Private Legal Practitioner, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, has revealed that constitutional officeholders in the country are barely injuncted, indicating that the decision to injunct the embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, Gyakye Quayson, has created a constitutional “crisis”.
Mr Tamakloe explained that the move to injunct the Assin North MP has created a vacuum where there should have been none. He noted that injuncting Gyakye Quayson from exacting his duties in parliament leaves the people of Assin North without a substantive representative.
“The Supreme Court is the forum for dealing with Presidential elections. Have you ever seen in any Presidential election where allegations of constitutional breaches, violations of our electoral laws are made that the President is injuncted? Have you seen that before? We’ve had [more than] two Presidential elections in this country. Have you seen the mere filing of a petition against a President that he has been injuncted from performing that function? This is an electoral dispute. There is sound policy reason why you don’t injunct the President. In fact, for constitutional officeholders they’re barely injuncted…Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe
The private legal practitioner iterated that until “this writ is determined”, the people of Assin North are going to be left without representation, further questioning how the gap will be filled.
Judgement of Assin North MP case
Meanwhile, a CDD Fellow, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, expressed that there is some level of procedural confusion in the judgement injuncting the Assin North Member of Parliament, Jame Gyakye Quayson, from performing his Parliamentary duties. He opined that the Cape Coast High Court had no reason for granting the injunction which has been enforced by the Supreme Court.
Mr Asare emphasized that in granting the injunction, the High Court had sought to interpret Article 94(2)(a), an action which is the reserve of the Supreme Court, and had further added timelines to the Article.
“There is this injunction because the Plaintiff has issued a writ at the Supreme Court asking for the interpretation of Article 94(2) (a). The Plaintiff is saying he doesn’t understand Article 94(2) (a) and so the Supreme Court should help him understand that. But there is a judge somewhere in Cape Coast who has interpreted Article 94(2) (a) and told the Plaintiff ‘hey Plaintiff, I’m going to grant you all your reliefs.’ And the Supreme Court is sitting there saying ‘well yes, we don’t understand Article 94(2) (a) but we’re going to interpret it’”.Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare
The CDD fellow explained that “we think it is okay for some High Court judge not only to interpret it but to issue and grant injunctions, setting aside the wishes of voters’, when there is a law that voters decisions must be entreated with the highest level of deference and they are not to be set aside willingly”.
Mr Asare, in exposing the loopholes of the judgement, indicated that to cancel an election in a jurisdiction, one must show that at the time of the election, the person was not qualified.
“So, regardless of what the Supreme Court will tell us one week or whenever they want to tell us, there’s just no ground for the High Court judge to have determined that: one, he’s going to interpret Article 94(2) (a); two, he’s going to put his own timelines in Article 94(2) (a) [and] three, he’s going to injunct the MP”.Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare
Commenting on the trial held in Cape Coast High Court, Mr Asare revealed that there was really “no trial”. He indicated that the High Court simply took the arguments of the two parties, went to “Wikipedia and copied some phrases from Wikipedia and based on that ruled that the MP owed allegiance to Canada”.