The Deputy Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Abu Ramadan said the current Voters Register is poked with several inaccuracies hence the need for the Electoral Commission (EC) to go ahead with the compilation of a new one.
He was addressing the media on why he thinks a new voter’s register is necessary.
According to him, issues that came out from law Suits he, together with Evans Nimako brought against the EC and the Attorney General are clear evidence of the fact that the current register in its form is not legally credible.
According to him, they sued the EC and the Attorney General for a declaration that the use of National Health Insurance Card (NHIS Card) as proof of qualification to register as a voter pursuant to the Pubic Election Regulation 2012 (CI72) was unconstitutional, void and of no effect.
He said that the Court, on July 30, 2014 declared NHIS Card void as a document used for registration as it failed to merit the constitutionality test.
According to him, “Given that the EC deliberately refused to take steps in ensuring that the voters register is brought to constitutional compliance pursuant to the judgment of the Court, and given that there was an impending limited registration to compete the registration for the 2016 polls we instituted another action two years later against the EC and the Attorney General contending that the presence of the NHIS registrants on the Voters Register is in breach of Article 45(a) and Article 42.”
He enumerated that in the course of that trial, it was evidence that the EC could not in any way identify persons who registered using the NHIS Card.
Again, he said that the Supreme Court on May 5, 2016 delivered its judgment and declared among other things that the current voters register which contains the names of persons who have not established qualification to be registered is not reasonably accurate or credible.
According to him, the Court then ordered the EC to take steps to immediately delete of clean the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the Constitution.
An Interpretation of that judgment by the Supreme Court also pointed to the fact that the EC was ordered to file a list of all NHIS registrants and also provide the steps it intended to take to clean the register.
“On 30 June, 2016 the EC informed the Court that they have fully complied with the Court’s orders by filling the FULL LIST OF ALL PERSONS who registered with the NHIS Card. A scrutiny of the list submitted by the EC showed that it was neither accurate nor credible, of doubtful integrity, riddled with manifest defects, contradictions and inconsistencies. We say that the EC acted in bad faith,” he said.
He explained that there were names of persons who were purported to have used NHIS cards to register yet no indication whatsoever of their NHIS cards numbers can be found.
He also noted that there are some membership or identification Number on the face of each NHIS card has eight digits but most of the registered voters provided by the EC had different and varying digits with some three, four, five and even nine digits.
“We know of persons who registered in some of those districts using NHIS cards in 2012 but were not captured in the produced list provided by the EC, such as Nicholas Boadi with NHIS Card No, 52945512 and Christian Adu Boahen of Oforikrom Constituency, with NHIS Card No. 55723690. There are many more such persons out there,” he said.
Abu Ramadan also intimated that the list provided by the EC was fictitious and manufactured and procured out of nothing which left the current register of voters in a state which is not reasonably accurate and credible and thus, not compliant with the Constitution and other applicable laws and ultimately unfit for use in the upcoming 2020 General Elections.
He also mentioned that the EC’s registration officials never bothered to record what ID people brought to register when the current register was being compiled.
Abu Ramadan also pointed out that the EC officials also never bothered to ask for proof of eligibility or record the proof as there was nowhere on the Form 1A t do so.
He therefore indicated that the EC is right in excluding the use of existing Voter ID Cards as proof of qualification to register in the upcoming voter registration exercise, because the Supreme Court has outlawed the use of the Voters ID Card acquired under C.I. 72.