As a number of constituents of Bawku Central in the Upper East Region reel in utter shock, following the High Court ruling disqualifying the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Hon. Adamu Daramani-Sakande, on the premise of his reported dual citizenship status, indications are that the fight is far from over.
The MP has not only filed for a stay of execution of WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s judgment and for leave to file defence; but has also written to the Speaker of Parliament on his intention to contest the judgment to refrain him from holding himself as MP.
The appeal, filed on 16th July 2009, by Egbert Faibille Jnr of [email protected], solicitors of the MP, and
slated for Wednesday 22nd July 2009, stated that the court ought to have exercised the ruling in his favour.
Hon. Daramani said the court had the duty to investigate all allegations made by Sumaila Bielbiel Naba, the plaintiff, including that of dual citizenship and fraud and determine them on merits, and not as default judgment.
He further contended that the court failed to take evidence on the allegation that he holds a British passport, and prayed that he should be heard in that direction.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am further advised by council and verily believe same to be true that one of the cardinal principles of natural justice is that a man must be heard before he is condemned, which principle is in jeopardy if this Honourable court does not exercise its discretion in my favour by granting this application so as to enable me file my defence to enable this action be determined on its meritsÃ¢â‚¬Â.
According to him, part of the reasons why he could not furnish his defence was that certain relevant information he requested from his UK solicitors had not reached his lawyers in Ghana, and expressed his preparedness to prevent a situation where he would be bound by a judgment which he had no opportunity to contest on its merits.
It would be recalled that soon after the December 2008 general elections, one Sumaila Bielbiel Naba, a Kumasi-based Bawku citizen, filed a suit against the MP of Bawku Central on the grounds that he was not a Ghanaian, and thus did not qualify to be an MP.
But in his statement of defence, the elected Bawku MP vehemently denied every material allegation in the plaintiffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statement of claim.
He noted that the fact that he was qualified to contest the 2008 election, for which he was duly elected and sworn-in, raised a clear presumption that he is a Ghanaian.
In a related development, the Presidential Press Secretary and former Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, has given strong indications he would contest the seat in the event of a bye-election in the constituency.
Speaking to Joy Fm from far away Egypt, where he is on a trip with the President, the former MP said it would be difficult for him not to contest in case of a bye election.
He told the stationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s correspondent, Steve Anti, that he knew from day one that Hon Daramani was not a Ghanaian.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The case against him is very strong. The evidence is overwhelming. I have personally sighted documentation that clearly shows that he is not a Ghanaian,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ayariga insisted.
Latest developments in the matter indicate the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is girding its loins to drive the Bawku MP out of Parliament if he dares set foot in the house today.
Even though today is the last day for the house to rise, the Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, told Joy Fm yesterday that Hon Daramani would be kicked out if he goes there.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As of now, he ceases to be a member of the house. If he attempts taking his seat, processes will be put in place for the Marshall to take him outÃ¢â‚¬Â, he said.
But the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, felt the judge erred in his ruling because he Ã¢â‚¬ËœrushedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ to give judgement.
DAILY GUIDE has gathered that Daramani has already informed the Minority Leader of his intention stay away from parliament in the wake of the brouhaha.
Meanwhile, some residents of Bawku Central had since Wednesday expressed shock at the ruling, saying it is a recipe for hostilities in the volatile area.
According to them, some of the violence in the municipality is election-related, and were therefore worried that the relative peace could be jeopardized.
They said Bielbiel Naba, a resident of Kumasi, had failed to appreciate the existing relative peace in the area, adding that he only wanted the town to be in flames as it is noted for.
By Bennett Akuaku