Assin North parliamentary petition: Judge adjourns case to July 28

BY: Edith Mensah
• Mr James Gyakye Quayson — MP for Assin North
• Mr James Gyakye Quayson — MP for Assin North

The Cape Coast High Court has adjourned to July 28, 2021, the ongoing petition challenging the election of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Mr James Gyakye Quayson.

The court was scheduled to give its judgment today but following a writ filed by the MP at the Supreme Court, the court decided to put the judgment on hold.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye, said the new date would allow the Supreme Court to give a decision on the writ of certiorari filed by the MP and also determine the new direction of the case.

Context

Mr Quayson is asking the apex court to assume jurisdiction over the petition at the Cape Coast High Court and give an interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution which debars a person who is not solely a citizen of the country from contesting as MP.

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.

Petition

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, 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 as the MP-elect for Assin North and another order cancelling the parliamentary election that took place in Assin North on December 7, 2020.