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General News of Thursday, 5 July 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Kelni GVG Contract: Court defers ruling on interlocutory injunction

The Human Rights Court Presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah has adjourned its ruling on the interlocutory injunction application seeking to stop government from going ahead with the execution of the controversial $89.4million Kelni GVG contract to July 10,2018.

Kelni GVG, a Haitian originated company, was awarded a contract by the government for design, development and implementation of a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, and mobile money monitoring and fraud management—a service already being rendered by Afriwave and Subah Info Solution.

The contract has since become a subject of controversy between policy think-tank IMANI Africa and the ministry with the former arguing it was needless and expensive.

An application instituted at the Human Rights High Court by Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh, seeking, among others, an interlocutory injunction to restrain the government and its assigns from implementing and operationalizing the contract to monitor revenues of telecommunication companies was adjourned to today, July, 2018 5 for determination.

But the lawyers for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) prayed the court to allow them to file an affidavit in response to the statement of Case filed by the applicants. The Presiding judge even though was ready to deliver his ruling on the injunction application, granted the prayer of the GRA, ordering the GRA to file their affidavit as quickly as possible, setting the July 10, 2018 as the date for the court to reconstitute for the case to take its natural cause.

The Case of the Applicants

The Applicants are before the Court because they insist that having followed the public debate and upon further enquiry, they gathered that the 1st (Ministry of Communication), 2nd (National Communication Authority) and 3rd (Ghana Revenue Authority) respondents, who are primarily responsible for the implementation of the common platform, intend to carry out the exercise in a manner which will be in breach of the Applicants’ fundamental human right to privacy.

The Plaintiff’s claim that the architecture of the common platform to be implemented is such that instead of connecting to only the billing node provided by the telecom companies as stipulated under Act 864, the connection will be made to all the physical nodes, and it will be a breach of Article 18 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.

According to the Applicants, the mobile networks have a statutory duty to protect their customers, including the Plaintiffs under Section 73 of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775) by ensuring that correspondence and communications of customers are not intercepted or interfered with.

They insisted that in the current form, a third party acting on behalf of the government even without a court order can intercept communications and correspondences, including text messages and voice calls of customers of mobile network operators. The applicants also believe that the intended implementation of the common platform constitutes a real threat to the enjoyment of their fundamental human right to privacy, adding that the implementation of the common platform and its attendant breach of the applicant’s right to privacy will be irreparable.