General News of Thursday, 14 June 2018
The National Identification Authority (NIA), has suggested that the Minority in Parliament’s opposition to the use of only passports and birth certificates to establish citizenship is in bad faith.
The Authority’s Director of Public Affairs, Francis Palmdeti, said the Minority had the opportunity to raise their concerns in Parliament before the passage of the LI that regulates the exercise.
Other corrections with the process were made before the LI was passed, he noted. Speaking on Citi TV’s The Point of View, Francis Palmdeti said, “when an opportunity is still available for corrections to be made and members of the House do not see the removal of the Voters’ ID card as so important to correct and then the law is passed, the registration, that is the LI, takes it root from the law.”
“Committees are made up of experts in various fields and are placed in those committees because of their expertise. So when a bill goes to a committee, they don’t joke. They do serious work,” he added.
Speaking on the same program, NDC Member of Parliament for NingoPrampram, Sam George, used Articles 6 to 10 of the constitution to defend the Minority’s stance.
“As a Ghanaian, you know the supreme law of this country is not an Act of Parliament. It is the 1992 constitution… Article 6 to Article 10 defines who a Ghanaian citizen is, and this is in conflict with the constitution,” the MP said.
Minority MPs have boycotted the Ghana Card registration process over the contentions with the proof of citizenship accepted for the registration.
The Minority has said over 20 million Ghanaians will be disenfranchised because of the limitations on the proof of citizenship.
It wants the Voters’ ID card also to be accepted as proof of citizenship.
It has thus served notice it will head to court to challenge the NIA’s basis for only accepting passports and birth certificates to establish citizenship.
What the constitution says about citizenship
From Article 6, the constitution says:
(1) Every person who, on the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of Ghana by law shall continue to be a citizen of Ghana.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person born in or outside Ghana after the coming into force of this Constitution, shall become a citizen of Ghana at the date of his birth if either of his parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of Ghana.
(3) A child of not more than seven years of age found in Ghana whose parents are not known shall be presumed to be a citizen of Ghana by birth.
(4) A child of not more than sixteen years of age neither of whose parents is a citizen of Ghana who is adopted by a citizen of Ghana shall, by virtue of the adoption, be a citizen of Ghana.