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Private citizen Mark Takyi-Banson and the opposition NDC filed the case in court asking that it stops the EC from compiling the register or allow the use of the birth certificate and voters ID card by prospective voters as proof of identification.

The EC’s arguments

The commission in its legal arguments says the existing voter register which was compiled in 2012 and revised since by limited exercises has been held by the apex court as not being reasonably credible.

 
Legal team for the Electoral Commission

The EC makes references to the cases of Abu Ramadan and Another v. the Electoral Commission and another and Kwasi Danso Acheampong v the Electoral Commission and other.

It argues the two cases raised questions about the existing voters register with one holding that using the National Health Insurance card to get on the register was contrary to law.

The Commission says this means “the credibility of the register compiled pursuant to C.I. remains in doubt save the registrations done with the voter identification cards before the coming into effect of C.I. 72”.

The commission further says not using the Voters ID and birth certificate will afford it an opportunity to compile a credible register.

Deputy AG speaks

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame urged the apex court not to impede the EC’s quest to obey the law. He says the EC has admitted to training its officers not to obey a constitutional instrument and that was enough evidence to support the view that the current card cannot be used in the registration exercise.

Panel

The seven member panel that heard the case was presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah. Other panel members are Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbagegbe, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, and Professor Ashie Kotey.

Decision and orders

The court in its decision held that the EC is an independent body and will only be directed by the court if it acts contrary to law.

There was disagreement between the NDC and the AG’s office over whether or not the court allowed the use of the existing voters ID card.

Background

Ghana’s Electoral Commission was for the third time been sued for its decision to compile a new voters register.

This third writ unlike the previous two was filed at an Accra High Court by Ashaiman MP Ernest Nogbey praying the High court to rule that the EC does not have the mandate to compile a new register.

He also wanted the court to rule that the current voters register until revoked by a law passed by parliament, is the only register that can be used for the conduct of the 2020 election.

The two already pending cases against the EC raised similar issues, the difference however was the forum and the redress that is being sort.

The NDC and a resident of Breman-Kokoso in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District of the Central Region, Mark Takyi-Banson were seeking that the Apex Court exercises it’s power of interpretation and enforcement to compel the Electoral Commission to not compile a new register, to allow the use of voters ID card and birth certificate if the court allows the EC to do so as proof of identification.

Mr Norgbey’s case was, however, an application for judicial review asking the High Court to restrain the EC from undertaking the exercise.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 25 June 2020

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