SC dismisses Quayson’s request for reversal to expunge name from parliament records

The Supreme Court has dismissed a Review Application filed by James Gyakye Quayson, seeking the Supreme Court to reverse its May 17, 2023 judgement ordering Parliament to expunge his name from Parliamentary records.

The nine-member Review panel presided over by Chief Justice, Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo said “the application for review is dismissed totally as without merit.”

The unanimous decision of the apex court means that, the orders of the judgement delivered on May 17, including the order for his records to be expunged still stands.

On May 17, this year, a seven-member panel of the apex court chaired by Justice Jones Victor Dotse, (now retired), declared James Quayson’s parliamentary status as null, void and unconstitutional.

In its judgement in that Application filed by Michael Ankomah Ninfah, the plaintiff, the apex court further ordered parliament to expunge his records of Parliament.

Dissatisfied with that judgement, the legislator and his lawyers filed a review against that judgement.

EIB Network’s Legal -Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, who was at the Supreme Court reports that the panel chaired by the CJ, also include Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu, Justice Samuel Asiedu, Justice George Kingsley Koomson and Justice Ernest Gaewu.

Review motion

Lead Counsel for James Quayson, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata while moving the motion said it raises 17 grounds of fundamental and basic errors of laws .

He argued that even as individual grounds, the motion justifies that the court in exercising the power of Review and the nature of the errors in their view is in each case was an extremely serious matter

According to Mr Tsikata, this is because there are constitutional provisions which are being ignored and these are serious matters that ought to b w reviewed.

Mr Tsikata said the order to expunge the name of James Quayson from records should be reversed and made references to Article 97(1)(E) to say that, the said order was perincuriam to Article 97(1)(E

He also contended that the appropriate order that the court could have made was an order under Article 97(1)(e).

Mr Tsikata argued that, the orders of the court were made without the first defendant (James Quayson) giving a hearing and the proper structure of Parliament should have been observed.

“It is also our submission that the two previous cases on which the court placed significant reliance – The court totally misrepresented previous decisions of the court

“For us to be saying that there has been total misrepresentation and for us to be justified neccisates the court to grant the review,” Mr Tsikata argued.

A-G : Opposed to application

The Attorney- General (A-G)Godfred Yeboah Dame whike opposing to the motion said, “I take exception to the formulation of ground two.”

“My submission is that it is totally inappropriate for counsel to set down as a ground of review that the Supreme Court has misrepresented a previous decision.

Mr. Dame said, if for anything at all,the Supreme Court “is the highest court of the land.”

The A-G said, Counsel for the applicant can only say the Apex Court misapplied or misconstrued but to say misrepresented, that was improper.

He argued that, the Supreme Court by Article 129 has all the powers ascribed by any court or law and if that was the case, the court can take any view.

The A-G contended that, there has not been any demonstration of any fundamental or basic error that has led to substantial miscarriage of justice.

While making reference to Article 2(2) of the 1992 Constitution, the A-G said it gives the Supreme Court the power to give orders and direction so saying the court cannot expunge the name of Mr Quayson was wrong.

“The court is grounded with power to grant such reliefs as it would be appropriate and it is completely wrong for Mr. Tsatsu to say that there was an error due to an order for the name to be expunge.

He submitted that, “the application does not satisfy the threshold for Review.”

Frank Davies

Frank Davies, Counsel for Michael Ankamah Ninfah, the Applicant in the original case said there is nothing new in the motion for review to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.

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