Member of Parliament(MP) for Tamale Central constituency Alhaji Inusah Fuseini insists the National Identification Authority’s(NIAs) exclusion of the voters ID as a valid registration requirement for the Ghana card is fraudulent.
According to the National Democratic Congress(NDC) lawmaker who doubles as a ranking member of Parliament’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee, the list of excluded valid registration documents as amended by parliament did not include the voter ID card.
Parliament in December 2017 amended section 8 of Act 750 to exclude some documents including the Driver’s License, Birth Certificates and others from the list of documents required to get registered for the Ghana card.
This according to the National Identification Authority included the voters ID.
In a response to claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress that the National Identification Authority’s exclusion of the voter ID was unlawful and illegitimate, the Authority in a statement issued on Friday said the position of the NDC was astonishing adding that “The amendment of section 8 of Act 750 to exclude the Voter ID Card, Driver’s License and Baptismal Certificates as valid registration requirements was effected by Parliament in December 2017 without a whimper of opposition or protest from any member of Parliament. The exclusive reliance on Birth Certificates, valid Passports and Certificates of Acquired Citizenship was supported by the NDC in Parliament. Indeed, the amendments received the unqualified endorsement of the Minority MPs in Parliament, and the MPs who spoke on the Bill were mainly from the Minority side, with each of them enthusiastically in support of the amendments. Indeed, as Hon. Inusah Fuseini put it, the MPs were satisfied that ample provision had been made in the Bill to cater for those Ghanaians who had neither a Birth Certificate nor a Passport, namely the “vouching for” process which allows for every undocumented Ghanaian to apply for and be issued a Ghana Card without producing a Birth Certificate or valid Passport. In these circumstances, the exclusion was both legal and legitimate, having been passed by the Ghanaian Parliament and on sound legal and social grounds”.
But speaking on The PM Show on Bolgatanga based Yem Radio monitored by MyNewsGh.com, Inusah Fuseini stated that the claims by the NIA were completely false.
He argued that though parliament amended the Act to exclude some documents, the inclusion of the voter ID to the excluded documents was surreptitiously done.
“The exclusion of the voter ID card was not a subject matter of discussion at the committee level or was it brought up on the floor of parliament. We didn’t discuss it at the committee level and nobody thought that the NIA had surreptitiously removed the voter ID card from the list of primary documents. We never discussed it and no one averted his mind to that. In contribution on the floor of the house, no one averted his mind to that. When the amendment was done, we knew that we were only to cancel the baptismal certificate, driver’s license, passport and the NHIS card from the list of primary documents. That was all we knew” he said.
He indicated further that it was fraudulent for the NIA to have excluded the voter ID under the cover of the amendment of section 8 of the Act 750.
“We could not have excluded the voter ID because the card is a document in a class if it’s own. It is not like a baptismal certificate or driver’s license. It derives its authority from the constitution. They engaged in fraud and illegality and now it is clear. So if the voter ID was excluded and they think it should not have been excluded and that it was excluded by mistake, what did they have to do?” He quizzed.
The opposition National Democratic Congress believes the action of the NIA depicts some conspiracy to rig the upcoming elections, a claim that has been dismissed by the NIA.