A fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, also known as Kwaku Azar, has expressed his strong disagreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling that declared James Gyakye Quayson’s election as the Member of Parliament for Assin North to be null and void and called for his name to be removed from the rolls of parliament.
The verdict was characterised as one of the worst in Ghanaian legal history by Professor Azar.
On June 14, 2023, Kwaku Azar criticised the Supreme Court’s ruling in an interview with Citi TV, pointing out various mistakes in the case. He expressed surprise at what he saw to be the court’s incorrect application of the Constitution, disrespect for legislative requirements, and insertion of timetables when none were necessary.
“Of all the Ghanaian instances I’ve seen, this one sticks out as almost the worst since there are so many mistakes throughout the case, according to what I read. From erroneously reading the Constitution to demolishing statues to putting timetables where there are none. It nearly seems as though the judge determined that Quayson would be removed for some reason or another. We don’t give a damn about how many laws or regulations we breach either. Kwaku Azar bemoaned, “But we’re going to do it nonetheless.
He went on to explain further why he disagreed with the court’s conclusions, particularly with relation to the notions of allegiance and citizenship. He said that being loyal to a nation might be motivated by a number of factors other than being a citizen.
“It’s almost like I’m saying when the president takes the oath of allegiance, he also takes the oath of citizenship because allegiance and citizenship are curiously linked. That is just strange. I’ve never heard such bizarre logic before,” he said.
James Gyakye Quayson was accused by the State on February 12 of last year with five offences, including fabrication of a passport, making a false statutory statement with knowledge, perjury, and false declaration.
On July 20, 2022, while the trial went on, his attorneys, lead by Attorney Tsatsu Tsikata, questioned the credibility of the prosecution’s first witness, a teacher named Richard Takyi-Mensah, and his subsequent submission of his witness testimony.
But the trial judge, Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzu, overruled his objection on the grounds that the witness was competent and properly allowed the witness statements and paragraphs.
Mr Quayson and his solicitors filed a request at the Supreme Court to quash the trial court’s decision and the order of prohibition against the judge after being dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision.