Minority goes to SC …seeks nullification of E-Levy Bill passage

The Minority in Parliament has urged the Supreme Court (SC) to declare the passage of the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill 202, (E-Levy) as unconstitutional.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfried Dame

Three National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs), sued the Attorney General (A-G) and Minister of Justice over the passage of the bill into law, on March 29, 2022.

 The MPs are Messrs  Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, and MP for Tamale South, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, and Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central.

The plaintiffs in the suit signed and filed by their counsel, Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo, asked the apex court to declare that on the authority of the SC case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, dated March 9, 2022, the constitutional quorum for decision-making and voting in Parliament within the meaning and intent of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution, is 138 MPs present in the Chamber of Parliament out of the 275 MPs; and not 136 MPs present in the Chamber of Parliament.

The plaintiffs’ asked for a declaration that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and on the authority of the SC case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, when the Speaker of Parliament put the question for the second reading of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, Parliament lacked the required quorum ‘to vote on the motion before the House.

The three MPs want the court to hold that the purported vote on the motion for the second reading of the Electronic Levy Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, by the 136 MPs was in contravention of Article 104(1) and, therefore, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

They also asked the court to declare that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution on the authority of the recent SC case when the Speaker of Parliament put the question for the Consideration of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, to the house, Parliament lacked the required quorum to vote on each clause of the Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021, before the House. 

The plaintiffs appealed to the SC to declare that on account of relief (d) the purported vote by the 136 MPs on each clause of the Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021, was in contravention of Article 104(1), and, therefore, null, void and of no effect.

Per the document filed by the plaintiffs’, the A-G has fourteen days to file a response after which the court would set a date to hear the case.

Lawyers for both the plaintiffs and the defendant would have to appear before the court, and argue for and against the motion, after which judgement would be delivered.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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