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Quayson’s review fails, Supreme Court rules on injunction April 13

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central
The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central

The embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, has failed in yet another attempt to stop the Supreme Court from hearing an injunction seeking to stop him from holding himself as a legislator.

A nine–member panel of the apex court, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, Tuesday (April 5, 2022)  unanimously dismissed a review application by the legislator which challenged the court’s decision that he had been duly served with the injunction application.

According to the court, the review application was without merit.

The full reasons for the court’s decision will be filed at the registry by Friday.

Injunction application

Meanwhile, a seven-member panel of the court, will on April 13, rule on the injunction and decide whether to stop Mr Quayson from parading himself as a legislator until the determination of a suit against him.

The panel, presided over by Justice Dotse, has Justices Agnes Dordzie, Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Prof. Henrietta Mensa–Bonsu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, as members.

A resident of Assin Breku, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, who secured judgment from the Cape Coast High Court nullifying Mr Quayson’s election on the basis that he held a Canadian citizenship at the time he filed to contest the seat, wants an injunction from the Supreme Court, restraining him from holding himself as an MP.

The plaintiff argues that despite the judgment of the Cape Coast High Court, Mr Quayson continues to parade himself as a sitting MP.

With the substantive suit, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah is seeking an interpretation of Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, which bars a person owing allegiance to another country from contesting as an MP, the same constitutional provision the High Court used to nullify the MP’s election.

The Supreme Court fixed the date yesterday after hearing the submissions of the various lawyers in the case.

Submissions

Making a case for the injunction, counsel for the applicant, Frank Davies, argued that the High Court had clearly established that Mr Quayson was not qualified at the time he filed to contest the Assin North seat.

He further submitted that an appeal filed by the MP had also been struck out by the Court of Appeal, and therefore allowing Mr Quayson to hold himself as a legislator would be an “egregious breach of the constitution and the electoral laws of Ghana”.

“The people of Assin North have been saddled with an unqualified person as their MP,” counsel added.

In response, counsel for Mr Quayson, Tsatsu Tsikata, argued that the injunction application violated the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 (C.I 16) and decided cases of the court.

It was his submission that the injunction was provided for under the High Court Rules (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (C.I 47) and therefore if the applicant wanted to file for injunction, he ought to have sought for direction from the Supreme Court before relying on C.I 47.

“Per Rule 6 of C.I 16, the applicant must apply for directions from the Supreme Court and not arrogate to himself rules he wants to use,” he said.

The Attorney–General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, disagreed with the submissions of Mr Tsikata, describing them as erroneous.

According to the A-G, the Supreme Court had held numerous decisions that it had the mandate to grant injunctions in constitutional cases and therefore there was no need for a party to seek for directions before filing for injunction.

He said what the court should consider was whether it would be just and convenient to grant the injunction, adding that in Mr Quayson’s case, he must be stopped from holding himself as an MP due to constitutional breaches.

Lawyer for the Electoral Commission, Emmanuel Addai, opposed the injunction application and submitted that the applicant had already secured judgment from the Cape Coast High Court.

“The proper thing is for him to execute the judgment at the High Court and not file an injunction application at the Supreme Court,” he argued.

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