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General News of Saturday, 16 May 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

NIA rubbishes NDC election rigging tag

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has refuted claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it is conspiring with the Electoral Commission to rig the 2020 Elections.

A statement issued by NIA Head of Corporate Affairs, Francis Palmdeti, in Accra, in reaction to the NDC’s press conference held on Thursday, May 14, 2020, said the NIA is not part of the election management architecture in Ghana and voting and elections do not form part of its mandate.

Responding to the NDC claim that the NIA and EC are acting in concert to rig the 2020 elections in favour of the NPP, it said there is no conspiracy between NIA and EC to rig the 2020 elections.

It observed that election rigging is a serious criminal matter with dire political, economic, and social consequences for any nation, therefore any person, party, or institution alleging such a criminal conspiracy must report the same to the Police and provide the requisite evidence to support investigations and/or prosecution.

On the NDC claim of suppression of registration in the Party’s strongholds, NIA said there is no truth in the allegation because the it did not operate based on political strongholds.

However, the Authority’s operational planning is based on population statistics of each region obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service.

Also, the duration of mass registration in a particular region is based on the number of residents in the region as well as the applicants that can be completed in a day.

Moreover, the registration process is open to all residents except non-Ghanaians.

The statement said the governance architecture of NIA goes beyond the current Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ken Agyemang Attafuah, saying that the day-to-day administration and management of the affairs of NIA is led by the Executive Secretary, but policies governing the operations of the Authority are set and regulated by the NIA Governing Board.

It must be noted that the NIA Governing Board comprised the chief executives of various statutory agencies involved in identity management and required accurate, reliable, complete, and up-to-date data for efficient service delivery.

NIA noted that a decision to collaborate with any state institution such as the EC in any enterprise must be directed or approved by the Governing Board, which also directs or approves the commencement, discontinuation, or resumption of a mass registration exercise in any region.

It says by the National Identity Register Act, 2017 (Act 750) as amended, the EC as a User Agency, may access, use, retain and disclose personal information in the database of NIA for the performance of its mandate insofar as it complies with applicable provisions and guidelines of NIA.

For this reason, the EC and NIA are permitted by law to engage in discussions towards the performance of their respective mandates should such a request be made and nothing else beyond that.

Responding to the NDC claim of exclusion of the Voter ID for the Ghana Card registration requirement was both unlawful and illegitimate.

The NIA said such a claim is most astonishing because the amendment of section 8 of Act 750 to exclude the Voter ID Card, Driver’s License, and Baptismal Certificates as valid registration requirements was effected by Parliament in December 2017 without a whimper of opposition or protest from any member of Parliament.

It said the reliance on Birth Certificates, valid Passports, and Certificates of Acquired Citizenship was fully supported by the NDC’s members in Parliament.

“Indeed, the amendments received the unqualified endorsement of the Minority MPs and the MPs who spoke on the Bill were mainly from the Minority side, with each of them enthusiastically expressing support of the amendments.

For instance Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, the NDC Member of Parliament for Tamale Central stated that the MPs were satisfied with the ample provision made in the Bill to cater to Ghanaians who neither have a Birth Certificate nor a Passport.

Therefore, by the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2111) passed in 2012, the Ghana Card is the ONLY identity card to be used.

Responding to the NDC claim of NIA registering only 11 million Ghanaians and issued seven million Ghana Cards, it said the NIA had done remarkably well given the initial challenges it faced.

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