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Two lawyers in near fisticuff


James Gyakye Quayson, Assin North MP

There was near fisticuff at the Cape Coast High Court between the lawyers arguing the case of the dual citizenship of the Assin North Member of Parliament (MP), Joe Gyakye Quayson.

The two lawyers, Frank Davies and Abraham Amaliba had to be whisked away by security guards at the court after the judge ordered them out of his court.

Mr Davies and Mr Amaliba both got off their seats in court and advanced towards each other in a disagreement over whether the absence of the lawyer for the Assin North MP constitutes a show of disrespect to the court.

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Last week, the case was adjourned for the parties to file their proposed arguments but the lawyer for the MP, Mr Amaliba was absent when the case was called.

Though Mr Amaliba subsequently sent a letter to the court explaining his absence and appealed for a new date to be fixed, counsel for the petitioner, Mr Davies, insisted that Mr Amaliba’s refusal to copy him in that letter constitutes gross disrespect not only to himself but to the court.

The exchanges at this point, according to Joy News reporter, Richard Kojo Nyarko, degenerated with both men literally charging at each other for a fight.

It took the security detail present at the court to separate the two gentlemen.

Judge Kwesi Boakye is alleged to have asked the two lawyers to leave the courtroom. Both men returned after almost 30 minutes after they had been spoken to and tempers had calmed.

However, Kojo Nyarko furthered that Mr Amaliba, after the court proceedings, admitted that Mr Davies was his senior and subsequently, both men apologised to each other.

The court as a result adjourned the case to 12th April, 2021.

Background

In January this year, a petition was filed at the Cape Coast High Court seeking to annul the declaration of Mr Quayson as the MP-elect for the Assin North Constituency.

The petition, filed by one Michael Ankomah -Nimfa of Assin Bereku, was served with the Electoral Commission as the second respondent.

Mr Quayson polled 17,498 votes as against New Patriotic Party’s Madam Abena Durowaa Mensah who had 14,793 in the December 7, 2020 election.

However, the petitioner has argued that Mr Quayson owes allegiance to Canada.

He is alleging that the MP holds dual citizenship contrary to the expressed provision of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, which states: “A person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”



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