Majority Leader is not in contempt of court – Deputy Majority Chief Whip refutes assertions by Minority MPs

majority leader is not in contempt of court deputy majority chief whip refutes assertions by minority mps
Habib Iddrisu

The Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Habib Iddrisu has said that the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu did not commit any act contemptuous of the Supreme Court.

He said what Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu did was to point out to the Minority Leader and his colleagues who have sought to injunct the implementation of the E-levy law, that they are engaging in an exercise in futility.

This, Mr. Habib Iddrisu said, is because the Majority Leader “sought to give clarity of the matter before the Supreme court but not to go into the details.”

According to Mr. Iddrisu, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu suggested that because the law was duly passed by Parliament, if the Minority had issues with it, they should have reverted to Parliament, instead of proceeding to the Supreme Court.

“But now if you are sending it to court to say that you are putting an injunction on its implementation that is the clarity the Majority Leader was actually giving because if a Bill is passed in Parliament and assented by the President, it becomes a law,” he said.

Speaking on Top Story on Friday, he explained that because the e-levy was a financial transaction certain procedures needed to be put in place before the implementation. However, “all procedures have been exhausted.”

The Deputy Majority Chief Whip was reacting to a statement by the North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa on Joy FM’s Midday News that the Minority Group is “taking note of all these statements and we will return to the Supreme Court shortly and draw the apex court’s attention to these contemptuous statements.”

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor also stated on Top Story that the comment by the Majority Caucus is in contempt of court considering the interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

“Those comments are contumacious of the powers of the Court. Contumacious in the sense that the court has the power to suspend the implementation of the law in the same way that the Executive has suspended the implementation, so if you say that you have the power to suspend the implementation for say 30 days but the Court cannot do so and when the court makes the pronouncement on the 4th of May what would have become of your comments?” he quizzed.

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Idrissu, and two NDC MPs have petitioned the Supreme Court to restrain the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from its planned implementation of the Electronic Transactions Levy on May 1.

The Minority Leader, together with his colleagues, argued that Parliament did not have the required number of at least, half of its members present when the controversial tax policy was approved, hence want an interim injunction on the implementation of the e-levy.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu described as “dead on arrival” the Minority’s application to the Supreme Court.

Speaking at a press conference by the Majority Caucus on Friday, the Suame MP said once the President assents to the Bill and its operation is not postponed by Parliament, the Bill comes into operation, hence the Minority’s application to the Supreme Court will be an exercise in futility.

He noted that the act by the Minority not to exhaust the processes and procedures in Parliament and rather seek redress in court would come back to haunt them in the future.

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