While one group of appointees of the Akufo Addo administration were presenting the gloomy picture of the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus, another group made of the Deputy Attorney General was arguing in court to allow mass gathering of people to register for the National ID card by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Deputy Attorney General was today in High Court arguing passionately for the court to allow the NIA to mass up Ghanaians for the Ghana Card registration exercise.
In a statement of case filed on behalf of the AG’s office, Godfred Yeboah Dame argued in court that it will be an “irremediable harm which can never be occasioned by the respondents by the grant of this application” if the court does not allow the NIA to risk Covid-19 on unsuspecting citizens and mass them up to register for the Ghana Card.
According to the Deputy AG in his curious analysis, the risk of exploding the transmission rate of Covid-19 during the registration exercise is not as important as the fact that the Ghana card will be needed in the upcoming voter registration exercise.
His position betrays widespread speculations that the Akufo Addo government was conniving with the Electoral Commission (EC) to use the NIA cards as a trump card needed to favour for the governing party during controversial voters’ registration exercise for the December 2020 general elections.
In desperation to stop the fast-spreading coronavirus, the Akufo Addo administration issued a war-time directive that barred gatherings of more than 25 Ghanaians at a particular location.
The directives have seen churches, mosques, events and festivals suspended indefinitely.
However, despite the directive, the NIA continued to mass up Ghanaians citizens in the guise of registering them for the national ID cards. While at this defiant operations, the EC hinted that it was going to carry on its planned new voters’ registration on April 8, 2020.
Two citizens Mark Oliver Kevor and Emmanuel Okrah had dragged the NIA to court and succeeded in getting an interlocutory injunction slapped on the errant national ID card authority.
The injunction is to be in force for the next 10 days. But the government has sent its lawyer to court to argue for the injunction to be lifted.
According to the government lawyer, the prevention of the NIA from continuing the registration exercise will be of “greater inconvenience and hardship caused by restraint of the statutory functions of the NIA in the circumstances”.
Covid-19 which has killed over 17,000 people now and infected over 400,000 people is known for its fast human-to-human transmission. Mass gathering such as that being advocated by the government is known as a conducive breeding ground for Covid-19 spread through the populace.
Already, the backlash is coming in “fast and furious”. Franklin Cudjoe, the President and Founder of policy think-tank IMANI described the government’s argument as “orchestrated foolery”.
Mr. Cudjoe wrote on his social media page: “Let no Judge add his or her name to this orchestrated foolery-otherwise it gives credence to Asiedu Nketia’s theory of a grand scheme to compromise the process!”
Senyo Hosi , the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors slammed Mr. Dame: “You mean the election means mean more than the lives of those who will elect you at a time when we are faced with COVID-19 with no end in sight?”