The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to with immediate effect remove the names of the 56,000 people it presented as persons who registered with NHIA cards as proof of Ghanaian citizenship, ahead of the 2012 elections.
Today’s [Tuesday] directive follows a ruling by the apex court on May 5 2016. In that ruling however, the Court also told the Commission to allow such persons who would be affected by the deletion to be re-registered using the right process.
The ruling of the court had many different interpretations with the EC stating that, the court had not ordered an outright deletion but the use of its standard procedure.
The People’s National Congress’ (PNC) Abu Ramadan went back to the Supreme Court to seek an interpretation of the court’s earlier ruling on the validity of the current register.
The Electoral Commission last Thursday presented the list of NHIS registrants to the court Mr. Abu Ramadan, filed an application on Monday rejecting the list, describing it as “spurious.”
Several other persons have doubted the list. Following Mr. Abu Ramandan’s rejection of the list, the Chief Justice, Georgina Wood dared him to produce any list contrary to prove that the EC’s list is not credible.
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, which the Commission obliged and presented the list of 56,000.