Story: Peace Awuku
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, expressed his dissatisfaction with the High Court’s decision to hear the case of James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament-elect for Assin North, on a daily basis.
Bagbin described the decision as selective, pointing out that it is unfair to subject Gyakye Quayson to a daily trial while others are not facing the same treatment.
During a visit to the office of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra on Thursday, Bagbin emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and stated that the current approach seems to be “rule by law” rather than “rule of law.”
“What we are doing is rule by law, not rule of law, and I think that we should move away from that. For democracy to succeed, the pillar is the rule of law. I tell them, and I tell the judges, it is not right. If it is done to everybody, I have no problem but if it is done selectively, I have a problem.”
“The law is not the centre of democracy, that is one of the errors in our  constitution, read through our constitution and you’ll see the law is a respecter of so many people.
“So many people in Ghana are above the law. You can’t have democracy [with that] and so we need to work at it seriously and this [is why] the constitutional review is something we must take up.”
The High Court in Accra on Thursday adjourned to July 4 an application for a stay of proceedings of the criminal trial of the newly elected Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson.
The trial Judge, Justice Mary Yanzuh said the adjournment was because the court had not received the full compliments of the application documents.
The lawyers of Mr. Quayson argued that the application is to stay proceedings in the High Court so that the Court of Appeal can determine whether or not the High Court was right to rule that Gyakye Quayson’s criminal trial be heard on a daily basis.
A member of Gyakye Quayson’s legal team Sammy Gyamfi spoke to the press after the proceedings and said the defence team needs ample time to cross-examine the first witness and other matters resolved before the case is formally commenced.
“Lawyers for the accused need ample time to cross-examine the first witness, and it is totally unacceptable for Her Ladyship to say that cross-examination should be done on a daily basis and should be restricted to certain limited time periods, we don’t think that affords the accused a fair hearing and that is why we are raising all these issues”.