A Nigerian became the first foreign casualty of the ongoing biometric registration exercise when he was arrested for attempting to assist three of his compatriots to register.
Although the suspect, Banwo Abiodun Ashimiu, 34, had successfully registered in the Odododiodoo Constituency on Sunday, his attempt to aid his compatriots to register at the Apostolic Registration Centre in the Ablekuma South Constituency Monday failed when agents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) sounded the alarm bells after seeing through their tricks.
Ashimiu had successfully registered with the same name at the Cowlane Polling Station in the Odododiodoo Constituency on Sunday. His voter identity card number is 2168002042, with polling station code C090406 and dated 25/03/2012.
When Ashimui and his compatriots were being questioned, they took to their heels but Ashimiu was arrested with indelible ink on his index finger.
Some applicants who knew Ashimiu allegedly informed the NPP agents that the culprit had been bragging that he had registered and had a voters identity card.
The suspect allegedly confessed to registering and took the NPP agents to his house where he brought out his voters identity card. He was subsequently handed over to the Dansoman Police.
Superintendent Diana Enninful of the Dansoman Police Station, who confirmed the story, advised the NPP agents to do the proper and legitimate thing by filling a formal complaint against the Nigerian’s registration at the polling station.
She said when that was done, the law would take its course and urged Ghanaians to use the proper procedures in challenging the eligibility or otherwise of applicants.
She explained that the Electoral Commission (EC) had designed the complaint forms as a means to prevent people from physically attacking people they suspect to be non-Ghanaians, a situation that might culminate in misunderstanding and clashes.
Supt Enninful said Ashimiu, in his statement, had allegedly admitted being a Nigerian who had been co-habiting with a Ghanaian woman for nine years, although the relationship had not been formally regularised.
Ashimiu told graphic.com.gh that he had gone for the biometric voters identity card because he needed an identity card to open a bank account.
He said he had registered as a Ghanaian during the national identification exercise but had not received his identity card yet, hence the decision to get the voters ID card.