Ghana: Supreme Court restrains NDC MP from holding himself as lawmaker
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana’s Supreme Court has by a majority decision ruled that the Member of Parliament for Assin North James Gyakye Quayson cannot continue holding himself out as a lawmaker for the constituency. The seven-member panel of the Apex Court in a 5-2 ruling said the application from the plaintiff Michael Ankomah Nimfah succeeds, therefore, the MP on the NDC side of Parliament is restrained from holding himself out as an MP for the area.
While Justice Agnes Dordzie and Nene Amegatcher dissented, Jones Dotse, as Court President, Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi granted the application. This ruling would affect the minority group in a legislature that has been described as a hung parliament considering the numbers representing both sides.
The Supreme Court had on March 8, 2022, ordered the legislator to file his defense in the case after losing in a 6-1 ruling. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to serve him, the court contended that, the MP has been sufficiently given notice of the case against him after it directed for the publication of the writ in the dailies.
It was the argument of counsel for the embattled MP, Mr Tsikata that, the seven days period given by the court for the Daily Graphic’s publication as per the orders in a substituted had not elapsed. But the Supreme Court said, the postings of the process in his house and notice boards of High Court and Supreme are enough to bring the matter to the attention of the MP regardless of the publication in the Graphic.
The panel on February 22, directed that court processes be brought to the attention of the MP through a publication in the Daily Graphic newspaper and posting on the wall of the Supreme Court in Accra, the High Court in Cape Coast and the residence of the MP.
This was after the plaintiff through his lawyers filed the case against the MP, told the court all attempts to give the MP court documents have proved unsuccessful. After hearing the parties, the court said, “We agree to adjourned to 29 and hear the review motion panel to be constituted by the CJ and depending on the outcome, the substantive interlocutory injunction will be heard.
NDC legal Team
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal Team for the unseated Assin North Member of Parliament (MP), James Gyakye Quayson’s says they “vehemently” disagree with the ruling by the Supreme Court restraining Mr. Quayson from holding him as MP for the area.
Speaking to the media after the Supreme Court ruling, a former MP and member of the NDC legal team, Baba Jamal described the ruling as sad development for the constituents who would be denied representation. According to him, the ruling means the people of Assin North will be deprived of an MP until the matter is entirely resolved. “The Supreme Court has given its ruling, but we vehemently disagree with their position. It is a sad day for all of us. What it means is that Assin North is also not going to have representation in Parliament for as long as this case lasts. That is a sad situation,” he stated.
“There are precedents in this country. We all remember the case in Ayawaso West Wuogon where the lady was allowed to be in Parliament until the final determination of the case. So we thought that the Supreme Court would consider that situation and allow the representation to continue. But our legal team will meet and officially know the next step to take” the lawyer added.