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29.06.2020 Feature Article

Who Is A Citizen Of Ghana And What Evidence Can You Use To Prove Your Citizenship?

Who Is A Citizen Of Ghana And What Evidence Can You Use To Prove Your Citizenship?
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According to the constitution of Ghana chapter 3 clause 6 ;

2. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person

* born in (AUTOMATIC BIRTHRIGHT)

or

* outside Ghana after the coming into force of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Ghana at the date of his birth if either of his parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of Ghana.(AUTOMATIC BLOOD RIGHT)

3. A child of not more than seven years of age found in Ghana whose parents are not known shall be presumed to be a citizen of Ghana by birth.

(PRESUMED BIRTHRIGHT)

Chapter 3 Clause 9(a) also states that ;

The High Court may, on an application made for the purpose by the Attorney-General, deprive a person who is a citizen of Ghana,

otherwise than by birth, (MEANING BIRTH RIGHT CANNOT CHANGE)

of that citizenship on the ground-

According to the constitution of Ghana, the primary evidence of one’s citizenship is the birth certificate which confirms that a person is born in Ghana.

If you are born in Ghana either by a Ghanaian or a non-Ghanaian Parent, you automatically become a Ghanaian.Even a child found in Ghana whose parent cannot be found could be granted citizenship by birth.

Not even the high court nor the Supreme Court can denounce someone’s citizenship if he or she is born in Ghana or presumed to be born in Ghana.

If you apply for citizenship as prescribed under chapter 3 clause 7,8 and 9, then your citizenship can be revoked but not when you are born in the country, that is why ‘OTHERWISE THAN BY BIRTH’ is stated in clause 9.

If Ghanaians are registering to vote and you allow secondary documents like passport and NIA card, whose acquisition solely depends on the birth certificate but disallow the primary document itself, then what are you talking about?

Am sorry whoever argues this way violates the constitution.

Per the politically motivated judgement that has virtually plunged Ghana into a state of shock and confusion and has virtually overthrown the fabrics of our constitution, ones citizenship cannot be evidenced by BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

This ruling can never stand a test of time.If most Ghanaians are not able to vote, because, they didn’t have the two secondary documents which could have been easily acquired through dubious means whether you are Ghanaian or not but cannot not be acquired in time to register or don’t have the money to acquire it but the primary document, birth certificate which every body has is not accepted then the 2020 elections would NOT be free and FAIR and the results should be REJECTED OUTRIGHT.

How can you let a citizen of Ghana who don’t have the two secondary document and could not get two people to vouch for register and vote? There is no provision for them and therefore would be disenfranchised.

If an elected government through this dubious means is overthrown, are the coup plotters right or wrong? Your guess is as good as mine.

In my opinion, those who denied citizens the constitutional right to vote, and those who overthrow the illegitimate government are both wrong.

However, if the successful coup plotters immediately register ALL eligible voters and carry out elections as quickly as possible to hand over power to a civilian government, then I think they would have upheld the constitution by righting the wrong.

Until another non-partisan Supreme Court panel dismisses this politically motivated ruling before the registration and the subsequent election process, the constitutional rule in Ghana is at stake.

The number of people who have a passport and NIA card is not many and therefore there is the risk of disenfranchising many people I.e. those who don’t have an NIA card and passport and couldn’t get two people to vouch for. THIS IS SERIOUS, it beats logic and common sense and creates doubt in the so-called law that is meant to protect our rights.

The interpretation of the constitution is a mere common sense.

Anybody that can read and write can interpret it.

The constitution is not written in Latin or Greek and therefore NOBODY should deceive Ghanaians with law degrees.In any case, LAW PROFESSORS should be the only people who should be allowed to interpret the constitution.

God bless Ghana.

Michael FREMPONG

Political Analysts,London

Michael Frempong
Michael Frempong, © 2020

The author has 19 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: MichaelFrempong

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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