John Kumah replies Ablakwa: Gov’t can’t be cited for contempt; no law breached for E-levy roll out

Dr. John Kumah, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning

A Deputy Minister of Finance, John Ampontuah Kumah has mounted a strong defense in favour of the government’s implementation of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy), which took effect on Sunday (May 1, 2022), despite a lawsuit.

He argues that the government cannot in any way be cited for contempt as it was yet to be served with a court order that barred it from implementing the tariff.

“There is no court order”, Kumah said while speaking with journalists on Sunday. “So we have not breached anything. The fact that you have filed a motion in court does not mean you have an order of the court.”

The Ejisu MP appears to respond to his colleague MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who had long maintained that the government faces contempt charges if it goes ahead to roll out the E-levy without recourse to the legal challenge filed at the Supreme Court by the Minority caucus in Parliament.

Mr. Ablakwa told Citi FM that he had instructed his lawyers too, for instance, to cite the GRA boss, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, for contempt based on his comments to the effect that the tax will be enforced from May 1, 2022.

“I heard the GRA Commissioner and I have instructed my lawyers to cite him for contempt. He said he was going ahead with the implementation of the E-levy. People must be careful, we are operating in a constitutional democracy. All of us, including the president, are under the rule of law. It is in the interest of those in power to make sure that they walk the narrow path of constitutional order. If they start setting such bad examples, practicing impunity, and engaging in contempt of court, when things get out of hand, we cannot guarantee what will happen,” Ablakwa warned.

But John Kumah said Ablakwa has no grounds for contempt against the State since his case will only be moved on May 4, 2022.

Meanwhile, John Kumah says the government will address the initial challenges that have come with the E-levy rollout. He said the challenges are bound to happen, but the government will have them addressed.


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