The National Identification Authority (NIA) has dismissed four of its officials for engaging in registration offences and malpractices in the ongoing mass registration for Ghana Card in the Ashanti Region.
The said officials and one other person have been arrested by the Police for the offences.
According to the NIA, some aggrieved citizens who provided “incriminating evidence” against the five persons, assisted in identifying the said persons for their arrest between January 3 and 6, 2020.
They are Kenneth Sarfo Boateng, Commissioner for Oaths; Ransford Omane Osei, Mobile Registration Workstation Operator; De-graft Osei Mensah, Supervising Registration Officer; Emmanuel Edusei Poku, District Registration Supervisor and Kwabena Dan, a resident of Nyinampong.
All the suspects, who are on police enquiry bail, are assisting in investigations for a possible prosecution.
Management of the NIA said it is satisfied that the conduct of the four officials constituted “an egregious violation of applicable internal rules and regulations” on NIA officials for which reason it directed the Executive Secretary to dismiss the affected staff.
The NIA commended the public-spirited efforts of those residents of the Ashanti Region, including two journalists whose vigilance, sacrifice and commitment enabled the NIA and the police to arrest the suspects.
“NIA urges the general public to emulate the patriotism and high citizenship demonstrated by the informants by exposing with credible evidence acts of suspected corruption in the Ghana Card registration process across the country” the NIA said.
It has also urged majority of its officials which it said are working within the laws “to maintain their high performance and to report their few colleagues whose conduct is creating pain and hardship for the citizenry”
The success of the mass registration exercise, it said, will ultimately depend on the level of vigilance and co-operation NIA enjoys from the general public, especially in managing queues, reporting acts of criminality and irresponsibility, and providing evidence that will trigger effective investigation and or support effective prosecution.
Meanwhile the NIA has indicated that any registration outside a designated or gazetted registration centre constitutes an offence.
Also, it said no registration (form filling or biometric data capture) is permitted beyond 5pm, and that the mass registration is free of charge to every Ghanaian citizen who registers for the Ghana card for the first time.
“This excludes premium and institutional registrations as governed by the Fees and Charges Act,” it explained
It said any claim that an NIA registration centre has run out of registration materials such as Registration Form or Oath of Identity Form can only be false as several million forms have been printed and adequate supply-chain management arrangements made to ensure stock is never depleted before being replenished.
“Any claim that ‘forms are finished’ is only a hoax designed to create artificial shortage to aid the enterprise of extorting monies from applicants,” the NIA said.
Further, it said no person is allowed to carry away from a registration centre a blank or completed Registration Form or Oath of Identity Form, unless the entire registration process is complete and the Ghana Card issued to the applicant or only the issuance of the card remains.