Ghana: SC Awards Gh¢10, 000 Cost Against Democratic Accountability Lab Boss
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday awarded GH¢10, 000 as cost against Benjamin Darko, the Executive Director of Democratic Accountability Lab, for filling a frivolous contempt application against the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The seven-member panel of the apex court presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher described the contempt application as defective, frivolous, and vexatious.
The plaintiff was represented by Oliver-Barker-Vormawor, the convener of #FixTheCountry Movement.
Mr Barker-Vormawor moved his application although the bench drew his attention to procedural errors and the fact that the application did not measure up to standard originating notice of motions.
In dismissing the contempt application, the court observed that the applicant lacked the locus standi to file the motion for contempt against the GRA boss.
“We do not think we should call on counsel for the second respondent to respond, the applicant in our view has no locus in this matter to file this instant application to commit the Commissioner-General and the GRA for contempt of court,” Justice Nene Amegatcher said.
“Apart from the fact that we cannot commit the Commissioner-General and the GRA as an institution for contempt, the application itself is defective and does not measure up to the practice of instituting origination notice of motions in this court. The application before us is frivolous and vexatious, we find no merit in it and dismiss same”, she said.
The applicant wanted the apex court to hold the Commissioner General of the GRA for contempt for implementing the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) passed by Parliament.
Three National Democratic Congress Members (NDC) of Parliament, Messrs Haruna Iddrisu, Minority and MP for Tamale South, Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central, and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu sued the Attorney General for passing the E-Levy.
The plaintiffs wanted the court to declare that on the authority of the Supreme Court 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 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.
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 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.