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26.06.2020 Politics

Court Ruling On Exclusion Of National ID Makes Nonsense Of Fundamental Human Rights – IPRAN

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Court Ruling On Exclusion Of National ID Makes Nonsense Of Fundamental Human Rights – IPRAN
LISTEN JUN 26, 2020

The Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voter Register (IPRAN) has expressed their disappointment to the ruling of the Supreme Court on the exclusion of the National ID from the primary requirement for the registration of the new voter register as they insist that the decision makes nonsense of the fundamental human rights granted to citizens under the 1992 Constitution.

Ahead of the Voter Registration Exercise which is scheduled to start next week, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) dragged the Electoral Commission (NDC) to court seeking for a ruling that will force the EC to include the national ID card and birth certificate in the list of requirements for registration.

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court dismissed the case while giving the EC the go-ahead to compile the new voter register according to their plans.

In a press statement by the Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voter Register, they have described the outcome of the court proceedings as unfortunate as they emphasize that the decision goes against the fundamental human rights of citizens enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

“We take very grievous note of the rather unfortunate outcome of the Supreme Court on the determination of the matter involving the inclusion of the existing Voter’s ID card as a valid identification document for registering qualified Ghanaian Voters, contrary to the provisions of the CI 126 as amended by the EC. The court throwing out these well-reasoned, legally fertile arguments made in respect of this matter, makes nonsense of the fundamental human rights accrued to all citizens under the 1992 constitution”, a portion of the statement said.

It continued, “Indeed, this ruling speaks volume about the state of the judicial system in the country, as exemplified in the research outcome of a work done by the Dean of the Faculty of Law in University of Ghana, Prof Raymond Atuguba. He concluded that in matters of political implications Supreme Court judges mostly rule in favor of political appointing authority. This case may qualify as one of those, as we remain deeply convinced that the interest of the people was shelved at the expense of petty partisan parochial interest of the ruling class”.

Meanwhile, IPRAN has urged Ghanaians of 18 years and above to ensure they register their names in the new voter register in order not to be left out.

Read the full press statement below:
PRESS CONFRENCE ADDRESSED ON BEHALF OF THE INTER-PARTY RESISTANCE AGAINST THE NEW VOTER REGISTER –IPRAN, ON THE SUPREME COURT

RULING IN RESPECT OF THE EXCLUSION OF THE EXISTING VOTER ID CARD FROM THE IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTER REGISTRATION AT THE KAMA CONFERENCE CENTRE ON FRIDAY, 26TH JUNE, 2020

Good Morning distinguished ladies and gentlemen from the media. We are grateful for your indulgence whenever necessity calls on us to serve our nation. Let me also use this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for you continuous publicity support for our activities since the formation of this group, a group driven by the desire to ensure the right thing is done to protect and strengthen our young fragile democracy.

Firstly let us use this moment to express special appreciation to the leadership of the PNC, APC, NDC, EGLE PARTY, UFP, UPP, DPP and so on, not forgetting the brave leaders of the National House of Chiefs, religious leaders, Civil society Organizations, moral society and all well meaning Ghanaians who defied the obvious political ramifications and spoke to power on the careless and reckless display of political arrogance in the compilation of a new Voter's register

We have invited you here today to share with you, our position on the Supreme Court verdict issued on the above mentioned matter sent to court by one of the members of the Resistance (The NDC) against the Electoral Commission and the Republic of Ghana.

We take very grievous note of the rather unfortunate outcome of the Supreme Court on the determination of the matter involving the inclusion of the existing Voter’s ID card as a valid identification document for registering qualified Ghanaian Voters, contrary to the provisions of the CI 126 as amended by the EC. The court throwing out these well-reasoned, legally fertile arguments made in respect of this matter, makes nonsense of the fundamental human rights accrued to all citizens under the 1992 constitution. Indeed, this ruling speaks volume about the state of the judicial system in the country, as exemplified in the research outcome of a work done by the Dean of the Faculty of Law in University of Ghana, Prof Raymond Atuguba. He concluded that in matters of political implications Supreme Court judges mostly rule in favor of political appointing authority. This case may qualify as one of those, as we remain deeply convinced that the interest of the people was shelved at the expense of petty partisan parochial interest of the ruling class.

Fellow Countrymen, the ruling as has been witnessed has generated its own confusion due to the inherent ambiguity and contradiction that has completely obliterated the clarity that was supposed to come with a Supreme Court ruling. Ladies and Gentlemen, is the Supreme Court not a place where constitutional and legal clarity is sought? So why is the court itself complicating simple laws and making its interpretation difficult for even astute lawyers?

It is important to place on record that the Resistance vehemently disagrees and is strongly opposed to the decision of the court to give a clean bill of health to the EC’s reckless, senseless, wasteful and illogical compilation of the new Voter’s Register. And as if that was not spiteful enough to common sense and logical reasoning, it was also ruled that the EC can go ahead to conduct the registration amounting to an exclusion of over 11 million eligible voters who qualify under article 42 of the 1992 Constitution and are bearers of the current credible Voter’s ID cards.

Indeed, what it simply means is that the current Voter’s register has been outlawed by the SC. So what valid ID cards should we use for transaction in this country. What happens if there is a by-election?

Fellow Countrymen, this ruling in its very essence is a political time bomb waiting to explode. This at best undermines the frontiers of our sovereignty, a sovereignty that rests in the people. We consider this blatant attempt by President Akufo Addo and Jean Mensah to legalize an illegality through the courts as repugnant and unacceptable for a budding fragile democracy like ours.

Whiles, we will not hesitate to continue aggressively in pursuit of true justice for and on behalf of the people and in defense of the constitution, we want to thank our numerous supporters, compatriots and fellow citizens for the unfettered support to the Resistance in this all important battle to rescue the soul of our nation.

Fellow Citizens, the battle is just beginning as the clueless, reckless and incompetent Akufo Addo continues to place our democracy under a clear and present danger and willing to go every length to undermine the sovereignty of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana and its people to perpetuate their rule.

Furthermore, the decision of the apex court sets the nation and the electoral process on a new path, a new path defined by non existent social and institutional arbiters who are independent in thought and in action. We do not have a referee in this year’s election, we do not have an independent security services and we do not have a fair judicial system. Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Country we shall embark on this all important mission with our own referee, we shall do so with our own security services and with our own judiciary.

Let me use this opportunity to serve notice, that we shall never relent, despite this temporary detraction, we remain unshaken and unperturbed in our demand for the right thing to be done. Indeed, this setback has provided the impetus to re-energize us to mobilize greatly for bigger public manifestations in our various communities to make sure that every qualified Ghanaian is registered to vote in the 2020 election. The days of the oppressor is clearly numbered and a loud victory beckons. Victory secured over the tyrant is assured.

Fellow Country men and women, get your ECOWAS Cards or Ghana Card, get your Passports, Get your Voter’s ID if it is the only identification document you can find and March in your numbers and in multitudes to the registration center to demand the restoration of your right to citizenship and your inalienable right bestowed on you by virtue of your birth and by courtesy of the 1992 Constitution. I will be heading to Sankana to register, make sure you are not left out. And whiles at it, make sure you do not allow any locally brewed imperialist to stop you at the registration Centre with flimsy road blocks. You can only right the wrong done to the people of Ghana through this potent political solution. Register to Vote!!

We want to reiterate our caution issued on 26th May in this same auditorium that this action by the electoral commission, National Identification Authority and the NPP government to exclude the widely held and widely acceptable current Voter ID from which had earlier been ruled as the best prima facie evidence for the identification of a Ghanaian citizen, is a recipe for chaos and widespread civil unrest.

May God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation greater and stronger, even as we strive to resist the oppressors rule with all our will and with all our might.

Aluta Continua! Victoria Ascerta!!
Thank you

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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