NEW VOTER REGISTER: EC, NIA exposed over moves to rig 2020 Elections for Akufo-Addo

George Kwaku Yeboah, a member of opposition National Democratic Congress’ communication team in the Volta Region has made some serious revelations, exposing the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the National Identification Authority and the NPP of some collusion to rig the 2020 Elections for the Ghanaian leader.
For the sake of clarity we have published the full write-up below: 
You do not need to be a trained mind reader to see the systematic scheming of Jean Mensah, Bossman Asare and the National Identification Authority (NIA) to present the 2020 elections on a silver platter to Akufo Addo, like the head of John the Baptist. The whole enterprise begun with the crafty exclusion of the voters ID Card by the NIA from the documents required. That scheme has since become attractive to Jean Mensah, seeing how it made it difficult for many a Ghanaian to get onto the identification platform. For this piece, I shall resist the temptation to dwell on how the NIA succeeded in registering fewer Ghanaians in areas noted to favour the minority political party. That would be for another day.
The only standard document, globally known and accepted as the basic proof of the; place of birth, father’s identity and nationality, mother’s identity and nationality, date of birth and the signature of the state attorney registering the birth of the person, has been excluded from the documents required to identify Ghanaians to be enrolled onto the proposed new voters register. The birth certificate is a statutory document for identification (Act 301) 1965. The birth certicate is the primary documents to determine all there is to know of the descent and nationality of the bearer. Every future document of national identification can only be premised on this basic proof of identity and nationality. The birth certificate is the mother of all identification documents anywhere in the world.
Birth registration in Ghana (the Gold Coast) started as far back as 1888. However, at its inception, it was limited to the registration of deaths, mostly of expatriate workers of the then colonial government. It was not until 1912 that the registration of births was introduced. The registration system has gone through series of transformations, just as the law establishing it has seen a number of amendments. All this was aimed at improving upon the final delivery of the system. Starting as the Cemeteries Ordinance of 1888, it saw its first amendment in 1891. In 1912, it became the Births, Deaths and Burials Ordinance, which was once again amended in 1926. This was finally replaced with the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 301 of 1965 which is the legislation currently in force.
The Births and Deaths Registry was therefore established by the Act 301 of 1965, within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to handle and develop the births and deaths registration system in Ghana. Its core business is to “provide accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for Socio-economic development of the Country through their registration and certification.” [Birth Registration In Ghana – A Country Paper Presented at the Birth Registration Workshop for Anglophone Countries in Africa, October 21-24, 2002, Kampala, Uganda, Prepared by the Registrar of Births and Deaths of Ghana, Mr. P.S Ankrah, October 2002].
A passport is primarily a statutory international travel document. Nothing in the passport says that it is envisaged to be a document for identifying Ghanaians within the jurisdiction. Only an incurably sick patient of Pantang hospital would want to argue over this. To aquire a Ghanaian passport for the first time, every applicant is required to provide a birth certificate among a number of other documents. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ own website the following was the requirement;
“The application should be submitted with i/evidence of citizenship and ii/evidence of identity such as:
a.Birth Certificate*
b. National Identity Card
c. Old Passport
d. Voter ID Card**
e. Dual Citizenship/ Naturalization/ Registration Certificate
f. Proof of name change if by Affidavit or Gazette Publication”
I can guess that all of us who acquired our passports over two years ago, used the list above to do same, which include voters ID card.
On the current online passport portal; [] the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, although did not specifically list voters ID card among the requirements, It may interest you to read the ff, which I copied verbatim from the Government of Ghana website:
“1. Birth Certificate (Proof of Ghanaian citizenship)*
2. Documents to support Identity such as Driver’s Licence, National ID card.. “
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has birth certificate as the only proof of Ghanaian citizenship, in their own words!
If the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission, in their reasoning, decide that the statutory birth certificate and voter ID card created with a Constitutional Instrument (C.I 91) do not qualify to be used as a documents to authenticate the citizenship and identity of the holders, then I am inclined to say that they have been reading another law other than the one the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior have been reading since Independence. Jean Mensah’s standard for determining citizenship and identity cannot be any different from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Local Govt and Rural Development, Ministry of Interior etc.
Simple logic: I can use my birth certificate and voters ID card as evidence of my citizenship and identity to apply for a Ghanaian passport. However, the same cannot be used for the same purpose when it comes to registering to vote. The very documents which give me the right to own the passport, cannot be used to identify me any further, except the passport only. If the same documents are deemed unfit to identify me to register as a Ghanaian to vote, how is it that the passport, which I used the same documents to acquire, could become worthy for identifying me? If the source documents are incompetent, the product cannot be otherwise.
If I stretch the Abu Ramadan and Nimako vrs the EC and AG case to this warped reasoning by Jean Mensah, one would expect the EC to establish the source documents for the application of passports not to have included birth certificate and voters ID card, before allowing the holder to use same for registration. If the source documents used to acquire the passports, is not acceptable by Jean Mensah, the same passport, which was acquired with the same documents, cannot be admissible. In the Abu Ramadan case, Ghanaians, who acquired the Voters ID card using an incompetent source ID (NHIS card) were declared null and void on the register.
The question of who is a citizen of a country by birth in this modern world is always a legal question and an answer to this critical question must come from some law.
In the case of Ghana it is the Citizenship Act, 2000 (Act 591). By this law one can be a citizen of Ghana by birth, through adoption, marriage or naturalization. However, out of the four methods of acquiring citizenship in Ghana the most controversial has been citizenship by birth. Along with the Constitution of Ghana, the Citizenship Act, 2000 is the exhaustive law relating to citizenship in Ghana. []
To take the question of Ghanaian citizenship from the arena of anecdotes and conjecture, which the NPP and the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia seem to be indulging in since 2012, the following may be of interest to them; The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1971, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1972, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1978, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1979, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2000, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2002.
Listening to the ear-irritating rationalisation of Jean Mensah recently, the Electoral Commissioner on a JoyNews programme with Evans Mensah, I am in no illusion that she has also bought into the unfounded propaganda enterprise of Dr Bawumia, which alleged without evidence that some persons are on the voters register illegally. Very pathetic!!! For an electoral commissioner, who trained as a lawyer to be speaking the way she did, left me very unimpressed on many fronts, not excluding the calibre of of some of the people who parade themselves as lawyers in this Republic. For a whole Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensah to be re-echoing those old vain and unproven propaganda of Dr Bawumia and the NPP in 2020, to discredit the existing voters register, done under statute, should leave every election watcher and student of democracy worried. It is not an offence under our laws for a citizen of the Republic of Ghana, who is registered on our electoral roll, to also be registered in another country, where he/she is permitted by law to do so. How could that be lost on Dr Bawumia and Jean Mensah?
Chapter seven of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana ; REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE – Right to Vote : Article 42 is emphatic that;
“EVERY citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
 There is no provision in our laws which prohibit a Ghanaian voter from voting in another jurisdiction, if the other country’s laws permit him or her do so. For emphasis, it is no crime to appear on both the Togolese and Ghanaian electoral registers, if you have citizenship of the two countries. Those who nurtured that propaganda, simply exposed their ignorance of our citizenship and electoral laws. Dr Bawumia and his party apparatchiks from the Volta Region, must be showing some remorse for bothering our ears in 2016 with those hollow allegations, which they have not provided any evidence of since they won the election.
If Jean Mensah and the NPP would take the conversation from the propaganda onto the legal definitions of who qualify to be a citizen of Ghana, to be registered for the purposes of public elections and referenda, other than be engage in their avowed enterprise, ostensibly to disenfranchise persons they consider do not subscribe to their political tradition, the brouhaha and the resultant apprehension may have reduced by far.
 If I box all of these with Jean Mensah’s own voluntary public pronouncements and assurances to Ghanaians and political parties that the EC was going to rely on the existing voter ID cards as a source document for the compilation of the new register coupled with her public declarations that she was NOT going to use the Ecowas Card as one of the requirements, It would not be wrong to conclude that the election management body has been more than dishonest in their dealing with Ghanaians. It is very clear that Jean Mensah and the government are determined to conduct the 2020 elections in the manner that can only lead to one outcome; to return the non-performing Akufo-Addo to the Jubilee House. Nothing could be clearer than that. Jean Mensah is behaving just like an amateur driver, who indicates left at an intersection, only to turn right. I doubt if Ghana is ever going to have an EC boss as incompetent and dishonest as Jean Mensah.

By George Kwaku Yeboah

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