Joseph Nii Ayikoi Otoo, a former MP and Justice Minister, has maintained that Parliament should have no trouble executing the Supreme Court order regarding James Gyakye Quayson’s case.
The ex-Attorney General argued that the order is clear and straightforward, contrary to what some people are suggesting.
He made these remarks on The Keypoints on TV3 / 3FM on Saturday, June 10, and accused some people of politicizing the judgement.
On Tuesday, June 6, when Parliament reconvened, Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin informed the House that the leadership needed to consult on how to implement the order.
He later indicated that the legislative branch might need to seek further clarification from the Supreme Court before proceeding with the order.
“The order did not instruct the Speaker to erase [his name]. It did not instruct any Member of Parliament or Clerk to erase [the name], it instructed the institution called Parliament. Therefore, that institution must obey the order.
“The only way for the institution to obey the order is for it to reason together. And that can only happen in a sitting where members are given a chance to think it through.
“I don’t want to assume powers that are not clearly defined by any law. So I did mention and communicate with some Supreme Court judges that clarification is needed.”
Mr Ayikoi Otoo said there is no confusion about the order.
“You know [the Speaker] changed his mind when he initially said the name should be there and then when the clerk whispered in his ear that the seat was vacant. . .he came back and said don’t put his name there.
“I am saying [and] if they want my advice, they should pass a resolution stating that in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, [Gyakye Quayson’s] swearing-in, election or whatever is considered null and void and therefore he never became a member of the Eighth Parliament
“And anyone who reads that will understand.”
He cautioned that failing to comply with a Supreme Court order could amount to treason under the country’s laws.
But Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, a former MP who was also on the show, disagreed and said that the Supreme Court should have been more careful when ordering another branch of government.
“It violates established principles of separation of powers. Can one branch of government direct another branch? So there are many legal questions.”