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FEATURED: An Open Letter To National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah!!!...

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12.08.2018 Feature Article

No Visa For Dual Citizens?

No Visa For Dual Citizens?

“Pursuant to Ghana Dual Citizenship Law of 2000 (Act 591) Article 16(1), a citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana”.

“A dual citizen may apply and hold a Ghanaian passport, go to Ghana without entry visa, has indefinite stay while in the country. He or she can register and vote there on Presidential and General elections and Referenda and enjoy all the rights except those prohibited by law pursuant to Act 591 (16) (2)”.

“… 6. A Declaration that the administrative requirement of the Republic of Ghana for a dual citizen to obtain a dual citizenship card is discriminatory, unreasonable, burdensome, serves no legitimate constitutional purpose and thereby is null, void and of no effect as it contravenes the letter and spirit of Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

7. A Declaration that the administrative requirement of the Republic of Ghana for a dual citizen to obtain a dual citizenship card is discriminatory, unreasonable, burdensome, serves no legitimate constitutional purpose and thereby is null, void and of no effect as it contravenes the letter and spirit of Article 15(1) of the 1992 Constitution...”

https://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2015/August-28th/samson-lardy-writes-can-dual-citizens-vote-in-ghanaian-elections.php Accessed on August 11, 2018.

All Ghanaians are equal before Ghanaian laws and should be treated as such, whether they are resident in Ghana or live elsewhere and/or have a second citizenship. Standing for elections and holding public offices is indisputably a preserve for Ghanaians, who do not have any other citizenship. Unfortunately, Ghanaians, who hold dual citizenship and have never renounced their citizenship or by virtue of been born to Ghanaian parents on foreign soils and automatically acquired dual citizenship are discriminated against on the immigration laws of the land, contrary to the normal practice around the globe. The practical examples around the world is a country deciding whether or not its citizens are able to hold citizenship of other countries. The constitution of Ghana allows its citizens to hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to their citizenship Ghana. What Ghanaians, especially, those who hold dual citizenship want constitutional lawyers to explain to them is whether Ghana has the right to confer dual citizenship on any Ghanaian, as it is written boldly on all websites of the Ghana Missions/Embassies to apply for dual citizenship certificate. Ghana has a right to confer a single citizenship, and therefore a single citizenship certificate for any of its citizens. Is it not unconstitutional for our foreign missions to state it boldly on their websites asking Ghanaian citizens in the diaspora to pay certain amount of money and make application for dual citizenship certificate after the supreme court has ruled against same in the case of Asare v Attorney General in 2012? In that ruling, isn’t it stated clearly that a Ghanaian, who has also attained a citizenship of another country does not need to do anything to become a dual citizen, because by virtue of having additional citizenship without renouncing his or her Ghanaian citizenship, that person has dual citizenship? May I ask, if there were a card or certificate to show one has only Ghanaian citizenship? Very soon, when the application and issuance of the Ghana card(the national ID card) go public, can’t any Ghanaian, whether they hold dual citizenship or not, apply for the card and hold same?

Why should a Ghanaian apply for a visa when returning to his or her own home country? Why isn’t Ghana passport enough travel document for a Ghanaian in the diaspora to return home and exit the country to his or her destination on that country’s passport? There are Ghanaians, who fortunately or unfortunately, are born to Ghanaian parents and by virtue of been born in certain countries, are equally citizens of those countries. They did not choose it, but have dual citizenship automatically, and are or could be Ghanaian passport holders. If such people qualify for the Ghanaian passport and they were issued without any questions by a Ghanaian Embassy/Mission/Consulate, why should they travel to Ghana on a visa, whilst their other country do not put them through that hassle. There is no natural justice in this visa regime on a section of Ghanaian citizens, especially after the supreme court ruling on Asare v Attorney General in 2012.

There have been many writers in Ghana and abroad, who have written articles with similar or same concerns. There are also many more Ghanaians in the diaspora, who feels treated unfairly on the need to apply for visa or dual citizenship travel document in order to visit Ghana, even when they are Ghanaian passport holders. There are many instances where Ghanaians in the diaspora feel their new residential countries or their other countries treat them better than their original home, Ghana. The handling of the dual citizenship and the visa regime is a clear example. Ghanaians in the diaspora, by numbers, form bigger constituency than most of the 275 constituencies back home and even contribute much better to our economy in the form of remittances and investment than most of the constituencies, which are represented by an MP to fight on their behalf. Who represents and addresses the concerns of this huge constituency then? Please, scrap this “unconstitutionality” and promote freedom of movement of your citizens in the diaspora. Build bridges and not walls.

Eben Johnson – Finland
(Letters Without Signatures)

Ebenezer Johnson
Ebenezer Johnson, © 2018

The opinion expressed here are gathered from anonymous letters(Letters Without Signatures) sent to Eben Johnson on Ghana's current affairs by Ghanaian residents in Finland and beyond. Author column: EbenezerJohnson

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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