Some five foreign nationals who registered in the ongoing voters’ registration exercise in the Volta Region are currently before the Keta circuit court for trial. Two out of the five, Okafor Wale, 47, a Nigerian; and Evoda Yao Dieu Donne, 22, a Togolese, have been sentenced to two years imprisonment each by the said court.
The other three, Emmanuel Philip, 32, a Nigerian; Ekoume Sena, 32, a Togolese; and Ametame Raymond, 33, also a Togolese, have their cases pending before the court.
Apart from the five in the Volta Region, the Kaneshie District Court has also convicted a Nigerian to six months in prison for attempting to register at Swag Club House Registration Centre in the Ablekuma West District, while five Nigeriens are currently in police custody for the same crime.
“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.
“We also know of five Nigeriens who have made their first appearance at the same court for attempting to register and thus acquire the voters ID card,” Deputy Chairman for Corporate Services at the Electoral Commission, Dr Eric Bossman Asare, Deputy EC Chair in charge of Corporate Affairs, told newsmen on Monday.
Meanwhile, apart from the foreign nationals, two Ghanaians are also before the Keta circuit court for aiding foreigners to go through the registration exercise. The two, Jerry Azameti, 28, and Abigail Tagbor, 20, abetted Emmanuel Philip to register for the voters’ ID card by standing as guarantors.
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, disturbed about the phenomenon of foreign nationals registering, has asked the citizenry to be vigilant and draw the attention of the security agencies and other registration officials to situations in which persons who are ineligible, especially foreigners, attempt to partake in the registration exercise.
“We call on stakeholders, citizens and the police to be vigilant. I do not believe that any of us can go to Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin or Niger, for that matter, and go and register to vote as citizens there,” the EC Chair said.