The controversy surrounding Gyakye Quayson’s eligibility to hold public office has been a matter of significant debate in Ghana. The central issue in this case revolves around Quayson’s dual citizenship, particularly his alleged Canadian citizenship. According to the Constitution of Ghana, Article 94 (2A) specifies the conditions under which a person is qualified to be a Member of Parliament. It includes the requirement that a candidate must not owe allegiance to a country other than Ghana at the time of filing for nomination. In Gyakye Quayson’s case, it was alleged that he held Canadian citizenship when he filed for nomination, which raised questions about his eligibility.
The controversy deepened when the matter went before the courts. While the High Court’s initial decision focused on interpreting Article 94 (2A) to determine Quayson’s eligibility, the case was subsequently brought before the Supreme Court, leading to differing interpretations and opinions.
Justice Atuguba’s criticism of the Supreme Court’s involvement in the case labeled the court’s decision as “scandalous.” He argued that the Supreme Court should not have taken on the case in the first place, as the High Court had already made a decision. According to him, the principle of res judicata, meaning “a matter already judged,” should have applied, and the Supreme Court should have executed the High Court’s decision rather than initiating a new trial.
However, Frank Davies, representing the NPP’s Constitution and Legal Committee, took a different stance. He emphasized that the Supreme Court’s involvement was not about re-adjudicating a case but about interpreting Article 94 (2A). Davies pointed out that this particular article had not received any authoritative pronouncement from the Supreme Court, allowing the highest judicial body in the land to provide clarity on its interpretation. Therefore, in his view, the principle of res judicata did not apply, as the case was about interpreting uncharted legal territory.
In defense of the Supreme Court’s decision, Davies stated that it was well within the court’s powers to interpret the law. He argued that if Justice Atuguba had taken a closer look at the case, he might not have criticized the decision as scandalous. Davies emphasized that the Supreme Court’s role in such cases is crucial for establishing legal precedent and clarity.
The controversy surrounding Gyakye Quayson’s dual citizenship case remains a polarizing issue, with differing opinions on the legal aspects and the role of the judiciary. While Frank Davies and Justice Atuguba represent opposing viewpoints, their positions underscore the importance of legal interpretation and the responsibilities of the Supreme Court in clarifying legal matters that have not received prior authoritative rulings.
On the same platform, Abraham Amaliba, the Director for Conflict Resolution with the National Democratic Congress (NDC), expressed his support for Justice Atuguba’s views on the Gyakye Quayson case. The case continues to be a point of contention and debate, reflecting the complex legal issues surrounding dual citizenship and its impact on political office eligibility in Ghana.
Frank Davies, the Chairman of the Constitution and Legal Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has expressed his disagreement with the criticisms made by former Supreme Court Justice William Atuguba regarding the Gyakye Quayson dual citizenship case. Davies contended that Justice Atuguba misunderstood the nature of the case, suggesting that it was a matter of interpreting Article 94 (2A) of the 1992 Constitution, rather than revisiting a previous decision by the High Court. He asserted that the Supreme Court was within its authority to interpret the law in this case, and he challenged the assertions made by Justice Atuguba.