Some 5,656 potential voters in the Volta Region, risk an imminent expunction from the voters’ roll, following numerous lawsuits challenging their eligibility.
The legal tussle mostly led by polling agents of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), seeks to prevent the registered voters, some of whom they claim are foreigners, from voting in the general elections.
Emmanuel Ohene, brother of Elizabeth Ohene; journalist and a Minister of State in the erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor administration, is leading the onslaught as a lawyer against the poor and mostly uneducated people, who might not know the implication of the NPP action.
This is a follow up to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s claim that his party, had uncovered evidence showing close to 80,000 Togolese have registered as Ghanaian voters in the Volta Region, a claim the Vice Presidential Candidate, insists confirms the Voters’ Register is “bloated.”
3,193 of the objections were on the basis of being deceased, while the remaining 2463 are being objected to, on the grounds of being non-residents or foreigners.
So far, some of the suits initiated across the 26 constituencies in the region, have resulted in the grant of relief to the plaintiffs by the courts.
It is not clear how the NPP arrived at these numbers and getting the courts to be deleting the names from the register, the involvement of the Electoral Commission (EC) in this deletion exercise is also unclear.
In the Ho West Constituency, Seven (7) out of the 171 names being objected, have been directed by the court for deletion, while the fate of the remaining 164, are yet to be determined by the Dzolokpuita Magistrate Court.
The appellants, Godwin Adinyirah, challenged voters in Gbadzeme in the Avatime Traditional Area, while Moro Bamba, challenged voters in Togorme in the Hornuta Traditional Area along the Ghana-Togo border.
Similarly, some 99 names from the voters’ roll in the Ho central Constituency are to be expunged, following objections raised by one Leonard Agbesi, a resident of Hodzokorfe, claiming those persons were not ‘residents or ordinarily residents’ of his community.
One of the Lawyers for the plaintiffs, Emmanuel Ohene, told Citi News that there are other similar cases under trial across the country.
He said, the lawsuits are necessary to prevent foreigners from taking advantage of the country’s voter’s register.
Citi News, has gathered that most of the persons being objected, have failed to appear before the magistrate courts for adjudication.
The District EC Officer, Regina Tackey told CitiNews that, after the objections were raised during the just ended Voters Register Exhibition exercise; several efforts to get the objected persons to prove their residential status in the area, in accordance with processes prescribed in the CI 91, were unsuccessful.
She said traditional authorities and town criers were engaged to help inform them, but to no avail.
The cases have been attracting lots of people to courts in the region, majority of them being sympathizers of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).