SC lacks jurisdiction to entertain writ to invalidate Assin North parliamentary election – Lawyers

Lawyers for the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, on Wednesday filed a supplement to their statement of case in the Supreme Court (SC).

The Assin North MP had been given 14 days to file a supplement to his statement of case by the SC, but filed it a day after, and had written to the Registrar of the court to have the case listed before the legal vacation in August.

His lawyers insist that the SC lacked jurisdiction to entertain the originating writ seeking to invalidate the Assin North 2020 Parliamentary elections. 

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for accused, argued that the SC had held in several cases that it has no jurisdiction to entertain a case of the nature filed by the defendant, Michael Ankomah-Ninfa, a member of the New Patriotic Party. 

Mr Tsikata, therefore, urged the court to strike out the originating writ. 

“The broad ground of the application to strike out the writ is that, this court lacks jurisdiction as determined by previous decisions of this court,” the supplement statement of the case filed for the embattled MP, Mr Quayson, indicated.

It said “The first aspect of this grounds, which is referred to in paragraph 5 and 6 of the affidavit in support of the application is that this court has previously decided that by virtue of article 99 of the Constitution and section 16 of the Representation of People Act (PNDCL 284).”

The statement said the SC has no jurisdiction to entertain a suit that involves invalidating the results of a parliamentary election.

It said “Even if dressed up as an invocation of the original jurisdiction of this court under article 130 or a suit for enforcement of the Constitution under article 2, this court does not have jurisdiction,” relying on the case of Yeboah v JH Mensah, Bimpong-Buta vrs General Legal Council, among others. 

 The defendant has also prayed the court to list the case before vacation.

 It said “In view of the obvious urgency of this case, particularly its significance for the representation in Parliament of Ghanaians in the Assin North Constituency, we respectfully ask the case be listed before the vacation.”

Mr Quayson, NDC candidate got 17,498 votes representing (55.21per cent) and Abena Durowaa Mensah, NPP candidate had 14,193, representing (44.79 per cent ) in 2020 elections. 

However, the court was petitioned to null the election on grounds that Mr Quayson holds a dual citizenship, of which he has denied as factual. 

 Mr Ankomah-Ninfa, a teacher and resident of Yamoransa, in the Central Region, had filed an interlocutory motion and urged the SC to bar Mr Quayson from holding himself out as MP.

His application originated from the decision of the Cape Coast High Court, dated July 21, 2021, that nullified the 2020 Assin North Parliamentary election because Mr Quayson, a Canadian citizen, failed to renounce his Canadian citizenship at the time he picked nomination forms to contest the election.


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