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I would have slapped NPP executives who call for Gyakye Quayson to contest - Obiri Boahen

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Sat, 3 Jun 2023 Source:

Nana Obiri Boahen, former Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has criticized the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for allowing James Gyakye Quayson, the former Member of Parliament for Assin North, to contest in the upcoming by-election despite facing criminal charges in the High Court.

Obiri Boahen expressed his dissatisfaction, stating that if such a scenario were to occur within the NPP, he would personally confront party executives.

Gyakye Quayson, who recently had his name expunged from parliamentary records by the Supreme Court, has been hauled before the High Court for criminal-related offences, however, the NDC leadership has stated that he will be contesting in the upcoming Assin North by-election.

Speaking in an interview with Okay FM on June 2, 2023, Obiri Boahen questioned the decision of the NDC to support Quayson's candidacy, highlighting that no serious-minded politician would allow a candidate with pending criminal charges and a recent disqualification from parliament to run for election.

"Gyakye Quayson is facing about ten crimes at the High Court," Boahen remarked. "Sometimes when I argue with some NDC leaders, then I get sad and cry for Mother Ghana and Africa. Look, yesterday I listened to Sammy Gyamfi, and he was saying he is very happy that Gyakye Quayson is still coming to contest, and I also listened to a different network where their Deputy General Secretary was talking, and some of his words got me shaking my head."

He added: “... and I am saying that if I, Obiri Boahen, were to witness such a scenario in the NPP whereby they would have allowed him to contest again, the way I would have gone to give some slaps to all the leaders of the NPP, I would slap them because for the Supreme Court to declare that one of our candidates was not qualified at the time of contesting and at the same time the said candidate is facing trial at the High Court, facing several counts and maybe NPP executives will say let him go and contest again, I would have gone to slap all of them…because no serious-minded politician will encourage this kind of thing.”

On May 17, the Supreme Court directed Parliament to remove James Gyakye Quayson's name as a Member of Parliament. The apex court ruled that Quayson was ineligible to assume the role of an MP as he did not qualify at the time he contested the 2020 election. The court's detailed reasoning behind the decision will be made available on June 7, 2023.

Currently, Mr. Quayson is facing multiple criminal charges, including deceit of a public officer (contrary to section 251 (b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29), forgery of a passport or travel certificate (contrary to section 15 (1)(b) of the Passports and Travel Certificates Act, 1967, NLCD 155), knowingly making a false statutory declaration (in contravention of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1971, Act 389), perjury (as per section 210 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29), and false declaration for office (against section 248 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29).

The Supreme Court issued this order in response to a writ filed by Michael Ankomah-Nimfa seeking the court's interpretation of Article 94 Clause 2a of the 1992 Constitution, which addresses the eligibility of a person to contest as a Member of Parliament in Ghana.

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