A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court yesterday, in a unanimous decision, declared the election and swearing-in of the embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, as unconstitutional, null and of no effect.
The Court again, in the ruling, ordered Parliament to expunge his name from its records as a Member of Parliament.
Presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, the apex court of the land held that Mr Gyakye Quayson was not qualified to contest for the position of a MP at the time of filing his nomination forms ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, without proof of him renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
The Court further held that the Electoral Commission (EC) erred when it allowed him to contest the Assin North constituency seat in the 2020 general elections.
Absent in court
Meanwhile, the time the case was called before the Supreme Court, the embattled lawmaker was absent from court but present with legal representation, led by Tsatsu Tsikata, when the verdict was pronounced.
The Supreme Court, in April last year, injuncted the disgruntled Mr Quayson from holding himself as the Member of Parliament for Assin North.
“The MP is restrained from holding himself as MP for Assin North and restrained from attending Parliament to conduct business on behalf of Assin North,” the presiding judge ruled.
A petitioner and resident of the constituency, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, had asked the court to rule that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, at the time Mr. Quayson filed his nomination form in October 2020 to contest the 2020 parliamentary election, he was not qualified to become an MP.
The Constitution provides that a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana
Mr. Quayson, in spite of a High Court judgment that declared his election as MP in the 2020 parliamentary election unconstitutional, continued to hold himself as a Member of Parliament, and was seen attending sittings of the House and carrying out his parliamentary duties.
Aggrieved with his actions, the petitioner in the High Court action, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking an order to injunct Mr. Quayson. He further sought an interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution of the republic, which states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana”.
The injunction order of the Supreme Court will remain in force until the final determination of the application seeking interpretation of Article 94 (2a). The Cape Coast High Court had already restrained Mr. Quayson from holding himself as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North.