Assin North MP petitions Chief Justice to direct judge to recuse himself over likely ‘bias’

The National Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi says the Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Quayson has petitioned the Chief Justice to direct the judge presiding over his dual citizenship case to recuse himself.

This follows alleged commentary by the judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye, deemed by the NDC to be biased against the incumbent MP.

Michael Ankomah-Nimfa, a resident of Assin Bereku in the Central Region, filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court seeking to annul the declaration of Mr. James Gyakye Quayson as the Member of Parliament for the Assin North constituency.

He was challenged for having dual citizenship, contrary to the expressed provision of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, which states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he or she – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”

In an interview with Citi News after Wednesday’s court hearing in Cape Coast, Sammy Gyamfi stated that the  Assin North MP had petitioned the Chief Justice to direct the judge to recuse himself from the case over instances that might constitute bias.

“The statement the presiding judge made in court that day showed that he had already taken a position even before the counsel addressed him on that important issue. So because of the likelihood that there will be bias, and that the first respondent will not have a fair hearing before this presiding judge, the counsel made an oral application for this presiding judge to recuse himself which he heard in chambers and turned down.”

“Subsequently, the first respondent himself petitioned the Chief Justice of Ghana to appeal for him to intervene in the matter and ensure that the judge recuses himself so that justice will not only be done but seen as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NPP in the Central Region maintains that the NDC is delaying the case.

This follows the failure of the first respondent to be represented by a lawyer in court after the withdrawal of Abraham Amaliba as the legal representative for the NDC MP.

Mr. Amaliba, one of the lawyers defending Mr Gyakye Quayson filed an application to withdraw his services.

Citing comments made by the judge in previous hearings which he believed might constitute bias, Mr. Amaliba, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, moved for the judge to recuse himself from making further statements in open court which appear to indicate a pre-determined outcome of the substantive case.

Part of his application read “That although your lordship refused my prayer to recuse yourself on grounds, inter alia, that you don’t remember ever making the alleged comment, I remain of the strong conviction that there is a real likelihood of bias, and my continuous presence in the matter as counsel with such a conviction, will not augur well for the interest of my client and administration of justice”.

 

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