The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday (13 April 2022) that James Gyakye Quayson cannot hold himself as the Member of Parliament for Assin North in the Central Region.
The seven-member panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse reached a 5:2 majority decision to injunct Quayson, whose position as an MP has been in dispute since he assumed his seat in January 2021, from going to Parliament.
Justices Jones Dotse, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu and Yonny Kulendi were the five Supreme Court judges who granted the injunction application, while Justices Agnes Dordzie and Nene Amegatcher dissented.
“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.
Question of allegiance
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 his parliamentary duties.
Displeased with his actions, the petitioner in the high court action, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, 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 James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North.
On Wednesday 28 July 2021, Justice Kwasi Boakye also ordered for fresh parliamentary elections to be held in the constituency. This followed a parliamentary election petition brought to the Cape Coast high court by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, 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, a resident of Assin North, 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. Such an act, he argued, was against the express provision of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284).
Quayson has since been fighting under the law to set aside the high court decision.