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General News of Friday, 17 July 2009

Source: Daily Graphic

Bawku Central MP To Vacate Seat

The Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday ordered the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mr Adamu Dramani, to vacate his seat.

It also declared that the MP owed allegiance to Britain other than Ghana, and for that reason, he could not hold a position as MP in Ghana.

But the MP is astounded at the court’s decision and indicated that he would appeal against the judgement.

He also urged his constituents to remain calm while he sought legal redress to the court’s decision. The court’s order followed a suit filed by a cattle farmer, Mr Sumaila Biebel, who sought a declaration that the MP should be ordered to vacate his seat because he (MP) was a British national and for that reason, he did not qualify to sit as an MP.

Delivering its judgement in a motion filed on behalf of the applicant which prayed the court to enter judgement in favour of the applicant in default of defence, the court held that in law, the MP had 14 days to file his defence, but he failed to do so after entering appearance.

It said it, therefore, deemed that the MP did not have a defence to the suit. According to the court, it was on its record that Mr Dramani had been served with the motion for judgement in default of defence filed on behalf of the applicant by his counsel.

Touching on an affidavit in opposition to the motion for judgement in default of appearance, which stated among others, that the MP had filed an appeal against the court’s earlier dismissal of a motion challenging its jurisdiction, the court held that those were not the issues before it.

It said the issues before it were whether or not Mr Dramani had filed his defence to the plaintiff’s claims on his nationality.

It further held that the plaintiff was entitled to his claims and, accordingly, granted the reliefs sought by him.

Earlier, counsel for the applicant, Dr Raymond Atuguba, had moved the application praying the court to grant his client’s application for entry of judgement in default of defence, but Mr Egbert Faibille, who represented Mr Dramani, opposed the application on the grounds that his client had filed an appeal against the court’s earlier rulings.

According to Dr Atuguba, the MP had failed to abide by the High Court rules which stipulated that a person sued had 14 days within which to file a defence and, therefore, prayed the court to grant the application for default judgement.

Challenging the applicant’s motion, Mr Faibille held that his client had filed an appeal against the court’s earlier dismissal of a motion which challenged the constitutionality of the court.

He also stated that his client had filed a motion for stay of proceedings and for that reason, the court could not go ahead to grant the application.

However, the court held, among others, that it had not received any order from the Court of Appeal to stay proceedings in the case.

No costs were awarded.