Court clears alleged Togolese to register on Ghana’s Electoral roll
A Tema Magistrate Court has discharged an alleged Togolese, Elvis Seglah, 35, who attempted to get his data onto the ongoing Ghana’s electoral register. The court freed Mr Seglah on Monday after he pleaded not guilty to an electoral related offence.
Chief Inspector Emmanuel Mensah, Prosecutor from the Tema Regional Police Command, told The Chronicle that the court, presided over by Mrs Akosua Anokyewaa Adjepong, dismissed the case due to lack of evidence against the accused person.
“The investigators could not convince the court with evidence to back their claim that the accused was not a Ghanaian. The prosecution witness was unwilling to testify against the accused person, as efforts to have the prosecuting witness appear in court hit the snag. I am surprised the witness did not want to come to testify after arresting the accused person,” Chief Inspector Emmanuel Mensah explained.
He said the court, besides, advised stakeholders to adhere to the Constitutional Instrument (C.I) 126, which is the legal leg for the ongoing voter registration exercise.
“The nationality of an applicant or otherwise can be challenged, but not to be prevented,” the prosecutor educated.
A relative of the accused, Donney Saglah, told The Chronicle, after the court hearing, that the accused is a Ghanaian born to the late Mensah Seglah, a Ghanaian from Anloga in the Volta Region, and a mother, who is a Togolese.
Mr Donnie, however, explained that the accused was born and bred in Togo, where he schooled until in 2009 when some investors brought him to Ghana, where he has since remained and been working.
“Elvis Seglah is a Ghanaian, and we, the family, challenge anybody to come forward to prove us wrong. It is sad we have to come this far,” Mr Donnie said.
About three weeks ago, the vigilance of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Kpone-Katamanso Constituency led to the arrest of the accused at the ongoing voter registration exercise at the Assemblies of God polling station at Ataa Saki in the Mlitsekpo Electoral Area, where he attempted to register to acquire the Ghanaian voter ID card.
According to the NPP, the accused person’s own admission that he was a Togolese, after some questions were posed to him on intelligence gathered by hardworking officials of the party, gave him out.
Hopeson Yaovi Adorye, Kpone-Katamanso NPP parliamentary candidate, told the media at a presser at his campaign office, that Elvis Seglah was subsequently handed over to the Kpone Municipal Police Command, where he, Elvis Seglah, told the police that though his father is a Ghanaian from Anloga, his mother is a Togolese, where he spent most of his life.
But the Kpone-Katamanso NPP described this as palpable false, especially when Elvis could not mention his lineage at Anloga after further probing by the police.
According to the party, had Mr Seglah been able to mention his family home at Anloga, the police would have enquired at Anloga to confirm, and if it had proved right, he would have been set free.
“He could not even speak the Ghana Ewe to answer the questions posed to him. Elvis, through a translator at the police station, said he wanted to acquire the Ghana voter ID card for employment in Ghana, because his father is a Ghanaian. We are not enthused by his explanations, and the cold that some NDC members from the Constituency caught at the police station raises suspicion. The NPP, therefore, demand the police to press legal charges against Elvis Seglah, and, if at the court, he is able to defend himself and the court acquits and discharges him for any wrongdoing, we will let him,” Hopeson Adorye said at the press conference.
For the ‘umbrella party’ wading into the matter, Oko Dagadu Ofei, Constituency Chairman for the NDC at Kpone-Katamanso, told The Chronicle via the telephone that Elvis Seglah has paternal lineage from Ghana, but with maternal lineage from Togo, “and this young man is known in the electoral area.”
He alleged that the guys who picked up Elvis from the queue were known land guards, who claimed they were National Security operatives, “and as Ghanaians, we don’t understand why the Kpone Police Command would allow himself to be controlled by Hopeson and the NPP.”
Mr Ofei said the NDC managed to get bail for Elvis Seglah, but was surprised to later hear that he had been invited by the Tema Regional Police Command.
The NPP and Hopeson, he said, hurriedly held a press conference to denounce a guy “we all know in the electoral area.”
To him and the NDC, the NPP is bent on succeeding with its set agenda, by claiming that there are Togolese on the Ghanaian electoral roll, “but I can tell you that they will not succeed.”