A retired Supreme Court judge, Justice William Atuguba, has critised the decision of the apex court in declaring the election of Gyakye Quayson invalid.
Speaking at a public lecture held on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the retired Supreme Court judge described the court’s decision as “scandalous.”
He affirmed that the court should not have taken on the case in the first place.
It was his opinion that the case had already been dealt with by the High Court.
He opined that the Supreme Court’s decision to ajudicate a matter already dealt with by the High Court contradicts a fundamental principle of law.
“The James Gyakye Quayson’s decision by the Supreme Court is with all due respect scandalous in that the court, in the teeth of the settled maxim Res Judicata et non quieta movere, re adjudicated the same matter that has been adjudicated upon by the High court on the merits,” he said.
In May this year, a seven-member panel of the apex court described as unconstitutional the election of Gyakye Quayson.
The court ordered for a fresh election to be held.
The court gave the order after it unanimously declared as unconstitutional, the election of Mr Quayson as MP in 2020.
“Parliament is ordered to expunge the name of first defendant (James Gyakye Quayson) as Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency,” the court ruled.
The court held that the whole process leading to the election of Mr Quayson – filing of nomination forms, election itself and swearing-in, were all in violation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, which bars a person with dual citizenship from contesting as an MP.
It was the considered view of the court that as of the time, Mr Quayson filed his nomination forms in October 2020 to contest for the Assin North seat, he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship and, therefore, was not qualified per Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution.
In view of that the court further held that the Electoral Commission (EC) also violated Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution when it permitted Mr Quayson to contest the election.
But the retired judge further argued the best approach by the highest court of the land was to execute the High Court’s decision rather than initiate a new trial.
“The Supreme Court does not stand in good light with all due respect in disqualifying Gyakye Quayson, despite his clear certificate of renunciation of his Canadian citizenship as from 26th November 2020 whereas the elections were on December 7. I am not able to see substantial justice in this,” he added.