A High Court has ordered that the former Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson’s perjury and forgery trial will commence on Tuesday June 20 on a daily basis.
This comes despite a request from the counsel of Mr. Quayson to postpone the trial date given that the MP was up for a by-election slated for June 27.
Mr. Quayson’s lawyer argued that the trial should be executed after the by-election because his client’s participation as he seeks to represent the people in parliament is a national duty.
The postponement request, when granted will give Mr. Quayson a fair chance to campaign, the lawyer expressed.
However, the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame in opposition argued that the charges levelled against the former MP are compelling and a conviction could result in imprisonment. He added that contrary to claims of the counsel of the accused, the former MP has not been assigned any national duty and therefore his participation in the by-election cannot be taken as such.
In effect, the Attorney General has petitioned the court to commence the trial next week and conduct it on a day-to-day basis.
Why is James Gyakye Quayson up for prosecution?
The Unseated MP for Assin North has been charged with allegations of falsified documents in his bid to become a parliamentarian in the 2020 election.
According to the state, the politician failed to renounce his Canadian citizenship before contesting the seat. This, the court ruled made him unqualified to contest in the aforementioned election year.
The ruling of the court saw the politician ousted from parliament and the declaration of the Assin North Constituency seat vacant.
Moreover, on February 12, 2022, further charges were levelled against Mr. Quayson by the state. It includes forgery of passport, deceit of a public officer and consciously making a false statutory declaration, perjury and false declaration.
The court ruled that filing of nomination, the election and swearing in of the politician were all in violation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 constitution which prohibits a dual citizenship holder from assuming a MP status.
Below is the full detail of the charges against Mr. James Gyakye Quayson;