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Supreme Court orders Quayson to stop holding himself as MP

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson
James Gyakye QuaysonThe National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North,

The Supreme Court has ordered the NDC Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, to stop holding himself as an MP until the determination of a suit challenging the constitutionality of his election.

In a 5-2 majority decision Wednesday [April 13, 2022], the apex court ordered Mr Quayson to abstain from any Parliamentary business and also refrain from engaging in activities pertaining to an MP.

The injunction against the MP will hold until the final determination of a suit challenging the constitutionality of Mr Quayson’s election as MP.

The five justices on the majority side were Justices Jones Dotse, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi.

Justices Nene Amegatcher and Agnes Dordzie dissented.

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Case

The injunction application was filed by a constituent of Assin North, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, who secured a judgment from the Cape Coast High Court nullifying Gyakye Quayson’s election on the basis that he held Canadian citizenship at the time he filed to contest the parliamentary election.

The applicant argued that despite the judgment of the Cape Coast High Court in 2021, Mr Quayson continues to parade himself as a sitting MP.

Reliefs

With the substantive suit, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah is seeking a declaration from the apex court that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, at the time the EC opened nominations for people to file to contest the Assin North parliamentary seat, Mr Quayson was not qualified to contest.

He further wants the court to declare that the EC breached Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution when it allowed Mr Quayson to contest the parliamentary election in Assin North when he owed allegiance to another country.

Background

Mr Quayson polled 17,498 votes, as 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, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the eligibility of Mr Quayson to be an MP.

The court upheld the petition, and on July 28, 2021, following that petition by Mr Ankomah-Nimfah, the Cape Coast High Court declared Mr Quayson’s election as void, on the basis that he owed allegiance to another country other than Ghana, contrary to Article 94(2) of the 1992 Constitution.

It was the considered view of the court that as of the time Mr Quayson filed to contest the MP position, he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship and, therefore, he was not qualified to become a legislator.

The court, presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, ordered the EC to organise a new election in the constituency.

The MP filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast, but on March 22, the second-highest court of the land struck out the appeal for not being in compliance with the rules of court.

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Read also: Why Supreme Court ordered James Gyakye Quayson to stop holding himself as MP [FULL RULING]