General News of Thu, 30 Jun 201655
56,000 Ghanaians registered with NHIS cards – EC
The Electoral Commission has presented some 56,000 names as the full list of Ghanaians who were captured onto the voters’ register, using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card, as proof of Ghanaian citizenship ahead of the 2012 elections.
The figure was revealed today [Thursday] to the Supreme Court, which had ordered the Commission to produce the list in six days.
This the court said will enable it bring finality to the case in which former People’s National Convention (PNC), Youth Organizer, is pushing for the deletion of such names from the register.
Citi News’ Fred Djabanor reported that the Supreme Court has adjourned sittings for few hours to allow lawyers of the plaintiff to go through the list presented by the EC and make arguments if any.
“The court’s decision was after lawyer for the plaintiff Frank Davies, told the court they needed time to study the documents because they were only served with it two hours before the court sitting today,” Fred reported.
Pro-opposition pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance had suggested that the EC could not meet the deadline of six-days to provide the list since in their view, there were nearly four million of such persons on the register.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers, CODEO, also suggested that such data was almost going to be difficult to collate, and questioned how the EC could meet the deadline.
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.