Supreme Court awards GH¢5k against NDC MP over dual citizenship case

The Supreme Court has awarded a cost of GH¢5,000 against the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Joe Gyaakye Quayson, after his lawyer withdrew an application filed to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the court.

The application was intended to get the apex court to assume jurisdiction over the case at the Cape Coast High Court, where his nationality is being challenged.

The five-member panel challenged Justin Pwavra Teriwajah, the lawyer of the MP, that he did not properly appear before the court.

The bench questioned why he did not apply to the trial judge the issue he wanted addressed so that if the judge failed to set it down, he will have had a case to make at the Supreme Court.

The court further stated that the issue he brought to the Supreme Court is within the jurisdiction of the High Court, which he should have taken advantage of.

“So apply to the trial judge so he rules, coming by certorari is immature,” Presiding judge Justice Yaw Appau advised.

Justin Pwavra Teriwajah tried to defend his position but the five-member panel though otherwise because he failed to go through the right processes before filing at the Supreme Court.

“It is difficult to agree with you when the matter is within the jurisdiction of the trial judge. You should have filed your legal argument and raise the issue with the judge,” the bench insisted.

They added, “We have looked at the memorandum of issues and the judge came out with his own issue to be determined.”

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They insisted he should have raised the issue at the Cape Coast High Court so that the trial judge will make a determination on it based on which he will proceed to the Supreme Court if he happens to be unsatisfied with the decision of the trial judge.

The Court, therefore, advised him to withdraw his application because it had no merit or he could go ahead to move it.

Justin Teriwajah, after being hesitant for a while, withdrew the application and it was subsequently struck out with a cost of GH¢5,000 awarded against his client, the MP for Assin North.

Earlier, the MP filed an application of stay proceedings at the Court of Appeal but that was dismissed.

Due to his appeal application and that of the Supreme Court, the judgement at the Cape Coast High Court, which was set on Wednesday, July 14, was put on hold.

The five-member panel was chaired by Justice Yaw Appau with Justices Gabriel Pwamang, Nene Amegatcher, Gertrude Torkornoo and Yonny Kulendi as members.

By Godfred Tanam||Ghana