A Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, has described as appalling, remarks by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, which suggested that his party had won its case against the Electoral Commission (EC).
After the Supreme Court verdict, Mr. Asiedu Nketia told the press that the NDC’s key reliefs had been granted by the court.
“The court has just delivered the verdict which has granted our request for the inclusion of the existing voter card as breeder document for the compilation of the new voters’ register. We feel vindicated,” the NDC General Secretary said a few minutes after the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday.
But Mr. Dame, who represented Government in the case, condemned Asiedu Nketia’s comments, describing them as “misleading”.
“It’s very despicable and sad for the General Secretary of the leading opposition party to be speaking like that because what he is seeking is actually amounting to pulling the wool over the eyes of his own party members, to deceive his own party members and to mislead them and it’s wrong. Clearly they walked away with nothing so I don’t understand what Johnson Asiedu Nketia is seeking to do,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Mr. Dame further stressed that the Supreme Court “stated clearly that the old voters’ ID cards are excluded from the upcoming voter registration exercise and that EC has the power to act strictly in accordance with C.I. 126.”
The issues in contention
The Apex Court on Thursday, June 25, 2020, ruled that the existing voter ID card and birth certificates cannot be used as proof of identity to register in the upcoming voter registration exercise.
The seven-member panel also gave the Electoral Commission (EC) the green light to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections.
The NDC dragged the EC to court over a decision by the Commission to exclude the existing voter ID card as proof of identity for the purposes of the planned voter registration exercise.
A Ghanaian citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson, also filed a fresh case, asking the Apex Court to make a pronouncement on the matter.
He argued that the EC’s decision to compile a new roll of voters violated the 1992 Constitution.
Additionally, Mr. Takyi-Banson wanted the Court to rule against the EC for excluding birth certificates as proof of identity for voter registration.
The Supreme Court subsequently consolidated both cases.
The Court, presided over by a seven-member panel in its ruling, indicated that the election management body was independent and its action can only be guided by the court if it goes against the law.
“By this decision, the Electoral Commission i.e. 2nd Defendants in Suit No. J1/9/2020 and 1st Defendants in Suit No. J1/12/2020 are hereby directed to commence the compilation of the voter registration exercise as scheduled. By these decisions and, by virtue of Article 130 (2) of the Constitution any court in which same or similar action is pending or yet to be filed shall apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in these consolidated suits,” the Supreme Court directed.
Source : citinewsroom