Injuncting Gyakye Quayson has created a constitutional crisis – Edudzi Tamakloe

Private Legal Practitioner, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe says the injunction of embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, Gyakye Quayson, has created a constitutional “crisis”.

According to him, the decision to injunct the legislator was not sound and creates a vacuum where ordinarily there should be none.

The Supreme Court has, in a majority 3-2 decision, ruled that Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, can no longer perform Parliamentary duties.

This is until the determination of the substantive case filed against him at the Supreme Court.

However, speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Edudzi Tamakloe noted that the injuncting of Gyakye Quayson from performing his Parliamentary duties leaves the people of Assin North without a substantive representative till such a time that the case is determined.

Comparing the Gyakye Quayson case to a Presidential election petition, he said, “The Supreme Court is the forum for dealing with Presidential elections. Have you ever seen in any Presidential election where allegations of constitutional breaches, violations of our electoral laws are made that the President is injuncted?

“Have you seen that before? We’ve had two Presidential elections in this country. Have you seen the mere filing of a petition against a President that he has been injuncted from performing that function?

“This is an electoral dispute. There is sound policy reason why you don’t injunct the President. In fact, for constitutional officeholders they’re barely injuncted because in doing the evaluation of the balance and act you look, this is a plaintiff – Nimfa, this is the MP, now you have created a constitutional ‘crisis’.

“Until this writ is determined, the people of Assin North are left without representation. How do you fill the lacuna?”

Background

A Cape Coast High Court in July, 2021 nullified the election of Mr Quayson after it found he owed allegiance to Canada at the time of filing his nomination forms to contest the polls.

Michael Ankomah Nimfah, a resident of the constituency who filed this election petition in January, 2022, initiated another action at the Supreme Court.

He urged the Court to give effect to the Cape Coast High Court Judgement and prevent a further breach of the constitution by restraining the MP.

“If he continues to be in Parliament, he will still be in breach of the constitution. The people of Assin North have been saddled with an unqualified person for far too long“ Lawyer for Mr Nimfah, Frank Davies told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 5, 2022.

Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame took a similar position on the matter. He insisted there cannot be any debate that the continuous stay of the legislator in Parliament is a persisting breach of the constitution that cannot be allowed to fester.

Lawyers for the MP led by Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed.

Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata questioned the basis of the application pointing out that it was procedurally improper. He insisted the rules of the Supreme Court do not provide for such an injunction application.

He argued that a party wanting this remedy ought to instead make a request to the Supreme Court for the Court to decide what steps the party ought to take.

The Court adjourned proceedings to April 13, 2022, to deliver its ruling.

On Wednesday, April 13, the Court said Mr. Quayson should no longer hold himself as MP or present himself in Parliament.

 

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