The day-to-day hearing of James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament for Assin North has begun after the High Court in Accra dismissed his latest motion to halt the trial pending application he had filed at the Supreme Court.
This was after the court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh held that, there is no order from the courts above to halt the trial.
EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah who is in court is reporting that, following the dismissal of the motion, the First Prosecution witness Richard Takyi-Mensah, has mounted the box for further cross examination to continue.
On July 14, lawyers of Assin North Member of Parliament (MP) James Gyakye Quayson indicated to the court that they had filed fresh application at the Supreme Court in the nature of Certiorari and prohibition.
Per the motion, they want the apex court to quash the High Court’s ruling on June 16 refusing his request for prosecution to provide them with further disclosures and also prohibition orders against the trial High Court judge from continuing with his trial until appeals sought are determined.
The Legislator – who had pleaded not guilty to five charges including perjury and had been granted bail.
Also, following the refusal of their motion for Stay of Proceedings pending appeal on Tuesday, July 11, he also repeated the motion at the Court of Appeal scheduled for July 19.
Lead Lawyers Tsatsu Tsikata while arguing stated that they demanded from the prosecution further documents to enable to fully understand charges against them and to properly mount defence.
But, on June 16, that request was turned down and it is one of two reasons the lawyers had moved to the apex court.
Mr Tsikata also told the court that, they have repeated the motion for Stay of Proceedings at the Court of Appeal and want the trial court halt proceedings until the courts above determined the outstanding issues.
“We have filed an application for a stay of proceedings that has been set for Wednesday the 19th of July at the Court of Appeal. We have also filed in the Supreme Court, a motion invoking the supervisory jurisdiction for an order directed at this court to quash the decision made on the 16th of July and another to prohibit the court from proceeding with the case,” Lawyer Tsikata explained.
But, the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, opposed to the request while accusing the defence of using applications to delay the trial.
While urging the Court to proceed with the trial, the Attorney General argued that neither the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal has issued any order halting the trial.
“Respectfully, the prayer before you is without any basis. And I am not surprised he has not referred you to any rule of law. It is an attempt to deny the court the right to hear the case.
“It is an attempt to prevent the continuation of the trial and I pray the court to disregard the request,“ he stated.
Minority MP’s support
As previously advertised, some of the minority MPs in Parliament led by Minority leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and his Deputy Minority Speaker Emmanuel Armah Boah are in court.
Others include Francis Xavier Sosu, Sampson Ahi, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, Dzifa Gomashie among others.
Also from the Majority in Parliament, Kweku Ofori Asiamah and Peter Mac Manu among others from the New Patriotic Party.
The legal team of James Quayson led by Mr Tsikata also Justin Teriwajah while the Attorney General led a team including Deputy AG Alfred Tuah Yeboah to court.
The Legislator has pleaded not guilty to deceit of the Public officer, forgery of passport or travel certificates, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury and false declaration for office
James Gyakye Quayson is standing trial for perjury, forgery and other counts of criminal nature pertaining to his Ghanaian passport and eligibility to contest in the 2020 general elections.
The Republic’s case against Hon. Gyakye Quayson is that he lied on his passport application form filled on July 26 that he was not a dual citizen and that he held only Ghanaian citizenship.
This was in spite of the fact that he was yet to renounce his Canadian citizenship issued on 30th October 2016.
Further to this infraction against the law, Hon. Quayson also submitted forms to the electoral commission declaring that he only held allegiance to the Republic of Ghana.
This was despite knowing that the application to renounce his Canadian citizenship had not yet been granted by the time he filed his eligibility papers with the electoral commission on or between 5th and 9th October 2020.
Richard Takyi, a resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region prayed a High Court in Cape Coast to cancel Hon. Gyakye Quayson’s electoral victory because he was not eligible to have taken part in the elections.
The matter travelled all the way to the Supreme Court which upheld the ruling of the Cape Coast court. The apex court of the land subsequently ordered Gyakye Quayson to be removed from Parliament occasioning a by-election.
The National Democratic Congress in spite of the criminal prosecution he faces repeated him as the candidate for the election which he won. He has since been re-sworn in as the Member of Parliament for Assin North while his trial proceeds.