Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Joe Gyaakye Quayson, has filed a motion at the Supreme Court seeking to quash the decision of the Court of Appeal on the interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 Constitution.
The MP, represented by his lawyers at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast on Monday, indicated that he had invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over the decision of the Court of Appeal to allow legal arguments to be made before any reference of a constitutional question to the Supreme Court could be made or otherwise.
The said constitutional question bothers on article 94(2a) where the MP for Assin North believes requires constitutional interpretation. There’s been various controversies over when the said provision kicks in, but the MP insists the Supreme Court has never interpreted that particular constitutional provision and should be given the deference to do so.
While the petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, believes at the time of filing to contest the 2020 elections, the MP, Joe Gyaakye Quayson, did not satisfy the constitutional requirement because he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship, the MP, on the other hand, argues otherwise.
He believes, once he got his renunciation certificate before the voting process, and before being declared MP-elect and subsequently getting sworn in, the constitutional requirement has been satisfied.
On July 28, 2021, the Cape Coast High Court declared the Assin North Constituency 2020 Parliamentary election organized by the Electoral Commission (EC) null and void.
The court, presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye said Mr. Quayson, did not renounce his Canadian citizenship before he filed his nomination to contest the Parliamentary election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and thus, ordered the EC to organize a fresh election in the constituency.
Following the Judgment of the High Court, lawyers for the Assin North MP filed for a stay of execution pending the appeal of the substantive case.
The Court of Appeal on the 13th of December, 2021, dismissed two applications, one of which includes a constitutional question that bothers on article 94 (2a).
The court, in its orders, invited legal arguments from the parties but counsel for the Assin North MP, Tsatsu Tsikata disagreed with the court. In his view, the court should have allowed the constitutional question that has been raised to be referred to the Supreme Court before any legal arguments could be made.
But the court on the 13th December, 2021, dismissed the suggestion from the MP’s lawyers.
On Monday, when the Court of Appeal was ready for the determination of the Stay of Execution filed by the Assin North MP, Mr. Tsikata drew the court’s attention to the fact that a motion has been filed at the Supreme court to quash the decision of the Court of Appeal.
Counsel for Michael Ankomah Nimfah, Frank Davies disagreed with Mr. Tsikata that the stay of execution, the business for that day, could not be heard because a motion had been filed at the Supreme Court. To him, such a motion does not operate as a stay of proceedings and prayed the court to conduct the day’s business i.e the determination of the Stay of Execution.
After a brief legal argument between the two parties, the court decided to stay proceedings and adjourned the case on the determination of the stay of execution to the 21st of February, 2022 because the return date for the Supreme Court decision on the motion filed by the Assin North MP was on the 8th of February, 2022.
Representative of the petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, Richard Tachie-Mensah, in an interview with the media said, the tactics being employed by the Assin North MP is just to delay the legal process and allow the MP more time in Parliament.
He stated: “The wheel of justice grinds slowly but sometimes, the slowness ought to be checked. Nonetheless, whatever tactics they are playing would certainly come to an end and justice would be duly served.”