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Supreme Court orders EC to submit names of NHIS registrants to court

Source: Starrfmonline.com

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, by June 29.

Additionally, the apex court directed the EC to develop a guideline on the specific processes and methods they intend to adopt in implementing the orders in the May 5 judgement on the voters register.

The orders follow the interpretation-confusion that ensued between the electoral commission and Abu Ramadan, the plaintiff who went to court to seek interpretation of the legality or otherwise of such names in the electoral roll.

Ramadan therefore went to court to seek clarification on the initial judgement that asked the EC to take steps to remove names of NHIS registrants from the register.

Ahead of today’s sitting, a panel member, Justice Jones Dotse recused himself from the case.

It is unclear why the judge took the decision but it will be recalled that Justice Dotse after the judgement told the media in a rare interview that the directive by the court to the EC to delete names of NHIS card registrants from the register was clear and unambiguous.

“We said the use of the NHIS cards is therefore unconstitutional and it (EC) should take the opportunity to clean the register of those undesirable persons.

“We also do not want to disenfranchise anybody so the Supreme Court went on to say that anybody who will be affected by that exercise should be given the opportunity to register according to the law and the constitution, period,” he said.

The comments by the judge sparked controversy as many disagreed and agreed with his explanation in equal measure. Some lawyers however criticised him for the commentary.

Meanwhile, another member of the panel Joseph Acamba could not sit on the matter again because he is on retirement.

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