Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stated that the Judge who ruled in the Assin-North court case between Electoral commission and Joe Gyekye Quayson has erred both in law and in fact.
Speaking at a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday July 28, the Tamale South Member of Parliament has opined that the courts are now being used to tilt the balance of power in Parliament following the equal numbers being controlled by both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“We in the Minority remain unshaken, we are confident that this is our seat and will remain our seat. We will contest the ruling. The judge erred both in law and in fact. It is a travesty of justice and that is worrying. We don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured. The courts of Ghana have become forums being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power.”Haruna Iddrisu, NDC Minority Leader
However, he emphasized that both the NPP and NDC have equal representation in parliament. He thus, accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of trying to use the court to win majority seats in Parliament.
“We are equal, 137-137. What is happening is the courts now being used to weaken time tested historical notion of checks and balances. Justice must not only be done, but must be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”Haruna Iddrisu, NDC Minority Leader
Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye speaking to the media after the court ruling, said the cancellation of the Assin North parliamentary election results by the Cape Coast High Court is a victory for rule of law.
“Today is another victory for rule of law. This is a petition that was filed by our own friend Michael Ankomah-Nimfah. Today the court, after almost six months has upheld our position and the petitioner’s position for that matter.
“We had repeatedly said Honourable Quayson at the time of filing his nomination to contest as an MP was a Canadian and also a Ghanaian.”Henry Nana Boakye, Private Legal Practioner and NPP member
However, Mr Alex Segbefia, a private legal practitioner for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) disagreed with the court. He maintained that this is a matter that the Supreme Court has to make pronouncement.
“If they nominate a judge to be in any position when does he become judge? At the point of nomination? Is it when he is sworn in? So, there are three separate dates and this is a matter we think the Supreme Court has to actually rule on.
“There is a time of filing and there is a time of election. In this particular case, when the elections took place, was he a citizen of this country or not? Then, there is also a time of when he actually swore that he is a Member of Parliament.”Mr Alex Segbefia, Private Legal Practioner and Member of NDC
Meanwhile, the Court presided by Justice Kwasi Boakye on Wednesday July 28, annulled the 2020 parliamentary election result of the Assin-North Constituency. The court subsequently slapped a cost of GHc10,000 on Electoral Commission and GHc30,000 on the Gyekye Quayson who until this ruling was the Assin North MP.
However, unless there is an appeal to overturn this decision, the Electoral Commission will have to use huge sums of tax payers’ money to conduct fresh elections in a constituency where a lot of people struggle for 3-square meals.