NIA suspends mass registration exercise in Eastern Region

National Identification Authority (NIA)
National Identification Authority (NIA)

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has suspended the mass registration exercise in the Eastern Region from Saturday, March 21, following an interlocutory injunction restraining it from doing so.

A statement signed by the acting Head of Public Affairs, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Francis Palmdeti, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday, said its field officers were to return to their various registration centres to render account regarding registration equipment, materials and consumables in their custody.

Those who had not received their Ghana cards, it said, would be notified by SMS or phone calls as to when and where to receive them, it said.

Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah and Kevor Mark-Oliver on Friday, March 20, filed the interlocutory injunction application at an Accra High Court.

The two argued in their writ, among others, that the continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card in the Eastern Region had a strong tendency in “aggravating the spread of the coronavirus”.

They said it also violated the applicants’ right to good health since the registration exercise exposed them to a high risk of contracting the Covid-19.

The NIA started the exercise in the Region on March 4 and it was scheduled to end on March 27, to complete the nationwide mass exercise, which has been carried out in all the other 15 regions.

However, following the President’s directive on the limitation on public public gatherings, as part of efforts to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, the Authority has come under pressure to cease the exercise.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) earlier declared that the continuation of the exercise was a clear violation of the President’s directive and that it should be stopped immediately.

Other groups such as the Ghana Medical Association, National Democratic Congress (NDC) ASEPA and the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) also called for the suspension of exercise.

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