MyJoyOnline.com

Group threatens to sue Zabzugu MP elect over dual citizenship

With three days to the swearing-in of the seventh Parliament, tension is brewing in Zabzugu Constituency in the Northern Region over the claim that the Member of Parliament (MP)-elect holds dual citizenship.

Alhaji Umar Alhassan is being pressurised by some residents of his constituency to resign for allegedly being a citizen of the United States.

A group calling itself In Defense of Zabzugu says documents available to it revealed the incoming MP has a U.S passport which contradicts the 1992 Constitution.

Article 94 of the Constitution spells out the qualification and eligibility criteria for MPs. Nationality and age are two key qualifications for an MP.

Individuals with dual citizenship cannot contest for an MP position.

Article 94 (2) states: "A person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he - (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana."

The group says it would sue Alhaji Alhassan in court to have him deposed, adding it would also address a petition to the Electoral Commission (EC).

But the MP-elect in an interview with Myjoyonline.com Tuesday dismissed the allegation.

He accused defeated New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for the constituency, Jabaah John Binnam for being behind this fictiotious allegation.

Alhaji Alhassan claimed the NPP candidate is using some surrogates to attack him on the issue when they know it is false. "What kind of allegation is this?" he asked.

"I don't hold American citizenship. I am a Ghanaian," he told Myjoyonline.

Asked what he believes might be the cause of the rumor, he said the defeat he handed Mr John Binnam in the December 7, 2016 polls is to blame.

"I beat him at the election [because] I had my ideas," he said.

In his response, the NPP candidate said he has heard of the issue in the community, adding those peddling the information have facts to support it.

"I don't have any information but people said they have it and are ready to prove it," he said, adding the MP-elect has to handle the issue in a matured way.

"If he is not aware he should go and ask he is a public figure and by that anybody at all can dig and find issues about you," he said.

Mr John Binnam described as pitiful the MP-elect's claim that he has found it difficult to move past his election defeat.

"Between you and myself he never defeated me and has never defeated me and in due course it would be shown to the entire public," he said. "His winning wasn't genuine [and] the case will soon come up."