Assin North MP loses appeal, runs to Supreme Court

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Lawyers of the now deposed National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Assin North constituency in the Central Region, have filed a fresh application at the Supreme Court.

The application invokes the supervisory jurisdiction of the court to quash the ruling of the Court of Appeal that dismissed their appeal challenging the High Court judgement that annulled the election of James Gyakye Quayson as MP for Assin North constituency.

According to the affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Justin Pwavra Teriwajah, one of the lawyers of the embattled MP, the Court of Appeal’s ruling striking out their appeal was delivered “without jurisdiction as no opportunity was given the “Applicant” as “Appellant” to be heard and to show cause why the appeal should not be struck out”.

“Natural justice was denied the applicant in the proceedings before the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast”.

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“The Court acted entirely unreasonably, unfairly and arbitrarily as well as capriciously in flagrant violation of article 296 (b) of the 1992 Constitution” the affidavit read.

Issues raised
The applicant raised two issues for which, he believes, should have formed the basis for the Court of Appeal not to deliver it ruling to struck out their appeal.

First was errors that were clear on the registrar’s summons with a “purported certificate” of the registrar which was issued and brought before the court under rule 11 (2) of the Court of Appeal rules.

The certificate according to the lawyers of the MP was invalid because of the errors.

The second was a motion that has been filed by lawyers of the applicant seeking to disqualify the presiding judge of the Court of Appeal three-member panel which had been filed in the court and had been fixed for hearing on Thursday 24 March 2022.

The applicant believed that giving consideration to the nature of the disqualification motion that has been filed, the proper course was for the Court of Appeal not to proceed to hear the case until the motion for the disqualification of the presiding judge had been heard.

By court
However, the Court of Appeal panel was of the view that the error complained off was a “clerical error” that can be corrected by the registrar and same was ordered to be done.

On the motion for disqualification, the court ruled that the said application was not before the court at that material moment and so same does not arise for hearing.

The Supreme Court is expected to hearing the latest application of the Assin North former MP on the 13 April 2022.

Background
The Cape Coast high court restrained James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North on Wednesday 28 July 2021.

Justice Kwasi Boakye’s court also ordered for fresh parliamentary elections to be held in the constituency.

This followed a parliamentary election petition brought to the Cape Coast high court by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, seeking to annul the MP’s election.

Quayson polled 17,498 votes against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party’s Abena Durowaa Mensah in the 7 December 2020 parliamentary election.

Quayson polled 17,498 votes against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party’s Abena Durowaa Mensah in the 7 December 2020 parliamentary election.

On 30 December 2020, a resident of Assin North, Michael Ankomah – Nimfah, filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast high court challenging Quayson’s eligibility to be an MP.

He argued that the MP was not eligible because at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to stand as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.

Such an act, he argued, was against the express provision of Article 94 (2)(a) of the 1992 constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284).

Michael Ankomah Nimfah, the resident of the constituency who initiated the action against the MP at the high court, has sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to stop Quayson from performing parliamentary duties.

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