We greet you all here gathered and warmly welcome you to our maiden PRESS ENCOUNTER programme today.
Fellow Ghanaians, GOOD GOVERNANCE ADVOCACY GROUP GHANA(GGAGG) as the name self-describes is an organization that seeks to always put GHANA FIRST by ensuring that all state institutions especially the three (3) main arms of government work very efficiently and effectively to ensure and safeguard good governance that will in effect promote the name of Ghana in her democratic credentials.
We believe that the choice of DEMOCRACY in our political dispensation is a good thing but we ought to be guided by the very mistakes of some democratic states, especially in our Sub- region, that have become war torn countries due to misapplication of powers vested in some state institutions.
Ladies and gentlemen, NOW TO WHY WE ARE HERE
On Thursday June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court (SC) of Ghana ruled again on the Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako case in respect of the use of NHIS cards to register. The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to furnish it with a list of people who registered with the NHIS cards during the registration process in 2012.In their own words.
“In view of the submissions so far made by the main parties to this application, namely, the Plaintiffs/Applicants and the first Defendant/Respondent (EC), it is hereby ordered as follows:
1. That the EC should submit in writing to this Court, the full list of persons who the Commission admitted before this Court, had utilised NHIS cards to register, as per their registration forms which are in the exclusive custody of the Commission.
2. That the EC should clearly set out in writing, the steps or modalities that the Commission intends to take in order to ensure full compliance with the Courts order made in the action herein on 5th May, 2016, contained in the judgment of the Court whereby it was ordered that the Commission “takes steps immediately to delete or “clean” the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution and applicable laws of Ghana” and also to afford such affected persons the opportunity to re-register.
3. The two orders above i.e. (i) and (2) are to be complied with by the Commission on or before 29th June, 2016.”
Fellow Ghanaians it was during this proceedings that the Supreme Court further stated that it will not sit down for the Electoral Commission (EC) to do anything that will plunge the nation into chaos.
The Supreme Court order issues from an interpretation of its previous ruling on whether or not NHIS cards were Legal documents for registration of voters in the upcoming elections as per Abu Ramadan (1) That’s Ramadan’s first petition to the Supreme Court.
In the previous ruling earlier, a year ago, that is Abu Ramadan I, Electoral Commission declared that the registration with NHIS cards on the voters register was Null and Void.
Fellow Ghanaians, in 2012, to register to vote with an NHIS card was Lawful because the existing Election regulation documents i.e. CI 72 recognized that.
The Supreme Court ruling in Abu Ramadam 11, in our candid opinion, was succinctly clear and unambiguous, yet, it was twisted by some politicians.
In spite of that, there was a huge debate on the matter with so- called learned people saying they did not understand the ruling hence Abu Ramadan 111.
The SC granted only one of the reliefs being sought by the plaintiffs in Abu Ramadan 11. That is to clean up the Register of dead names, minors, multiple registrants and all other ineligible elements in conformity with tie Constitution and give those affected, chance to re-register.
That is fine.
The plaintiffs and their lawyer further went to the Supreme Court for interpretation and had a different outcome. Instead of explaining what the plaintiffs ie Abu Ramadan 111, were seeking, the Court rather ordered the EC about in a manner suggestive of a bully like a Housemaster and his student.
It urged the EC not to plunge the Nation into chaos.
We are worried about the pronouncement or comment if for the want of a better word by the Supreme Court that “we shall not sit down for Electoral Commission to plunge this nation into chaos”. We believe that the comment was too harsh and has a recipe to incite the public against the Electoral Commission, especially those who are already geared up to want to blame their defeat on the actions of the Electoral Commission.
In fact the Supreme Court as the Apex Court of this Land is the last place of Law adjudication that the people of Ghana will resort to, to seek interpretations of the Law and we expect that they execute their job in all fairness devoid of partisanship, biasness and unwarranted comments.
The comment coming from the Supreme Court means that the Electoral commission is becoming a Law unto itself and does not want to seek advice or that the Electoral Commission is a Lawless Institution which we believe is not the case.
While not holding brief for the Electoral Commission, we are pleading with the Supreme Court Justices to be reminded of the Article 46 A of the 1992 Constitution which categorically states
Art 46 “except as provided in this Constitution or any other Law inconsistent with this Constitution, in the performance of its functions, the Electoral Commission, shall not be subject to the direction or control of any Person or Authority.”
This is because the Electoral Commission has the same independence as the Judiciary.
It behooves the Electoral Commission as well as the Supreme Court to look at the larger interest of Ghana in all they do.
Reference ruling of the Fast Track High Court case brought by TsatsuTsikata against the State.
We respect Justices of the Supreme Court and ask that they must always think Ghana First.
Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku 0502714206
020 629 1857
Source: Listowell Nana Kusi
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