General News of Saturday, 28 May 2016
If the Electoral Commission (EC) said at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held after the Supreme Court judgment on the Abu Ramadan case that it would not delete names of persons who registered onto Ghana’s electoral roll using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards as a means of identification because they were not ordered to do so, the Commission would be in contempt of court, Ayikoi Otoo, a former Attorney General has said.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling, ordered the EC to “take steps immediately to delete or as is popularly known ‘clean’ the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and applicable laws of Ghana; [and] that any person whose name is deleted from the register of voters by the Electoral Commission pursuant to order (a) above be given the opportunity to register under the law”.
According to Mr Otoo, the fact that NHIS card holders were not mentioned in the order did not mean the EC was not directed to remove their names from the register.
Speaking on TV3’s New Day programme on Saturday May 28, he said: “It is true that NHIS card holders were never mentioned, but ask yourself: ‘How can a dead person be given an opportunity to register, or a minor who has committed an offence should be given the opportunity to register?’
“So the most logical inference is [that it is] only the holders of the NHIS cards, so the fact that that [expression] was not used that ‘delete names of those who used NHIS cards’ does not mean that the Supreme Court has not given you a directive. When the word ‘delete’ or ‘clean’ is used it is a direct order to you.
“If at the IPAC meeting they did say that they are not going to delete any names then they are in contempt of court,” he emphasised.