Minority caucus in Parliament for Supreme Court over Ghana Card

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Haruna Iddrisu
Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority Caucus in Parliament says it will go to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of Article 42 of the Constitution as to whether voter identification cards (IDs) can be used as a reference document for the national identification registration.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, told journalists in Parliament yesterday that Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution specified that citizens of 18 years and above were eligible to register for the voter IDs.

He said the implication of that provision was that holders of voter IDs were citizens.

Therefore, Mr Iddrisu added not including voter IDs as one of the documents required for the ongoing Ghana Card registration was illegal.

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He said the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) would continue to boycott the national identification registration exercise, which started in Parliament last Tuesday.

Principle good but...

Mr Iddrisu indicated that the national ID registration was a laudable initiative which Minority MPs supported.

However, he said, the Minority MPs were opposed to the processes, especially the rejection of the voter IDs as a reference document.

Mr Iddrisu noted that from the information provided by the National Identification Authority (NIA), only two million Ghanaians had passports, while seven million had birth certificates.

That, he said, meant that only nine million out of the 29 million Ghanaians would be entitled to register for the Ghana Card.

Mr Iddrisu observed that the insistence of the NIA to use only birth certificates and passports as reference documents could be interpreted as an attempt to prevent majority of Ghanaians from registering and acquiring the Ghana Card.

NIA allays fears

Responding to the concerns of the Minority MPs in Parliament last Tuesday, the acting Executive Secretary of the NIA, Professor Ken Attafuah, said many people had voter IDs but they were not Ghanaians.

That situation, he noted, informed the decision to exclude the voter ID and make birth certificates and passports the root documents for the registration.

According to Prof. Attafuah, there was a provision, through the help of guarantors and commissioners of oath, to register those who did not have birth certificates or passports.

He stressed that even when people came with birth certificates and passports, they would still go through an interview process.

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