June 18, 2019

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Three more citizens sue gov’t over Kelni GVG deal

Three more citizens sue gov’t over Kelni GVG deal Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Just a few weeks after some two citizens sued the government over the implementation of the traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring Common Platform; some three other citizens have followed suit at the High Court seeking among others a cancellation of the contract.

The defendants in this suit are the Ministry of Communications, the Attorney General and KelniGVG Limited.

The plaintiffs; Selorm Brantie, Nana Ama Adom-Boakye Kanyi and John Ato Bonful, argue in their writ that the contract among other things, is illegal, because “the 1st defendant (Ministry of Communications) failed to secure the requisite statutory and constitutional approvals before executing the said contract, and the plaintiffs shall consequently contend strongly that the contract is illegal.”

They noted that given that the contract is illegal, “the government of Ghana cannot be made to continue to commit huge sums of taxpayers’ money to meet the financial obligations under the contract”.

They added that, with the contract “procured hastily under circumstances which exposed the state to serious financial jeopardy, the continuous payment of huge sums of taxpayers’ money under the contract is akin to pouring good wine into a poisoned chalice.”

They are therefore seeking among others, an interlocutory injunction restraining the Communications Ministry from “performing the obligations in the said contract, until the final determination of the suit.”

They are also seeking “a declaration that the contract between 1st ( Ministry of Communications) and 3rd defendant (KelniGVG), is in violation of the Public Financial Management Act,  2016 (Act 921 and hence illegal”.

They are also seeking an order for a cancellation of the contract, and a declaration that all payments made under the contract are illegal.

They are also seeking an order to restrain the Ministry of Communications from making any payments to Kelni GVG until the matter is determined.

IMANI, Citizen Ghana drags gov’t to court over KelniGVG deal

Meanwhile, Citizen Ghana and IMANI Ghana, have also sued the government over the deal, seeking a restraining order on the implementation of the common platform.

Background

Kelni GVG was contracted by the government to develop and oversee the Common Platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring.

The implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.

A lot of the criticism of the deal, which is costing Ghana $89 million, has come from think tank IMANI Africa.

IMANI also raised privacy concerns while questioning the credibility of Kelni GVG.

It has maintained that this 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.

Ursula rejects accusations

But the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in Parliament 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 are needless.

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

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