The Accra High Court, Criminal Division, has yesterday granted a bail in the sum of GHC100, 000, with a surety, to the embattled NDC Member MP for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson.
He pleaded not guilty to the five criminal charges when he appeared before the court after criminal summons had been issued against him on the last adjournment date.
The Attorney General is pursuing Mr. Quayson with the charges of deceit of public officer, forgery of passport or travel certificates, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury and false declaration for office.
When the case was called yesterday, the MP denied any wrongdoing in all the five charges levelled against him, and was admitted to bail in the sum of GHc100, 000 with a surety to be justified. He was also ordered to deposit his passport with the Registrar of the court.
The court refused a request from his counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata, to refer what he considered to be constitutional issues arising from three of the charges to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Mr. Tsikata drew the court’s attention to the Police granting his client self-recognisance bail after penning down his statement, admitting that self recognisance bail is the appropriate bail conditions for the accused person.
A Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, however argued that even though prosecution did not oppose the grant of bail, “it is our fervent prayer that he is not granted self-recognisance bail in view of what has happened.”
“We also suggest that he deposits his passport with the Registrar of the honourable court. We propose reasonable conditions of two public servants as sureties to ensure accused avails himself,” he prayed the court.
The court, presided over by Justice Mary Nsenkyire, ruled in favour of the Deputy A-G, and directed that the accused person’s plea be taken.
The court also ordered the prosecution to file all disclosures, witness statements it intends to rely on for the case within three weeks and have same served on the accused.
The court then adjourned the case to March 15, 2022.
According to the brief facts of the case, the accused person, James Gyakye Quayson, is the Member of Parliament for Assin North. The complainant, Richard Takyi-Mensah, is a teacher and a resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region.
According to the prosecution, July 26, 2019, the accused person signed an application form for a Republic of Ghana passport, and indicated that he was a Ghanaian, and did not have a dual citizenship.
The accused, at the time, held a Canadian citizenship issued on October 30, 2016, but failed to declare same on the application form. The prosecution added that the passport application of the accused person was vetted on July 29, 2019.
“Based on this false information, together with the other information provided by the accused person on the passport application form, he was issued with a Ghanaian passport, number G2538667 on August 2, 2019,” the facts indicate.
The brief facts also stated that “before the 2020 General Elections of Ghana was conducted on December 7, 2020, nominations were opened between October 5 and the 9, 2020. The accused person picked up nomination forms to contest for the position of Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency.
“The accused person at the time was a Ghanaian and a Canadian citizen, making him a dual citizenship holder” the brief facts stated. He was therefore disqualified under Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to be a Member of Parliament.
“In part IV of the nomination forms of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the accused person used a statutory declaration which he had sworn to on October 6, 2020 before the District Court Registrar at Assin Fosu stating that he does not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana.
“The accused person further went ahead to file his nomination forms on October 8, 2020 with the false information in the statutory declaration.
“Based on this false information, together with other information provided by the accused person in the nomination forms, his nomination was accepted by the Electoral Commission,” the prosecution noted.