Deputy Minister for Regional Reorganization and Integration, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah has indicated that the suit by STRANEK to put an injunction on the upcoming referendum about the creation of the new regions is "much ado about nothing".
He says they have followed provisions in the constitution with creation of new regions and that they have done nothing wrong.
The Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa has sued government of Ghana and the Electoral Commission on the creation of new regions and asked for an interlocutory injuctive order directed at the EC from going ahead with the limited registration exercise in only the proposed new regions.
The applicant is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly articles 4(1), 5(1), 5(2), 5(3), 5(4) and 5(7) of the 1992 Constitution, read conjointly, the recommendation by the Justice Alan Brobbey Commission of Enquiry on the Creation of New Regions to the effect that only the registered voters in the yet to be created region are entitled to vote at the referendum to be conducted by the EC was unconstitutional, null and void.
“A declaration that the purported restriction of the limited voter registration to only the proposed new regions is arbitrary, whimsical and capricious and violates Articles 45(a) and 296 of the 1992 Constitution and therefore unconstitutional,” the applicant has prayed.
The applicant is pleading with the Supreme Court to grant an order directing EC not to conduct the referendum limited to only the places so recommended.
However, the Deputy Minister says he believes STRANEK have the right to go to court as they have followed due process.
"Government has followed due processes as directed by the constitution in the creation of the new regions so why then will somebody go to court to put an injunction on it, but as the lawyers say the law lies in the bosom of the judge.
"But I know the court will speed the processes so that the creation goes as planned and not unduly delay the processes," he indicated.
On August 15, 2017, the Council of State advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.
The Commission of Enquiry was established pursuant to Constitutional Instrument, C.I 105 and commenced work on November 21, 2017, in the Western Region.
On June 27, 2018, the Justice Brobbey Commission presented its report to President Akufo-Addo and recommended the creation of six (6) new administrative regions namely: Oti, Ahafo, Brong East, Western North, North East and Savanna.
The Commission of Enquiry recommended to the President that the places where the referendum should be held be limited to the proposed new regions to the exclusion of all and same forwarded to the EC.
Consequently, the EC has set December 27, 2018, for the referendum on the creation of six new regions.
The Electoral Commission recently announced that it would be undertaking a limited registration exercise of Ghanaians who have never registered as voters or who just turned 18 years and reside in the proposed areas in the Northern Region carved out for the creation of two additional Regions being the Savannah and North Eastern Regions and similarly in the other regions of Volta, Brong Ahafo and Western.
The EC has further indicated that the limited voter registration will be restricted to specific areas from the Sunday September 16, 2018 to September 26, 2018.