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Godfred Dame
Godfred Dame

Birth Certificate just a record, not proof of Ghanaian citizenship – Dep AG

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Dame has said a birth certificate rather gives a record of birth and not a proof of Ghanaian citizenship.

His comment follows the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision ruling out birth certificate as a form of identification.

“A birth certificate is not a form of identification. It does not establish the identity of the bearer. Nor does it link the holder with the information on the certificate. Quite obviously, it provides no evidence of citizenship,” the Supreme Court verdict said in part.

Godfred Dame told Joy News that information on birth certificates is not enough to prove that a person is a Ghanaian since the information there is not verifiable.

He said the document to proof one’s ‘Ghanaian-ness’ is by going through the National Identification Authority’s process of acquiring a Ghana Card.

In the event of a challenge of one’s citizenship, a certificate of citizenship issued by the Interior Minister after investigations under laws of the country is the only way to confirm one’s citizenship, he added.

“The fact that you are born on the land of Ghana does not mean you are a citizen.

“When it is stated here [on birth certificate] your mother is a Ghanaian or your father is a Ghanaian when there has not been any verification…it cannot be evidence of citizenship,” the Deputy A-G stated

A birth cert doesn’t make you a Ghanaian- SC rules

The Supreme Court has dismissed the use of a birth certificate as proof of Ghanaian citizenship.

This was the unanimous position of the seven justices after they mulled over a suit brought by a private citizen, Mark Takyi Banson.

While the NDC case wanted the current voter’s ID card to be used in the registration exercise, Mr. Banson made a case for the inclusion of birth certificate insisting it proves the identity of prospective voters as Ghanaians who have turned 18.

The Apex Court dismissed these reliefs and deferred its full judgment to July 15. A copy of the judgment sighted by joynews explains why the Birth certificate was rejected.

The decision written by Justice Ashie Kotey states that a birth certificate does not link its holder to the information it contains. It adds that it provides no evidence of citizenship.

The court compares it to another document it has already rejected; the National Health Insurance Cards and concludes it’s actually better than the Birth Certificate.

It is worthwhile to note that the birth certificate is used as a source document for various registrations including passports which are currently being used in voter registration.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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