Home / POLITICS / Minority deceiving Ghanaians – Mireku Duker ‘exposes’ NDC on E-Levy Bill

Minority deceiving Ghanaians – Mireku Duker ‘exposes’ NDC on E-Levy Bill

Minority Caucus

Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem constituency, George Mireku Duker, has exposed what he believes is deception by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament regarding the passage of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) Bill.

The Bill was laid before Parliament on Tuesday, March 29, for deliberations and voting but the Minority staged a walkout in protest against it.

They have been opposed to the Bill since the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta announced it in his presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

Parliament Passes E-Levy Bill

Although the Minority walk out from the chamber, it however didn’t stop proceedings in the House as the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, allowed for the readings of the bill and its approval.

By a voice vote of the Majority caucus after the Speaker suspended sitting for 30 minutes, the second reading of the bill was approved and subsequently, the Finance Minister moved the motion for the bill to be considered the third time which was also seconded.

The question was put by the Speaker and was approved through a voice vote.

“The electronic bill duly read the third time and passed,” the Speaker declared, to wit the controversial levy has been passed awaiting Presidential assent.

Meanwhile, the levy has been reduced from the initial 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent.

Opposition to Passage of E-Levy Bill

Despite the Majority approving the bill, the Minority claims it hasn’t been passed and has filed a suit at the Supreme Court to prevent President Akufo-Addo from assenting to the bill.

The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa took to his Facebook page immediately after Parliament declared the Bill being passed stating emphatically that ”what transpired today is a ridiculous nullity!”

”You thought we will give you the pleasure of returning to court for a declaration that the Assin North MP shouldn’t have been present in the Chamber to vote so that you can claim a 137-136 victory for the E-Levy. With our strategic walk out, you fall short of the required 138 quorum under article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution and as affirmed by the Supreme Court in the recent Justice Abdulai case.

“There can be no contention about Hon. Adwoa Safo’s absence from today’s proceedings. Trust your NDC representatives, we have a conscience, and we know that the real power belongs to you. Going by the Supreme Court’s decision, the E-Levy has not been passed. What transpired today is a ridiculous nullity!”, he posted.

Also the Minority Leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, accused the Majority of pulling a surprise on them because E-levy wasn’t listed in Parliament’s business statement for this week.

“We have time and again warned and cautioned that we never want to be taken by surprise on a major economic policy bill of government and we will not accept that culture.”

“So when you (Majority Caucus) did not have the numbers, you were hesitant, you won’t come before the House, now that you think that you have some reasonable numbers then you say ‘go to the business of item 27’”, he sai

As a result, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues Mahama Ayariga and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa have on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 dragged the Attorney General to the Supreme Court over the approval of the Electronic Transactions Levy.

They contend that Parliament did not have the required number of at least half of its members present when the controversial tax policy was approved.

Reliefs

Mr. Iddrisu and his colleagues are seeking the following reliefs from the court:

“a. A declaration that on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/2022 dated 9th March 2022, the constitutional quorum number for decision-making and voting within the meaning of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution is 138 Members of Parliament out of the 275 Members of Parliament and not 137 Members of Parliament.

b. A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of articles 2(1)(b) and 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, there was no quorum to enable the 137 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on 29th March 2022 to pass the Electronic Transactions Levy (‘’E-Levy’’).

c. A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the passing of the Electronic Transactions Levy (‘’E-Levy’’) by the 137 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on the 29th March 2022 without the requisite quorum number of 138 Members of Parliament present in Parliament is null and void and of no legal effect.

d. An order of the Honourable Court setting aside the passing of the Electronic Transactions Levy (‘’E-Levy’’) by the 137 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on the 29th March 2022 as a nullity.

e. Any other order(s) the Honourable Court may deem fit.”

Minority Doing Ghanaians ‘419’

According to Hon. Mireku Duker, the Minority is only deceiving Ghanaians because they played a key role in the passage of the bill.

He revealed that the Minority contributed to certain amendments of the Bill, so they behaving like they know nothing about what happened in Parliament yesterday is just so they decieve their gullible followers.

”The Minority contributed to this E-Levy. They were part of the consideration and amendment stages of this Bill. In fact, I hold in my hands the document proving the things that they said for this Bill to be passed,” he established.

He explained the procedure that led to the passage of the Bill saying before it was passed, it had gone through consideration and amendment stages.

“It was laid before a Committee; the Finance Committee. The Committee deliberated on it, had everyone make their contributions and afterwards presented it before Parliament. Then, the Speaker called on the parties that made their contributions to justify them. So, it was at this point that the Minority walked out. However, the Speaker allowed the Majority to make their secondments or otherwise to the contributions (amendments) by the Minority members before the Bill was approved,” Hon. Mireku Duker paraphrastically clarified.

He went ahead to list names of the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka, NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George and the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, who also is a member of the Minority, stating they all made significant contributions to the E-Levy Bill in anticipation that it will be approved.

Hon. Mireku Duker presented to the host of Peace FM’s morning show Kwami Sefa Kayi the document as evidence to show that the Minority were well-involved in the passage of the Bill and only playing on the emotions of their supporters and Ghanaians in general.

“The Minority is doing Ghanaians 419 . . . They helped us to make this bill . . . So, it’s the NDC and NPP Members of Parliament in Ghana that have accepted the E-Levy,” he stressed.

He also pledged to make a thousand copies of the document and distribute it to all NDC supporters to expose the Minority in Parliament.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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