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Government Sued Over Controversial Kelni GVG Deal

The Government of Ghana has been sued to stop the implementation of the controversial Kelni GVG contract which is aimed at addressing revenue losses and sim box fraud through real time traffic monitoring.

The plaintiffs, Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh want the respondents in the matter, the Minister of Communication, the National Communication Authority, the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Attorney General and the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the telecommunications networks to  halt processes to commence the Common Platform until the final determination of the case.

The applicants want the court to grant “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents, whether, by themselves, their servants, workmen, hirelings, agents, privies or any persons claiming under or through them, whosoever described from implementing and operationalizing the Common Platform until the final determination of this suit.”

The plaintiffs stated the intended implementation of the Common Platform “Constitutes a real threat to the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights to privacy and for which reason on 8th June 2018, applicants commence an action against the respondents for the reliefs endorsed therein.”

“Instead of connecting to only the billing node as stipulated in Act 864, the connections will be made to all the physical network nodes,” they added, stressing the common platform is “in breach of Act 864 and ultimately the applicant’s fundamental human right to privacy of their correspondence and communication as protected by article 18(2) of the constitution.”

Though the real time traffic monitoring is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864, the Kelni GVG which will cost Ghana $89 million has been met with a lot of criticisms.

A former Deputy Minister of Communications, Ato Sarpong, has described the deal as “unfair” the decision of the government to award a multimillion dollar contract to a Ghanaian/Haitian company, KelniGVG for the provision of oversight and revenue assurance monitoring in the telecommunications sector.

He said the deals the erstwhile Mahama government entered into with Subah and Afriwave could have been reviewed to serve the purpose for which KelniGVG was engaged.

The former minister’s claim corroborates the stance of Think Tank, IMANI Africa which has stated the GVG deal is s waste of state resources.The Ministry Of Communication, however, insists that Ghana is making a monthly savings of $1.1 million on account of KelniGVG’s engagement.