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Supreme Court chastises Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame

Thu, 11 Jun 2020 Source: Daily Mail

The Supreme Court through the Chief Justice has chastised the Deputy Attorney General for describing their order for the EC to legally justify the exclusion of Voters' ID card from the compilation of the new voter register as “a bit premature”.

The Supreme Court last week ordered the EC and the Attorney General to provide their legal basis why it has decided to refuse to accept the existing voters’ identification card as a form of identification in the upcoming mass voter’s registration exercise.

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, gave the order Thursday, June 4, during hearing of a suit by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenging the upcoming compilation of a new voters' register by the EC.

In a Supplementary Statement of Case filed at the Supreme Court registry on Monday, June 8, 2020, the Attorney General described the order “to be a bit premature”, because as far as the law is concerned, “in any civil case, the burden of proof in a constitutional action is always on the plaintiff”, thus, the AG was telling the Supreme Court that by asking both parties to submit legal arguments to justify their claims was “unconstitutional” and not grounded in law.

The Supreme Court wasn’t pleased with the AG’s flippant submission thereby challenging the order of the court, reprimanded him Godfred Yeboah Dame and asked him to unreservedly apologize to the bench.

The Deputy Attorney General, Odame then apologized to the apex court for referring to their order as premature.

The NDC in March, this year, invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution with a case that it was unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voters ID as a prerequisite for the upcoming voter registration exercise.

It is the contention of the NDC that it is unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voter ID card as it will disenfranchise many Ghanaians which is a violation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.

The Supreme Court has set June 23rd to give its final ruling on the case.

A seven member-panel of the Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah will determine the suit.

Other Justices on the panel are Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel K Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, and Professor Ashie Kotey.

Source: Daily Mail

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