SC unable to hear injunction application against Assin North MP
Supreme Court was unable to hear an injunction application filed against the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson, due to the failure to serve the writ and other processes on him.
Mr. Quayson’s election in the 2020 general elections was annulled by the Cape Coast High Court, after which an appeal was filed and still pending.
Mr. Quayson is said to continue to hold himself out as a Member of Parliament after having been sworn in on the 7th of January 2021, contrary to an earlier injunction order against him.
The plaintiff subsequently went to the Supreme Court to seek to enforce the orders of the High Court, and also to seek an interpretation of Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 constitution.
The said provision prohibits persons holding allegiance to other countries from holding certain offices, including the office of Members of Parliament.
But, when the Court convened on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, its Registrar, Mathew Antiaye, told the Court that two attempts had been made, on Friday, January 28, 2022, and on Monday, January 31, 2022; to serve the processes on Mr. Quayson.
He said on the first attempt, the processes were addressed to the Clerk of Parliament, but the Clerk declined receipt and advised that it should be served through the Speaker.
On the second attempt at service, according to the Supreme Court Registrar, the Secretary to the Speaker of Parliament informed the Court bailiff, Haruna Nelson, that the Speaker was out of the jurisdiction and could not receive the processes.
The Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, however, argued that it was wrong to have attempted service through Parliament since the status of James Gyakye Quayson had already been determined by a Superior Court.
He observed that the disputed Member of Parliament should have been served through personal service and not through Parliament.
Supreme Court Judge, Jones Dotse, noted that the plaintiff/applicant should have aided the Court in the Service of the processes to avoid the turn of events.
Constrained by the development, the Court adjourned the matter sine dine (indefinitely), ordering the plaintiff/applicant to assist the Court Registrar to directly serve the processes on Mr. Quayson.
Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party’s Director of Elections, Evans Nimako, speaking to journalists after proceedings, denied claims that this was an effort to reduce the number of NDC MPs in Parliament to pave way for an easy passage of the controversial e-levy bill.
The 7-member Court was composed of Justices Jones Dotse, as President, Nene Amegatcher, Getrude Torkonor, Yoni Kulendi, Agnes Dordzi, Mariama Owusu and Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu.