The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to “immediately” delete from the register names of the 56,739 persons it said registered with National Health Insurance cards.
The court also ordered the Commission to delete persons whose names were not submitted to the Supreme Court but who registered with the NHIS cards.
The EC, according to the order given on Tuesday July 5, 2016 is to give adequate notice to all those who registered with the cards before undertaking the exercise to delete their names.
Although the legal counsel for the plaintiff cast doubts on the credibility of the names presented by the EC as those with NHIS cards, the court said it was unable to rule on that specific matter because it will introduce new issues which were not captured in the earlier judgement.
Nonetheless, Frank Davies said he and his clients are extremely grateful to the court for the clarity brought to the matter by the judges.
“They have been asked literally to do another list,” he said adding, “We are all going to ensure that there is compliance with what the court has finally ordered.”
The plaintiff Abu Ramadan told journalists after the ruling that “We are happy that the court has given further clarity on the issue.”
He said the ruling only means that the list presented by the EC which was presented has errors; it [the court] also admits that the order it gave should have taken precedence over any action the commission should have taken.
Member of the NDC legal team, Kojoga Adawudu said the court’s order brings clarity to the issue and has put all the brouhaha and political tension to rest.
“It is now time for the political parties to do their work if they want to win,” he said.
Abu Ramadan, a member of the People’s National Convention and one Evans Nimako proceeded to the court to challenge the credibility of the voter’s register, seeking among other things, an order for a new voter’s register to be compiled.
They argued the register in its current form had persons who registered with NHIS cards and therefore made the register ‘unwholesome’ to be used as a primary document for the November elections.
The Court had already ruled in 2014 that it was illegal for the EC to register persons with NHIS cards.
In its May 5, 2016 judgement on the case brought by Ramadan and Nimako, the Supreme Court declined the relief sought by the plaintiff for a new register to be compiled but ordered the EC to clean the register by deleting names of minors, dead persons as well as NHIS card holders.
But the EC insisted the order was not to delete the names of NHIS card holders, a decision that forced the plantiff to go back to the Supreme Court for further orders and clarifications.
The Supreme Court reiterated its earlier order for the EC to delete the names of the NHIS card holders and also directed the EC to present the names of all persons who registered with NHIS cards as well as the timelines for the deletion and reregistration of the NHIS card holders.
When the EC submitted the list of 56,739 as persons on the register with NHIS cards, the plaintiff said it was not credible because the number could be more and therefore raised an objection to the list.
The Supreme Court ordered the plaintiff to present their objection in a written form before July 5, 2016 based on which a ruling will be given.
On Tuesday, the court declined the invitation by the Plaintiff for an enquiry into the credibility of the list of NHIS registrants submitted by the EC but ordered for an immediate deletion of NHIS card holders on the list submitted by the EC and any others not on the list but on the register.