Private legal practitioner, Lawyer Maurice Ampaw has asked Ghanaians to celebrate the Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensa for her courage and boldness in exposing the irregularities on our electoral roll.
Commenting on the EC’s response on the basis for excluding the voters’ ID card as a form of identification for registration he said the laws drafted by the previous EC created a lot of illegalities but nobody questioned it.
Lawyer Ampaw said this current EC led a competent lawyer has decided to what is right. She has decided to comply fully with the apex court’s ruling and yet, we have people attacking her.
The EC has filed its legal basis for refusing existing voter IDs at the Supreme Court.
It has admitted that they are NHIA cardholders on the voters register despite the apex court’s order to have them removed in 2016.
The EC has explained that it is as a result of how the law that governed the registration of voters at the time (C.I72) was crafted.
It is the argument of the EC that some Ghanaians in a manner that breached various laws acquired the existing voter’s ID card.
The EC in its response said it has already demonstrated above that the provenance of the voters ID cards under C.I. 12 is legally and constitutionally doubtful and cannot be relied upon as credible proof of qualification to register.
"In addition, it is noteworthy, that even though you could not use either the C.I. 72 voters ID card to register holders of voters ID cards under C.I. 12 and C.I. 72 could still guarantee the registrations of those who had none of the forms of identification that proved qualification. In effect, we have the problem of the fruit of the poisonous tree on our hand. If the tree is poisonous the fruit is poisonous.”
Finally, it is important to state that the exclusion of previous or old voters ID cards, quite apart from being unconstitutionally permissible and lawful will not in anyway disenfranchise any prospective registrants. It is not always the case that prospective registrants possess existing or old voters ID card to be used to register and yet such persons are able to register. For example, first time applicants for voters registration will never have an existing or voters ID card and yet are able to be registered even when they do not have other acceptable forms of identification.”
“We respectively remind the Court that the issue is not whether Ghanaians are on the register or not. Not every Ghanaian is qualified to be on the register. It is the duty of the 2nd Defendant [EC] to ensure that only Ghanaians who meet the constitutional qualification test are registered.”
Reaching to this, lawyer Ampaw said ‘’Jean Mensa must be commended for taking the bold step to make sure in law, there is no illegality and to also ensure the register is in accordance with the law. If you want change, people will resist and fight it’’.
He said the previous EC sat on several illegalities and infractions but it took Jean Mensa to expose these irregularities and infractions to ensure credibility of the EC.
The EC boss has become the evil one because she has vowed to do the right thing.
Meanwhile, he has explained that persons who failed to implement the order of the Supreme Court to have the names of National Health Insurance cardholders who registered expunged, must be held responsible.
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