A legal practitioner, Gary Nimako has advised the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to field a new candidate in the event of a byelection in the Assin North Constituency of the Central Region.
The Supreme Court held that James Gyakye Quayson was not qualified to contest for the position of MP at the time of filing his nomination forms in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The court further held that the Electoral Commission erred when it allowed Quayson to stand for the Assin North seat in the 2020 general election when he had not shown evidence of renunciation of his Canadian citizenship.
The NDC has pledged to support the embattled former MP to reclaim the seat anytime a byelection is held.
“The full weight of the party, including the Minority Caucus in Parliament, will be put behind Honourable Quayson so as to ensure an even more resounding victory for him in the upcoming byelection,” Fifi Kwetey, the general secretary of the NDC wrote in a statement.
SUPREME COURT RULING ON ASSIN NORTH CASE
There’s no MP in Assin North as we speak. The foundation on which he put himself to be an MP was weak and the Supreme Court has stated that – Gary Nimako ( Legal Practitioner) #AsaaseABS
— Asaase 99.5 Accra (@asaaseradio995) May 18, 2023
Nimako said that will be suicidal.
“But if I were to advise them [NDC], I would have told them to look for a different candidate and put the person up for elections,” Nimako said on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (18 May).
“The gentleman knew all the way in September to October, at the time of filing, that he has not been given a certificate of renunciation, but he went and fill the EC form that he owes no allegiance to any country than Ghana,” he told host Kwaku Nhyira-Addo.
Listen to Gary Nimako in the attached audio clip below:
The Supreme Court panel, which also included Justices Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Yonny Kulendi and Barbara Ackah-Yensu, announced in court that the full reasons for their decision will be made available on 7 June 2023.
On 13 April 2022 the Supreme Court injuncted James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as the MP for Assin North.
“The MP is restrained from holding himself as MP for Assin North and restrained from attending Parliament to conduct business on behalf of Assin North,” the presiding judge ruled.
Quayson, in spite of a high court judgment that declared his election as an MP in the 2020 parliamentary election unconstitutional, continued to hold himself as a Member of Parliament and was seen attending sittings of the House and carrying out parliamentary duties.
Displeased with his actions, the petitioner in the high court action, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, a resident of Assin North, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking an order to injunct Quayson. He also sought an interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution of the republic, which states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana”.
The injunction order of the Supreme Court will remain in force until the final determination of the application seeking interpretation of Article 94 (2a). The Cape Coast high court restrained Quayson from holding himself as the MP for Assin North on the NDC ticket.
On Wednesday 28 July 2021, Justice Kwasi Boakye also ordered that fresh parliamentary elections be held in the constituency. This followed a parliamentary election petition, brought by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah to the Cape Coast high court, seeking to annul the MP’s election.
Quayson polled 17,498 votes, against 14,793 for the New Patriotic Party’s Abena Durowaa Mensah, in the 7 December 2020 parliamentary election.
On 30 December 2020, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast high court, challenging Quayson’s eligibility to be an MP.
He argued that the MP was not eligible because, at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to stand as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada. The act of filing, he argued, was against the express provisions of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284).
Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra
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