NDC MP for Assin North heads to Supreme Court

NDC MP-elect for Assin North constituency, James Joe Quayson

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Quayson has filed a motion for certiorari at the Supreme Court asking it to quash the orders of a Cape Coast High Court which ordered him to file his written legal argument in a petition brought against his election.

His seat is under threat after a resident in the constituency in the Central Region filed an action at the High Court claiming that Mr. Quayson as at the time he was filing to contest for the seat held Canadian citizenship and did not qualify to do so under the laws of Ghana.

However, the NDC MP wants the Supreme Court to quash the decision of the High Court because he claims the trial court refused to stay proceedings and refer a matter of Constitutional interpretation to the highest court.

The embattled MP wants the highest court to interpret Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution which prohibits a person who holds citizenship of another country from contesting as MP in Ghana.

He is also asking the Supreme Court to prohibit Justice Kwasi Boakye from further hearing the petition.

Petition

There is a petition against the election of Mr. Quayson as MP for Assin North in the Central Region for holding a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing his nomination forms with the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest in the parliamentary elections.

The petition filed by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah is saying that the respondent’s failure to renounce his Canadian citizenship before filing his nomination violates Article 94 (1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

Certiorari

The court presided over by Justice Boakye had ordered the parties in the matter to file their written legal arguments for consideration.

But the NDC MP has gone to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

He argued that per Article 130 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the High Court should have stayed proceedings and referred the case to the Supreme Court the interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

“I am advised by my counsel and I verily believe same to be true that the Supreme Court has not yet had the opportunity to interpret Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution as regard the material time that a person must not owe allegiance to a country other than Ghana in order for the person to be qualified to stand for election as a Member of Parliament,” he averred.

The MP’s affidavit in support of the motion further argued that “the Supreme Court has power under Article 129 (4) as well as Article 132 of the Constitution (1992) to make a referral to itself of the constitutional issues arising in the said High Court, since the said court has refused to make same and also to order a stay of its proceedings pending the determination of the constitutional issues referred to.”

He is therefore, seeking the court to quash the order of the Cape Coast High court asking him and the plaintiff to file their written legal arguments.

He also wants the court to prohibit Justice Boakye from further hearing the case on ground that certain comments he made on May 12, 2021, create a real likelihood of bias against him.

 

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