Supreme Court Dismisses NDC’s Application For Review Of Voter Registration
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by the National Democratic Congress seeking for a review of the Court’s judgement on the compilation of a new voters’ register. The dismissal of the application
follows the refusal of the lead lawyer for the NDC, Tsatsu Tsikata, to move the party’s application in court. Mr. Tsikata decided not to move the application due to the fact that he only received the response to
their suit from the Electoral Commission (EC) while in court. According to Mr. Tsikata, he had not had the time to go through the EC’s response, hence could not speak to it. The NDC’s lead lawyer further asked for an
adjournment of the case, but the request was refused by the apex court. Mr. Tsikata had before this had a ruling in his favour, seeking for an abridgement of time for the case to be heard much earlier than scheduled.
He further asked the court for an extension of time to file some documents but was refused by the court. The Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah after a long period of argument dismissed the NDC’s review case saying it lacked merit. The NDC
argued in its review application that the “Supreme Court in several cases, arrived at its conclusions without due and proper regard for existing laws, and in many cases, without the requisite supporting evidence.” On the issue of the birth certificate, the
lawyers of the NDC argued that “its relevance for public purposes such as obtaining a passport is very well established. Indeed, it is not only in Ghana that this is the case. Throughout the world, the keeping of official records of birth and the use of the resulting birth
certificate for public purposes is well established.” According to the NDC “the Supreme Court’s decision that holders of existing voter ID cards cannot use same as a source of identification is also a matter of great concern to us as a political party. It is our view, that
holders of existing voter ID cards have acquired rights based on the fact that the Electoral Commission has gone through a process of identifying them, ascertaining their ages and nationality and has adjudged them to be eligible to vote.” Meanwhile,
officials of the NDC say the Supreme court was unjust to them. A member of the NDC’s legal team, Abraham Amaliba told journalists after the proceedings that Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata could not have proceeded with the case without first appraising himself with the facts of the
Electoral Commission’s affidavit. “The Supreme court did the unthinkable today. They actually dismissed an application that was not moved…For me, that was against the practice, was against the right of the NDC to enable he NDC reply those matters deposed in the affidavit. I think that today, the Supreme Court did injustice to the people of this country.”
NDC loses earlier case
The NDC earlier in July lost a case at the Supreme Court in which it was asking the court to declare that the EC’s decision to exclude the current voters’ ID card and birth certificate from the list of identity documents for the new card was illegal. In a statement, the NDC
said the Supreme Court came to its conclusions “without due and proper regard for existing laws, and in many cases, without the requisite supporting evidence.” It maintains that registering births and deaths has been a basic element in official national record-keeping hence the review.