court

The Supreme Court will on Thursday June 25, deliver judgement on the consolidated writs issued by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and one Mark Tekyi-Benson challenging the Electoral Commission’s refusal to accept existing voters ID Cards as requirements for the upcoming voters Registration exercise.

The Supreme Court (SC) fixed the date for judgment after it had heard various submissions of respective counsels in the matter.

Meanwhile the seven member panel has dismissed an Amicus brief filed by IMANI Ghana and other Civil Society Organizations saying their application to be joined to the suit was not supported by law.

The court had quizzed Mr Joe Aboagye Deborah, counsel for IMANI and other CSOs, for waiting over three months before joining in the suit.

According to the SC, the CSO’s were not being neutral in the matter and they have also introduced new issues in the suit.

The SC noted that reliefs being sought by the CSOs were virtually the same and wondered why counsel for the CSOs did not read them before filing an application for Amicus brief in court.

Mr Debrah argued that the CSOs were not introducing new issues in the matter and they were providing some assistance to the court.

According to him, they were offering assistance to court to ensure that majority of citizens were not disenfranchised.

Mr Debrah admitted that he had not read the suits and the reliefs being sought, but only gone through the affidavit.

Mr Godwin Edudzi Tamaklo, counsel for the NDC, recounted that the issues raised by Takyi-Benson seem to undermine the Party’s case.

Mr Cosmas Apengnuo, counsel for Benson, argued that birth certificate should be part of the requirements for the Voters Registration, because the birth certificate identified citizens with the dates of birth and parentage.

Mr Justine Amenuvor, counsel for the EC, opposed to the filing of application for Amicus brief, saying he has therefore filed an affidavit in opposition.

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney General, recalled that out of 15 million people, 12 million could not provide any form of identification before they were registered.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had gone to the court challenging the EC over its refusal to accept the old Voters ID cards as part of the requirements in the upcoming Voter Registration Exercise.

Later one Mark Takyi -Benson also filed a similar suit at the Supreme Court, indicating that birth certificates should be accepted as requirements for the new Voters Registration Exercise.

It is the case of the NDC that a new voter’s register will deprive many Ghanaians the right to vote in the polls, if the existing Voters’ ID card is rejected. The EC has however registered its disagreement on the contention of the NDC.

In its suit, the NDC argued that that the EC lacked the power to go ahead with its plans because it can only “compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law”.

The EC among others had argued that the old Voters ID card were obtained under three different Constitutional Instrument: CI 12, CI 72 and CI 91.

In its supplementary statement of case, the EC said it had placed before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument that did not include the use of the existing Voters’ ID Cards.

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