A former Member of Parliament for Akwatia, Mohammed Ahmed Baba Jamal, has said but for political vindictiveness, the criminal charges levelled against the embattled James Gyakye Quayson of Assin North will not hold.
Mr. Jamal says even though the former Assin North MP according to the Supreme Court verdict erred, he cannot be charged criminally because he had no intentions for commissioning the crime.
Speaking on the KeyPoints on TV3 Saturday, June 3, 2023, Baba Jamal said one is held liable for a crime by intent and action (mens rea and actus reus) and as long as their colleague began the processes to denounce his citizenship long before the election took place, he cannot be held guilty for that.
“Unless there will be political vindictiveness, this criminal charge cannot stand against him when he had no intention to commit the crime.
“What I’m speaking here I’m speaking law, I’m saying when the intentions are there and it’s not to commit a crime and it is established that there was no intention, how can anybody [be charged on that],” he told Alfred Ocansey.
Assin North’s former NDC lawmaker, James Gyakye Quayson, returned to court to face criminal charges following the Supreme Court’s ruling to get his name expunged from the records of Parliament.
Mr. Quayson is confronted with five counts of criminal charges, including deceit of a public officer, forgery of a passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury, and false declaration for office.
The Supreme Court declared his election unconstitutional, resulting in the removal from his parliamentary position and a subsequent declaration of his seat vacant in the House.
A Wednesday, May 17, 2023 7-member Supreme Court ruling unanimously arrived at a resolution to get his details from the Legislature’s records.
The court concluded that Mr. Quayson’s election violated Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution due to his failure to renounce his dual citizenship before filing for the elections.
Consequently, the court deemed his filing to contest, the Electoral Commission’s decision to allow his candidacy, and his subsequent swearing-in as an MP in Parliament as unconstitutional, null, and void.
Presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, the seven-member panel included Justices Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, and Barbara Ackah-Ayensu.
The court has announced that the full reasons behind its decision will be submitted to the court’s registry by June 7, 2023.