Citizen Ghana Movement and IMANI Ghana have filed a suit against government at the Supreme Court over the controversial KelniGVG deal.
The organisations are seeking an interlocutory order restraining government from implementing the common platform, which will allow the monitoring of revenue accrued by telecommunication companies operating in the country.
Kelni GVG was given an $89 million contract to develop and oversee the Common Platform for the state.The implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.
The complainants are however seeking a declaration that the intended implementation of the common platform constitute an “infringement on fundamental human right to privacy of communication and correspondence guaranteed all persons under Article 18 (2) of the Constitution, 1992.”
They also seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from “implementing and internationalizing the common platform until the final determination of the suit.”
“An order of perpetual injunction against the defendants restraining them from implementing the Common Platform (CP) by connecting Real-Time to the entire switch of the physical network nodes of the Mobile Network Operators or in any other way which will infringe on the fundamental human right to privacy of communication and correspondence guaranteed all persons under Article 18 (2) of the Constitution, 1992.”
Joined to the suit are the Ministries of Communication and Justice.
Members of the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition along with other civil society groups, had served notice they would go to court over the deal.
This was after the Coalition’s petition to the government and the Communication Ministry asking to be furnished with documents relating to the contract.
The Communications Officer of the Coalition, Abdul-Kudus Hussein, in an earlier interview with Citi News described the contract as fishy, saying their request for answers from government yielded no results.
“One of the specific requests we made was to get all material information and supporting documentation relating to the procurement process leading to the award of the contract to KelniGVG,” he stated.
The Coalition made a six-point demand to the ministry “only for the ministry to reply saying they are in the process of locating the document,” Abdul-Kudus Hussein recalled.
Two citizens sue gov’t
This latest suit comes weeks after some two citizens also sued the state over the controversial deal.
The two, Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh, are similarly seeking an order restraining the government from implementing the Common Platform.
A lot of the criticism of the deal, which is costing Ghana $89 million, has come from think tank IMANI Africa.
IMANI had raised privacy concerns while questioning the credibility of Kelni GVG.
It has maintained that the deal mirrors the controversial agreements the state entered into with Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd in 2010 and 2016 respectively.
IMANI had earlier petitioned the Vice President to revoke the contract.
IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe, hinted that his think tank was working towards a lawsuit on the matter.
Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, also waded into the matter, and called for a “detailed investigation and audit by an independent expert.”
The group wants an investigation “of the mechanism to be deployed under the Contract, particularly the Revenue Assurance, Specific Voice and Geographic Location Modules, to ascertain and ensure that any snoop and tap capability that is prohibited by law, does not exist.”
But whiles in Parliament, the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, rejected accusations of corruption and underhand dealings in the award of the revenue assurance monitoring contract to Kelni GVG.
She said the accusations of corruption and underhand dealings were baseless.
The government has assured that the necessary due diligence was carried out during the processes that led to the selection of Kelni GVG.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana