The Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed the applications of Assin North Member of Parliament (MP), Joe Gyaakye Quayson and the MP for Jomoro, Dorcas Affo Toffey.
The two embattled MPs have been fighting their dual citizenship cases after they won their parliamentary elections in the 2020 elections.
In each of the cases, the applicants are challenging their qualifications to contest the 2020 elections with both basing their applications on Article 94 (2) which spells out the qualifications of an MP.
In the case of the Assin North MP, his appeal was for a stay of proceedings after the trial Judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye, dismissed earlier, an appeal for stay of proceedings. Unfortunately for him, the Appeals Court he turned to also dismissed the application.
Counsel for the petitioner raised a preliminary objection to the motion for stay of proceedings on the grounds that the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction to grant motions for stay of proceedings since C.I. 132 has revoked rules 27A and 28 of C. I. 19 which were the rules upon which the Court of Appeal could grant an application for stay of proceedings.
Counsel for James Quayson, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah, argued that per the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of The Republic v. High Court; ex parte Magna International Transport Limited [2017-2018] 2 SCLRG 1024*, the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to grant an application for stay of proceedings is two-fold: Inherent jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal; and Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal based on rules 21, 27, 27A and 28 of C. I. 19.
He explained that the Court of Appeal’s power to stay proceedings doesn’t mean that the Court of Appeal can no longer grant applications for stay of proceedings. He submitted that it only means that the court’s power to grant applications for stay of proceedings is now based only on the inherent jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.
The panel of three judges unanimously dismissed the application of the applicant for a stay of proceedings.
The judges then advised counsel for the applicant to test the law at the Supreme Court in respect of his contention that despite the revocation of rules 27A and 28 of C. I. 19 by C. I. 132, the Court of Appeal still has inherent jurisdiction to grant motions for stay of proceedings.
The MP for Jomoro, on the other hand, had also filed an application to stay execution of the High Court’s order on her to produce documents evidencing the renunciation of her alleged Ivorian citizenship.
Lawyer for the Jomoro MP, Godwin Edudzi Tameklo, says his client [the MP for Jomoro] has never pleaded any such document so the High Court erred in ordering the said MP under Order 21, rule 8(1) of C. I. 47 to produce a document which the said MP never pleaded.
The Court of Appeal subsequently, dismissed the application for stay of execution with no award of cost. The Court further directed the applicant to apply to the Electoral Commission of Ghana for a copy of the statutory declaration she attached to her documents when she filed her nomination to contest the election.
The court stated that these documents can be taken from the Electoral Commission and given to the petitioner in fulfilment of the High Court’s order to produce documents.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to give its ruling on Tuesday in an application filed by the Assin North MP.
The MP invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the interpretation of Article 94 (2) and to quash the orders of the trial Court Judge because the judge did not allow oral submissions in the case before him.
Meanwhile, the High Court in Cape Coast has slated Wednesday, 28th July for Judgment in the Assin North MP’s case.