–Dismisses Dual Citizen Case Against NDC MP
An Accra High Court yesterday dismissed a case brought by disgruntled members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against Hon. Alhaji Alhassan Umar, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Zabzugu in the Northern Region, over an alleged dual citizenship.
The General Jurisdiction Division High Court judge, Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh, who was very explicit in her ruling, held the view that the application brought before the court, wanting to remove Alhassan Umar, was without merit and therefore struck it out completely.
The judge contended that, apart from the fact that the plaintiffs had filed the application out of time, per rules of procedures of the courts, they were also at the wrong forum as the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear a matter of such nature and accordingly struck it out.
Lawyer Godwin Edudzie Tamakloe, the counsel for the Zabzugu law-maker, said, the ruling of the High Court means the allegation levelled against his client is unfounded and that he (MP) has not offended the laws of Ghana as the plaintiffs want to believe.
“The decision of the court today means, there is no case against my client. It means the writ is completely set aside and there is no case against him,” he stated.
Addressing journalists soon after the High Court decision, Alhaji Umar said, “Today’s victory is a victory against tribal bigotry, divisive politicians and sour losers. It is a victory against people who lose elections but still want to hold on to the last straw.”
He averred that he won the 2016 elections on merit as votes were counted in his favour, adding that when he lost the elections in 2012, he did not resort to such tribal bigotry, but rather marshalled himself, came back and, by the help of Allah, he won the election handsomely.
The Zabzugu legislator, who spoke very passionately, also condemned the legal action against him, describing it as frivolous and vexatious which sought to sow seeds of tribal politicking and divisiveness among the people of Zabzugu.
At the 2016 general elections, Alhassan Umar of the NDC polled 13,591 votes representing 50.29%, while his main contender and then sitting MP, John Bennam Jabaah, of the NPP, had 13,434 votes representing 49.71% of total votes cast.
He said he came into politics to bring development and not to enrich himself and that politics is not about tribal bigotry but development, adding that the needs of the constituents matter most and for which reason he took the decision to lead them as their representative in parliament.
Hon. Umar, however, expressed his gratitude to the constituents, especially members of the NDC, for being patient and also standing with him during the unmeritorious trial at the court which eventually vindicated him.
He assured to use his parliamentary influence to lobby for developmental projects for the constituency to reduce the abject poverty that has bedevilled the people for years under the leadership of persons who sought personal interest.
The plaintiffs, Nikimola Jacob Makinye and Moponyaw Godwin, acting under the cover of the defeated Parliamentary Candidate, John Bennam Jabaah, filed the suit at the High Court, praying the court to, among other things, remove Alhaji Alhassan Umar from Parliament and declare the seat vacant.
They were seeking a declaration that the defendant (Hon.Umar), who allegedly owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana, is disqualified from holding the office of Member of Parliament of Zabzugu in the Republic of Ghana.
They were also praying the court for an order directed to Alhassan Umar, compelling him to vacate the Zabzugu Constituency seat and an injunction to restrain him from holding himself as MP.
The plaintiffs, both farmers, averred that “On 3rd November, 2000, the defendant was convicted in the United States for a traffic offence of over speeding,” adding that the MP relocated to Ghana about eight years ago and worked at the Ministry of Communications as a management consultant.
The plaintiffs claim that the information about the defendant alleged dual citizenship came to them late and that, as at the time the MP stood for the election, he was not qualified to do so because he owed allegiance to another country.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba