The Supreme Court has slapped Oliver Barker-Vormawor #FixTheCountry Covener with a cost of GHc10k over what it described as a defective, vexatious, and frivolous application before it.
Barker-Vormawor is a lawyer representing – Democratic Accountability (an applicant) in action seeking to commit the Commissioner-General of Ghana Revenue Authority for contempt over the E-Levy transaction
The panel of seven presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher described the application as defective, frivolous, and vexatious.
Lawyer Oliver Barker-Vormawor, five years at the Bar, was making his first appearance before the apex court, and ignored all clues given to him by the members of the panel for him to withdraw the case.
But after forth and back with the panel, he was allowed to move his application.
Moments after his application the court said, the frivolous nature of the application does not require the Ghana Revenue Authority (2nd Respondent) who was present in court to Respond.
According to EIB Network’s Court Correspondent Murtala Inusah, the Commissioner-General of the GRA who was the first Respondent was not personally served with the application and was absent in court.
The court said a third party cannot be dragged to court in the manner that, this application was brought and dismissed say with a cost personally against counsel.
“We do not think we should call upon counsel for the 2nd Respondent (GRA) to respond,” Justice Nene Amegatcher ruled.
“The applicant (Democratic Accountability) has shown he has no locus and is not clothed to file this application before this court to commit the Commissioner-General and the Ghana Revenue Authority for contempt of court.
“Apart from the fact that we cannot commit the Commissioner-General and the Ghana Revenue Authority as institutions for case of contempt, the application itself is defective…The application before us is frivolous, vexatious and we dismissed same with cost of GHc10,000 personally by counsel for the applicant,” the court ruled.
The application for contempt was premised on the application for interlocutory injunction filed by three minority members of Parliament including the minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu.
The applicant contends that, for the GRA to commence with the E-Levy transactions on May 1 when there was a pendency of an interlocutory injunction constitutes contempt.
They subsequently through his lawyers filed an application for contempt against the Commissioner General of GRA and the Ghana Revenue Authority.
On April 26, the Convenors of #FixTheCountry, together with two NGOs, Democracy Hub and Democratic Accountability Lab, served the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, with a letter drawing the attention of the Ghana Revenue Authority to several decisions of the Supreme Court which specify that any conduct including the decision by the Authority to commence the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 on the 1st of May 2022, will expose the Authority, and the Commissioner-General to contempt charges.
In its letter #FixTheCountry notified the Ghana Revenue Authority that according to the law, whether or not an injunction application has been filed or heard, the Authority is required to refrain or abstain from taking any step that renders, prevents the court from discharging its judicial function and brings the authority and administration of the law into disrespect.
In this connection, the Convenors note that the Authority cannot start from implementing the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075) until a competent Court declares otherwise.
The Convenors ask that the Ghana Revenue Authority retreat immediately from its intention to commence the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075).
The Convenors indicate that should the Authority fail to comply with the law, they are prepared to take all law-based actions, including direct actions to prevent the violation of the Constitution, as required under Articles 3 and 42 of the 1992 Constitution; to the initiation of contempt proceedings against the Commissioner-General and the Authority should it fail to observe the law.
Source: Ghana/Kasapafmonline.com/Murtala Inusah