Supreme Court adjourns judgement indefinitely on NDC, EC old ID cards case

The Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned indefinitely the judgement of two suits challenging the Electoral Commission (EC) over the eligibility of the old voters ID cards in the upcoming Voters Registration Exercise.

This was after the SC had granted an application by the Attorney General seeking the consolidation of the two writs which were seeking the same reliefs.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had gone to the court challenging the EC over its refusal to accept the old Voters ID cards as part of the requirements in the upcoming voter Registration Exercise.

The court after hearing parties in the matter, fixed June 23 to deliver its judgement.

However, One Mark Takyi -Benson also filed a similar suit at the Supreme Court.

When sitting begun on Friday, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, who presided over the seven member panel, held that for the purposes of case management, the court would abridge the time for counsel for Benson, Mr. Cosmas Anpenguo to file his statement of case by June 22, this year.

It further directed the Attorney and the EC to also file any statement if any by June 23.

The apex Court of the land further directed all parties to return to court on June 24 for hearing.

Moving the application for an order consolidating suits, Mr. Godfred Yeboab Dame, the deputy AG held that the two suits had raised the same issues that were to be determined by the court.

According to Mr. Dame for the interest of justice and convenience both matters should be heard and determined together.

‘It would be expedient for the second suit to be consolidated with the instant action for same to be determined together,” he argued.

Mr. Justine Amenuvor who represented the EC did not object to the application for the consolidation of the two suits.

Mr. Godwin Tamakloe, who represented the NDC, objected to AG’s application on legal grounds but after the SC had explained issues to him, he abandoned his objection.

It is the case of the NDC that a new voter’s register will deprive many Ghanaians the right to vote in the polls if the existing voters’ ID card is rejected. The EC has however registered its disagreement on the contention of the NDC.

In its suit, the NDC argued that that the EC lacked the power to go ahead with its plans because it can only “compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law”.

The EC among others had argued that the old voters ID card were obtained under three different constitutional Instrument: CI 12, CI 72 and CI 91.

In its supplementary statement of case, the EC said it had placed before Parliament a constitutional Instrument that did not include the use of the existing votes ID Cards.

Source: GNA

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