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Supreme Court roars at EC: Give us names of NHIS registrants in six days

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has given a six-day ultimatum to the Electoral Commission to submit to the court the full list of persons who used National Health Insurance card to register to vote in Ghana’s elections.

Also, the EC has up to June 29 to submit to the court a written document clearly spelling out the modalities it intends to use in removing the names of all the people who registered with NHIS cards from the country’s voter’s register which has generated hue and cry in the last months.

A five-member Supreme Court chaired by the Chief Justice Georgina T. Wood gave the orders Thursday following an application filed by Abu Ramadan that sought clarification on the Court’s May 5 judgement, TV3’s Godfred Tanam reported.

The Court on May 5 ordered the electoral body to remove from Ghana’s current voter’s register, the names of all persons who used NHIS cards as proof to register and voted in the 2012 elections.

Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako dragged the EC to court to compel it to  among other reliefs, declare the electoral roll inappropriate for the November 7, 2016 polls on the basis that some of the persons on the register used NHIS cards to register; a card the court in 2014 declared unlawful.

The Court in the May 5 judgement held that inasmuch as there are names of dead persons, minors and those who registered with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards on the register, it is not wholly credible.

It therefore urged the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) to expunge those names from the register. The Court, however, asked for an opportunity for those who registered with the NHIS cards to be re-registered with other identifications.

But at the Court’s sitting Thursday, counsel for the EC, Thadeus Sory, could not tell the Court exactly the mechanism the EC is using to comply with the May 5 orders of the Court, Tanam reported.

Counsel told the court that the EC is first deleting names of multiple registrants in the register before they will comply with the May 5 orders of the Court but that was not taken lightly by the Court, which thus asked the Commission to place the orders above any other thing.

The Court, according to our correspondent, said its orders supersedes all other things.

The chief justice who chaired the panel made it clear the court did not strictly order the EC to delete names of the NHIS registrants but should do that through due process or in accordance to the constitution.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter @steviekgh

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