By a unanimous decision, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court yesterday declared the election and swearing-in of James Gyakye Quayson, the former Member of Parliament of Assin North, unconstitutional.
The panel, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse consequently ordered the Speaker of Parliament to expunge the name of Mr Quayson from the records of Parliament.
Justice Dotse said the full reasons would be filed at the registry of the Supreme Court on June 7.
Mr Michael Ankomah-Ninfa, a resident of Assin North sued the former lawmaker and joined the Electoral Commission (EC) as a party in grounds that Mr Quayson did not renounce his Canadian citizenship at the time he picked nomination forms to contest the 2020 Parliamentary election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The applicant, first went to the Cape Coast High Court and on July 28, 2021, the court declared the Parliamentary election held in the Assin North Constituency on December 7, 2020, a nullity, and ordered the Electoral Commission (EC), a defendant in the case, to conduct fresh election.
Not pleased with the High Court decision, the accused appealed at the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast, but even before the court made pronouncement on the matter, the applicant, Mr Richard Takyi-Mensah, filed a motion at the SC, and asked a seven-member panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse to order the lawmaker to stop holding himself as MP.
In the course of proceedings before the Supreme Court, the Attorney-General filed criminal charges against Mr Quayson at the Accra High Court.
On February 16, the court presided over by Justice Mary Nsemkyire granted GH¢100,000 bail for alleged forgery, perjury and giving out false information.
Lawyers of the former MP led by Mr Tsatsu Tsikata argued that their client did not violate the constitution. Mr Tsatsu filed motions to challenge several decisions of the court in the course of proceedings but was unsuccessful.
Mr Ankomah-Nimfah wanted the apex court to hold that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, at the time the EC opened nominations for people to file to contest the Assin North parliamentary seat, Mr Quayson was not qualified to contest.
He further asked the court to declare that the EC breached Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution when it allowed Mr Quayson to contest the parliamentary election in Assin North when he owed allegiance to another country.
Mr Quayson polled 17,498 votes, as against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, in the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election.
On December 30, 2020, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the eligibility of Mr Quayson to be an MP.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA