General

Plaintiffs only seeking reliefs of same subject-matter under guise of invocation – Assin North MP’s lawyers tell Supreme Court

Lawyers of the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson have prayed the Supreme Court to throw out an application that they see as a needless duplication of efforts geared towards restraining the legislator from performing parliamentary duties.

According to one of his lawyers, Justin Teriwajah, the application filed by a resident of the constituency, Michael Ankomah, only regurgitates the reliefs of same issue being heard by other panels under the pretence of invocation.

This is contained in documents filed on behalf of the MP at the Supreme Court on April 12, 2022.

He explained to the court that the “plaintiff is not engaged in a genuine quest for an authoritative interpretation from this court of a constitutional provision.”

“Rather, under the guise of an invocation of the original jurisdiction of this court he is seeking reliefs which are the subject-matter of the pending suits in the lower courts, as well as this court.”

The court will on Wednesday, April 13 deliver a major ruling.

A Cape Coast High Court in July, 2021, nullified the election of Mr. Quayson after it found that he owed allegiance to Canada at the time of filing his nomination forms to contest the polls.

Mr. Nimfah, who filed this election petition, in January, 2022 initiated another action urging the Supreme Court to give effect to the Cape Coast High Court Judgement and prevent a further breach of the Constitution by restraining the MP.

However, lawyers for Mr Quayson say this development is tantamount to an abuse of power.

“The writ filed invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is simply an abuse of the process of court,” he added.

“What Plaintiff is seeking in the election petition that he instituted against the 1. Defendant is clearly the process that this court ought to have him continue pursuing as against this new suit.”

The legal team, comprising Tsatsu Tsikata and Justin Teriwajah, say forum shopping and manipulation of judicial process cannot be a justification for the ousting of an individual who contested and won an election after gaining 54.19% of valid votes cast.

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