he Minority National Democratic Congress ( NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) are begging the National Identification Authority (NIA) to accept the voter’s ID card as one of the requirements to show as proof of Ghanaian citizen when one applies to register for the Ghana Card
This follows their understanding that Parliament erred by failing to include the voter’s ID card in the Legislative Instrument (L.I) that regulates the roll out of the Ghana Card project when considering it in November 2017.
The group led by Haruna Iddrisu had earlier threatened to boycott the registration and instant issuance of the Ghana Card when the NIA does not clarify issues surrounding the project which ranges from cost, scope and legality of the project as well as registration requirements.
But at an interactive session with officials of the NIA in a Committee on the Whole, Tuesday, the Minority conceded that the legislature erred by failing to include the voter’s ID Card as part of the key requirements for the registration and instant issuance of the Ghana Card.
Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Inusah Fuseini, told the House that although the voter’s ID card was not included in the requirements for registration, there is still a way out as stipulated in the law which will not compel the NIA to go to Parliament and amend the law.
Quoting from the Parliamentary Debates dated (Hansard) November 17, 2017, paragraph 3386, he said “the Committee also noted that the bill seeks to do away with the use of voter identity cards, driver’s licence, baptisinal certificate as proof of citizenship. Mr. Speaker, going down it says that this is consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in Abu Ramadan’s case. It’s an error. Mr. Speaker, I’ve found consolation in the law that we passed in particularly, section 3 of Act 950. It says that a birth certificate, valid passport, valid residence permit, valid certificate of acquired citizenship and any other. And any other – Mr. Speaker, that provides an avenue for the NIA to accept the voters’ ID card without necessarily coming to Parliament for an amendment”, he noted.
Further to that, he said since the CEO has stated that despite the provision of the requirements stated in the law, an applicant will still have to go through an interview, wondering where the NIA will mutually exclude the voters’ ID card.
That notwithstanding, Hon Fuseini alluded to the the fact the Constitution provides a fundamental test for citizenship which is captured in Article 42.
However, his submission was not taken by the NIA.