Jomoro MP Grilled Over Renunciation Claim

The Petitioner in the Jomoro constituency election petition challenging the eligibility of Dorcas Toffey, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area to contest the 2020 parliamentary election, has concluded his cross examination of the 1st respondent(Dorcas Toffey).

The petition, filed by one Joshua Kwofie, has Dorcas Toffey as 1st respondent and the Electoral Commission (EC) as 2nd respondent.
In more than an hour of questioning, Michael Ochere-Adjekum, Counsel for the petitioner, rounded up his cross examination by putting it to the 1st respondent that she did not qualify to contest the 2020 parliamentary election for the Jomoro constituency.

Dorcas Affo-Toffey, MP for Jomoro

The court, presided over by Justice Dr. Richmond Osei Hwere, has adjourned the case to October 24, 2022 to allow the embattled MP to call her witness from Ivory Coast to testify.

The said witness was supposed to be in court yesterday, but Counsel for the MP, Godwin Edudzi Tamekloe informed the court that the witness could not make it.

Below is what transpired in court;
Question (Q): By a letter dated 24th January 2021, you informed the Attorney General, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) of Ivory Coast that you were renouncing your Ivorien nationality. Is that true?

Answer (A): Yes my Lord.
Q: Your further case is that by a letter dated 29th January, 2019 the AG, the MOJ of Ivory Coast acknowledged receipt of your said letter of 24th January 2019. Not so?
Ans: Yes my Lord.

Q: I am putting it to you that both of these letters are complete afterthought.
A: No my Lord.
Q: I am putting it to you that no such letters existed before the commencement of this suit.

A: On 24th January, 2019 I wrote to the authorities about my intention.
Q: When you were last cross examined in this court on 14th June, 2022 I asked you about your affidavit in opposition to the petitioner’s motion, to produce the document and you answered that you don’t recall the affidavit in opposition you filed. Have you taken the benefit of the long adjournment to refresh your memory on that affidavit in opposition you filed.

A: No my Lord
Q: Do you recall that you opposed the petitioners motion to produce documents amongst others, the basis that there was no statutory requirement on your part to have a document showing that you renounced your Ivorien nationality?

A: Yes my Lord
Q: In fact, I am suggesting to you that in May 2021, all the way up to the time the court ordered you to produce the documents, which you failed initially, you had no document to show at the time you filed your nomination in 2020, you had not taken any step to renounce your Ivorien nationality.

A: My Lord, that is not correct.
Q: In fact, it was only on the 12th April, 2021 that Ivorien authorities, long after the commencement of this case, received a letter from you in which you expressed your willingness to renounce your Ivorien nationality.

A: The letter Counsel is making reference to is a follow up letter that was written to Ivorien authorities reminding them of my earlier letter written on 24th April, 2019 and the response back to me was stated that…….per Ivorien law when a person is 18 years and decides to take another nationality, it automatically cancels the Ivorien nationality, which is Article 48. So there was no need for a renunciation.

Q: Assuming you wrote any such letter in 2019, why did you find the need to remind the Ivorien authorities … as you alleged.
Ans: I did so after I had gotten a suit from the court that I had multiple nationality.

Q: The Ivorien authority issued you an attestation dated 12th April, 2021. Not so?
A: Yes my Lord.

Q: In that attestation they were specific about the request they received on 12th April, 2021.
A: Yes my Lord.

Q: In that attestation, the Ivorien authorities were specific in their reference to the request they received from you on 12th April, 2021. Not so?
Ans: That is correct

Q: The Ivorien authority’s attestation made no reference to any letter from you dated January 2019. Not so?
A: No my Lord, they did not, but according to MOJ they had a different department for various documents. The letter sent to them was written by me to them. The request shows clearly that it was received and stamped.

Q: In that attestation dated 12th April 2021, there is no reference to a reminder being made by you. Not so?
A: No, but they did, because they have responded to my follow up letter in which I was reminding them of the previous one when I went there to make enquiry. I was told that per Ivorien law, Article 48,because of Article 48, it was not necessary for the authorities to reference the previous letter.

Q: So in April 2021 the Ivorien authorities were now attesting that you have renounced your Ivorien nationality?
A: I disagree.

Q:I am putting it to you that if you knew that indeed by March 2021 you had indeed renounced your Ivorien nationality and had something to show for it, you would have had no reason to go to the Ivorien authorities for any document to show such renunciation.

A: I did so because they had taken me to court and needed evidence to show, prior to what had taken place.
Q: In the attestation dated 12th April, 2021 reference is made to Ivorien national who voluntarily takes on another nationality. Is that not so?

Ans: That is not so, my Lord
Q: And by Article 48 and Ivorien national decree, which you referred to today, if an Ivorien national takes on another nationality of another country, that person ceases to be an Ivorien. Not so?
Ans: Yes my Lord, according to what I have read from the attestation.

Q: You have on your own shown being a Ghanaian since 1972. Is that not so?
Ans: Yes my Lord.
Q: And you will agree with me that it cannot be said that in 2021 or for purposes of argument, in 2019 you were acquiring Ghanaian nationality. Not so?

Ans: That is correct
Q: I am putting it to you that you never renounced your Ivorien nationality before filing nomination to contest the 2020 elections.

A: That is incorrect
Q: I am putting it to you that…..stamp appearing on the document you have attached to the Witness Statement are not the stamps of the MOJ of Ivory Coast acknowledging receipt of these documents?

A: That is incorrect my Lord.
Q: I am putting it to you finally that you were not qualified to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections for the Jomoro constituency?
A: That is incorrect.


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