April 23, 2012

The Supreme Court has fixed May 23, 2012 to rule on a submission of no case in a matter brought against the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mr Adamu Daramani Sakande, over his alleged dual nationality.

The court fixed the date after parties in the matter had filed their written addresses and informed the court they did not have additional issues to file.

Members of the Supreme Court panel are Justices S. K. Date-Bah, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose C. Owusu, Jones Dotse, Annin Yeboah P. Baffoe-Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

A cattle farmer, Sumaila Biebel, in March, 2009 filed a suit at the High Court challenging the eligibility of the MP on the grounds that the MP held both British and Burkinabe passports, and the High Court in a default judgement on July 15, 2009, ordered the MP to vacate his seat.

Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, counsel for the MP appealed against the High Court’s decision resulting in the Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision, declaring that Mr Biebel should have gone by an electoral petition, since the matter bordered on electoral dispute.

Under the law, all matters relating to electoral disputes are to be heard as electoral petitions and those petitions are to be heard 21 days after results have been declared.

Aggrieved by the Court of Appeal’s decision, Mr Biebel went to the Supreme Court which decided to take evidence from him.
He has since testified and been cross-examined by one of the lawyers for the MP, Mr Egbert Faibille.

The defence filed a submission of no case after Mr Biebel had completed his evidence-in-chief.

According to the defence, Mr Biebel had failed to fully comply with the rules of evidence and for that reason there was no evidence before the Supreme Court.

It said the standards for submitting exhibits had not been met by Mr Biebel and, for that reason, the court should strike out Mr Biebel’s case.

At the court’s sitting on March 20, 2012, Mr Biebel informed the court that the Ghana Police Service gave him documents upon which he filed the legal suit against the MP.

According to him, he wrote to the Ghana Police Service requesting to be furnished with documents relating to the case, adding that the service responded and furnished him with the relevant documents.

He, however, conceded that he had neither heard of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom nor had he personally written to that office in respect of the MP’s nationality status.

The witness also stated that he had not received any correspondence from the United Kingdom Home Office on the nationality status of the MP.

Mr Biebel is also the complainant in a criminal action against the MP at the Fast Track High Court.

The MP was, on July 31, 2009, arraigned before the court, charged with nine counts relating to his nationality, perjury, forgery of passport, election fraud and deceiving public officers to be elected as an MP but was exonerated on six of those charges on July 8, 2010.

He is currently facing three charges of false declaration of office or voting, perjury and deceiving a public officer.