Ghana’s supreme court has empanelled seven judges to hear a case between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission (NDC) today 4th June, 2020.
The NDC filled a suit at the supreme court challenging the decision of the electoral commission to use only the National Identification Authority (NIA) card and Ghana passport as the valid means of identification in the upcoming voter’s registration exercise.
The case filled is expected to be given a fair hearing today, the judges empaneled by the supreme court to sit on the case are:
- Justice Anin Yeboah – chief Justice
- Justice Baffour Bonnie
- Justice Jones Dotse
- Justice Sule Gbadegbe
- Justice Marfo Sau
- Justice Nene Amegatcher
- Justice Ashie Kotey
The write filled against the EC and the attorney general by the NDC is seeking a declaration that the decision of the EC is unconstitutional as it will disenfranchise a lot of potential voters.
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This is in conjunction with the EC’s decision to submit a proposal to parliament to amend Regulation 1 in the constitutional instruments 91 (CI91) which when passed by Parliament will make NIA card and Ghana passport the only legal identification documents the registration exercise will use.
Per the constitutional instrument (CI) individuals without any of the above legal identification documents will be able to register only if there are two people who have already registered to vouch for them.
The NDC further argue that article 42 of the 1992 constitution which stated that “All existing voter ID cards issued by the EC are valid for the purpose of the upcoming registration.
Mrs Gloria Akkufo the attorney general in responding to the claims in the suit of the NDC considered it outrageous and incompetent.
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Below is the charge sheet of suit filed against the EC and the attorney.
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF GHANA
ACCRA – A.D. 2020SUIT NO:WRIT TO INVOKE THE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT
BETWEEN:NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS PLAINTIFF
H/NO 12, ADAMA STREET, ADABRAKA
ATTORNEY GENERAL DEFENDANTS
ATTORNEY GENERAL DEPARTMENT
MINISTRIES, ACCRA ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA
NEAR RIDGE HOSPITAL
IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, you are hereby commanded within fourteen (14) days after the service on you of the statement of the Plaintiff’s case inclusive of the day of service, that you are to file or cause to be filed for you a statement of the Defendant’s case in an action at the suit of:NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS of Accra:
The nature of the reliefs sought is as follows:
A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution, 2nd Defendant has the constitutional power to, and can, compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law. Accordingly, 2nd Defendant can only revise the existing register of voters, and lacks the power to prepare a fresh register of voters, for the conduct of the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, specifically article 51 read conjointly with article 42 of the Constitution, the power of the 2nd Defendant to compile and review the voters’ register must be exercised subject to respect for and the protection of the right to vote; A declaration that, upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly article 42, upon the registration of and issuance of a voter identification card to a person, that person has an accrued right to vote which cannot be divested in an arbitrary and capricious manner; A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article 42 of the Constitution, all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant to registered voters are valid for purposes of identifying such persons in the exercise of their right to vote;
A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, specifically Article 42, the 2nd Defendant’s purported amendment of Regulation 1 sub regulation 3 of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I 91) through the Public Elections (Registration of Voters)(Amendment) Regulations, 2020 to exclude existing voter identification cards as proof of identification to enable a person apply for registration as a voter is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever;
A declaration that the 2nd Defendant, in purporting to exercise its powers pursuant to article 51 of the 1992 Constitution to exclude the existing voter identification cards from the documents required as proof of identification to enable a person register as a voter without any justification is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and contrary to article 296 of the 1992 Constitution;
A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution specifically Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, proof of identification for registration as a voter should not be limited by the provisions of Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020;
An order directed at the 2nd Defendant to include all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant as one of the documents serving as proof of identification for registration as a voter for the purposes of public elections;
Any other order or orders as this Honorable Court would deem fit in the circumstances.
The Capacity in which the Plaintiff is bringing this action is as follows:The Plaintiff brings this action in its capacity as a citizen of Ghana to seek the interpretation and/or enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution under Articles 2(1) (b) and 130(1) (a) thereof. The address for service for the Plaintiff is as follows:
National Democratic Congress
H/No 12,Adama Street,
The address for service of Counsel for the Plaintiff is as follows:
LAW OFFICES OF AYINE&FELLI
NO.C808/29 1ST CLOSE LILY STREET,
EAST LEGON, ACCRA
The names and addresses of persons affected by this writ is as follows:
DATED AT ACCRA THIS 19TH DAY OF MARCH, 2020
GODWIN KUDZO TAMEKLO
LAWYER FOR THE PLAINTIFF
LIN NO.e GAR02107/20THE REGISTRAR,
ACCRA.AND FOR SERVICE ON:
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
By Michael Abbey | Political Reporter