Supreme Court tells registrar: serve Assin North MP in person

The Supreme Court has ordered its registrar, Matthew Antiaye, to ensure that the MP in question, James Gyakye Quayson, is served in person

A seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse has ordered the registrar of the court to ensure that the embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, is served in person with an action instituted at the court, seeking interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution.

The Cape Coast high court had issued a judgment in an election petition filed against Quayson, challenging the constitutionality of his election because, at the time of filing nominations, he held Canadian citizenship in addition to his Ghanaian citizenship. This is contrary to Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution, 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 high court ruled that Quayson’s election was unconstitutional, null and void. It further ordered the MP to cease holding himself as the MP for Assin North and ordered the Electoral Commission to take steps to hold fresh elections in the constituency.

The MP has since challenged the high court decision at the Court of Appeal and the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has refused to declare the seat vacant pending the Appeal Court decision.

Frank Davis, counsel for the applicant (the New Patriotic Party), told the Supreme Court that both the Clerk to Parliament and the Office of the Speaker of Parliament have refused to accept service of the court action.

To this end, the Supreme Court ordered its registrar, Matthew Antiaye, to ensure that Quayson be served in  person. The court subsequently adjourned sitting sine die to allow the service to be completed and to afford the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, to empanel the judges to hear the case going forward.


On 6 January 2021 Justice Boakye issued an interlocutory injunction against Quayson, restraining him from holding himself as the MP-elect for Assin North until a final determination of the election petition.

This, in effect, barred the MP from being sworn in.

However, Quayson showed up in Parliament the same day to vote to select the Speaker of Parliament, and to be sworn into office as an MP.

The Clerk to Parliament initially refused to allow him to take part in the election for a Speaker, but the NDC parliamentary leadership argued that Quayson had not been served with the court order and that he was, therefore, not aware of any injunction restraining him from holding himself as the MP-elect.

After much argument, the Clerk to Parliament allowed Quayson to vote and to be sworn into office, with the caution that Quayson would bear the consequences of the action.

The Cape Coast high court also overruled an objection by lawyers for Quayson, seeking to have the presiding judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye, recuse himself from the case which sought to annul the MP’s election.

Wilberforce Asare

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