The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the Attorney General’s defence of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in court is only in fulfilment of Ghana’s laws.
According to him, if any state institution is sued, it is the duty of the Attorney General to defend such agency.
“By our law, when you sue the Republic or an agency of the Republic, you are procedurally required to attach or lead with the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s representation is only a procedural representation and not a substantive representation,” the Information Minister said in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday.
The NIA has been sued by two citizens, Kevow Mark-Oliver and Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah over the Ghana Card registration exercise which was being held in the Eastern Region.
The two succeeded in securing an interlocutory injunction preventing the NIA from going ahead with the exercise.
The Attorney General in its defence made a strong case for the National Identification Authority to be allowed to carry on with the Ghana Card registration despite a directive by President Nana Akufo-Addo limiting public gatherings.
Those who opposed the Ghana card registration exercise cited the coronavirus disease which has so far infected 136 people and the President’s directive.
The Attorney General insisted in her defence that the President’s directive does not include the NIA.
High Court dismisses application to stop Ghana Card registration in Eastern Region
Meanwhile, the High Court in Accra has dismissed the injunction application seeking to stop the National Identification Authority from continuing with the registration exercise in the Eastern Region.
According to the court, the NIA's decision to go ahead with the registration is not against the President's directive suspending all public gatherings.
The Judge, Justice Anthony Oppong explained that the directive did not stop operations of businesses but rather asked operators to observe certain protocols including social distancing.
Force EC, NIA to comply with social distancing directive – NDC
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had earlier written to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately ensure that the National Identification Authority and the Electoral Commission (EC) adhere to the social distancing directives given by the government.
The party, in the letter, expressed disappointment in Nana Akufo-Addo for allowing the NIA to continue with the Ghana card registration exercise and flagrantly disregarding the directive against public gatherings.
“His [President Akufo-Addo's] stance as evidenced by the Attorney General's appeal is a betrayal of public trust, because the NIA, being a public institution that reports directly to President should not be encouraged to act with such levels of impunity in flagrant disregard of the President's own lawfully instituted public health directive to deal with a National Emergency of this magnitude,” the letter said.