A Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, has revealed that a Nigerian has been successfully prosecuted and jailed by Ghanaian authorities for registering for the voter ID card in the near-ending registration exercise being undertaken by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
Also, five other Nigerians are being prosecuted for the same crime.
Addressing journalists in Accra on Monday, 3 August 2020, Dr Bossman Asare warned Ghanaians who guarantee for foreigners to desist from doing so because the law will come after them.
He explained that applicants who wish to register but do not have a passport or Ghana card can use the guarantor system, adding that a registered voter can guarantee for, at most 10 applicants.
“According to CI 126 (Regulation 1), guaranteeing for more than 10 applicants is unlawful. Guarantors should, therefore, desist from such an act”, he noted.
Also, Dr Asare noted, “Guarantors should make sure they know the nationalities of the applicants they are guaranteeing for”.
“In the event those you guarantee for are not qualified, guarantors will also be held accountable for perjury”, he warned.
“Do not guarantee for strangers. The details of guarantors are captured in our database, so, it is important that you know the persons you are guaranteeing for”, he cautioned.
He noted that foreigners are prohibited from taking part in the registration exercise.
“We have noticed disturbing reports since last week (phase 5) where Ghanaians, who have registered, will front for people of other nationalities to register. These are largely concentrated in border towns but there are some in other places, too.
“It is a crime to guarantee for foreigners to register and vote. Again, if you are a guarantor, it is incumbent on you to know the nationalities of the people you are guaranteeing for”, he stressed.
“Foreigners who are caught trying to register will be prosecuted”, he warned.
“An example is the Nigerian who was arrested and sentenced on Wednesday, 29 July 2020 by the Kaneshie District Court to a six-month imprisonment with hard labour for attempting to register at the Swag Club House in the Ablekuma West District.
“The Police are searching for the two guarantors who filled the form to guarantee for him.
“We understand they are on the run. Nonetheless, their names are with the Police. We will also discuss with our Lawyers to know what actions the Commission can take against the two guarantors”, he noted.
Additionally, he said: “We also know of five Nigeriens who have made their first appearance at the same court for attempting to register and thus acquire the voter ID card”.
The EC Deputy Chair urged political parties and their activists to “desist from encouraging foreigners to take part in the registration exercise”.
“We are equally beseeching our registration officials to ensure that all those they attend to qualify to register under the 1992 Republican Constitution (Article 42) and CI 91(Regulation 1(1a)). If you are a foreigner stay away from the registration centres”.