Gyakye Quayson can vie for Assin North seat; it’s a calculated risk – Amaliba
The Director of Legal Affairs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has clarified that, the former Assin North Member of Parliament, James Gyakye Quayson, can still contest in the upcoming by-election in the constituency despite an ongoing criminal case against him.
Speaking on Top Story on JoyFM, Abraham Amaliba said said the man who has just been axed from Parliament by the Supreme Court for not renouncing his dual citizenship status before contesting the 2020 parliamentary election, has not been found guilty of any crime.
“Until and unless he is convicted and sentenced, nothing bars him from contesting. So the advice given to the party is that as of November 2020 when he received his certificate of renunciation, he is qualified to contest any election including presidential elections,” he stated.
Although some have questioned the party’s decision to retain Mr Quayson, Mr Amaliba says as long as he can be found innocent, the NDC is ready to take a “calculated risk.”
“Is there the possibility of him being acquitted and discharged, if the answer is yes, that will be a calculated risk to take. If we are talking about whether or not the law court will sentence him, it can also acquit him,” he said.
In 2022, James Gyakye Quayson was slapped with charges including forgery and perjury by the Attorney-General’s Office.
He is also accused of deceiving a public officer and knowingly making a false declaration.
The case was filed after the High Court in July, 2021 annulled the Assin North Parliamentary election results saying Mr. Quayson was not eligible to contest the polls.
In May 2023, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s decision stating that Mr Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing his nomination forms.
It further held that the EC allowing him to contest when he had not shown evidence of renunciation of his citizenship of Canada is unconstitutional.
Although the criminal case is still ongoing, Mr Amaliba says it is still in its “embryonic stage”.
He is convinced that the case will not be easy for the prosecution, just as it wasn’t even before the Supreme Court.
He noted that “they have to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. And they have to show that he had a criminal intent to do what they are saying he did, so the standard there is high, and so it is not going to be easy.”