Supreme Court to finally decide on E-Levy injunction

Three MPs file suit against E-Levy approval

MPs want Supreme Court to restrain E-Levy implementation

Some Ghanaians complain about being charged for transferring GH¢100 and less

The Supreme Court of Ghana will Wednesday, May 4, 2022, hear an application for interlocutory injunction against the implementation of the Electronic Transfers Levy (E-Levy).

Three Members of Parliament from the opposition side on March 30, 2022, filed a writ asking the apex Court to declare the passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act as unconstitutional and must therefore be set aside.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Mahama Ayariga and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who are the applicants in the suit on April 19, 2022, followed up with an application for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the enforcement of the Act, pending the determination of their suit.

The Supreme Court, following the filing, fixed May 4, 2022, to hear the injunction application.

In their substantive suit, the applicants are asking 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 Members of Parliament; and not 136 MPs in the Chamber of Parliament.

The plaintiffs are asking for 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, 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.

They 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 Members of Parliament was in contravention of Article 104(1) and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

They are further asking for a declaration that in accordance with Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and 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 three MPs have also appealed the Supreme Court 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 whatsoever.

Attorney General’s response

Named as a respondent in the suit, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has opposed the application for an interlocutory injunction against the E-Levy.

In an affidavit responding to the application, the Attorney General describes the request by the three MPs as incompetent.

Filed on April 29, 2022, the A-G said the application contained factual uncertainties adding that the plaintiffs failed to make a case that merits an injunction to be granted by the Supreme Court.

On the argument of factual inaccuracies in the case of the applicants, the A-G said such is displayed in the allegation by the applicants that “there were only 136 or the purported 137 Members from the Majority Caucus … present in the Chamber of Parliament” when the E-Levy Act was passed.

Godfred Dame further submits that the applicants have clearly failed “to demonstrate any facts, or the commission of any act or an omission on the part of Parliament in the constitutionally prescribed procedure for the passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) which vests them with a cause of action” in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile the 1.5% charge on electronic transfers as provided by the Electronic Transfer Levy Act has since been implemented by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

As outlined by government, the E-Levy charge became effective on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

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