SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSES NDC'S CASE AGAINST EC, BUT....

• NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia later told pressmen that the court had ruled in the party’s favour by calling for the inclusion of the existing voter ID card as one of the source documents for registration during the upcoming voter's registration exercise.



The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) case against the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters register for the 2020 General Elections

The 7-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, in its decision held that the EC is an independent body and will only be directed by the court if it acts contrary to law.

The seven-member panel that heard the case included Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbagegbe, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, and Professor Ashie Kotey.


Sources say NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia later told pressmen that the court had ruled in the party’s favour by calling for the inclusion of the existing voter ID card as one of the source documents for registration during the upcoming voter's registration exercise.


It would be recalled that two groups, the opposition NDC and a Private citizen Mark Takyi-Banson filed the case asking the apex court to stop the EC from compiling the register or allow the use of the birth certificate and voters ID card by prospective voters as proof of identification.


Thursday Ruling


The Apex Court thus fixed today (Thursday) to deliver its judgement on whether or not the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) decision to exclude the existing voter ID card as one of the source documents for registration during the upcoming voter's registration exercise is Constitutional.


The Supreme Court granted only two reliefs sought by the NDC which had nothing to do with the inclusion of the use of an existing voter ID card as source documents and dismissed all the other reliefs. The apex court further ordered that the compilation of the new register should be in compliance with C.I 126.


Granted reliefs


b. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, specifically article 51 read conjointly with article 42 of the Constitution, the power of the 2nd Defendant to compile and review the voters’ register must be exercised subject to respect for and the protection of the right to vote;


c. A declaration that, upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly article 42, upon the registration of and issuance of a voter identification card to a person, that person has an accrued right to vote which cannot be divested in an arbitrary and capricious manner;


Dismissed reliefs


d. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article 42 of the Constitution, all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant to registered voters are valid for purposes of identifying such persons in the exercise of their right to vote;


e. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, specifically Article 42, the 2nd Defendant’s purported amendment of Regulation 1 sub-regulation 3 of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I 91) through the Public Elections (Registration of Voters)(Amendment) Regulations, 2020 to exclude existing voter identification cards as proof of identification to enable a person to apply for registration as a voter is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever;


f. A declaration that the 2nd Defendant, in purporting to exercise its powers pursuant to article 51 of the 1992 Constitution to exclude the existing voter identification cards from the documents required as of identification to enable a person register as a voter without any legal basis or justification is arbitrary, capricious and contrary to article 296 of the 1992 Constitution;


g. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution specifically Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, proof of identification for registration as a voter should not be limited by the provisions of Public Elections (Registration of Voters)(Amendment) Regulations, 2020;