The Supreme Court has directed the Electoral Commission to take immediate steps to remove persons who registered with National Health Insurance Authority cards from the voters’ register.
The five member panel chaired by the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood in a unanimous decision on Tuesday added that the EC must give adequate notice to persons to be affected and give them the opportunity to re-register ahead of the November 7 general elections.
The Supreme Court, however, added that the challenge by the plaintiffs of the accuracy and credibility of EC’s list should constitute a whole new application as the current application before them is to clarify its 5th May judgment.
The apex court on May 5 2016, 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 former National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan, and one, Evans Nimako, who in 2014 won a lawsuit that barred the use of NHIS cards for registration of potential voters.
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 did 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.
He subsequently got the Supreme Court to issue the six-day ultimatum to the Commission.
The Electoral Commission last Thursday presented a list of NHIS registrants to the court but Ramadan, rejected the list describing it as “spurious.”