The Supreme Court’s directive asking the Electoral Commission (EC) to produce the list of persons whose names were captured onto the voters’ register using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card as proof of Ghanaian citizenship, expires today, June 29.
The order, which was issued on Thursday June 23, asked the Commission to furnish it with the information in six days, to enable it bring closure to the matter.
The panel of five judges also asked the Commission to provide them with a detailed plan on how they were going to carry out the deletion and re-registration of the same people who would be affected.
In issuing the directives, they warned that they will not allow the Electoral commission, to plunge the country into chaos.
The Supreme Court’s latest order became necessary after the former People’s National Convention (PNC) Youth Organizer, Abu Ramadan, went back to the court to seek clarity regarding the removal of unqualified persons on the voters register.
There are fears the EC may not be able to meet the deadline, but it has rejected the assertions insisting that the list can be made available to the Supreme Court.
Speaking to Accra-based Unique FM, the Assistant Head in Charge of Communications at the EC, Yussif Ayuba, gave assurances that the Commission will meet the Supreme Court’s Wednesday deadline.
Mr. Yussif said the EC is working” very hard to meet the deadline come the 29th on Wednesday. We are working very hard and we hope to provide the court with what they requested us to provide them with.”
He also gave the assurance that the controversy surrounding the deletion of the NHIS card registrants from the register will not disrupt the 2016 election calendar.
The apex court on May 5, asked the Electoral Commission to expunge from the current voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections, with the NHIS card as a proof of identity.
The ruling followed a suit filed by Abu Ramadan, and one, Evans Nimako, who in 2014 won a lawsuit that barred the use of NHIS cards for registration.
The two, among other reliefs, wanted the current register declared inappropriate for the November polls.
But the EC after studying the ruling said it’s understanding does not suggest the use of any new process to delete the names of those who registered with NHIS cards, since there are already laid down procedures for expunging ineligible names.
The EC’s explanation however angered Mr. Ramadan who felt the Commission was disrespecting the explicit orders of the court.
His position was further strengthened when one of the judges who gave the May 5 ruling, stated categorically that the ruling was clear and unambiguous and that the EC must remove the names of persons who registered with the NHIS card.