The National Democratic Congress (NDC) which was in government when the late New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani Sakande, was jailed after being found guilty of false declaration of office, perjury and deceiving a public officer is hypocritically opposing the prosecution of James Gyakye Quayson, NDC MP for Assin North, over same offence.
Sakande jailed 2 years on July 27, 2012
Mr Sakande was sentenced to two years in prison by a High Court on July 27, 2012.
State files charges against Quayson
The state has charged Mr Quayson with deceit of public officer and forgery of passport or travel certificate.
He has been additionally charged for knowingly making false statutory declaration, perjury and false declaration for office.
Constitution bans dual citizens of becoming MP
Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 Constitution states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana”
NDC alleges politically motivated charges
But, the NDC, led by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, says the criminal action is politically motivated because a civil case is pending before the Appeals Court, as well as the Supreme Court.
Civil case not injunction on criminal proceedings
The Minority Leader, however, did not justify by law how a civil case before the courts amounts to an injunction on filing criminal case against the person.
Case against Adamu Dramani Sakande
In 2008, Mr Sakande was elected to represent his people as the MP for Bawku Central in the 5th Parliament, winning the seat back from the NDC’s Mahama Ayariga.
He was accused of not being a Ghanaian because he was the holder of a British passport that was about to expire.
Complainant is a cattle farmer
A cattle farmer sued the MP, accusing him of violating the electoral laws by contesting elections whilst still a British citizen.
State took interest in the case
The state took interest in the case and filed nine counts relating to his nationality, perjury, forgery of passport, election fraud and deceiving public officers to be elected as an MP against Mr Dramani.
Exonerated on 6 charges but guilty on 3
He was exonerated on six of those charges but was convicted of three charges of false declaration of office, perjury and deceiving a public officer.
Case against James Gyekye Quayson
The case of the state is that the accused person, Mr Quayson, is the MP for Assin North Constituency.
Complainant is Richard Takyi-Mensah, a teacher
The complainant, Richard Takyi-Mensah, is a teacher and a resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region of Ghana.
Signed Ghana passport application on July 26, 2019
According to the state, on July 26, 2019, the accused person signed an application form for the Republic of Ghana passport.
Did not indicate dual citizenship status on the form
On the application form, he indicated that he is a Ghanaian and does not have a dual citizenship.
Quayson held Canadian citizenship
It said the accused at the time held a Canadian citizenship issued on October 30, 2016, but failed to declare same on the application form.
The state said the passport application of the accused person was vetted on July 29, 2019.
Quayson used false information to acquire Ghanaian passport
It said based on that false information, together with other information provided by the accused person on the passport application form, he was issued with a Ghanaian passport number G2538667 on August 2, 2019.
Again, before the 2020 general elections of Ghana were conducted on December 7, 2020, nominations were opened between October 5 and 9, 2020.
Quayson picked MP nomination form as dual citizen
The state said the accused person picked up nomination forms to contest as an MP for the Assin North Constituency.
It said the accused person at the time was a Ghanaian and a Canadian citizen, making him a dual citizenship holder.
Article 94(2)(a) disqualifies dual citizens from being MP
The state said he was, therefore, disqualified under Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution to be an MP.
Quayson took oath on October 6, 2020 before District Court
It said 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 October 6, 2020, before the District Court Registrar at Assin Fosu stating that he does not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana.
Filed nomination with false information
The state said the accused person further went ahead to file his nomination forms on October 8, 2020, with the false information in the statutory declaration.
Nomination approved based on false information
It said based on that false information, together with other information provided by the accused person in the nomination forms, his nomination was accepted by the EC.
It said the accused person contested the position and subsequently won the seat.
Certificate of renunciation issued 48 days after false statutory declaration
It said the accused person was issued a certificate of renunciation of his Canadian citizenship dated November 26, 2020, about 48 days after he had made the false statutory declaration and filed his nomination forms.
The state said on January 14, 2022, the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department received a petition dated January 11, 2021, from the complainant in which the complainant reported the actions of the accused, leading to investigations into the matter.
In his caution 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.
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