The ongoing trial of Gyakye Quayson, the member of parliament for Assin North, over his alleged violation of the dual citizenship statute, has drawn criticism from Martin Kpebu, a private attorney, who sees what he sees as hypocrisy in the process.
Kpebu’s comments come as James Gyakye Quayson, the MP for Assin North, is being prosecuted on criminal charges in court despite several requests for the Attorney General to submit a nolle prosequi to end the matter.
He asserts that the Gyakye Quayson trial is taking place at a time when a measure in the legislature, if enacted, will overturn the legislation that governs those who hold dual citizenship and run for office as members of parliament in the nation.
Kpebu drew attention to the apparent inconsistencies by questioning the public’s interest in Quayson’s prosecution as Parliament works to abolish the rule prohibiting dual citizens from running for office.
It’s simply too much, the hypocrisy. Why should Gyakye Quayson be prosecuted in the eyes of the general population. What about the general welfare? The constitution’s prohibition on dual citizens running for office as MPs is now being repealed through a measure that is currently before parliament. What kind of circumstance are we so producing?” he asked.
Kpebu brought forth a measure that is presently being debated in Parliament and is being backed by the administration. The bill aims to remove the rule that prevents dual citizens from serving in elected office.
Many have questioned if the nation’s actions are coherent in light of the conflict between the current legal actions against Quayson and the suggested legislative amendment.
“A measure to repeal the statute that forbids dual citizens from holding elected office is now before parliament, and the government is supporting the bill. As we start with the Constitution, you go on to PNDC legislation 284, which is the legislation governing people’s representation.
So, even while the statute is now being repealed, there is also an ongoing investigation against a possible violator of the law. When we engage in such actions, the optics are quite poor; we come off as a very bewildered nation. It appears as though we move two steps ahead before going four steps back. Martin Kpebu enquired as to how he might retain the two.