During the drafting of the 1992 Constitution, the Consultative Assembly in Article 8 (1) allowed Dual Citizenship when it stated that, a citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana. Going on the Assembly stated clearly in Article 94 (2a) that, A person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he, (a). owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.
This is an irony. A Ghanaian is permitted by law to become citizen of another country and yet when he does, certain benefits reserved for Ghanaians would be denied him.
Now since the 1992 Constitution was drafted by a Consultative Assembly made up of at least 85% coming on board, directly appointed by the PNDC (33%) and at least 52% from the local government assemblies and other revolutionary organs in the country attached to the assemblies, the Constitution can be said to have been drafted by the predecessors of the NDC. And it is therefore an NDC show piece.
Ghana had a constitution which was in effect largely drafted by interested stakeholders, the PNDC and Jerry John Rawlings.
Today, the Supreme Law of the Land is saying that Ghanaians in the Diaspora can send down resources in the form of cash and logistics to help build Mother Ghana, but as far as the direct management of this country is concerned, they are outcasts or aliens.
In 2008, a fine and handsome gentleman, Adamu Dramani Sakande, aged 46 at that time, stood on the ticket of the NPP and won the Bawku Central seat.
His victory was challenged in court and in July 2012, he was sentenced to jail, for false declaration of office, perjury and deceit of a public officer. Adamu had failed to deny UK citizenship before contesting the Bawku Central seat.
In jail, he fell seriously ill and was pardoned in 2013 by President John Mahama. He voluntarily flew abroad to the UK to take care of his health. Sadly, in September 2022, Adamu died after persistent heart problems.
In the sight of the NDC, the law had worked and justice had been delivered when Hon. Adamu Sakande was found guilty and thrown out of Parliament and into jail. This party jubilated over this.
In 2020, the NDC presented a parliamentary candidate in the person of James Gyekye Quayson to contest the Assin North seat. Like Adamu Dramani Sakande did in 2008, James won the seat and become MP.
And like Adama Dramani Sakande’s case, his election was contested in court. He was also found to have unconstitutionally stood elections in his constituency.
According to the Supreme Court of Ghana, upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, James Gyekye Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing his nomination forms between 5th to 9th October, 2020 to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections for the Assin North Constituency as Member of Parliament.
Can one clearly see that the Supreme Court, in the case of Gyekye Quayson spoke the same words as the Court did in the case of Adamu Dramani Sakande?
Words like, not qualified at the time of filing, mean false declaration, perjury and deceit of public officer, unless I have serious challenges in the English Language. So may someone help me here. Thank you.
The Supreme Court went on to state that the decision of the NDC to permit Gyekye Quayson to contest the elections, violated the Constitution. The very act of lawlessness the NPP might have committed in Adamu’s case in 2008.
At least the NPP could be pardoned here, because of oversight. But the NDC had electoral history to guide them.
And did I read right, when a certain publication attributed NDC Allotey Jacobs of the NDC to have said he warned against making James Gyekye Quayson the parliamentary candidate because he was a dual citizen, but his pleas fell on deaf ears?
The Supreme Court went on to nullify both his election and swearing in as MP, declaring these two events as unconstitutional.
The NDC’s communication officer, My Sammy Gyamfi, has torn the Supreme Court’s decision to shreds, claiming the Apex Court acted against Section 20 (d) of PNDC Law 284.
This law according to him, states that a parliamentary candidate must be qualified at the time of election. And the Supreme Law of the country, which is superior to all other laws, is saying that a person is not qualified to be MP if he or she owes allegiance to another country.
Maybe I need help here again, oh bother English language again. I take it here to mean that, to qualify to be an MP is a process, which begins from filing to contest party’s parliamentary primary, filling to contest the constituency seat, contesting the constituency seat and winning the seat, which qualifies you as MP. Now, if during the process, you show course to be disqualified, then you do not qualify to be MP.
Is the NDC saying, a foreigner who had applied to become a citizen of Ghana, can contest parliamentary primary, file to contest constituency elections, when all along he is not yet a Ghanaian and only becomes one just before the elections, so can be said to have done the appropriate thing?
And by the way, the Supreme Court is dealing with the 1992 Constitution which is the Supreme Law and which states clearly in Article 1 (2) that, This Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
And here is the NDC quoting from another law which is inferior to the 1992 Constitution and they want all of Ghanaians to follow them blindly. Justifying the unjustifiable and always defending a lie, and in this case, daring the Supreme Court.
The NDC MPs in Parliament are said to have indicated that unless they read what Chief Justice nominee, Mrs Torkonoo, had written as her verdict, they would hold on to her appointment as Chief Justice.
Strangely, is this how the nation should be run? When NDC’s interest is not fulfilled then Ghana can go bonkers. And these are a group of people who claim to be for the suffering masses, even if there are such masses, anyway.
The NDC’s determination to relaunch the parliamentary ambitions of Mr James Gyekye Quayson is an interesting one. For someone whose case in court is not completed, as the case of perjury and others are yet to be determined, why is the NDC daring the Court by presenting Mr Quayson again?
Assuming My Quayson wins the by-election and weeks later he is found guilty for perjury, false declaration, etc., there would be another by-election, won’t it?
Back to Sammy Gyamfi, assuming Mr James Gyekye Quayson, who had filed to contest the Assin North seat, but had not been cleared by the Canadian authority to be non-citizen of that country before the elections, would the NDC had revoke his candidacy at that late hour, knowing well the party would not be able to contest that seat? Your guess is as good as mine.
The NDC would have gone ahead and broken the law and come out to defend what cannot be defended.
The NDC’s predecessors wrote the 1992 Constitution and put in laws which is hurting everybody now, including themselves. This Article 94 (2a), was deliberately put there to make sure Ghanaians in the Diaspora do not have any hand in governance.
In the eighties and right through the nineties, there was this perception by the PNDC and NDC, that majority of Ghanaians abroad belonged to the UP family. And so, to make sure that they do not take over the Executive and Parliament they must be banned by law to take up such offices.
While Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, allows every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age and above and of sound mind, the right to be registered as a voter and the right to vote, this did not extend to majority of Ghanaians living abroad.
So in 2006, Representation of the People (Amendment) Act (Act 699) to allow all eligible Ghanaians abroad to vote was passed.
On the day the bill was passed in Parliament, all NDC MPs walked out, resolving never to be part of what they perceived would spell doom for this nation.
Again, in the minds of the NDC, over 85% of Ghanaians abroad support the NPP and with Ashanti region giving the party lots of problems in General Elections, they cannot afford another Ashanti region.
Today, the NDC are admitting that these are problems in Article 94 (2a) and are praying that this dual citizenship law should be amended. Anyway, before that, they should insist on the full implementation of ROPA (Act 699) of 2006.
It is only fair that if Ghanaians abroad with dual citizenship can be allowed to be MPs, then every eligible Ghanaian abroad must be allowed to directly determine who should lead this country.
The NDC cannot push this Constitution on us and when it adversely affects them, they will come out daring the courts.
Hon. Daniel Dugan