A Cape Coast High Court has ordered lawyers in the dual citizenship case of Assin North MP to submit their proposed issues to enable hearing of the election petition to begin.
A resident of Assin North, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, in a petition is praying the court to disqualify the MP for Assin North, Joe Gyakye Quayson because he held dual citizenship at the time of filing his nomination to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections. The Court on Wednesday also ordered the lawyers for the parties involved in the election petition to be present in court on the adjourned date.
The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, on December, 6, applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the MP from being sworn in and holding himself as such. His request was granted by the court but the MP-elect then was subsequently sworn in to be part of the 8th Parliament of the 4th of Republic.
In the present petition, that’s the substantive case challenging his qualification to be an MP, the petitioner intimates per Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, the Representation of the people law, Act 284 and the C1 127, the MP was not qualified at the time of filing to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections and should be disqualified.
Counsel for the MP had argued in the earlier injunction case that it is not at the time of filing to contest that should be used to disqualify a candidate but once the application to renounce the citizenship of the MP was set in motion, it was deemed to be effective. They construe that it is at the time of being sworn as the MP that the law applies.
In court on Wednesday, lawyers for both the 1st and 2nd respondents were not present. In fact, lawyer for the MP, Abraham Amaliba had written to the court praying the court to fix the case in mid-April.
But the presiding Judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye stated, he was in control of the petition hearing and it is not a party to an election petition that should determine when they would want to be in court. He subsequently ordered all parties to the petition to be present at the adjourned date of 24 and 25th of March and submit their proposed issues for the hearing of the case.
The presiding judge gave the indication to the parties present that he would want an expeditious hearing of the petition and thus the parties to the case should cooperate to ensure an expeditious hearing.
On the 24 and 25th March, the lawyers would be in court to iron out their disagreement as far as the issues that would be set down for the hearing of the case is concerned.
One of the issues that would be set down for the election petition would be whether or not the qualification criteria for who an MP is applies at the time of filing his nomination or at the time of being sworn in as a Member of Parliament.