Hearing of the criminal case against the ousted MP for Assin North, Gyakye Quayson, is expected to resume on June 16, 2023, for cross-examination of the first witness of the State to continue. The case of alleged perjury, among others, was adjourned on May 24.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has fixed June 27, 2023, as the date to hold a by-election in Assin North to elect a new MP to replace Mr Quayson, whose election and subsequent swearing-in as MP for the area have been declared as unconstitutional, null and void by the Supreme Court.
The NDC has signaled that it may present the same person as its candidate for the upcoming by-election.
As part of its ruling, Supreme Court directed that the name of the ousted MP should be removed from the records of Parliament.
Even though the election petition case is over, the woes of Mr Quayson are not over, as he faces the charge of perjury, among others. Perjury is a second degree felony, and carries a punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Mr Quayson is before the High Court on five charges, including deceit of a public officer, contrary to section 251(b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29). He has also been charged with forgery of passport or travel certificate, contrary to section 15 (1) (b) of the Passport and Travel Certificate Act, 1967 (NLCD 155), for and knowingly making a false statutory declaration, contrary to section 5 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1971 (Act 389).
Other charges are perjury, contrary to section 210(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and false declaration for office, which is contrary to section 248 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
According to the charge sheet, the accused person, somewhere in July 2019, with the intent to facilitate the acquisition of a Ghanaian passport, deceived the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by making a false statement that he did not have dual citizenship.
In July 2019, he also allegedly made a false statement that he did not have dual citizenship for the purpose of procuring a passport, a statement he knew to be untrue at the time of making it.
On count four of the charges, he is being prosecuted for making a false statement on oath that he did not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana, even though he carried a Canadian citizenship at the time.
The ousted MP is also facing the court for knowingly using a declaration that he did not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana to secure a public office as a Member of Parliament.
“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 2nd August 2019,” states the A-G in the charge sheet.
According to prosecution, before the 2020 general elections, the accused person picked up nomination forms to contest the position of MP for Assin North, at a time he was both Ghanaian and a Canadian citizen. As dual citizen, he was disqualified, under Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, from becoming MP.
It explained that in part (IV) of the nomination forms of the EC, the accused person used a statutory declaration he had sworn to before the District Court Registrar at Assin Fosu stating that he did not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana. He further went ahead to file his nomination forms with the false information in the statutory declaration.
Prosecution further pointed out that the accused person was issued a Certificate of Renunciation of his Canadian citizenship about 40 days after he had made the false statutory declaration and filed his nomination forms.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) received a petition from the complainant reporting these actions of the accused, leading to investigations against him on January 14, 2021.