Politics

NDC Says Attempts To Injunct Assin North MP Is Connected To E-levy

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has alleged that the attempt to injunct the Assin North Member of Parliament from holding himself up as a Member of Parliament (MP) is an effort by the Nana Addo led government to get the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy) passed.

At a press conference, the NDC described it as an attempt to tilt power.

The majority leader of the NDC in Parliament, addressing the press on Thursday said, it is “an attempt by the Nana Akufo-Addo/Bawumia power regime to get the insensitive E-levy before Parliament passed.

“The Nana Addo Danquah government has now resorted to democratically shameful, disgraceful tactics to attempt to reduce the numbers of the NDC minority of 137 hoping that that will aid their effort to pass the E-levy into law. What possibly can be described as a sickening display of desperation by a sitting government which is seeking to push through a very undesirable punitive taxation measure of the E-levy down the throat of Ghanaians.”

According to the NDC, “They (the NPP government) are now acting through their dubious agent who is seeking to injunct a Member of Parliament for Assin North, Hon. James Gyakye from holding himself out as the lawfully elected Member of Parliament for the good people of Assin North. This matter of summoning him to a criminal court for prosecution comes at a time an appeal and application for stay of execution filed against the Cape coast High Court annulment of the Assin North parliamentary election is still pending before the court of appeal.”

Reacting to the claims, the Tolon Member of Parliament, Habib Iddrisu refuted the claim, noting that “It is far from the truth”.

He recollected that “Before the inauguration of the 8th parliament and before we were sworn in as the eighth parliament, and the consequent election of the Speaker of Parliament a notice was served to the clerk of Parliament That there was an injunction on that Member of Parliament.”

Meanwhile, the NDC believes “any attempt to use a court to tilt a balance of power will be a grievest danger to the sustenance of our multi-part democratic system…so we pray and hope the court will not be used to tilt power”.

Background Report By CNR

The disputed NDC Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, is facing five counts of criminal offences even as the governing New Patriotic Party, NPP, tries to get him out through the Supreme Court.

Court processes sighted by Citi News indicate that the state is going after him on charges of Deceit of public officer contrary to section 251 (b) of the Criminal offences Act, 1960, Act 29; Forgery of Passport or Travel Certificate, contrary to section 15 (1)(b) of Passports and Travel Certificates Act, 1967 (NLCD 155); and, Knowingly making a False Statutory Declaration in contravention of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1971, Act 389.

He also faces Perjury as per section 210 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29; and False Declaration for Office as against section 248 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday was unable to consider an injunction application against him to stop him from carrying out his duties as a Member of Parliament.

According to the facts of the present case as sighted, Mr Quayson signed a Ghana passport application form on 26th July 2019, in which he professed Ghanaian citizenship while stating that he did not hold any other citizenship.

He is however said to have held Canadian citizenship, issued to him on 30th October 2016. The state, according to the processes sighted, says James Gyakye Quayson failed to declare the same on his application form.

The state contends that though his Ghanaian passport application form was vetted on 29th July 2019, he was issued with a Ghanaian passport (number G2538667) on 2nd August 2019 based on the false information together with other pieces of information he provided.

The state again contends that before the 7th December 2020 General Elections, Mr Quayson picked up nomination forms to contest the Assin North seat at the time he held both Ghanaian and Canadian citizenship.

He was thus, accordingly disqualified under article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, but stood on a statutory declaration sworn to on 6th October 2020, before the Assin Fosu District Court, stating that he did not owe allegiance to any country other than Ghana; to file his nomination forms on 8th October 2020 with the false information in the statutory declaration.

Mr Quayson, according to the state, was however 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.

The embattled Member of Parliament, however, told investigators in a caution statement that at the material time, he honestly believed that he did not owe allegiance to any other country.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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