General Politics

I prefer being an ’embarrassment’ of a lawyer to a ‘dishonest’, ‘NPP propagandist’ of an AG – Edudzi to Dame

The lawyer for the three opposition National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament who filed an application at the Supreme Court that sought an injunction on the implementation of the Electronic Levy by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Godwin Eduzi Tameklo, has responded to Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Dame for describing his last court performance as “embarrassing”.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, threw out the Minority’s suit on Wednesday, 4 May 2022.

The plaintiffs were Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling, however, ordered the Ghana Revenue Authority to keep accurate records of all e-levy deductions to enable a refund to payees if it is later determined that the law was passed unconstitutionally.

The court, composed of Nene Amegatcher as President, Her Ladyship Mariama Owusu, His Lordship Professor Ashie Kotey, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Lovelace Johnson, His Lordship Emmanuel Yony Kulendi and Her Ladyship Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, said the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the levy from electronic transactions.

The plaintiffs had filed an earlier suit at the apex court challenging the passage of the e-levy bill by a one-sided parliament.

They claim the number of legislators in the chamber when the bill was passed did not form a quorum as declared by the Supreme Court.

The opposition MPs want the Supreme Court to set aside the passage of the e-levy bill by the Majority Caucus present in the chamber of parliament on 29 March 2022 as unconstitutional, null and void.

They wanted the court to stop the commencement of the levy until the final determination of the first case.

Speaking to the media after the court ruling, Mr Dame told the media: “You saw what happened in court today: It was an embarrassing spectacle”.

“The lawyer clearly was not able to demonstrate any form of irregularities with proceedings in Parliament”, he explained, illustrating: “The court asked him [Edudzi Tameklo]: ‘So, is there any record that indicates that X number of MPs walked out at a certain stage?’”

“He obviously said no. There was no evidence indicating whether there was a headcount of a number of MPs present in parliament who voted to support the bill”, the Minister of Justice said.

“There was also nothing indicated by the lawyer, which suggests there was a walkout of X number of MPs, so, I think we should ignore all that propaganda,” he said.

Mr Dame added: “…You do not go to court with speculation and conjecture; you go to court on firm evidence”, insisting: “The applicants were unable to demonstrate any form of irregularity”.

He welcomed the ruling, saying: “…I’m fully satisfied with the court’s ruling. I’m content with the outcome and I’m happy that the observation that we made about the application has been affirmed by the court”.

“It is very important to note that the court made a finding that: really, nothing irregular has been demonstrated by the applicant and so far as the proceedings in parliament in question were concerned, everything seemed regular and we have demonstrated the same from the processes that we had filed.

Meanwhile, South Dayi MP Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has jumped to Mr Tameklo’s defence and tackled the Attorney General on his comments. “You could make your legal argument, you could say that your argument, as canvassed in opposition to the application prevail, that is what we say to lawyers. But don’t tell the general public that his performance today was embarrassing,” he said.

In his view, “as a practising lawyer who has also practised before in the Supreme Court on several occasions, I think Edudzi distinguished himself.”

“Edudzi was answering about four questions at the time from the judges. The judges didn’t hound the AG in that manner. At a point, four judges were asking Edudzi four different questions at the same time. He was able to respond to each and every one of them for the AG to miss a course and take to the media to say that his performance today was embarrassing, is with all due respect to him, unacceptable,” the NDC MP told Accra-based Joy FM.

Responding to the AG himself, Mr Tameklo said: “I will prefer to be an embarrassment than a dishonest Attorney General”, adding: “This Attorney General has no regard for candour and honesty”.

“If he did, he would not appear before the apex court of the land with the March 29, 2022 votes and proceedings knowing very well that same has been corrected and that correction has been adopted”, he explained.

“It is the lowest that I have seen of an Attorney General and let be on the record”, Mr Tameklo said.

“Unfortunately, this is the Attorney General that we have to contend with”, he added.

“He sees himself more of an NPP propagandist than the Minister of Justice,” Mr Tameklo added.

The NDC lawyer said the “Attorney General’s childhood kernel has been cracked for him”, adding: “You remember not long ago, even after the Supreme Court gave an injunction order against the NDC MP for Assin North, he met the media once again and said what happened to Adamu Sakande should happen to the NDC MP, knowing that there was a substantive matter to be determined”.

“So, it is part of his making to prejudge matters before the court,” Mr Tameklo noted.

Mr Tameklo said he restrained himself from commenting on the ruling until the AG went on his media attack, contrary to the practice among lawyers, “and, so, when he decided to defer this law, I need to descend on him in equal measure”.

Source: Classfmonline.com

Related Posts

  1. NDC lawyer talks more on social media than in court. The court asked you questions and you didn’t answer properly but now you want to answer the questions on social media. You can’t go court without evidence, otherwise you will be floored all the time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *