With just a day left for the under pressure Electoral Commission to provide the Supreme Court with the full list of persons who registered to become voters in 2012 with the National Health Insurance cards, the Daily Statesman’s painstaking investigations suggest the commission intends to play tricks on the court.
The Supreme Court, presided over by Chief Justice Georgina Wood, last week Thursday, directed the EC to, among other things, submit to the court in writing the full list of persons who used NHIS cards to register.
But information gathered from EC sources across the country indicate that the election management body will present a small list of people and claim it represents the entire people on the register who utilized the NHIS cards to register.
During the 2012 registration exercise, the Form 1A had no place where one could state the type of ID used, apart from the National Identification Cards. The new one makes provision for the type of ID one uses to register.
In majority of the constituencies, registration officers therefore left that place blank, but in few cases, especially in the Ashanti Region, some officers went beyond the requirement to record the type of ID cards that were used.
Some EC officials in some constituencies have confirmed to the Daily Statesman that the few available records that show the type of ID one used to register “is what our bosses in Accra intend to send to the court to deceive the judges that they have been able to identify all those who registered with NHIS cards.”
During the first Abu Ramadan Case in July 2014 the Attorney General on at least two occasions said: “It is submitted that to remove the [NHIS] Card from the list in Regulation 1(3) of C.I.72 will amount to depriving a broad section of Ghanaians of their right to vote.”
The Attorney General also argued that possession of the NHIS Card was more widespread than the other documents listed in Regulation 1(3) of CI72, and therefore submitted that “to eliminate the use of the [NHIS] Card in Regulation 1(3) of C.I.72 will mean to disenfranchise majority of potential voters.”
This therefore comes as a clear confirmation that majority of those who registered in 2012 used the NHIS cards, a clear indication that the list to be produced by the EC cannot be the true representation on the ground if it is below the estimated 4,000.
Some individuals and groups are convinced the EC told the Supreme Court it had the means to identify all those who registered using the cards just to avoid any possible ruling for a compilation of a new voters’ register or validation.
Before telling the court they could ascertain those who used the NHIS cards to register, officials of the EC, in a meeting with Nana Asante Betiatuo, counsel of Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako, plaintiffs in the legal battle over the voters register, had admitted it was impossible to identify those who registered with the cards.
Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chair of the EC in charge of operations, explained at the meeting that the Form 1A only made provision for the recording of details of those who used the National Identification Cards to register, a confirmation that majority of the forms did not indicate the type of ID used by registrants.
When Nana Asante Bediatuo suggested that the numbers on other identification cards, including NHIS cards, could help trace the kind of identification that was used by people to register, Mr Sully maintained that was not possible because those numbers, apart from what was found on the National Identification cards, were not recorded at all.
“To react to, Lawyer, what you said, in fact the Form 1A that you were talking about was very specific on that ID and it was a national Identification Card; that was it. Yeah. Apart from that, all other cards, there wasn’t a field indicating the number that you want,” Amadu Sulley is captured on tape to have explained at the meeting.
Based upon this information, many people are convinced the EC is not in the position to produce any genuine list of people who registered with NHIS cards, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
“So, you may ask, what was the motivation for the EC lying to the Court? Was the EC afraid that if it had said the truth and admitted it could not track those who registered using NHIS, the Court would have probably ordered the Commission to compile a new register or do validation? If so, then we should ask ourselves, what is it about a register that everybody admits is bloated that the EC commissioners would even risk the criminal sanction of perjury to protect?” David Asante, convener of Let My Vote Count Alliance asked at a press conference Friday.
David Asante insisted: “The EC has no database of the actual number of people who used NHIS cards and even if the EC hires 200,000 hands to go through the over 14 million Form 1As and assuming the EC District Officers can be trusted for good record-keeping, that exercise will be futile.”
Source: New Statesman
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|