Supreme Court Orders Merger Of Cases Against EC
Dr Afari Gyan, EC Boss
The Supreme Court has asked the two plaintiffs seeking to prevent the Electoral Commission (EC) from using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) identity card for the impending limited voters’ registration exercise to merge their case.
Abu Ramadan, the National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and one Kwasi Danso-Acheampong, a private legal practitioner, have filed separate suits challenging the EC over the use of the NHIS ID’s for the exercise.
As a result, the seven-member panel presided over the Chief Justice, Georgina T. Wood, has asked both plaintiffs to merge the case and set July 24, for the hearing of the substantive case.
Other members on the panel are Justices Sophia Adinyira, Jones Victor Dotse, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Sulley Gbedegbe, A.A Benin and J.P Akamba.
The EC in May gave notice that it would embark on the revision of the voters’ register which was used in the 2012 general elections and it would take nine days.
It said the revision would be a limited voter registration exercise intended to offer Ghanaians who have attained the voting age of 18 since the last registration in 2012 to register.
According to the EC, among the documents required for the registration exercise are passport, National ID card a driver’s license, National Health Insurance card or voter ID card for persons who were registered voters before the replacement of the voters’ register in 2012.
In addition, the EC said applicants who did not have any identification number would be required by the EC to produce two persons who are already voters to complete documents to guarantee their registration.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced the opening of the rescheduled revision of the voters’ register from Friday July 25 to August 3, 2014.
The PNC National Youth Organiser is suing the EC for allowing the use of the NHIS card as one of the identity cards to be used for the registration of persons who have turned 18.
Abu Ramadan is also requesting for an order of a perpetual injunction to restrain the EC from using the NHIS card and other identification cards that do not establish qualification to register voters.
The EC started its voter’s registration exercise in July ahead of the 2016 elections.
Mr. Ramadan described the use of the NHIS cards as proof for qualification to register voters as ‘unconstitutional, void and of no effect’ since it is tantamount to an applicant registering twice or more.
He therefore requested for an order of a perpetual injunction to restrain the EC from using the NHIS card and other identification cards that do not establish qualification to register voters.
‘In effect we want to take a second relief which is a declaration of the true or proper interpretation of the Article 42 of the Constitution,’ he added.
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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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