The Supreme Court verdict, which directed the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to remove the names of individuals who used National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to register as voters, signifies a triumph for the country, a former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan, has stated.
“It is a victory for all of us, not only Abu Ramadan but Ghana. As my lawyers said, we are extremely delighted,” he noted.
The apex court ordered the EC to implement the orders it gave on May 5 this year regarding such voters.
The court on May 5, following a suit filed by Mr Ramadan and one Evans Nimako, against the EC, directed the election management body to delete from the register of voters the names of the dead, minors, as well as all ‘NHIS voters’. The same court had ruled almost two years ago that the NHIS cards were invalid for voter registration.
But the ruling was given several interpretations. The EC had said, after the May 5 ruling, that after a cursory look at the directives, it was convinced that the court did not instruct it to delete the names of NHIS card holders who registered onto the electoral roll.
But the plaintiffs went back to the court for further clarification, following which the EC was instructed to submit to the court the list of all voters who registered using NHIS documents.
The EC complied by submitting a list of 56,000 names to the court on July 4, 2016, which paved the way for the court to rule on the matter on Tuesday July 5.
Class FM’s reporter Paa Kwesi Parker-Wilson, who was in court, reported that the highest court of the land “has ordered that the EC should take immediate steps to implement the court decision in the May 5 ruling and to also delete the names that were sent to the court as persons who registered with NHIS cards as well as take steps to delete names that were not submitted to the court but were also found to have registered with the NHIS card”.
Mr Ramadan, who was reacting to the verdict in an interview with Class News, further indicated that: “The court agreed with us and said principally that the list is not complete so: ‘Delete the ones you presented and those you have not brought’, so the court was in agreement with us.”
He further indicated: “The Electoral Commission should be ready to make the process transparent and open up so that [we can monitor]. This order even takes precedence over C.I 91, so that is to say promulgate a new law to look at how to delete the names.