Jomoro MP was validly elected: Check out full reasoning of the court
"1st Respondent was validly elected as a Member of Parliament for the Jomoro Constituency. I have no reason to order for a re-run of the election as prayed by the Petitioner."
A High Court in Sekondi, the Western Regional Capital has today affirmed the election of the Member of Parliament for the Jomoro Constituency, Madam Dorcas Afo-Toffey.
In its 52-page judgment, the court, presided over by Justice Richmond Osei Hwere held inter alia that the MP had lost her Ivorian nationality when she filed her nomination forms to contest in the 2020 parliamentary Elections and thus validly elected as MP for the constituency.
Madam Dorcas Toffey stood on the ticket of the Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a Parliamentary candidate in the 2020 election and was declared the winner at the end of the polls and duly sworn in by the Electoral commission.
However on January 8, 2021, the petitioner, an Entrepreneur and resident of Nuba-Mpataba, Joshua Emuah Kwofie instituted an action against the MP averring that the MP held Ivorian, American and Ghanaian citizenships at the time of filing her nomination forms to contest the Parliamentary Election for the Jomoro Constituency.
He further noted that as part of the content of her nomination forms, the MP solemnly declared that she is otherwise not disqualified from standing for elections by any law for the time being in force in Ghana.
It was also the case of the petitioner that the incidence of non-renunciation of Ivorian and American citizenships prior to the filing of her Parliamentary nomination forms with the EC, rendered the MP not qualified to contest for Parliamentary Elections in Ghana and her participation offends Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution, 1992, as she owed allegiances to Ivory Coast and the United States of America at the time of filing her nomination forms and any subsequent renunciation is of no legal effect whatsoever.
As a result, the petitioner sought among others, the following reliefs from the court;
A declaration that the filing of Parliamentary nomination forms by 1st Respondent when she held an Ivorian and American Citizenships at the time of filing the said nomination form between 5th – 9th October 2020 violate Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 etc.
A declaration that the decision of the EC to clear the MP to contest Parliamentary Elections in the JOMORO Constituency when she was not qualified as a candidate on account of her holding multiple nationalities violates Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 etc.
A declaration that the decision by the EC to allow the MP to contest Parliamentary Elections in the JOMORO Constituency when she held Ivorian and American Citizenships at the time of filing her nomination form violates Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 etc.
A declaration that her election as Member of Parliament for the JOMORO Constituency is null and void and of no effect whatsoever as same violates Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 etc.
An order of this Court canceling the Parliamentary Elections in the JOMORO Constituency and further orders directed at EC to conduct fresh Elections in the JOMORO Constituency.
However, in the course of the trial, the petitioner abandoned the allegation that the MP was an American citizen when he (Petitioner) testified on oath.
In its determination of the issues, the court made a finding that an Ivorian citizen who acquires a foreign nationality or declares an intention to acquire a foreign nationality automatically loses his or her Ivorian nationality owing to the testimony of the MP’s expert witness DADJE Ange Rodrigue and per Article 48 of the Ivorian Nationality Code.
The court also made a finding of fact relative to the discrepancies in the MP’s Ivorian records and Ghanaian records but declined to venture into the legalities or otherwise because that would alter the whole basis of the case.
The court thus concluded that the MP’s letter to the Ivorian authorities dated 24th January 2019 is evidence of the loss of her Ivorian nationality because per the operation of Article 48 of the Code the MP who per the evidence on record was an Ivorian by birth automatically lost her Ivorian nationality when she acquired Ghanaian citizenship.
In conclusion, the court noted that the petitioner had failed to demonstrate that the MP was not qualified to contest the 2020 Parliamentary Election organized by the EC in the Jomoro Constituency
Also, it noted that The Petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumption of regularity enjoyed by the EC in the conduct of the 2020 Parliamentary Election in the Jomoro Constituency.
It, therefore, held the MP’s election as valid thereby dismissing the petition.
Check out the full judgment here.