Embattled Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson

A Cape Coast High Court has set July 14, for judgment in the Assin North MP’s case.

A resident of Assin North, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, petitioned the Court that the MP for the Constituency, Joe Gyaakye Quayson, did not qualify to contest the 2020 Parliamentary elections because he held dual citizenship: Ghanaian and Canadian, at the time of filing to contest.

The case has been ongoing for close to three months, and on Monday, the Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye announced the day for judgment after all ancillary matters had been dealt with.

Before the Court adjourned sitting, Justice Kwasi Boakye dealt with two motions that had come before him: the application for Stay of Proceedings and application for the MP’s lawyer, Abraham Amaliba, to withdraw his services.

Abraham Amaliba began his submission by saying he had no clue whether the MP has still not been served.

The judge asked him to enquire from the Court registry, and after he did, he indicated on June 10, there were two attempts to serve the MP, but the attempts were unsuccessful because he was not available to receive it. Officials of the registry were informed that Parliament was in session.

Counsel for the petitioner, Frank Davies, told Abraham Amaliba, “you’re a lawyer engaged by the MP, your client, to prosecute the case on his behalf. If you intend to withdraw your services, I would have thought the same way you were engaged would be the same way you would use in your withdrawal.

“You communicate with him because you stand in for him, why should communicating to him that you can no longer be his lawyer, be a difficult issue?”

Frank Davies intimated that for the past two months, the story has been that the MP has not been served, and he believes it’s a calculated attempt to delay the case unduly.

He added, “this is an election petition and time is of the essence and we believe in the expeditious trial of the case.”

The judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye, read CI 47 order 75 rule 5(2) and granted Abraham Amaliba his wishes to withdraw from the case. He then dismissed the application for stay of proceedings filed by counsel for the 1st respondent because he found no merit in the application. The Judge subsequently set a date for judgement.

Mr Amaliba applied for a stay of proceedings because one of the issues he considers cardinal was not set down for trial.

The judge also intimated that the MP has been absent from proceedings. He pointed out that in being represented by his lawyer, the MP bears the risk of whatever happens if his lawyer fails to communicate the outcome of court proceedings to him.

After court proceedings, Abraham Amaliba told JoyNews, the judge setting a date to deliver his judgment is irregular because his withdrawal from the case needs to be served on Joe Gyaakye Quayson, his client.

He explained that Order 75 requires that when an order of this nature is made, then the client involved should be served so he takes steps to procure the services of another lawyer who would represent him.

“This order has not yet been served on the first respondent, and so we wait to see whether this order would be served on the first respondent before July 14, when judgement has been scheduled.

“If that is not done, then what happened in court flies in the face of order 75, but as it stands now, I see some indecent haste in this case, but at the end of the day, the rules must be applied, and we must all go by the rules.”

Representative of the petitioner, Richard Tachie-Mensah expressed their side’s happiness about the Court’s decision on on Monday, June 28. He said the delay tactics could not go on unabated and they are happy finality is being brought to the matter

He added, “Let us also bear in mind that this is an election petition and definiteness has to be brought on the issue. The delay tactics cannot be done in perpetuity.

“The people must know the outcome of the case, whether their MP wins or he loses the case, so they could be clear in their minds who would represent them. Thank God that come July 14, finality would be brought on the matter.”