James Gyekye Quayson
The suspended Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyekye Quayson, yesterday suffered another defeat at the Supreme Court after his application for review of a decision regarding his criminal trial before an Accra High Court was unanimously dismissed.
He had filed an application for review seeking the Supreme Court to reverse the previous decision of a five-member panel ordinary bench not to prohibit Justice Mary Yanzuh, from presiding over his trial at the High Court.
The court, prior to dismissing the review application, also dismissed two oral applications by Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the accused, which sought leave to waive their inability to comply with the time given them to file additional grounds for the review and also an adjournment to file further references.
Mr. Quayson went to the Supreme Court last year seeking to quash the decision of Justice Mary Yanzuh which refused to set aside portions of the witness statement of the prosecution’s first witness.
The suspended MP is standing trial for five charges including perjury, making false declaration and deceiving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by making a false statement that he did not have a dual citizenship, in order to acquire a Ghanaian passport.
His counsel had urged the trial court to exclude portions of the prosecution’s first witness’ statement because he did not have personal knowledge of such matters.
The trial court dismissed the application and Mr. Tsikata subsequently went to the Supreme Court seeking to quash the decision and also sought to prohibit Justice Yanzuh from further hearing the case.
But a five-member panel of the court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, dismissed the application on ground that the application had no merit and that the court acted within its jurisdiction in dismissing the application in the first place.
Moving the application for review, Mr. Tsikata argued that there are exceptional circumstances for which the motion ought to be granted, among them was what he described as a fundamental error on the face of the document.
He said the trial judge’s presumption that the witness has knowledge of the issues complained about in the witness statements results in a miscarriage of justice.
The application was opposed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, who argued that the suspended MP did not demonstrate that he was entitled to any of the reliefs sought.
She said Article 133 of the Constitution makes it clear that the review jurisdiction of the court is a very limited one, and the current application revealed nothing new except a rehashing of arguments made in the main application.
She added that there is no merit in the application as the trial court has not taken away the right of the accused to be heard, neither has it taken away his right to cross-examine the witness.
A seven-member review panel of the court presided over by Justice Dotse, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the motion for having “absolutely no basis.”
The court said the Constitution and the Supreme Court Rules make clear provisions regarding review motions and none of those grounds had been urged upon the court by the application.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak