The registration, election and swearing-in of Mr. James Gyakye Quayson as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North Constituency were unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has declared.
The apex court has, therefore, ordered Parliament to expunge Mr. Quayson’s name as MP from its records
The decision was unanimously made by a seven-member panel of judges. They are Justice Jones Victor Dotse, Justice Nene Amegatcher, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Gertrude Araba Torkornoo, Justice Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Justice Yonny Kulendi and Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu.
By this decision, the superior court has essentially granted all the reliefs being sought by the plaintiff, Mr. Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, a private citizen who had contested the validity of the 1st Defendant, Mr. Gyakye-Quayson’s status as an MP.
The plaintiff, on January 24, 2022, invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court asking it to, first of all, declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution, 1992, of the Republic of Ghana, the defendant at the time of filing his nomination form between 5-9 October 2020 to contest the 2020 parliamentary election for the Assin North Constituency was not qualified as a Member of Parliament.
He again sought for a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution, 1992, of the Republic of Ghana, the decision of the 2nd Defendant, the Electoral Commission, to permit Mr. Quayson to contest the parliamentary election in the Assin North Constituency when he owed allegiance to a country other than Ghana was inconsistent with and violated Article 94(2) (a) of the Constitution.
Also, the plaintiff sought for a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2) (a) declaration of the defendant as the MP for the Assin North Constituency was unconstitutional, as well as a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2) (a) of the Constitution, 1992, of the Republic of Ghana, the swearing in of Mr. Quayson as Member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency was unconstitutional, null and void, and of no legal effect.
But, before granting these reliefs, the court, on April 13, 2022, first ordered the defendant to abstain from any parliamentary business and also refrain from engaging in activities pertaining to an MP.
The basis for the plaintiff’s application to the apex court was the election of Mr. Gyakye-Quayson was in contravention to certain provisions of the Constitution, 1992.
According to the plaintiff, at the time the EC opened nominations for people to file to contest the Assin North parliamentary seat Mr. Quayson held Canadian citizenship and was, therefore, not eligible to contest.
Mr. Ankomah-Nimfah filed a case at the Cape Coast High Court praying the court to nullify the defendant’s status as an MP, a prayer the court granted.
However, Mr. Gyakye-Quayson continued to represent the people of Assin North, a situation that necessitated the action the plaintiff took at the Supreme Court.
The court, after giving its judgment yesterday, said that full details of the judgment decision would be available on June 7, 2023.
The plaintiff was represented by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, while the Electoral Commission was represented by Mr. Seth Anane Amankwah. The defendant on the other hand was represented by Frank Davies, Bright Otchere Agyekum, and John Nortey Sefa.