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General News of Sunday, 3 June 2018


Connect Kelni GVG, meet me in court – Kofi Bentil warns telcos

Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, is threatening legal action against the telco he subscribes to, should it connect to the Kelni GVG, the company contracted by government to monitor call traffic of telcos in real time.

Mr Bentil, who is also Senior Consultant at Bentil Consulting Limited, says it will be against his right to privacy should Kelni GVG be given the green light to start operation, insisting the monitoring agency is likely to access his personal data.

“If my telco connects any third party to their node I will sue them for breach of my fundamental [and constitutionally guaranteed] right to privacy…We are telling them today that you still cannot do it; you [telco] will be sued to hell,” he warned, while speaking on Newsfile on JoyNews TV Saturday.

The telcos have been reluctant to allow the ICT firm to connect to their system which Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says will allow the government to monitor call traffic for revenue assurance purposes.

The state is paying $89 million for the service.

But Kofi Bentil argued that a similar contract awarded to Subah Infosolutions under the previous administration led by John Mahama yielded nothing, therefore, there was no need to contract Kelni GVG to perform the same task.

“We [IMANI Africa] said at the time Subah was being given this job…we said they will not find anything [and] after the five years of Subah they found nothing.

“We told them five years ago that it will not happen. You cannot in law connect real time to the nodes of the telcos,” he added.

According to him, the government is justified by in taking steps to ensure the telcos are declaring the right figures but maintained that it does not have to cost the taxpayer $89 million.

“Every government has to do revenue assurance, the telcos have to do revenue assurance [but] we don’t have to pay $89m on revenue assurance,” he stated.

Inusah Fuseini thinks the deal was pushed through without an advice from the Attorney-General's Office.

Claim of an illegality

Meanwhile, Tamale Central Parliamentarian, Inusah Fuseini, is suggesting the contentious deal with Kelni GVG is fraudulent and illegal.

According to Mr Fuseini, the two state agencies which were involved in signing the deal, Ministry of Finance as well as Communications, “have no capacity to sign contracts”.

“You know by law, the Ministries [Finance and Communications] have no capacity to enter into contracts. This contract ought to be between the Government of Ghana acting through the respective ministries,” he indicated, suggesting an advice was not sought from the Attorney-General’s Department before the deal was pushed through.