Kofi Bentil: Ghana’s law on dual citizenship outmoded

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    The vice-president of IMANI argues that individuals who own dual citizenships cannot act against any of the countries they owe allegiance to.

    Kofi Bentil, the vice-president of Imani Africa has stated that Ghana’s laws on dual citizenship are outmoded and opaque.

    His comment is coming on the back of the raging debate on whether a Cape Coast high court erred in its ruling on the Assin North Parliamentary election petition.

    The Cape Coast high court on Wednesday (28 July) restrained James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Assin North.

    The court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye also ordered for fresh parliamentary elections to be held in the constituency following parliamentary election petition brought to the court by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, seeking to annul the MP’s election.

    However, speaking to Asaase News, Bentil said: “I think that our laws on dual citizenship and things that people with dual citizenship can do, these laws are not sufficiently clear.

    “Let’s not kid ourselves… a lot of philosophical issues and a lot of things that has to be taken into consideration. I am one of the people who does not believe that simply holding a dual citizenship means you hold allegiance to other countries, I don’t think it is true.”

    Bentil added: “We live in a globalised village today, what was prevalent at the time some of these laws were made has changed significantly and I don’t think that a dual citizenship necessarily can be said to owe allegiance to one.”

    Bentil, who doubles as a legal practitioner, argued that individuals who own dual citizenship cannot act against any of the countries.

    “And I don’t also think owing allegiance to one country means that you are going to act against that country.”

    Appeal 

    Meanwhile, Quayson, the 2020 parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for Assin North, has appealed the High Court ruling annulling his election as MP.

    His lawyers filed the appeal on Monday 2 August praying the court to overturn the high court’s decision because the trial judge lacks the “jurisdiction to determine the case”.

    Speaking to journalists on Monday (2 August) after filing the appeal, the Communications Director of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, said:  “The legal team and leadership of the party, together with our able MP have taken time to go through the 64-page judgement of the trial court and we have resolved all the issue that we believe fly in the face of the laws of this country and make this decision a travesty of justice.”

    “And so today lawyers for the Assin North MP have filed a notice of appeal to challenge the decision of the trial court.”