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Birth certificate should only be used by statistical service - Godfred Dame

By Mutala Yakubu
Godfred Dame
Godfred Dame
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Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame says the Supreme Court was right in rejecting birth certificate as proof of one's citizenship.

Mr Dame says criticisms against the apex court regarding the issue has no basis in law.

He explains that birth certificate should only be of use to the statistical service as data for birth and not as evidence as citizenship.

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

READ ALSO: Ghanaians without passports or birth certs can still get 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 said on Joy FM.

"Birth certificate is just a record of birth in Ghana, as far as I am concern it should be used by the statistical service to know how many persons have been born in Ghana. 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.

His assertions come in reaction to a Supreme Court ruling which declared that birth certificates cannot be a proof of citizenship.

“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.

The ruling has, however, been met with widespread criticism from some notable legal practitioners, among them Dean of the Faculty of Law of University of Professional Studies.