Mr James Gyakye Quayson, NDC Member of Parliament for Assin North
The petition challenging the election of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, has been moved to the Supreme Court for possible constitutional interpretation.
Mr Quayson asks the Supreme Court to take jurisdiction over the application to the Cape Coast High Court and interpret Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution that a person who is not merely a citizen of the country, excludes from competing as MP.
Mr Quayson’s suitability as an MP is currently the subject of a parliamentary election petition to the Cape Coast High Court.
The petitioner, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, a resident of the constituency, argues that the MP was not eligible to become an MP because at the time he (Quayson) submitted his nomination as MP, he was still a citizen of Canada .
With his Supreme Court case, the MP is seeking a certiorari order quashing a Cape Coast High Court decision instructing the parties to submit their written address.
He argues that, in accordance with Article 130(2) of the 1992 Constitution, the High Court should have stayed the proceedings earlier and referred the matter to the Supreme Court to provide an interpretation of Article 94(2). 2(a) of the 1992 Constitution.
“That I have been advised by my counsel and I truly believe that the same is true that the Supreme Court has not yet had the opportunity to interpret Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution with regard to material time that a person may not owe his loyalty to a country other than Ghana to ensure that the person stands for election as a Member of Parliament,” the affidavit said in support of the application.
Mr Quayson pleads with the Supreme Court to overturn the order of the Cape Coast High Court and assume jurisdiction over the interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution.
“I do believe that it is true that this Supreme Court has jurisdiction under Article 129(4) and Article 132 of the Constitution (1992) to refer to itself the constitutional issues arising in the said Supreme Court, since the said The court has refused to do the same and also to order a stay of the proceedings pending the determination of the said constitutional issues,” the MP argues.
Mr Quayson took 17,498 votes against 14,793 from Abena Durowaa Mensah of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election.
On 30 December 2020, a resident of Assin North, Mr Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, petitioned the Cape Coast High Court for parliamentary elections, challenging Mr Quayson’s eligibility as Member of Parliament (MP).
He argued that the MP was ineligible because at the time he (Quayson) submitted his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.
Such an act, he argued, was contrary to the express provision of Section 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284) .
Among other things, the applicant wants the Cape Coast High Court to declare Mr Quayson’s nomination “unlawful, void and without effect”.
He also wants a statement that the EC’s decision to acquit Mr Quayson as a parliamentary candidate was “illegal, void and without legal effect”.
Again, the petitioner is also seeking an injunction to ban Mr Quayson from standing as elected MP for Assin North and another injunction to cancel the parliamentary elections held in Assin North on 7 December 2020.