NIA Sued For Contempt Over Continuation Of Registration In Spite Of Injunction Suit

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has been slapped with a second suit over its continuation of the registration of people in the Eastern Region onto the national identity platform.

Kevor Mark Oliver and Emmanuel Ocran, the two people who applied for an injunction against the NIA yesterday in court want the leadership of the Authority to be jailed for contempt.

Their suit which was filed in court today names Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Attafuah and  Head of Administration, William Kofi Baffour Mensah, as the contemnors.

In their application, they explain that since they applied for the injunction against the NIA yesterday, the Authority ought to have at least stopped the ongoing registration in the Eastern Region until the case is heard.

However, they point out, the Authority has intransigently carried out the registration, something that they say is disrespectful to the court.

In their earlier suit, they had cited the NIA for acting in disregard to law over the Authority’s continuation of the registration in spite of the fact that President Akufo-Addo has issued directives against all forms of public gathering on account of the deadly corona virus infections, which have now entered a community spread phase.

The NIA’s actions have been roundly condemned as intransigent and insensitive with the Commission on Humana Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) and the Ghana Medical Association all demanding that President Akufo-Addo call the body to order.

In spite of all the calls, the NIA is continuing with the registrations with reports indicating that even social distancing protocols that it promised to apply in what is seen as a lame defense  of its intransigence, not being adhered to.

The Authority is said to be using churches as the venues for the exercise. It has divided the sitting arrangements into two, with registrants queuing outside of the church auditoriums while registration officers are set up in church auditoriums.

Within the auditoriums, the sitting arrangements are well spaced so that occupants are not in contact with one another, however, outside of the churches, registrants are mostly huddled together as they queue under tents.

This type of huddle is what is nightmarish for the GMA which is warning that people in these queues are in danger.

President Akufo-Addo, has been perceived to have turned a blind eye to the NIA’s conduct. Together with the impunity with which the NIA is continuing with the registration, the President’s silence has been interpreted to mean that he is intentionally refusing to call the NIA to order.

Indeed, Prof. Ken Attafuah, the Executive Secretary of the NIA has explained that he is under orders from above to carry on with the registrations.

Minority MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has asked that Parliament summon the Minister of Planning over the NIA’s ongoing registration since Ken Attafuah says he is operating with orders from above.

The Eastern Region is one of two main political strongholds of the President’s party, the NPP. it is believed that the President is shepherding a process to ensure that people of the region are registered for the Ghana Card, so that they can register on to the voters register with them in a later exercise by the Electoral Commission.

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