The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, says the National Identification Act does not exclude Voter’s ID card as criteria for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card.
Act 950, otherwise known as the National Identification Amendment Law 2017, is what empowers the issuance of new identity cards to Ghanaians by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Only birth certificates and passports would be accepted for the registration as per the National Identification Law.
Concerns have been raised over the criteria and the Minority in Parliament, has boycotted the exercise demanding for the consideration of the Voter’s ID.
But the legislator told Rainbow Radio that, ‘’parliament did not pass a law to exclude the Voter’s ID card. Parliament never did that. Whoever is telling you that is misleading you.’’
The NIA he noted requested to exclude the use of the National Health Insurance Card because the Supreme Court had ruled that, it could not be used as proof of citizenship when they appeared before parliament’s legal committee.
‘’The NIA led by Ken Attefuah made a request and the request was to exclude NHIS card. We accepted the request because it was a Supreme Court decision.’’
In explaining further he said, the error appears at the proof of citizenship because they said, Voter’s ID, Baptismal Certificate and the rest cannot be used as proof of citizenship consistent with the Abu Ramadan’s case. But Abu Ramadan cannot decide that Voter’s ID cannot be used. When he [Attafuah] came to parliament, I showed him the error. I explained to him that, the Amended Act (Section 3) requires that, to proof your citizenship you have to present your passport, birth certificate, resident permit, evidence of naturalization and any other documents. So for me, reading it on, the E gives you an omnibus clause because there could be other documents to establish your citizenship.
‘’If you don’t have birth certificate, passport and a resident permit, your SSNIT card can serve as your proof of citizenship because when you fill you card, it shows where you come from. And so, you can accept the Voter’s ID card on the basis of Section 3 (1) (e) of the law. But the NIA is saying no. If you read Article 42, it is the only occasion that the constitution says a citizen of Ghana of 18 years and above and of sound mind, is entitled to register to vote. So Article 42 already sets the criteria which clearly interpreted will mean, anybody holding a Voter’s ID is prima facie a citizen of Ghana.’’
He described as scandalous the attempt by the NIA boss to misinterpret the law because the law made provisions for the Voter's ID to be accepted.
''We never said NIA should exclude the Voter's ID card. The omnibus clause can allow them to allow people to use the Voter's ID to register... It is a deliberate conscious effort by the NIA to make it difficult for Ghanaians to register.''