The Member of Parliament for the Jomoro constituency, Dorcas Affo-Toffey, has won the election petition case against her eligibility as an elected MP over her alleged Ivorian citizenship.
The Sekondi High Court presided by Justice Dr. Richmond Osei Hwere dismissed the petition and declared the MP eligible on grounds that she lost her Ivorian citizenship at the very time she acquired her Ghanaian Citizenship.
The application was filed by one, Joshua Emuah Kofie who challenged the eligibility of the MP to contest as a representative of the people in the constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to the applicant, the MP holds multiple nationalities, including American and Ivorian citizenships, which contravenes the 1992 Constitution.
The MP, however, denied having American citizenship and claimed to have also renounced her Ivorian citizenship.
Dorcas Affo-Toffey was subsequently ordered by the Court to produce documents on her alleged renunciation of Ivorian citizenship.
But the MP reportedly failed to comply with the court’s order, which compelled the applicant to initiate contempt proceedings against her after she allegedly failed to appear in court and provide the required documents proving her renunciation of the alleged dual citizenship.
Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, counsel for the MP, pleaded with the court to strike out the contempt case and asked for forgiveness, noting his client had no intentions of disrespecting the orders of the court.
Lawyer for the petitioner, Bright Okyere Agyekum asked the court to award a cost of GHC 20,000 against the MP for disobeying the orders of the court and wasting their time before striking out the case of contempt.
The court presided by Justice Sedinam Agbemava subsequently struck out the case and awarded a cost of GH¢5000 against the MP after her lawyer pleaded his client could not afford the amount requested by the petitioner’s lawyer, noting that “things are hard.”
In his ruling on the substantive case, the judge said the following:
“It is concluded that the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the 1st respondent was not qualified to contest the 2020 parliamentary election organised by the 2nd respondent [Electoral Commission] in the Jomoro constituency. The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumption of regularity enjoyed by the 2nd respondent in the conduct of the 2020 parliamentary election in the Jomoro constituency.”
“By virtue of Article 48 of the Ivorian Nationality Code, the 1st respondent had lost her Ivorian nationality when she filed her nomination forms to contest the parliamentary election. 1st respondent was validly elected as the Member of Parliament for the Jomoro constituency. I have no reason to order a re-run of the election as prayed by the petitioner. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed. In the circumstances of this case, there will be no order as to costs.”