An Accra High Court presided over by Justice Anthony Oppong has ruled that the National Identification Authority (NIA) is entitled to continue with its mass registration exercise regardless of the directive against public gathering by President Akufo-Addo.

Ruling

Justice Anthony Oppong’s in his ruling indicated that the applicants in the case have not shown any justifiable reason why the NIA should be restrained from carrying out its statutory duty as by law established.

The Court further noted that the applicants also did not demonstrate in any way what they stand to lose if the NIA continues with its work of registering Ghanaians for their Ghana Cards.

“The application for interlocutory injunction ought to fail and same is dismissed” Justice Oppong ruled.

The Court in its ruling made reference to the address of the President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to the nation on the 15th of March 2020 and observed that the President’s executive orders did not restrain public institutions from working as a result of his orders but asked them to take precautionary measures and also take heed to social distancing protocols as they go about their work. To this end, the Court doesn’t see why its should restrain a State institution from doing its work because of a statement that does not in anyway refer to State institutions.

Substantive Case

As part of the ruling, the Court also dismissed the substantive application of the applicants which essentially indicated that should the NIA continue with the mass registration exercise of Ghanaians, their fundamental human rights, that is, they the applicants, would be breached. The Court stated that the applicants did not show any reason why their rights will be breached should the statutory work of the NIA proceed.

Cost Awarded

The court subsequently awarded a cost of six thousand Ghana cedis (Ghc 6,000.00) against the two applicants, Kevow Mark-Oliver and Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah, in favour of the first respondent (NIA).

Background

Two citizens sued the National Identification Authority (NIA) over the mass registration and issuance of the Ghana card to Ghanaians in the Eastern Region amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The plaintiffs, Kevow Mark-Oliver and Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah argue in their affidavit in support of their application that the continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card in the Eastern Region has a strong tendency in “aggravating the spread of the coronavirus”.

They among other things were seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining the NIA from continuing with the exercise until the coronavirus, Covid-19 pandemic has been eliminated.

They also argued that “the 1st Respondent’s (NIA) continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card violates the Applicants’ right to good health since the registration exercise exposes Applicants to a high risk of contracting the coronavirus.”

Source:Ghana/Kasapafmonline.com/Wilberforce Asare