CDD Fellow, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare says there is a lot of procedural confusion in the judgement injuncting the Assin North Member of Parliament, Jame Gyakye Quayson, from performing his Parliamentary duties.
According to him, the Cape Coast High Court had no basis granting the injunction which has been enforced by the Supreme Court.
He explained that in granting the injunction, the High Court had sought to interpret Article 94(2)(a), an action which is the reserve of the Supreme Court, and had further added timelines to the Article.
He further stated that the Supreme Court assenting to the injunction only served a stamp of approval to the judicial error which now has left the Assin North people unrepresented in Parliament.
Meanwhile, there is no solution to the lacuna created as a result of the injunction in Parliament.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express he said, “There is this injunction because the Plaintiff has issued a writ at the Supreme Court asking for the interpretation of Article 94(2)(a). The Plaintiff is saying he doesn’t understand Article 94(2)(a) and so the Supreme Court should help him understand that.
“But there is a judge somewhere in Cape Coast who has interpreted Article 94(2)(a) and told the Plaintiff ‘hey Plaintiff, I’m going to grant you all your reliefs.’ And the Supreme Court is sitting there saying ‘well yes, we don’t understand Article 94(2)(a) but we’re going to interpret it.
“But meanwhile we think it is okay for some High Court judge not only to interpret it but to issue and grant injunctions setting aside the wishes of voters’, when there is a law that voters decisions must be entreated with the highest level of deference and they are not to be set aside willingly.”
Further explaining how the Cape Coast High Court erred, he said, “In fact, to cancel an election in our jurisdiction, one must show that at the time of the election, not at the time of the primary, not at the time of the nomination, not anytime, at the time of the election, the person was not qualified.
“So regardless of what the Supreme Court will tell us one week or whenever they want to tell us, there’s just no ground for the High Court judge to have determined that one, he’s going to interpret Article 94(2)(a), two, he’s going to put his own timelines in Article 94(2)(a), three, he’s going to injunct the MP.
“And remember he even injuncted the MP on 6th January, he didn’t want the MP to sit in Parliament even before Parliament convened, even before hearing the matter.”
Prof. Kwaku Asare further explained that in granting the injunction, the High Court judge had ignored the fact that the MP had a year before the elections filed an application to Canadian authorities renouncing his citizenship.
He had also surrendered his passport, his certificate of naturalization and had departed from the country to Ghana, thus severing all forms of allegiance he might have held with Canada.
“Now, here’s one thing that people should take into account, at the trial court, the High Court in Cape Coast, there was really no trial. There was no trial. The High Court simply took the arguments of the two parties, went to Wikipedia and copied some phrases from Wikipedia and based on that ruled that the MP owed allegiance to Canada,” he said.
“And what the High Court judge is doing is retroactively saying that this clause that was there for whatever reason he’s going to apply it to a person who the citizenship of another country except in this case the MP had subjectively renounced the citizenship of Canada,” he added.