Christopher Arko, GNA
Accra, June 12, GNA - The Minority in parliament is heading to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the National Identification Authority (NIA) for not accepting the voter ID card for registration of the new Ghana Card.
According to them, they would stay out of the registration process until a determination whether or not the voter ID card is a proof of citizenship for person to be hooked unto the NIA platform.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Ranking Member on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, made the statement after officials of the NIA had engaged parliament to clarify a number of issues relating to the roll out of the exercise.
The Minority in a statement had threatened to boycott the planned registration of parliamentarians by the NIA for the new Ghana Card due to its failure to engage members.
They also raised questions about the cost, scope and legality of the project as well as registration requirements.
Alhaji Fuseini said their main concern had to do with the refusal of NIA to use National identification card for proof of citizenship to be able to get unto the registration of the Ghana card.
He said the justification for the refusal to accept the Voter ID card as the basis for proof of citizenship according to NIA was founded on the decision of the Abu Ramadan case.
“We think this is unfair and wrong in terms of article 42 of the constitution. It is wrong in terms of the decision in the Abu Ramadan case. It is also wrong in terms LI 23(66),” he added.
Alhaji Fuseini also explained that in the Abu Ramadan case, the court decided that NHIS cards were not proof of citizenship and not the voter ID card and because they had decided that they would not use the voter ID card they transformed the situation of Abu Ramadan unto the use of the voter ID card.
“We think that it is wrong, it is illegal and it falls in the face of the constitution, it is an illegal attempt to amend article 42 of the constitution”
Alhaji Fuseini also said the minority had come to the decision that they would challenge the decision of the NIA at the Court and the minority was of the view that there were over 15 million Ghanaians who have the voter ID card as proof of citizenship which the NIA was refusing to accept as the basis of registration.
He said until the issue was determined by the Supreme Court, the minority would not take part in the on-going registration.
Mr Cassel Ato Forson, the Ranking Member on Finance in his reaction stated that the NIA officials who engaged parliament failed to provide satisfactory answers to why the Authority was spending $1.2 billion on the new Ghana card.
He said government was also going to provide a tax waiver of $173 million to IMS the private company undertaking the project.
He alleged that the NIA in their briefing stated that government could not raise $168 million so they engaged the private company to borrow for the project, who would end-up controlling revenue flows of about $1.1 billion and a return of $510 million for its investment, saying it is rip-off.
Mr Forson therefore urged NIA officials to come back to parliament to provide further and better particulars to the House and called on the Auditor General to be interested in the matter and audit the process accordingly.