NIA official arrested for door-to-door registration at night

Police in the Eastern Region have arrested an official of the National Identification Authority (NIA) for illegally embarking on a door-to-door registration Thursday night.

The suspect, Richard Kudjo Pinto,37, was picked up around the Adarkwa Station area around 8:30 pm.

He is a teacher and the supervising registration officer at Kuano Church of Pentecost registration centre in the Coaltar District.

According to the police, the suspect was arrested with documents of the authority.

Among the documents were 27 pieces of NIA cards, application forms with one bearing the name and details of Otubea Rebecca, 12 pieces of Oath of Identity Forms with four pieces, bearing the names of Opoku Mabel, Martey Ebenezer, Lomotey Christiana Tetteh and Korkor Comfort.

Other documents included instruction manual for registration and card issuance.

Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh, said upon interrogation, the suspect claimed that the named applicants were at the registration centre earlier in the day to register. However, they could not be registered due to the closing time, as such sought to register them in their respective homes for other procedures to follow the next day.

He added the suspect had been detained while efforts are underway to arrest those whose names had been mentioned to assist in the investigation.

The ongoing mass registration exercise by the NIA in the Eastern region has been met with severe backlash after they defied President Akufo-Addo’s directive on mass gatherings over fears of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Critics of the government have accused the authority of blatantly flouting the directive of not having over 25 persons gathered at an occasion.

But the NIA has strongly defended its decision to go ahead with the registration exercise, insisting it had not violated the Presidential directive since its registration centres were adhering to the social distancing policy.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), have all urged the NIA to suspend the exercise.

Why the rush – CHRAJ questions NIA, EC over registration amid COVID-19 outbreak

Two citizens have dragged the NIA to court for disregarding the President’s directive on public gathering.

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