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General News of Thursday, 21 June 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Franklin Cudjoe justifies latest lawsuit against Kelni GVG deal

The President of Policy think tank IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has justified the numerous lawsuits filed against the controversial Kelni GVG contract.

According to him, the court is their last hope of getting closure on the matter surrounding the deal.

IMANI Africa together with political pressure group, Citizen Ghana Movement, on Monday initiated processes at the Supreme Court to perpetually restrain the government and Kelni GVG from implementing the disputed Common Platform.

This suit came after a similar one already initiated by two Ghanaians at the court.

They in their suit raised concerns about Kelni GVG’s ability to protect the privacy of citizens. Franklin Cudjoe had earlier urged the government to abrogate the $89 million contract, but his advise has been ignored.

Franklin Cudjoe in a Citi News interview suggested that the Communications Ministry has not been forthright with Ghanaians on the real extent of the scope of the contract hence the latest lawsuit.

The IMANI boss is hopeful that the Supreme Court will safeguard the overall public interest.

“Isn’t it curious that the Ministry began this whole enterprise by suggesting to us Ghanaians that there is no way that the GVG machine could be listening to our conversations? Then eventually after so many back and forth they come up and said, even though we did not want to do it, we’ve added an additional layer against possible listening into our conversations.”

“…So we think that the best place to go through is the court to determine whether this is the best way of deciding policy issues or not. We keep feeling sad that we haven’t heard a word yet from Kelni GVG, and that we don’t know who these Kelni GVG people are, and it is worrying that we are going to part with 178 million dollars with no work done,” he added.

In a related development, 3 other citizens; Selorm Brantie, Nana Ama Adom-Boakye Kanyi and John Ato Bonful are also inviting the High Court to nullify the contract.

They argue that the contract violates the Public Financial Mangement Act; rendering all payments made under it, illegal.

‘Privacy of Ghanaians assured’ – Hamid

Minister for Information, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, on Wednesday made a strong case for the implementation of the traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring Common Platform.

speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, the Minister said a filtering system had been installed to protect the privacy of Ghanaians.

“There will be a day when we will not be here, and therefore we are also people who are concerned about our privacy. We cannot set up a system that allows people to listen to other people’s conversations, and I made that point clear to the telecom companies.”

Demand GVG deal documents in court

He also asked Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) demanding documents on the controversial Kelni GVG contract to go to court to have their concerns addressed.

According to him, the CSOs have a right to demand the contract documents in court, if the sector ministry is hesitant to make it available to them.

Some CSOs, including the Ghana Anti Corruption Coalition, wrote to request the contract details on the deal on May 30, 2018.

However, the Ministry of Communications in its response to the CSOs said the documents were not ready yet, saying “We are currently in the process of locating the available records.”

Speaking on Citi TV’s morning Show, Breakfast Daily, Minister for Information, Dr. Hamid, insisted that the CSOs can exercise their right by demanding access to these documents in court.