The opposition National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Dorcas Affo-Toffey, was the subject of an intense cross-examination at the Sekondi High Court on Monday, October 10, 2022.
The MP, whose citizenship at the time of filing her nomination for parliamentary election is being challenged in court, was subjected to questioning over documents of her Ivorian citizenship renunciation presented to the court.
Counsel for the petitioner in the case, Bright Agyekum, sought to present to the court that the MP’s attempt to allude to the documents renouncing her Ivorian citizenship is nothing less than an afterthought.
Challenging the MP’s testimony, Mr Agyekum argued that the documents of renunciation alluded to by Dorcas Affo-Toffey did not exist before the commencement of the trial against her.
The lawyer for the petitioner referenced a letter dated January 24, 2019, in which the MP wrote to the Attorney General of Ivory Coast that she was renouncing her citizenship.
The lawyer further mentioned another letter dated January 29, 2019, in which the Ivorian Attorney General’s Office acknowledged receipt of the letter issued by the Jomoro MP on January 24, 2019.
“I am putting it to you that both letters were complete afterthoughts,” Mr. Agyekum is quoted in a report by Dailyguidenetwork.com in his argument that Affo-Toffey did not qualify to run for the Jomoro seat as MP in 2020.
The petitioner’s lawyer also questioned Dorcas Affo-Toffey on why she had to remind the Ivorian authorities in March and April 2021 about her intention to renounce her citizenship way back in 2019.
The defendant, in response, said she was minded to do so because of the case in court.
“So the Ivorian authorities issued you with an attestation on April 12, 2021,” the petitioner’s lawyer further questioned, to which the MP responded in the affirmative.
Bright Agyekum further said that the stamp appearing on the documents attached to her witness statement was not an original one emanating from the Ivorian Justice Ministry, but the MP disagreed with the assertion.
In her case, Madam Affo-Toffey alluded that her Ivorian citizenship renunciation was automatically effected by her showing of interest in doing so. This, she said, was provided for in Article 48 of the Ivorian Nationality Code.
But the petitioner’s lawyer, during his cross-examination of the MP, suggested that the provisions she alluded to do not cover her.
“I cannot answer. I will leave it with my lawyer to answer that question,” she responded.
A resident of the Jomoro Constituency, Emuah Kofie Nuba-Mpataba, in 2021 filed a suit accusing Dorcas Affo-Toffey of not being a Ghanaian citizen at the time of filing her parliamentary contest nomination.
According to the petitioner, the NDC MP, by the provision of Ghana’s electoral laws, was not qualified to contest in the 2020 parliamentary election because she held dual citizenship.