E-levy: Nothing will come out of Minority’s suit at Supreme Court – Lord Mensah

A Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Lord Mensah, has expressed doubt that the Minority will be given the reliefs they are seeking in the suit they filed against the Attorney General following the approval of the e-levy by a one-sided Parliament.

He says his comments come on the heels of the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court against Justice Abdulai who sued over the approval of the entire budget, due to, in Abdulai’s view, lack of quorum.

Prof Mensah told Ghanaians to consider the e-levy as a policy that has come to stay irrespective of how they feel about its approval.

“I think there is going to be that response where people will start stopping using the platform. I am not a prophet of doom, but the understanding of the the people, as to whether they will be prepared to pay 2 cedis or 3 cedis per transaction that is being made, it will be difficult for them to understand because the value of that 2 cedis might be different at that echelon of transactions.

“So effectively, we are going to get that sensitivity of patronage going down as a result of the price that is being charged. But for me, I think we have gone beyond that kind of back and forth, where we will be thinking about the bill being passed or not.

“We have to look at it as a bill that has come to stay. I have heard Minority going to court , I don’t think anything will come out of it because the budget in itself was rejected but then when it went to the Supreme Court, it was unanimous decision, 7:0 [against the plaintiff]. So I don’t think anything new will come out of it,” he said on the News @10 on TV3 Wednesday March 30.

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers have sued the Attorney General following the approval of the e-levy by Parliament on Tuesday March 29.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu described the approval as illegal and unconstitutional because in their view, the Majority did not have the right numbers to pass it.

“This is a charade,” he said at a press conference in Parliament, adding that “there is no E-levy.”

“The majority of less than 137 conducting businesses only proceeded on illegal and unconstitutional business. Parliament did not have the numbers to take any decision that should binding Parliament and Ghanaians,” he added.

They therefore decided to sue over the development.

Read below their reliefs they are seeking…

a. A declaration that on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/2|22 dated 9th March 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 Members of Parliament present in the Chamber of Parliament out of the 275 Members of Parliament; and not 136 Members of Parliament present in the Chamber of Parliament;

b. A declaration that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/z022, on the 29h day of March 2022, when the Rt. Hon. 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, there being only 136 Members of Parliament present in the Chamber of Parliament:

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c. A further declaration that by reason of relief (b) above, the purported vote on the motion for the second reading of the Electronic Levy Transfer Levy Bill, 2021 by the 136 Members of Parliament is in contravention of Article 104(1) and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

d. 4 declaration that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/2022, on the 29h day of March 2022. when the Rt. Hon. 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;

e. A further declaration that on account of relief (d) above, the purported vote by the 136 Members of Parliament on each clausę of the Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021 is in contravention of Article 104(1). and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever;

f. A declaration that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/2022, on the 29th day of March 2022, when the Rt Hon. Speaker of Parliament put the question to the house for the Third Reading of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, Parliament lacked the required quorum to pass the said Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021;

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g. A further declaration that on account of relief ( above the purported Third Reading and subsequent passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021 is in contravention of Article 104(1) of the
Constitution, and is therefore null, void and of no effect.

h. An order of the Honourable Court setting aside the purported passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, bý the 136 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in the Chamber of Parliament on the 29th March 2022 as being unconstitutional, null and void;

i. Any other relief and/or order(s) the Honourable Court may deem it.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana