James Gyakye Quayson, a candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the impending by-election in the Assin North Constituency, has been given permission to skip the Friday, June 23, court session.
After hearing arguments on his application to modify the court’s instructions to conduct his criminal case daily, the High Court in Accra, led by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, reached this conclusion.
Tastsu Tsikata, the lead attorney for Mr. Quayson, sought for the appearance of the accused to be waived on June 23 after the case was continued to that day, which was one of the days in dispute.
Lead counsel for the embattled former National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, Tsatsu Tsikata, when he moved his application told the High Court that his client is contesting the upcoming Assin North constituency by-election and that, it is a national assignment for which reason the court’s decision to hear the case on a daily basis will hinder his client’s ability to participate effectively in the by-election.
Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, however, objected to that request and threatened to obtain a bench warrant for his arrest if he failed to appear.
James Quayson was granted permission to be out of court on the day the court would rule on the case by the trial judge after hearing from the parties.
Sections 168 and 169 of the Criminal Procedure Act (1960) Act 30 were cited by the AG to buttress his position. He pointed to Section 168, which is “appearance of both parties”, states that; “Where at the time appointed for the hearing of the case both the prosecutor and the accused are present before the Court, or if the prosecutor appears personally or by counsel and the personal attendance of the accused person has been dispensed with under section 70, the Court shall proceed to hear the case”.
The AG argued that the Criminal Procedure Act gives the Court the jurisdiction to choose the location, the time, and the date for court hearings and that no other person or authority has the authority to do the same or to amend it.
After hearing the parties’ arguments, the Court decided to issue its decision on Friday, June 23, 2023. The court also made it clear that it would proceed without the accused party in attendance.
Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, deputy attorney general, told the media during the court session that the AG’s office will follow the ruling made by the judge.
He continued by saying that, contrary to the emotive arguments made by James Gyakye Quayson, the attorney for the accused, the court’s judgment on Friday will undoubtedly be on the side of the law, as the AG contended.
On behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba, head of legal affairs, informed reporters that the court’s decision to exclude James Gyakye Quayson from the proceedings was a win for the NDC.
The accused, James Gyakye Quayson, who is running for the NDC in the Assin North by-election, will visit the constituency to campaign before the by-election, which will take place on June 27, 2023, he stated.
Taking advantage of the extensive media coverage, James Gyakye Quayson stated in an interview that he will win the Assin North seat by-election by a wider margin than he won in the 2020 parliamentary elections that originally elected him to the House of Parliament.