Gyakye Quayson: We are happy about the Supreme Court’s Decision – NPP

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The New Patriotic Party’s Director of Elections, Evans Nimako, has hailed the Supreme Court’s declaration of the Assin North 2020 parliamentary election as null and void.

In Mr. Nimako’s view, the decision by the apex court is a vindication of the party’s long-held position that Mr Gyakye Quayson was not qualified to be a Member of Parliament since he had dual citizenship prior the polls.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on Wednesday, May 17, ordered Parliament to expunge the name of James Gyakye Quayson from its records as a Member of Parliament for the Assin North constituency.

This follows a judgment of the apex court upholding an application invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the election of James Gyakye Quayson.

Speaking to Citi News‘ Court correspondent, Hanson Agyemang, the Director of Elections for the NPP, Evans Nimako, said the Supreme Court has vindicated the position of the NPP.

He added that the party will meet its legal team and decide on the next line of action.

He added that the NPP is ready for a by-election in Assin North if the Electoral Commission commences processes for same.

“We have always held the position that he [Mr. Quayson] was not qualified, and the Supreme Court has said so. We will meet our lawyers and decide our next line of action.”

Lawyer for the plaintiff, Frank Davies after the court hearing also expressed appreciation indicating that the orders of the court are in line with upholding the sanctity of the constitution.

Background

In November 2020, a group calling itself ‘Concerned Citizens of Assin North petitioned the Electoral Commission in the Central Region to withdraw the candidature of Mr. Quayson, arguing that he owes allegiance to Canada.

James Gyakye Quayson, who stood on the tick of the National Democratic Congress as its parliamentary candidate in the Assin North constituency for the 2020 polls got 17,498 votes representing (55.21%) while Abena Durowaa Mensah, the New Patriotic Party’s candidate had 14,193 representing (44.79%).

Michael Ankomah-Nimfa, a teacher and resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region, subsequently filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court after the election seeking to annul the declaration of Mr. Quayson as the MP Assin North.

The Cape Coast High Court in the Central Region upheld Mr. Akomah-Ninfa’s request and declared the 2020 parliamentary election held in the Assin North Constituency as null and void because Mr Quayson breached the provisions of the constitution with regard to dual citizenship.

Mr. Quayson subsequently appealed the judgment, at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast.

Article 94 (2) says a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.

The matter later was sent to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court dismisses Assin North MP’s application for Article 94 interpretation

The Supreme Court in March 2020 unanimously dismissed an application filed by James Gyakye Quayson to quash a decision of the Court of Appeal not to refer article 94 (2) (a) to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

The five-member panel, also dismissed by a majority decision of 3-2, another application from Mr. Quayson for a stay of appeal proceedings at the Appellate Court and for referral of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

The panel at the time was composed of Justices Gabriel Pwamang as President, Agnes Dordzie, Gertrude Torkornoo, Clemence Honyenuga, and Yonny Kulendi.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to review the constitutional provision that prevents Ghanaians who have dual citizenship from holding political positions in Ghana.

He made this pronouncement when he was delivering his acceptance speech in Tamale after the delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) overwhelmingly endorsed him as their flagbearer with 98.9% of the total valid votes cast during the party’s presidential and parliamentary primaries held on Saturday the 13th of May, 2023.

According to John Mahama, he was of the view that such many Ghanaians while working abroad, contribute their quota to national development through remittances.

He argued that some of them indeed return to Ghana to under projects and also provide services that have proven to be very beneficial to the national economy.

He said the likes of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Manso, who is internationally acclaimed as a renowned surgeon, have done so much for the country after working for many years abroad. He noted that Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has been of immense benefit to the Ghanaians as far as meeting the health needs of the people as well as providing revenue for the nation.

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