General News Wed, 9 Feb 2022

Supreme Court orders investigations into alleged assault on bailiff by bodyguards of Assin North MP

Assin North MP has been charged with forgery, perjury

He is also charged with deceiving a public officer

The MP's bodyguard has been accused of assaulting a bailiff

The Supreme Court has expressed readiness to probe the alleged assault of a Court bailiff, Joshua Baming, by the bodyguards of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson.

This was after the registrar of the court, Matthew Antiaye told the justices of the apex court, headed by Justice Jones Dotse, that following the failure of both the Clerk to Parliament and the Office of the Speaker's refusal to accept service of the court action, the bailiff, Joshua Banning was sent to serve the writ of summons directly to the MP’s office.

Justice Dotse gave this directive while ruling on the substantive matter of the court’s inability to serve Mr. Quayson with the summons. The report by the Court Registrar will subsequently be given to the Chief Justice, Justice Anin-Yeboah, for investigations to begin.

Other members of the panel who sat on Tuesday included, Nene Amegatcher, Gertrude Torkonor, Yoni Kulendi, Agnes Dordzi, Mariama Owusu, and Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu.

The Supreme Court Registrar, Matthew Antiaye, on Tuesday, told the seven-member panel about how, Joshua Baming was thrown out of the office of the Assin North MP, by the legislator’s bodyguard.

On separate occasions, court officials at the Supreme Court and prosecutors at the High Court have pointed out their inability to find the MP to hand him court processes. The action at the Supreme Court is among other things, seeking to restrain the MP from performing Parliamentary duties. There is another criminal case in which the MP is accused of forgery and perjury.

A Cape Coast High Court in July 2021, ruled that Mr Quayson was not eligible to contest the 2020 polls as he held dual citizenship at the time of filing. Mr. Quayson has since been fighting to set aside the matter currently pending at the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court had earlier ordered that the court process be served on the MP through the address stated on the case filed by Private citizen Michael Nimfah who initiated the action against the MP.

This address is the MP’s private residence in the constituency. The Supreme Court Registrar said an attempt was made to serve the MP at this address but a caretaker of the place is said to have told the bailiff that the MP has travelled and had no idea when he will be returning.

On the botched attempt in Parliament, the Registrar said the bailiff met the MP but the MP refused to be served and asked his bodyguard to throw the bailiff out of his office.

This order, according to the Registrar, was carried out.

The case was then adjourned to March 1, after the lawyer for the private citizen, Frank Davies said an application for substituted service will be made to the Apex Court if the bailiffs are still unable to serve Mr Quayson with the documents.

The MP, James Gyakye Quayson had been charged with forgery perjury and also deceiving a public officer and knowingly making a false declaration.

“The brief facts of this case are that the accused person James Gyakye Quayson is the Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency. The complainant, Richard Takyi-Mensah is a teacher and a resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region of Ghana.

“On 26th July 2019, the accused person signed an application form for a Republic of Ghana passport. In the application form, he indicated that he is a Ghanaian and does not have a dual citizenship. The accused at the time held a Canadian citizenship issued on 30th October 2016 but failed to declare the same on the application form. The passport application of the accused person was vetted on the 29th of July 2019.

“Based on this false information together with the other information provided by the accused person on the passport application form, he was issued with a Ghanaian passport, number G2538667 on 2nd August 2019.

“Again, before the 2020 General Elections of Ghana was conducted on 7th December 2020, nominations were opened between the 5th and the 9th of October 2020. The accused person picked up nomination forms to contest for the position of Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency. The accused person at the time was a Ghanaian and a Canadian citizen, making him a dual citizenship holder. Therefore, he was disqualified under Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to be a Member of Parliament.

“In part IV of the nomination forms of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the accused person used a statutory declaration which he had sworn to on 6th October 2020 before the District Court Registrar at Assin Fosu stating that he does not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana. The accused person further went ahead to file his nomination forms on 8th October 2020 with the false information in the statutory declaration. Based on this false information together with other information provided by the accused person in the nomination forms, his nomination was accepted by the Electoral Commission.

“He contested for the position and subsequently won the seat. The accused person was issued a Certificate of Renunciation of his Canadian citizenship dated 26th November 2020, about forty-eight days after he had made the false statutory declaration and filed his nomination forms.

“On 14th January 2021, the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department received a petition dated 11th January 2021 from the complainant in which the complainant reported these actions of the accused, leading to investigations against him. In his cautioned statement to the police, the accused person claimed that at the material time, he honestly believed that he did not owe allegiance to any other country. The accused person was subsequently charged with the offences in the charge sheet.

“It is based on these facts that the accused person, James Gyakye Quayson has been arraigned for trial.”
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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