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19.02.2009 Social News

Court rejects Asabee's application for extension of time…over his citizenship eligibility

By Ivy Benson - Ghanaian Chronicle

Stories by Ivy Benson The challenge of the Ghanaian citizenship of the former Minister for Information and National Orientation, Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng still lingers on before an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC), which yesterday struck out an application filed by the former Minister requesting for an extension of time to enable him provide particulars of the renunciation of his British citizenship to the court.

The decision of the court, presided over by Justice Samuel K.A. Asiedu, followed a request by the plaintiff, Mr. Kweku Y. Paintsil, a legal practitioner, to strike out the request of the defendant since his application had been long over due, after exhausting a week's ultimatum provided by the court.

The court further awarded a cost of GH¢400.00 against Mr. Asamoah Boateng, alias Asabee, who also lost his bid to retain his seat as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Mfantseman West Constituency, during the recent general elections.

Asabee had indicated to the court that he would provide proof of his renunciation of his British citizenship as ordered by the court, but failed to do so.

Mr. Paintsil is further challenging Asabee in court over the latter's eligibility to stand as an MP, as well as be appointed as a Minister.

Mr. Kweku Paintsil is claiming that by the laws of Ghana, Mr. Asamoah Boateng could not be eligible to context for parliamentary elections or become a Minister of state, if he still holds on to his British citizenship, stressing that the defendant's claim of subsequent renunciation of his British citizenship does not restore him to Ghanaian citizenship.

Plaintiff further raised issue that the NPP primary conducted at Mfanstiman West Constituency that elected the former Minister as the party's candidate was fraudulent, adding that the process was conducted on a holiday.

According to plaintiff, the conducted of the primary breached the rules and regulations of the NPP and should therefore be annulled.

However, “Asabee”, in his affidavit indicated that he had renounced his British citizenship in 2002, and was therefore eligible to stand for elections in the country as a Ghanaian.

The former Minister's nationality became a matter of concern, pushing the plaintiff, who was a competitor in the constituency's primary election to file a suit against the NPP, Mr Peter Mac Manu, National Chairman of the party, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, constituency parliamentary candidate in the recent general election, the executives of the constituency as well as the Municipal electoral officer for breaching the code of conduct and the representation of the peoples laws.

Plaintiff also challenged the conduct of the Mfantsiman West constituency primary of the NPP on May 26, 2008, which was on a public holiday, stressing that the activity was invalid.

The court would also deal with whether or not the conduct of the primary was flawed, and rendered a nullity as a result of fraud and bribery allegation made against the exercise.

The trial will also determine as to whether or not the former Minister for Information and National Orientation retained his Ghanaian citizenship after acquiring a British citizenship, in addition to whether or not the former Minister had actually renounced his British citizenship.