James Gyekye Quayson
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has vowed to initiate contempt proceedings against the embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North in the Central Region, James Gyekye Quayson, who has been removed from Parliament.
Last week, the court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, removed Mr. Quayson from Parliament, after being found to be holding dual citizenship in breach of the 1992 Constitution.
The court had found that the Assin North NDC MP was holding both Canadian and Ghanaian citizenship as at the time he was filing to contest the December 2020 general election, which he won.
NPP National Youth Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye, popularly known as Nana B, gave the contempt hint yesterday when he said the embattled MP in flagrant disregard for the court’s order has been carrying himself as the MP for Assin North.
Following the court’s decision, Mr. Quayson has remained defiant, creating the impression that the court’s decision was a subversion of the will of the people in his constituency and called it ‘treacherous.’
He issued a statement last Thursday saying “our massive victory in Assin North on December 7, 2020 was a pure and legitimate one handed over to us by the discerning people of Assin North and we shall resist every attempt to subvert the true will of the people.”
The MP then said “victory from the masses is far superior to the dark machinations of an elite few,” adding “all my beloved constituents should be assured that I am in high spirit and confident that this momentary travesty shall rather make us emerge stronger. So I urge you all not to be worried, neither should you be discouraged – the confirmation of our historic victory beckons. Take heart and be of good cheer; the victory of the NDC and all true democrats shall not be stolen!”
He also said “the solidarity from the rank and file of the NDC and the general public as a whole has renewed my confidence in a brighter future for this country regardless of the treacherous momentary setbacks. As the unimpeachable facts show, I have always been a sincere, loyal, law abiding and patriotic citizen who only set out in good conscience to serve the great people of Assin North with all my heart and with all my capacity.”
Nana B said on Joy FM yesterday that the MP’s statement is in clear disregard of the ruling of the High Court.
“The High Court is a competent court of jurisdiction. The court in its judgment said you’re no more the MP, don’t hold yourself as an MP and clearly the man is saying that to hell with the judgment you gave last week, I am still the MP,” he pointed out.
He then said the NPP would pursue the case, saying “this is a clear contemptuous act, clearly contemptuous act.”
The MP was given a rousing welcome by NDC supporters when he went to the constituency on Monday after the court ruling.
He has since filed an appeal insisting that the Cape Coast High Court made errors in its decision when it heard the case without recourse to the laws of Canada.
He is also, among other things, arguing that the High Court erred in law when it acted outside its jurisdiction and declared that the Electoral Commission (EC) acted unconstitutionally by declaring then NDC candidate fit to contest in the election, which he eventually won on December 7, 2020.
Another angle of the appeal Mr. Quayson is pursuing is the argument that the court breached Article 13(2) of the 1992 Constitution “when it determined the petition without first staying proceedings and referring Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution to the Supreme Court for interpretation.”
The MP is seeking among others, a declaration by the Court of Appeal that the judgment of the High Court delivered by Justice Kwasi Boakye “is void having been issued out of jurisdiction.”
Already, a criminal complaint has been lodged with the police for the Assin North MP to be investigated and tried after losing the seat.
Alex Tachie-Mensah, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Central Regional Secretary, confirmed that he was the person that lodged the complaint against Mr. Quayson, saying he filed the process immediately the civil suit was also filed against the MP by a resident of Assin North Constituency, Michael Ankomah Nimfah.
According to the NPP Regional Secretary, as part of the filing of the nomination forms at the Electoral Commission between October 5 and 9, the NDC MP who has been removed from Parliament on the orders of a Cape Coast court, had lied when he signed a statutory declaration form.
He said Mr. Quayson appended his signature before a judicial officer that he did not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana at the time of filing when he was fully aware that he owed allegiance to Canada at that material time of making the said statutory declaration.
Again, he said Mr. Quayson, in his quest to acquire a Ghanaian passport on July 30, 2019, was asked whether he held a dual citizenship, but he answered in the negative when in fact at the time of filling the Ghanaian passport application forms, he was holding on to the Canadian citizenship.
The complainant said the embattled MP committed perjury per his actions and wants the police to investigate such acts of criminality.
Mr. Gyekye’s case appears to be similar to the NPP MP for Bawku Central, the late Adamu Dramani Sakande, who was jailed over a similar incident and his seat taken from him on the grounds that he held British citizenship.
Adamu Dramani Sakande contested and defeated the NDC’s Mahama Ayariga in the 2008 parliamentary election, but the NDC and Mahama Ayariga instigated a cattle dealer called Sumaila Beilbiel to challenge the MP on the grounds that he was a British.
He went to prison in 2012 for almost two years and was subsequently pardoned by then President John Dramani Mahama.
Mahama Ayariga, knowing that his main competitor was not around, returned to contest the seat and won in 2012, and has been in Parliament ever since.
The convicted MP later left for the UK, where he died subsequently.
By Ernest Kofi Adu