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Ghana’s election agency denies reports of missing biometric verification devices

Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections  |  ID for All
Ghana’s election agency denies reports of missing biometric verification devices

Claims that seven biometric verification devices of the Ghana Electoral Commission (EC) went missing have been debunked by a top official of the elections management agency.

Ghana Web in a report quotes the EC’s deputy Chairperson for Operations, Samuel Tettey, as saying that the allegations propounded by parliamentary Minority leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, are baseless as all the agency’s 7,500 biometric verification devices are intact, but for five laptops that went missing.

Concerns were raised on March 19 on the floor of Ghana’s parliament that seven biometric verification devices had gone missing, a claimed reportedly confirmed by the EC Chairperson herself, Jean Mensah.

In the wake of the news, some lawmakers urged that a probe be opened into the matter which they feared could prompt a setback in preparations for the upcoming general elections in the country.

But Tettey told the media that an audit of the EC’s biometric kits revealed just five laptops were missing, and not biometric verification devices as purported.

In an other report, Ghana web had cited the Minority leader as calling for a detailed report that sheds sufficient light on the matter.

The CEO of IMANI Africa, a Ghanian policy and education think tank, Franklin Cudjoe, also commented on the development, as reported by Modern Ghana. The official claimed the information may have been a manoeuvre by the EC to waste tax payers’ money on a procurement process that would benefit some individuals.

A couple of controversies have rocked the path to Ghana’s December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections in the past months. One of them was the push by the EC to make the Ghana Card the only identity requirement for voter registration. Coming against tough opposition from some lawmakers and political leaders, the plan was finally shelved last week following a multi-stakeholder meeting.

During the same meeting, the EC also suppressed an idea it had earlier announced to do away with manual fingerprinting as a method of identifying voters on polling day.

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