Supreme Court to hear suit on NHIS voters’ list today

The Supreme Court will today [Thursday], June 30 2016, hear the suit in which former People’s National Convention (PNC) Youth Organizer, Abu Ramadan, is asking it to compel the Electoral Commission, to delete names of voters on the register, who got onto the electoral roll through the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme card as a proof of Ghanaian citizenship.

Today’s hearing follows the Electoral Commission’s submission of what is supposed to be the full list of persons who found their way onto the voters’ register using the National Health Insurance Scheme card as a proof of Ghanaian citizenship, prior to the 2012 elections.

The Supreme Court issued an order on Thursday June 23, asking the Commission to respond to it in six days with the full list, to enable it bring closure to the matter. On Wednesday, the document, which is captured on a CD, was submitted at the Supreme Court Registry.

It is unclear yet how many names are in the document. There were suggestions the Commission could not meet the deadline considering the workload involved.

Supreme Court directive

The panel of five judges in issuing the June 23 directive also asked the Commission to provide them with a detailed plan on how they were going to carry out the deletion and re-registration of the same people who would be affected by the deletion.

They also warned that they will not allow the Electoral commission, to plunge the country into chaos.

The Supreme Court’s six-day ultimatum became necessary after the former People’s National Convention (PNC) Youth Organizer, Abu Ramadan, went back to the court to seek clarity regarding the removal of unqualified persons on the voters register.

Background

The apex court on May 5 2016, asked the Electoral Commission to expunge from the current voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections, with the NHIS card as a proof of identity.

The ruling followed a suit filed by Abu Ramadan, and one, Evans Nimako, who in 2014 won a lawsuit that barred the use of NHIS cards for registration of potential voters.

The two, among other reliefs, wanted the current register declared inappropriate for the November polls.

But the EC after studying the ruling said it’s understanding did not suggest the use of any new process to delete the names of those who registered with NHIS cards, since there are already laid down procedures for expunging ineligible names.

The EC’s explanation however angered Mr. Ramadan who felt the Commission was disrespecting the explicit orders of the court.

His position was further strengthened when one of the judges who gave the May 5 ruling, stated categorically that the ruling was clear and unambiguous and that the EC must remove the names of persons who registered with the NHIS card.

He subsequently got the Supreme Court to issue the six-day ultimatum to the Commission.

 

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