The Supreme Court in its ruling on a case between the National Democracy Congress and the Electoral Commission on the exclusion of the existing voter’s ID card and birth certificate by EC to compile a new register, said, the birth certificate and the existing voter’s ID card cannot be used as an eligibility requirements for acquiring a voter’s ID card for the compilation of a new voter’s register. The Court however approved the Ghana Card and Ghanaian passport which was acquired using the birth certificate as basic documents for accessing the new voter’s ID card.
This decision by the Apex Court of Ghana has put many in mix feelings as to whether which documents should be considered as basic requirement for identifying and or determining the citizenship of Ghanaians.
In responding to the judgement, the Member of Parliament for the South Dayi Constituency in the Volta Region of Ghana Honourable Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Deafeamekpor is worried over the Supreme Court’s ruling on the birth certificate as a document for identification and determination of citizenship of Ghanaians.
Mr. Deafeamekpor surprisingly said, the Supreme Court’s judgment is simply very difficult to take. According to him, he thinks the Court spoke ‘per incuriam’, but that’s what you get when per incuriam comments take precedence.
He also disclosed that, in 2017, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo sent to Parliament on behalf of the National Identification Authority (NIA) a bill to amend the National Identity Registry Act.
Subsequently the Act was amended in 2017 making the birth certificate a base document for determining the citizenship of Ghanaians. The amendment of the Act now birthed the National Identity Registry (Amendment) 2017, Act 950.
Honourable Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Deafeamekpor made reference to Section 3 of the Act, and argued that Applicants are required to submit:
(a) Birth certificate: In order to obtain the Ghana card. “So you can use the birth certificate to obtain the Ghana card and use the Ghana card as proof of identification to obtain the voter’s card but you cannot use the birth certificate to obtain the voter’s card?” He asked.
He further said, “the birth certificate is described as an ‘identity document’ This judgment is simply very difficult to take. I think the Court spoke ‘per incuriam’, but that’s what you get when per incuriam comments take precedence over what divided the parties in Court.” He lamented.
Hon. Deafeamekpor quoted H. Kwasi Prempeh and said, “The Court spoke disparagingly against the Birth certificate as if it was some toilet paper”
In a concluding statement, he alluded that, the decision of a Supreme Court anywhere constitutes part of their laws, so this too has come to stay until jettisoned in some other similar-issue laden future judgment. Veritas Nobis Lumen & Integri Procedamus.
Find attached a section of the Act he used to support his augment.