Former Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of influencing the decision that birth certificates are not valid proof of citizenship. He said this was done to serve the NPP’s agenda of compiling a new voter register for electoral advantage.
He expressed his disbelief on Twitter, asking how one’s nationality could not be determined by a document that clearly states the nationality of one’s parents.
His tweet came after Chief Justice nominee Gertrude Torkornoo reiterated the Supreme Court’s position on birth certificates during her vetting by Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Friday May 26.
She explained that birth certificates are only records of one’s birth location, not one’s citizenship. She said citizenship is a matter of law, and it depends on one’s relationship with one’s mother, father, and lineage.
The Supreme Court had ruled in June 2020 that birth certificates could not be used as proof of citizenship for voter registration. The court said birth certificates do not establish the identity or citizenship of the bearer, and they are worse than the NHIA card, which was also declared unconstitutional as evidence of identification.
Meanwhile, University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo has called on the Supreme Court to reconsider its stance on birth certificates. He said he was worried about the implication of the decision on the relevance of the Births and Deaths Registry. He spoke on TV3’s Key Points on Saturday, May 27.