NPP gurus storm Assin North for another by-election as criminal charges file against James Quayson

  Wed, 24 May 2023
NPP NPP gurus storm Assin North for another by-election as criminal charges file against James Quayson

The political scene of the country is set to heat up once again as the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) gears up to contest in another by-election.

This time, the battleground is set at Assin North, in the Central Region where the fight for the parliamentary seat continues following the Supreme Court’s declaration that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) James Quayson’s election was unconstitutional.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin is yet to declare the seat vacant but the NPP which is basking in the in euphoria following the Kumawu by-election election victory says its not leaving anything to chance.

The governing party says it is preparing for the election awaiting the Electoral Commission’s decision to hold another by-election in the area.

With the stakes high, it is expected that both major parties will spare no effort in their bid to secure the seat.

The NPP, in particular, seems to be taking the fight seriously, with the General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, and the National Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye, arriving in Assin North yesterday ahead of the polls.

The two NPP gurus among others had just returned from Kumawu where they retained the seat for the party.

Yaw Anim polled 15,264 votes to defeat the National Democratic Congress candidate, Kwesi Amankwaa, and the two other Independent Candidates.

The NDC's Kwesi Amankwaa managed 3,723 votes while Kwaku Duah (1) had 2,478 votes with the other Kwaku Duah getting only 62 votes.

Last week, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the election of James Gyekye Quayson.

In a unanimous decision a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to expunge the name of Mr Quayson as MP.

It was the considered view of the court that the election of Mr Quayson breached Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution because at the time he filed to contest the elections he was not qualified to be elected as a legislator since he had not renounced his dual citizenship

The court therefore declared Mr Quayson filing to contest, the EC's decision to allow him to contest as well as his swearing-in as MP in Parliament as all unconstitutional, null and void.

The seven-member panel of the court was presided by Justice Jones Dotse, with Justices Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi and Barbara Ackah-Ayensu.

The court said the full reasons for its decision will be filed at the court's registry by June 7, this year.

This follows the case filed by a resident of the Constituency Michael Ankomah Nimfah.

Mr Nimfah had asked the court to rule that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution, 1992 of Ghana, at the time Mr Quayson filed his nomination form in October 2020 to contest the 2020 Parliamentary election for the Assin North Constituency, he was not qualified to contest as a Member of Parliament.

This is because the Constitution does not allow a person with dual citizenship to hold certain public offices, including a Member of Parliament.

Currently, the former lawmaker for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson is back in court facing criminal charges.

He is facing five counts of criminal offences of Deceit of public officer contrary to section 251 (b) of the Criminal offences Act, 1960, Act 29; Forgery of Passport or Travel Certificate, contrary to section 15 (1)(b) of Passports and Travel Certificates Act, 1967 (NLCD 155); and, Knowingly making a False Statutory Declaration in contravention of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1971, Act 389.

He also faces Perjury as per section 210 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29; and False Declaration for Office as against section 248 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29.

-DGN online