, 2023. 

Stay 

Mr Quayson wanted the court to put the criminal trial, in which he has been accused of perjury and forgery, on hold until the Court of Appeal determines his appeal challenging the court’s decision to hear the trial on a daily basis.

With regard to the application for stay of proceedings, the MP was  of the contention that the trial must be halted pending the appeal in the interest of justice.

It was his case that the ruling by the court to hear the case on a daily basis was what emboldened President Akufo-Addo to allegedly make prejudicial comments regarding the case.

“That, at the campaign rally for the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the President made many prejudicial remarks, including some to the effect that the voters in Assin North constituency should not vote for a candidate who could end up in prison,” the application for stay of proceedings stated.

Charges

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 candidate for the Assin North seat.

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