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Justice Dotse: EC must delete ‘NHIS voters’, SC ruling was ‘clear’

The Supreme Court of Ghana has asked parties, which did not understand its ruling on the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards as a means of identification for registration onto the electoral roll, to come back to the court for interpretation.

According to Justice Jones Dotse, one of the justices of the apex court, which ruled on the case brought before it by Abu Ramadan, former National Youth Organiser of the PNC, and one Evans Nimako, the court was “forthright and clear” in its ruling that ‘NHIS voters’ be deleted from the roll, therefore, he added, the court will welcome anybody who feels “aggrieved” about the ruling, to seek further clarification from the same quarters.

He told journalists on Thursday May 26 in Accra that: “The Supreme Court was quite forthright and clear that the use of the NHIS cards is unconstitutional because the [criterion] for the NHIS cards was not based on Ghanaians citizenship, but only on residence in Ghana. So, any foreigner who is resident in Ghana for six months and more, can register under the NHIS; that was the basis upon our decision in 2014. And the recent one we said the use of the NHIS cards is, therefore, unconstitutional; they should take the opportunity to clean the register of those undesirable persons.”

The Supreme Court ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to clean the voters’ register in its ruling in the Ramadan v. EC case.

The court, presided over by Chief Justice Georgina Wood, ruled that the EC should delete the names of all dead people and persons who used the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards to register to vote as well as minors.

However, there have been divided opinion on the Supreme Court judgment and its accompanying orders.

The Electoral Commission said the Supreme Court did not order it to delete from the electoral roll names of persons who registered with NHIS cards as well as deceased persons and minors.

But Abu Ramadan, who took the matter to court, disagreed with the EC.

He said: “Go through the ruling. Is there any ambiguity?” In Justice Dotse’s interaction with journalists, he said: “I don’t want to interpret the judgment. If anybody is aggrieved, then they should come back to the court.”

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