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SC can instruct EC on NHIS voters – Nii Ayikoi Otoo

ayikoeOtooThe Supreme Court has full powers to direct the Electoral Commission (EC) to act in a manner fit and lawful, former Attorney General, Nii Ayikoi Otoo has said.

The private legal practitioner sought to demystify the notion that by virtue of the EC being independent it could not be ordered by the Supreme Court to act in certain ways.

“The Supreme Court has full control of the case and can give instructions anyhow it feels will lead to solving the problem before it,” he told Umaru Sanda Amadu on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday July 2.

He was reacting to the recent court case in which the EC submitted a list of 56,000 voters, who registered with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) ID cards.

The election conducting body acted upon an order from the Supreme Court to do so within six days following a return to court by Mr Abu Ramadan of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and one Evans Nimako, to seek clarification of the court’s May 5 ruling, which was subjected to multiple interpretations.

The court on May 5 directed the EC to delete from the register of voters, the names of the dead, minors as well as all voters who registered using their health insurance identification cards. The same court ruled almost two years ago that the NHIS cards were invalid for voter registration.

The plaintiffs and their lawyers have contested the validity of the list, saying there are more than 56,000 of such registrants. They described the list as fake and fictitious.

For Mr Otoo, the calls by the plaintiffs are legitimate. He said: “If, when the case went to court initially, we were told that there were millions of people who used NHIS cards on the register and now we are being told that the only figure they have is 56,000, then it is worrying”.

He added: “I saw a scanned letter on Facebook written by Amadu Sulley addressed to the district and regional officers of the EC asking them to compile the register from their bases and forward to headquarters.”

Nii Ayikoi Otoo wondered if the EC was “under pressure to produce the numbers because they had a limited period within which to act”. “Again, why has the EC found it difficult from 2014 till now before coming out with a lowly figure of 56,000?” he asked.

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