The lawyers for embattled former Assin North MP, Joe Gyakye Quayson have filed a Notice of Appeal in Cape Coast, following the annulment of the 2020 Parliamentary election.
According to the lawyers, the decision of the Cape Coast High Court was not based on settled laws and was in clear violation of the 1992 constitution.
They want the appeals court to overturn the decision of the High Court.
The Cape Coast High Court last Wednesday ruled that Mr. Quayson, at the time of filing his documents to contest the election in Assin North, still held allegiance to another country other than Ghana.
The Court thus cancelled the said election, ordering a re-run of the poll in Assin North, and, consequently, prohibited James Quayson from holding himself out as Member of Parliament for the area.
In an affidavit in support of the motion, lawyers for the embattled MP said the judge did not also appreciate that the matter of owing allegiance to a country other than Ghana is not the same as having citizenship of another country in addition to that of Ghana.
The document noted that the judges attempt to determine the matter of Canadian law by himself and quoting from a Canadian statute on citizenship without taking evidence on the Canadian law as to allegiance, was in clear error”.
“I am advised by counsel and verily believe that the framers of both article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution and section 9(2)(a) of the Representation of People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284) expressly differentiated disqualifications arising from, for instance, owing allegiance to another country other than Ghana, from qualifications, such as Ghanaian citizenship and registration as a voter, under article 94(1)(a) of the Constitution and section 9(1)(a) of the Representation of People Act, respectively.”
Lawyers of the MP argued: “Indeed, the issue of the interpretation and enforcement of article 94((2)(a) in respect of owing allegiance to a country other than Ghana is a matter that the High Court ought to have referred to the Supreme Court under Article 130 (1)(a) and 130(2) of the 1992 Constitution and the refusal or failure of the High Court to do so vitiates the purported decision.”
The MP stated that the EC which conducted the election, including making a determination that he was not disqualified from being a candidate, acted properly and within its powers in all the steps that it took, particularly when an attempt was made to have him disqualified.
The appellant’s lawyers indicated that the EC duly considered and determined the petition brought against him having regard to the Constitution and laws of Ghana and declared me eligible to contest the election.
The MP for this reason, argued that the decision of the High Court was wrong and undermines the constitutional role of the EC.
The affidavit further stated: “That if a stay of execution is not granted until the determination of the appeal, it would amount to the High Court being allowed to infringe upon the 1992 Constitution and statutes and ignore binding decisions of the Supreme Court with impunity, thus undermining fundamental tenets of constitutional governance and the rule of law from the time of the clearly erroneous decision until the hearing of the appeal”.
Source: Kofi Yirenkyi