The MP-elect for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson renounced his Canadian citizenship since 19 December 2019, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said.
The party said the MP-elect is “a full citizen of Ghana who owes no allegiance whatsoever to any other country. He is a Ghanaian in law and in fact and qualifies to be a Member of Parliament according to the laws of Ghana.”
This follows claims by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Mr Quayson holds dual citizenship.
The NPP, through its lawyers, wrote to the Ghana Immigration Service for details concerning Mr Quayson’s alleged dual citizenship records.
In a letter to the GIS, the NPP’s lawyers, Marfo & Associates, said: “We act as solicitors for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and write pursuant to their instructions. We are informed that James Quayson is a Canadian citizen and holds a Ghanaian passport”.
“We shall be grateful if we are furnished with the following documents at your earliest convenience: the travel history of James Quayson, renunciation certificate in respect of the Canadian citizenship prior to the filing to contest the Assin North parliamentary seat on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”, the letter said.
Ghana’s laws do not allow dual citizens to be MPs.
In one such case, Mr Adamu Dramani Sakande, who became the MP for Bawku Central, was sentenced to two years in jail for that offence by a high court in 2012.
However, the Central Regional arm of the NDC denied the claims.
Speaking to Kofi Oppong Asamoah on 12Live on Class91.3FM on Wednesday, 23 December 2020, the NDC’s Central Regional Communication Officer, Kwesi Dawood, said: “The NDC member of parliament-elect for the Assin North Constituency, Mr James Joe Quayson, does not hold any dual citizenship, as we speak. So, the NPP can go ahead with their fishing expedition, which will amount to nothing”.
“But then, we, as a party in the region, are also serving a word of caution to them that as they seek to peddle false information against an honourable member aimed at damaging his reputation, they should be aware that they can be sued for doing that. Honourable Joe Quayson does not hold dual citizenship. I repeat: he does not hold dual citizenship.”
Mr Dawood continued that the NPP are “desperately trying to get some seats to form a majority in parliament which they don’t have.”
He further indicated that the NPP began the process to have the MP-elect disqualified from the contest before the 7 December polls.
“The fact remains that the Honourable James Joe Quayson, the duly-elected Member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency, will be sworn in on 7 January come 2021 by law established. He does not hold dual citizenship”.
“The funny thing is that they did this thing prior; before the filing of the parliamentary processes, NPP sent a petition to the Electoral Commission; the Electoral Commission did their investigations, but they realised the man does not hold dual citizenship and, so, what is their beef now,” Mr Dawood said.