The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to submit the names of all those who registered with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card to it.
The apex court has also ordered the EC to submit in writing how it is going to delete the names of those who registered with NHIS cards, minors and deceased on the voters register.
The EC is supposed to carry out the order by 29 June 2016.
An angry Georgina Wood, chairing a panel of five Supreme Court Judges, flared up at the response from the EC, then slammed the desk and in a stern voice, warned the Commission they will not sit and watch it distabilise the country, with the rest of judges nodding in agreement.
The EC had indicated that it was using its procedures to clean the electoral roll, but this did not include steps to remove names of people who registered with NHIS cards.
The court criticised the EC for failing to reveal its roadmap in implementing its earlier order on May 5 for the commission to take steps to clean the register.
“Let it be known that when we make a pronouncement and it is not complied with and the country gets into crisis then you blame judges. We will not allow that to happen,” Justice Sulley Gbadegbe is said to have made this comment.
This latest order comes on the back of a recent application by former youth organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and one Evans Nimako, for clarifications from the court on its earlier ruling ordering the EC to expunge the voters’ register of names which were registered with the NHIS cards.
The Court has set July 5, 2016 to determine the credibility of the voters’ register.
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.
We won’t stop suing EC
Abu Ramadan who argued that he and his colleague; Evans Nimako are not harassing the EC with their suits said they will only halt such actions “when they [EC] decide that they are going to give the Ghanaian people a credible register, credible voting process and a more credible and satisfying electoral process.”