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Supreme Court orders EC to bring NHIS list to court in six days

The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to submit before it, a “comprehensive” list of all persons who registered with NHIS cards in 2012.

The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to produce in six days, a list of the names of all those on the voters register who registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card. The EC has to submit the list to the apex court by June 29.

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This follows a suit by the former youth organizer of the People’s National Convention Abu Ramadan for clarification of an earlier ruling by the court on May 5, 2016. That ruling asked the EC to remove from the electoral roll, all those who used the NHIS card as proof of citizenship during the 2012 registration exercise.

However, the EC said it was not going to delete the names from the register based on its own interpretation of the May 5 ruling.

The New Patriotic Party; argue that the acceptance of the card created an avenue for people who were otherwise not eligible to vote to get onto the register. As such, this was a major point for the 2012 election petition; the results which the party disputes.

The court also expressed its displeasure at the commission’s attitude at complying with the court’s orders and stated that it would not allow the EC to drive the nation into chaos.

Two members of bench were not present for Thursday’s sitting. That is because Justice Ayamba had just began his retirement while earlier in the day, Justice Jones Dotse announced his decision to step aside from the case.

Judges recuse themselves from cases when they feel there are fears of conflict of interest or have made pronouncements in the past that may put their neutrality into question.

In May, Justice Dotse in a press interaction said “we [Supreme Court] said the use of the NHIS cards is therefore unconstitutional and it should take the opportunity to clean the register of those undesirable persons.”

His comments were heavily criticised by some lawyers who say the judge erred by making a public comment on the court’s ruling.

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