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General News of Sunday, 28 June 2020

Source: My News GH

Citizenship is a legal question; no one can vouch that another is a citizen – Kwaku Azar

Legal luminary Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare alias Kwaku Azar Legal luminary Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare alias Kwaku Azar


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Legal luminary Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare alias Kwaku Azar has argued that it is not within the capacity of a Ghanaian citizen to confer Ghanaian citizenship on another person, pointing out that only the courts can make pronouncements as to whether someone is a Ghanaian citizen or not.

He stressed that citizens in the past have wrongly accused others of not being Ghanaian citizens only for the courts to rule that they are citizens.

The Electoral Commission of Ghana in its Constitutional Instrument ( CI) 126 on the compilation of the new voter register has made provision for two registered citizens to vouch for others without a passport or Ghana card to register as Ghanaian voters. But Kwaku Azar funds this untenable:

“I have never understood this business of vouching that somebody is a citizen. Citizenship is a legal question that even the government, with all its resources, sometimes gets wrong.

For instance, prior governments have mistakenly attempted to deport the Shalabi brothers, Bonito Olympio, Othman Lardan, and Amadu Baba. The court found them to be Ghanaians.

In some cases, citizens have also mistakenly questioned the citizenship of others. For instance, Bilson questioned the citizenship of Rawlings. The court disagreed with him.

I have lots of friends who I reasonably and honestly believe are Ghanaians. But is this belief enough for me to vouch for them as citizens?

I do not think so because I can only believe, but not know, that they are Ghanaians. So vouching for them will be inappropriate.

I can vouch that I was there when they were born at a midwife near Ato Lai. I can vouch that I played gutter to gutter with them. I can vouch that I went to school with them, etc.

But I cannot vouch that they are citizens because that will be making a legal conclusion that should be left to the courts,” he submitted in a Facebook post sighted by MyNewsGh.com.

He concluded that any government document that proves that someone is a Ghanaian citizen is better than two Ghanaians giving testimony that someone is a Ghanaian.

“In my opinion, any government-issued card on citizenship is better proof of citizenship than vouching.

But this is Ghana,” he averred.


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