General News of Thu, 30 Jun 2016101
Abu Ramadan peeved over EC snub
A former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC) has expressed his disappointment in the Electoral Commission (EC) over its failure to serve him copies of documents regarding National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registrants.
Abu Ramadan said the Commission was supposed to have served his legal team copies of the documents it submitted to the court registry out of good faith but this was disregarded.
“I believe in the spirit of good faith they [EC] would have served us copies of the documents which they have not and I am surprised about that,” he said.
The EC submitted five medium size jute bags filled with documents suspected to be NHIS registrants to the registry of the court as per the order of the Supreme Court on June 23.
Joynews' checks revealed the documents were initially taken to the Chief Justice's office where they were inspected before authorising them to be sent to the registry of the court.
Clarifying the court’s earlier ruling on May 5 which ordered the EC to take immediate steps to rid the electoral roll of ghost names, names of minors and NHIS registrants, a panel made up of five Supreme Court judges warned the Commission to desist from acts that are likely to plunge the country into chaos.
The court presided by the Chief Justice, Georgina Wood ordered the EC to furnish it with the list of NHIS registrants and the process it intends to use to carry out the deletion process.
Many people found this worrying as they claimed the Commission would be unable to do what the apex court has requested of it.
They accused the Supreme Court of unnecessarily meddling in the affairs of the Commission.
However, in what has taken many people aback, the EC submitted the documents to the court registry minutes after 2p.m. The registry in turn requested the legal team of the plaintiffs be copied those documents.
Reacting to the development on Joynews, Mr Ramadan was unforgiving, saying, the EC has refused to copy his legal team the document it submitted to the court registry.
The EC's action, he said smacks of a deliberate agenda to ambush them in court.
He revealed his legal team will interrogate every action of the EC to ensure the right document and process is used in carrying out the work.
“They should tell us how they managed to get those names first and foremost. We should have clarity on the legitimacy of those names,” he said.
“It is not just about conjuring those names and putting them down on a piece of paper and present it to the court, but whether those names exist in the register and whether those names are persons who used the NHIS card and also whether that is the entirety of the names in the register are the focus,” he said.
This, he said, would not be done for his benefit and that of his legal team but the “court itself must also satisfy itself before the list will be approved.”
The EC is expected to appear before the Supreme Court today Thursday, June 30, 2016 over the electoral roll.