Assin North case: MP petitions Chief Justice to remove judge

BY: Edith Mensah
 Edith Mensah
Edith Mensah

Lawyers for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Mr James Gyekye Quayson, have petitioned the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, to remove the judge hearing the petition challenging the election of the MP.

A member of the NDC legal team, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, told the media after yesterday’s hearing that the legal team was praying the Chief Justice to remove Justice Kwasi Boakye over what he described as lack of fairness in the case.

Withdrawal

It would be recalled that lead counsel for the MP, Mr Abraham Amaliba, urged Justice Boakye to recuse himself over certain alleged comments that he (Justice Boakye) made.

Justice Boakye denied making any such comments, and dismissed the oral application for him to recuse himself.

Right after that move, Mr Amaliba withdrew his services as counsel for the respondent (MP).

The petitioner, Mr Richard Takyi Mensah, and his lawyers described the attempt by the respondent to have the presiding judge removed from the case, as well as Mr Amaliba’s withdrawal of his legal services, as a calculated move to delay the petition.

At yesterday’s hearing, it was revealed that Mr Amaliba had not served the MP the notice to withdraw his legal services, to enable the MP to appoint a new lawyer.

Justice Boakye therefore directed Mr Amaliba to serve the notice about his intention to withdraw his legal services to the MP in order to expedite the hearing of the petition.

Election 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.

However, 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.

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 wanted the Cape Coast High Court to declare the nomination filed by Mr Quayson as “illegal, void and of no legal effect”.

He also sought 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”.

Another relief sought by the applicant was 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.