Supreme Court orders substituted service on Assin North MP

Source The Ghana Report

The Supreme Court has given the green light for a writ of summons against the Assin North MP James Quayeson to be published in the newspaper.

This was after a seven-member panel of the apex court granted a motion for substituted service in the case of the disputed Assin North legislator.

Several attempts to serve the legislator with the court processes, seeking to stop him from holding himself as MP for Assin North, proved futile, thus the substituted service.

The court directed that the writ of summons be published in the Daily Graphic and deemed valid after seven days. The same will be published at the residence of the MP.

It would be recalled that a resident of Assin Breku, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, had filed an interlocutory injunction against the Assin North MP at the apex court after the Cape Coast High Court nullified the December 2020 parliamentary results for the area.

The court said the MP weakened his case when his renunciation certificate showed November 26, 2020, less than two weeks to the general elections.

Per court records, Mr Quayson had two citizenship certificates at the time of filing.

He still had his Canadian citizenship when he filed for parliamentary elections between October 5 and October 9, 2020, meaning the NDC MP was not qualified when he applied to compete for the Assin North seat.

Per the judgment at the High Court on 28 July 2021, the MP was expected to step down as legislator for the constituency for a fresh election to be held.

But the MP to date continues to parade himself as the substantive MP despite the judgment of the Cape Coast High Court, the plaintiff argued.

The Cape Coast High Court is yet to hear an appeal filed by Mr Quayson to challenge the ruling.

How it all started

A private citizen and a resident of Assin Berekum, Micheal Ankomah Nimfah, filed a suit at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the qualification of Mr Quayson as the MP for the area.

The plaintiff, a mason, averred that when Mr Quayson filed his nomination, he was still holding onto his Canadian citizenship and failed to denounce his citizenship as required by law.

Ghana’s laws bar dual citizens from holding public offices in Ghana.

In freezing the MP’s right to be in Parliament, the judge said: “the allegation contained is of grave nature, and he could not hold himself as MP.”

Also, the NDC MP-elect did not have the renunciation certificate to present before the court to confirm that he had indeed renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Although court documents showed the MP received his certificate on November 26, at the time he filed his nomination, he did not have the requisite qualification.

NPP strategy 

On December 23, 2020, the governing New Patriotic Party sought to trigger a by-election by challenging the eligibility of James Quayson to contest in the Assin North parliamentary elections, but he won.

Legal practitioner, Gary Nimako, asked the Ghana Immigration Service to confirm if the NDC MP-elect had renounced his Canadian citizenship before the December 7 parliamentary elections.

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