The Electoral Commission (EC) has admitted that it has no way of identifying either in its database or the source forms who used the National Health Insurance (NHIS) card to register in 2012 and obtained a voters ID card.
Giving legal basis why it does not want to accept the existing voter Identity cards as a proof of Ghanaian citizenship in its planned new voter registration exercise the commission said, “Indeed the 2nd defendant [EC] simply has no way of identifying either in its database or the source forms who used the NHIS card so its unable to clean the register of such registrations at all.”
This was made known when the EC filed at the Supreme Court registry on Monday, June 8, 2020, the legal basis for which it has planned to refuse the existing voters’ identification card as a form of identification in the upcoming mass voters registration exercise.
In a Supplementary Statement of Case filed at the Supreme Court registry and seen by Graphic Online, the EC explained that the compilation of a new register that does not depend on the existing voter’s ID cards will give the register to be compiled more credibility than the existing register.
It said even the training manual referred to set out a list of acceptable documents to proof eligibility which included documents like the birth and baptismal certificates which C.I. 72 had not sanctioned.
The Supreme Court last week ordered the EC to provide the legal basis why it has decided to refuse to accept the existing voters’ identification card as a form of identification in the upcoming mass voters registration exercise.
A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, gave the order Thursday, June 4, during hearing of a suit by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenging the upcoming compilation of a new voters register by the EC. In its legal basis to the Supreme Court order, the EC said its first legal basis is that it has the sole exclusive constitutional responsibility to compile a voters register and to determine how that compilation will be effected and it is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or body. Article 45(a) and Article 46 of the Constitution and as enunciated by Abu Ramadan & Anor (No.2 [2015-2016] 1 SCGLR 1.
It said its second legal basis is that in exercising its exclusive constitutional duty, it has placed before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that does not include the use of the existing or old voters ID cards, exercising its constitutional discretion to do so.
The EC added that the voters registration made under C.I. 91 are constitutionally and legally doubtful for the reason adduced for the voters ID Cards produced pursuant to C.I. 12 and C.I. 72.
This is because even though the Supreme Court had injuncted the use of the voters ID card under C.I. 72 the voters ID cards procured under C.I. 12 could still be used to register under C.I. 91.