A National Democratic Congress lawyer, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, has suggested that prosecuting the Assin North MP on charges of deceit of public officer, forgery, among others, is evidence of political mischief.
Making his case on The Point of View, Mr. Tamakloe rubbished assertions that the MP, James Quayson, was guilty of these charges brought on because of contentions over his dual citizenship status ahead of the 2020 elections.
He argued that the suit against the MP was initiated by a citizen and not the Electoral Commission.
“How come the Electoral Commission is not the complainant if they were indeed deceived,” Mr. Tamakloe asked.
The lawyer also noted the challenges the New Patriotic Party side in Parliament was facing because of limited numbers.
In addition to the suit challenging the election, the State is also going after him on charges 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.
“This is an Executive arm which is challenged in Parliament, and part of the tools available to the Executive is prosecution.”
“We all know the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney General can be weaponised for political mischief purposes,” he added.
Also on the show, a New Patriotic Party lawyer, Gary Nimako, insisted that the Attorney General was doing a good job and that the legal challenges against Mr. Quayson would be pursued to the end.
“Let us allow the Supreme Court to deal with this matter as he has taken it there… One way or the other, we will see whether they are right or we are right,” he said.
The Cape Coast High Court in the Central Region had declared the 2020 parliamentary election held in the Assin North Constituency as null and void because Mr. Quayson breached the provisions of the constitution with regard to dual citizenship.
Mr. Quayson subsequently appealed the judgment, at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast.
Article 94 (2) says a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.
Michael Ankomah-Nimfa, a resident of Assin Bereku in the Central Region, filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court seeking to annul the declaration of Mr. Quayson as the MP Assin North.
In November 2020, a group calling itself ‘Concerned Citizens of Assin North petitioned the Electoral Commission in the Central Region to withdraw the candidature of Mr. Quayson, arguing that he owes allegiance to Canada.