Accra Supreme Court stops Assin North MP James Quayson, from performing parliamentary duties
The Supreme Court has, in a majority 5-2 decision, ruled that Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, can no longer perform Parliamentary duties.
This is until the case filed against the Assin North MP at the Supreme Court has concluded.
A Cape Coast High Court in July, 2021 nullified the election of Mr Quayson after it found he owed allegiance to Canada at the time of filing his nomination forms to contest the polls.
Michael Ankomah Nimfah, a resident of the constituency who filed this election petition in January, 2022, initiated another action at the Supreme Court.
He urged the Court to give effect to the Cape Coast High Court Judgement and prevent a further breach of the constitution by restraining the MP.
“If he continues to be in Parliament, he will still be in breach of the constitution. The people of Assin North have been saddled with an unqualified person for far too long“ Lawyer for Mr Nimfah, Frank Davies told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 5, 2022.
Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame took a similar position on the matter. He insisted there cannot be any debate that the continuous stay of the legislator in Parliament is a persisting breach of the constitution that cannot be allowed to fester.
“On account for the uncontroverted facts of this case. It clearly indicates that the Court is faced with the patent case of unconstitutionality each passing day,” Mr Dame said.
Lawyers for the MP led by Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed.
Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata questioned the basis of the application pointing out that it was procedurally improper. He insisted the rules of the Supreme Court do not provide for such an injunction application.
He argued that a party wanting this remedy ought to instead make a request to the Supreme Court for the Court to decide what steps the party ought to take.
“The motion purports to be brought under the High Court rules. This is not the High Court. And the Supreme Court rules under rule 5 make provisions for where no express provisions are made for certain rules the Court shall prescribe such practice. A request ought to be made,” Mr Tsikata said.
The Court adjourned proceedings to April 13, 2022, to deliver its ruling.
On Wednesday, April 13, the Court said Mr. Quayson should no longer hold himself as MP or present himself in Parliament.
Justices Dordzie and Nene Amegatcher held the minority view.
“The application succeeds. The MP is restrained from holding himself as MP for Assin north and restrained from attending Parliament to conduct business on behalf of the people of Assin north.
“The restriction remains until the final determination of the substantive matter. We direct that the case hearing be expedited,“ Justice Dotse ruled.
The case was heard by Justices Jones Dotse, Agnes Dordzie, Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkonoo, Prof Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Emmanuel Y. Kulendi.