A Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Odame has expressed his disappointment on the comment former president Mahama stated after the Supreme Court ruling.
Former President Mahama at a press conference on Thursday June 25th, 2020 stressed that, his party strongly disagree with the case it filed at the Supreme Court.
“Despite the well-reasoned reliefs we sought, the apex court of the land gave the leeway for the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the exclusion of the existing voter identification cards from the list of identification requirements. We are deeply disappointed and strongly disagree with the court over this outcome, which has confounded many legal experts and thrown the country into a state of confusion,” he said.
In an interview with Omanhene Yaw Adu Boakye on Kessbenfm, the deputy attorney general said, the Ex President has extrinsic reasons to such ruling which is an attack on the judgment of the apex court.
“I’m very surprise and also disappointed like a former president can be speaking in this manner. And closely examining what he said, he was trying to attack the judgment of the supreme court”, he said
He indicated that, the NDC flagbearer was wrong for saying “the Court gave a leeway for the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the exclusion of the existing voter identification cards from the list of identification requirements”.
Mr Odame argue that since the Electoral commission decision is backed by Constitutional Instrument, the court did not give the EC a leeway but the verdict of the apex court yesterday” was actually to ensure that the sanctity of the voter’s register is preserved “.
Supreme Court ruling
The issues in contention
The Apex Court on Thursday, June 25, 2020, ruled that the existing voter ID card and birth certificates cannot be used as proof of identity to register in the upcoming voter registration exercise.
The seven-member panel also gave the Electoral Commission (EC) the green light to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections.
Suit against EC
The NDC dragged the EC to court over a decision by the Commission to exclude the existing voter ID card as proof of identity for the purposes of the planned voter registration exercise.
A Ghanaian citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson, also filed a fresh case, asking the Apex Court to make a pronouncement on the matter.
He argued that the EC’s decision to compile a new roll of voters violated the 1992 Constitution.
Additionally, Mr. Takyi-Banson wanted the Court to rule against the EC for excluding birth certificates as proof of identity for voter registration.
The Supreme Court subsequently consolidated both cases.
The Court, presided over by a seven-member panel in its ruling, indicated that the election management body was independent and its action can only be guided by the court if it goes against the law.
“By this decision, the Electoral Commission i.e. 2nd Defendants in Suit No. J1/9/2020 and 1st Defendants in Suit No. J1/12/2020 are hereby directed to commence the compilation of the voter registration exercise as scheduled. By these decisions and, by virtue of Article 130 (2) of the Constitution any court in which same or similar action is pending or yet to be filed shall apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in these consolidated suits,” the Supreme Court directed.