February 21, 2024

 

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has given assurance it has no intention of withholding the approval of the Chief Justice nominee by consensus.

Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, the Caucus pointed out, is a person of considerable experience as captured in Curriculum Vitae, having served as a judge from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and ultimately at the supreme Court.

According to the minority caucus, women who have acquitted themselves should be given opportunities to occupy key national office.

“Even as we disagree with her jurisprudence, we find her qualified to occupy the high office of Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana,” the caucus stressed.

The minority members in the Appointments Committee of Parliament had indicated that they would only support the approval or otherwise of Justice Torkornoo only when they receive a reasoned judgment on why the Supreme Court disqualified James Gyakye Quayson as NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North.

Addressing the media in Parliament yesterday after the judgment was released on Monday, the minority said it accepts the verdict even though it disagrees with the apex court.

MP for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga who addressed the media on the position of the Minority explained the subject of the matter, James Gyakye Quayson is gearing up to contest in the by-election in Assin North constituency, following the Supreme Court’s decision.

He explained the facts of the case, not disputed at any time, are that Quayson at the time of being sworn in to become an MP had successfully renounced all allegiances to any other country and his allegiance was to Ghana.

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According to him, the text in dispute of the case is article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution that reads, “94(2) A person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”

“Fidelity to the text of the constitution of Ghana would have dictated that the controlling provisions in the resolution of the dispute are the word ‘qualified to be a member of Parliament’”.

Disappointingly, a professed textualist like our CJ nominee abandoned the text and chose to read into the text a replacement text qualified to file nomination papers to contest for election as a member of Parliament.

This, he said, is exactly why the Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee wanted to wait for the reasoning to see if the CJ nominee would be true to her publicly professed textualist approach to constitutional interpretation.

According to him, instead of fidelity to the text of the Constitution that the CJ nominee professed as her preferred approach to constitutional interpretation, she succumbed to a flawed precedent set earlier by the Supreme Court in the in Ex Parte Zanetor. Republic v. High Court (General Jurisdiction).

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