The Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson, has accused the Akufo-Addo government of interfering in his daily trial.
During the campaign period for the Assin North by-elections, the then-candidate, James Gyakye Quayson, was ordered to face a daily trial.
He had been commuting from his constituency to the court on a weekly basis until the trial was moved to a daily basis.
The Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, argued that, given the charges against Quayson, he could be convicted and jailed if found guilty, hence the need for an expeditious trial.
In a letter, James Gyakye Quayson formally requested that the General Legal Council (GLC) initiate disciplinary measures against the Attorney General.
Quayson’s request stems from allegations of professional misconduct levelled against Dame in the context of his ongoing criminal trial in the High Court.
During an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Face to Face on Citi TV, the legislator stated, “The daily trial began during the 2023 campaign. I interpreted it as an attempt to prevent me from campaigning and winning the seat. That was the best they could do. I never believed that the government could be involved in the judiciary, but now I am convinced.”
“An AG can just walk into court and request that the file be moved. Before, it was mostly every two weeks, but suddenly they say I have to come every day. In fact, I was on the campaign trail. I went from my constituency to court from 12pm to 2pm, and then I was back in my constituency by 4pm to campaign until about 11pm.”
He admitted that the daily trial put some pressure on him, but it did not affect his chances of winning the seat.
“During the elections, the pressure of the daily trial was there, but that daily trial didn’t work. I even joked that they could give me a chamber in the court, and I would still win the seat. I didn’t have to be on the grounds,” he asserted.
Asked if he was not afraid of ending up in Nsawam prison, he said, “Why should I be? I believe in the justice system. The fundamental issue in any judicial matter is whether or not the person intended to commit the crime. Did he plan it? I have not planned anything of the sort.”
“My strongest conviction is that this is just a matter of time, when you believe you have done the right thing, you shouldn’t be afraid. I trust the court will deliver a very much positive verdict, I trust my lawyers, I trust the conscience of the people”.
He disclosed that he had been using his dual citizenship since 2009.
“You get your dual citizenship through the Ministry of Interior, where you bring your Canadian passport and that of Ghanaian passport, and then they give you a green certificate, which is your dual citizenship. From 2009 till the time I became just solely a Ghanaian, I was travelling from Ghana to Canada, without a visa.
“The Ghanaian authorities recognise me as a dual citizen person, so how can the same person be applying for or renewing his passport, and you say I don’t have any other nationality? It doesn’t make sense. Unless they also don’t check their own records. So I don’t fear going to jail at all,” the MP stated.
The High Court in Accra on Thursday adjourned to July 4 an application for a stay of proceedings of the criminal trial of the newly elected Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson.
The trial judge, Justice Mary Yanzuh, said the adjournment was because the court had not received the full complement of the application documents.
The lawyers for Mr. Quayson argue that the application is to stay proceedings in the High Court so that the Court of Appeal can determine whether or not the High Court was right to rule that Gyakye Quayson’s criminal trial be heard on a daily basis.
Mr. Quayson, who was representing the Assin North constituency after the 2020 polls, was kicked out of Parliament after the Supreme Court directed Parliament to expunge his name from its record.
Mr. Quayson was dragged to court for having dual citizenship.
A by-election organised later in the Assin North constituency was won by Mr. Quayson.