Assin North MP files two motions at Cape Coast of Appeal

The Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, Mr James GyakyeQuayson, has filed two motions at the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast, to stay the court’s earlier decision to strike his appeal and re-list the appeal.

MrQuayson’s appeal challenging the annulment of his election by Cape Coast High Court was struck out by the Appeals Court, Cape Coast, a month ago, over breach of procedural rules.

Weeks after the decision of the Appeals Court, Cape Court, the Supreme Court, speaking through Justice Jones Dotse barred the Assin North lawmaker from holding himself out as MP pending the final determination of a suit challenging his eligibility as MP.

The 5-2 majority decision of the Supreme Court was an interlocutory injunction filed by Mr Michael Nimfa, a resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region.

It was the considered opinion of the apex court that serious constitutional breaches would occur if MrQuayson was not restrained until the court decides otherwise.

In the instant action filed before the Appeals Court, Cape Court, the applicant argued that the court has the power under Rule 27 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1997 (C.I. 19) to stay the execution of its decision. 

He said there were “serious errors of law in the decision of the Court of Appeal on March 22, 2022” and that “if a stay is not granted in respect of that decision, it would amount to the Court of Appeal being allowed to infringe the Rules of the Court under which it is required to operate as well as to ignore binding decisions of the Supreme Court and fundamental rules of natural justice with impunity, and thus undermining fundamental tenets of constitutional governance and the rule of law.”

Mr Quayson contends that “if the execution of the High Court decision is not stayed, there would likely be a multiplicity of suits in respect of the representation in Parliament of the people of the Assin North Constituency as the applicant would challenge any attempt to hold a by-election in the constituency while the applicant has been gazetted and sworn in to represent the said constituency.”

“That if the Court of Appeal decision striking out the appeal is not stayed, success in the re-listing or the interlocutory appeal could be rendered nugatory because the judgement of the High Court and the striking out of the appeal by the Court of Appeal would have taken effect.” 

On July 21, 2021, the Cape Coast High Court annulled the December 7, 2020 Assin North Constituency Parliamentary election and ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct fresh election.

MrNimfa, the petitioner, alleged that the legislator failed to renounce his Canadian citizenship at the time he picked nomination forms to contest the December 7, Parliamentary election.

Mr Quayson is facing criminal prosecution at the Accra High Court for alleged forgery and deceit of public officer.

He had been granted bail in that case and currently pursuing his appeal of the Cape Coast Court High Court decision at the Court of Appeal Cape Coast.

In the substantive suit before the Supreme Court, Mr Nimfa is seeking an interpretation of article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution 1992, for the court to determine whether or not the MP owed allegiance to Canada at the time he picked nomination forms to contest the election.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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