By a unanimous 7-0 decision, the Supreme Court has dismissed the application for an injunction against the implementation of the Electronic Transactions Levy (e-levy).
The apex court has also directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to preserve the records generated since the levy’s implementation on May 1, 2022.
In response to the ruling, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said he is satisfied with the Court’s directive to the GRA until the substantive case is determined.
The Tamale South MP described this part of the Supreme Court’s ruling as “refreshing and heartwarming.”
“At least some people will not be in a rush to collateralise it until the substantive matter is determined. We raised this matter because it is of public interest, constitutional significance,” he told the press after the ruling.
“We are very happy with the performance of our lawyers. We only pray that Ghana is not going to have two sets of laws. One that serves and protects the elected elite of government and one that serves the political minority of the opposition,” he added.
On the substantive matter before the court, the Attorney-General (A-G), Godfred Yeboah Dame, indicated that 266 MPs participated in the processes leading up to the approval of the E-levy.
According to the A-G, the approval of the bill and its subsequent passing into law is constitutional.
He argued that on March 29, when the policy was approved, there were only 274 validly elected Parliamentarians and not 275 because the election of the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, had been cancelled.
The A-G explained that this is a result of a Court of Appeals’ ruling on March 22, which struck out an appeal filed by Mr Quayson.
The AG, therefore, said the number required to transact Parliamentary business on the said day was 137.
He pointed out that except for Dome-Kwabenya MP Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, all 137 members of the Majority side were present.
But the Minority Leader disagrees.
Haruna Iddrisu noted that it is unconstitutional to pass the bill into law with numbers below the minimum constitutional threshold of 138 MPs.
“I heard the Attorney-General arguing that it was a voice vote. So Ebenezer Kum voted with his voice from an ambulance, or he voted with his voice from a clinic?
“He is insisting that 266 MPs participated in the decision and motion – 266 MPs after the Minority of 136 walked out?” he quizzed.
In the suit filed on Tuesday, April 19, Mr. Iddrisu contends that Parliament did not have the required number of at least half of its members present when the controversial tax policy was approved.
The three MPs, led by the Minority Leader, want the Supreme Court to declare that the said approval was contrary to law.
The two other MPs are Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu and Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga.
Meanwhile, after its implementation on May 1, the Electronic Transaction Levy has faced intense backlash due to the teething challenges experienced by subscribers.
Some include the failure of the system to identify and exempt transactions below GH¢100 as stipulated in the Act.