The General Secretary of opposition NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa and her deputies must be arrested for causing financial loss to the state after admitting to capturing minors and foreigners onto the new electoral roll through the recently-ended registration exercise.
The influx of foreigners into Ghana for the exercise, was one of the many reasons the Commission, backed by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), insisted on compiling a new roll to make the register credible.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, 12 August 2020, the chairperson of the election management body, Mrs Jane Mensa, said: “The Commission is mindful of the infiltration of foreigners at a number of our registration centres”.
“Additionally, we are aware that a number of minors have also found their way into the register,” Mrs Mensa said.
She, however, expressed confidence that the challenge processes initiated at all districts throughout the country, will unearth “these illegal persons and rid the register of those who do not qualify to be on the register.”
The Challenge system contributes to ensuring and guaranteeing the credibility of the register.
It allows a qualified registered voter to challenge the registration of an applicant on the grounds that the applicant does not satisfy the laid-down criteria, namely; that the applicant is not a Ghanaian, he/she is not 18 years old and that the applicant is not of sound mind.
At the end of the exercise, the EC said the number of challenged cases amounted to 37,762 representing 0.20% of the total register.
The Oti Region had the highest number of challenged cases per population with 0.51% of registrations’ eligibility being questioned.
This is followed by the Ahafo Region, where 0.38% of registrations were challenged, and then the Volta Region, with 0.37% of the registrants challenged.
Speaking to Kwabena Prah Jr on Accra100.5FM’s Ghana Yensom on Thursday, 13 August 2020, however, Mr Asiedu Nketia said the EC knew they were registering minors and foreigners and, so, must be made to answer for it.
“They knew it and they went in with their eyes fully opened. So, it is too late to come and tell Ghanaians this cock and bull story”, he insisted.
According to him, the actions of the EC led to minors and foreigners finding their way into the register.
“We all know there is no equipment that can determine one’s age during a registration exercise but if you ditched the old roll with the claim that it had minors on it and insisted on buying new equipment to compile a new clean one, then it was assumed your new improved equipment can tell who a minor is and stop that person from registering.
“We told you such equipment doesn’t exist and, so, we’re were better off maintaining the old register because the minors that were captured in 2012 are now eligible voters, so, they are no longer minors. But by insisting on compiling a new register, you rather opened the opportunity for more minors to enter the register.
“So, what do you want to tell Ghanaians after repeating the same mistake you claimed you were going to solve with a new register?” he asked.
According to Mr Asiedu Nketia, the EC’s own admission to registering minors and foreigners should serve as the bases for prosecuting its leaders for causing financial loss to the state.