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James Gyakye Quayson's presence in Parliament questioned

BY: Samuel Duodu
The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central Region, James Gyakye Quayson
The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central Region, James Gyakye Quayson

The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central Region, James Gyakye Quayson's continuous presence in Parliament, was questioned yesterday on the floor of House.

The question by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, was to find out why Mr Quayson was still in Parliament in spite of a High Court ruling that the latter could not hold himself out as an MP.

That, he added, had also been affirmed by the Court of Appeal.

Enraged

But his question did not go down well with the Minority side in Parliament who rebutted by saying that the issue was still before the Court, and therefore, it was not for Parliament to determine it.

Some of the NDC MPs who were enraged by the question banged on their desks repeatedly to show their disapproval of the question.

Speaker's direction

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who presided over proceedings yesterday, stepped in to restore order with his ruling on the matter.

"What matter there is was a fact to be determined whether or not the appeal has been determined. That is a question of fact and not a question of law. I do not intend that we do that at this moment. I will discuss that with leadership and whatever steps we have to take will be taken after that," Mr Osei-Owusu stated.

That brought about calm in the House for proceedings to continue.

Support

The NPP MP for Abuakwa South, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, who spoke in support of his colleague, said the question asked was legitimate and that should be a concern for the House.

According to him, Mr Quayson was in contempt of the two courts that had ruled and affirmed that he was disqualified as an MP and until there was an injunction process in place he cannot be in Parliament.

Minority’s response

The NDC MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamkpor, in his response, described the question as subjudice and unfounded, as the matter was before the courts.

He said what was dismissed was an interlocutory matter on grounds of non-compliance, and that the substantive appeal was pending.

The Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, thanked the Speaker for the direction he had given.

He said he was tempted to believe that Mr Atta Akyea had planned with Mr Nyarko, who is a first timer, to do that, saying what he ( Atta Akyea) did had broken the trust, and that the next time he wanted to do such a thing the Minority would adhere strictly to the rules of the House.

Recall

An appeal filed by the embattled MP for Assin North, Mr Quayson, at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast to overturn the annulment of his election, was struck out last week when the court sat.

That was because the appellant, James Gyakye Quayson, failed to file his written submission within the stipulated period allowed under the Court of Appeal Rules, 1997 (C.I. 19).

The Supreme Court is yet to rule on that case. It would be heard on March 29, 2022.