Court dismisses Jomoro MP’s dual citizenship case

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Sekondi High Court has dismissed the case involving the MP for Jomoro Constituency, Madam Dorcas Afo-Toffey today, November 21.

The court presided over by Justice Dr Richmond Osei Hwere dismissed the case on the grounds that the MP was validly elected after Mr Joshua Emuah Kofie, a resident of Jomoro, filed a petition against her questioning the locus and eligibility of the legislator to have contested the Jomoro Parliamentary seat.

According to the petitioner, Madam Dorcas Afo-Toffey was a national of Ivory Coast, hence she possessed dual citizenship making her unqualified to contest for an MP position.

What Happened in Court on Monday, October 24th:

On Monday, October 24, 2022, an Ivorian legal practitioner who filed a witness statement to testify for the MP for Jomoro on article 48 of the Ivorian Nationality Code appeared before the court.

Mr Dadje Ange Rodrick, an Ivorian legal practitioner who appeared before the court today as a witness interpreted the Ivorian law on citizenship and how he got to meet Madam Dorcas Affo-Toffey.

Interpreting the Ivorian laws, he sighted two ways one can lose his citizenship which is by loss or by denouncing.

Titles 4 and 5 of the Ivorian constitution speak on citizenship and how one can lose it. Title 4 speaks on loss and title 5 speaks on denouncing.

Title 4 article 28, of the Ivorian constitution, states that, when one acquires a foreign nationality he or she systematically loses his/her Ivorian nationality, in this case, Madam Dorcas Afo-Toffey upon acquiring Ghanaian citizenship automatically lost her Ivorian citizenship.

He said, “Once she obtained a Ghanaian Nationality, she automatically lost her Ivorian citizenship.”

Title 5 is when one writes to the Ministry of Justice to renounce his/her citizenship.

Mr Rodrick said, “When one sends a letter to the Ministry of Justice, he/she must obtain a stamped copy of renunciation and it can take up to six months to get the registered copy.

If the person gets the renunciation letter immediately, then the renunciation is definite, and even if the person does not get the letter, the moment you sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice, you have automatically lost your Ivorian citizenship.

He indicated that Dorcas Afo-Toffey on January 24, 2019, sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice to renounce her Ivorian citizenship but she received her registered letter on 12 April 2021. That was 2 years later and after the 2020 elections.

He explained that even though Madam Dorcas received her registered letter from the Ivorian government concerning her renunciation late, she lost her citizenship the moment she sent the letter per the Ivorian constitution and even by acquiring Ghanaian citizenship, she had already lost her Ivorian right without needing to write any official letter to the Ivorian government.

The Judge presiding over the case Justice Osei Hwere asked the council for the petitioner and defendant to file their written addresses in 14 days simultaneously.

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