The Minority in Parliament has described as very repulsive the use of the law courts to chop off the number of seats it holds in the legislature.
According to the side, what happened at the Cape Coast High Court regarding the Member for Assin North Constituency is short of using the judiciary to tilt the balance of power and weaken the time-tested historical notion of check and balances.
The Minority argued the judge erred both in law and in fact in annulling the 2020 Parliamentary election results and calling for a by-election.
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, raised these red flags when he addressed the media on the outcome of the court case in Cape Coast where the eligibility of the NDC MP for Assin North, James Quayson Gyakye was challenged.
The MP was accused of holding Canadian citizenship when he filed his nomination to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections.
He said, “It is a travesty. Justice must not only be done but must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”
“What is, however, worrying is that we don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured and have become forums being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power.”
According to the Minority leader, Quayson Gyakye won the Assin North constituency Parliamentary election outright as a citizen born and bred in that community but sojourned to Canada subsequently.
The MP, he said, had renounced his Canadian citizenship and expressly so as far back as 2019 and got his certificate at least before the elections.
According to him, the Minority is unfazed by the judge’s decision and expressed confidence the seat will remain an NDC seat.
“Our first step is to use the same legal processes, legal forum and opportunities available within the constitution. We will contest the ruling,” he stated.
Mr. Haruna noted with shock that even when the Supreme Court advised the defendant and his legal team to file appropriate legal motions for the matter to be referred to the Apex Court, he was denied the opportunity.
According to him, the High Court had surprisingly been locked to prevent the NDC legal team from filing the needed motions.
That, he said, is a repugnant upfront to Mr. Gyakye’s right to a fair trial guaranteed under article 19 of the 1992 Constitution.
“Danger begets our democracy with the developments happening but as I have assured you we remain unshaken, very resolved and cooperation will suffer,” he declared.
In a quick rebuttal, however, the Majority NPP argued the court has vindicated its position because Mr. Gyakye was invalidly elected.
Majority Whip, Frank Annor-Dompreh, who responded to the Minority argued his side raised this matter on 7th January before the swearing-in of MPs into the 8th Parliament.
“Today we have been vindicated because from day one, we had made our point abundantly clear. The member was invalidly elected. Lo and behold, a court of proper jurisdiction has come to make a ruling,” he added.