Our elders often say that a meat that has fat will prove itself by the heat of fire. On the 15th September 2020 the entire constituency executive committee of the Nandom Constituency were surprised by a young man who arrived from Wa looking for one Dery Peter Clever to serve a court process. Dery Peter Clever is a brilliant young man who stood in for the NDC party at Zimuopare Temporal Booth as an agent during the just ended voter's registration exercise. The court process was duly received and carefully perused. The content of the process was an appeal to review and reverse a decision on some two men who were challenged at the polling station and the challenge was duly upheld by the Nandom District Registration Review Committee (DRRC).
The young men, one Richard Barnes and Paul Lawson Walter were identified to be non-natives and also not resident or ordinarily resident at the Zimuopare electoral area.
They were said to be artisans working at a hotel called Mama Mia within the Nandom town enclave. The two young men, who were oblivious of the rules in the public elections regulations, 2016 (C.I.91) governing the registration exercise decided to go all the way to Zimuopare, a community that is about ten (10) miles away from Mama Mia to register. Meanwhile, the qualifications for registration under (C.I.91) clearly states in regulations (1).1. d. a person is entitled to have his or her name included in the register of voters of an electoral area, if that person is resident or ordinarily resident in an electoral area.
Regulations (3).1. states, each electoral area shall have a voters' register consisting of the voters' registers of the polling stations in the electoral area. Regulations (3). 2. states, each constituency shall have a register consisting of the voters'registers of the polling stations in the electoral area.
The submission of the provisions of Regulations 1 and 3 of C.I. 91 is that a person can only be registered in an electoral area he resides in or is ordinarily resident. In other words, a person cannot assume to register in any electoral area he wants to register when he does not reside in that electoral area.
The NDC agent at Zimuopare Temp Booth Dery Peter Clever having studied and acclimatised himself with the regulations, decided to challenge Richard Barnes and Paul Lawson Walter who went there to register.
The two young men ( Richard Barnes and Paul Walter Lawson) who were properly challenged and taken through the adjudication process by the DRRC were duly denied the registration within the regulations of C.I. 91 and C.I. 126.
Richard Barnes and Paul Lawson Walter decided to challenge the decision of the District Registration Review Committee (DRRC) to the Chief Registration Review Officer. The Officer, in this case, was Justice Kwasi Boakye, the High Courts judge for Wa. This portfolio was established solely for the purposes of the registration exercise controversies among political parties.
The appellants and the interested party (NDC agent) were duly represented by counsel. Senior Counsel Charles Lwanga Puozuing who doubles as the NDC regional secretary for Upper West and senior Counsel James Marshall Belieb, the Head of the Legal Team for NDC in Upper West stood in for Dery Peter Clever the NDC agent whiles Lawyer Crespin Ziekah also represented the appellants.
The CRRO after considering submissions of counsel for both sides dismissed the appeal. With the dismissal of the appeal by the Chief Registration Review Officer(CRRO), the NDC agent has been vindicated as his challenge was without any mischief but in good faith. The Chief Registration Review Officer finally concluded on his judgement by stating, "consequently, I find and hold that the appellants' inability or failure to show empirically that they reside or are ordinarily resident at Zimuopare, they cannot be registered as voter's thereat within the meaning of C.I. 91. The history of accounts and merely saying that they reside or are ordinarily resident thereat is not enough. The appeal is hereby dismissed. The decision of the District Registration Review Committee (DRRC) is hereby affirmed".
The victory in this landmark case further accentuates the credence that the Nandom Constituency Executives and the entire membership of the NDC are poised for a resounding victory in this election and no modicum of effort will be spared to achieving this aim despite the threats and intimidations in the constituency.