The Ministry of Communications has hailed the dismissal of the interlocutory application seeking to stop the implementation of the controversial $89.4million Kelni GVG contract.
Kelni GVG, a Haitian originated company, was awarded a contract by the government for design, development and implementation of a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, and mobile money monitoring and fraud management—a service already being rendered by Afriwave and Subah Info Solution according to IMANI Africa.
The contract has since become a subject of controversy between policy think-tank IMANI Africa and the ministry with the former arguing it was needless and expensive.
A Human Rights Court presided by Justice Anthony Yeboah dismissed the applications of Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh, who contend the implementation of the common monitoring platform will infringe on their right of privacy.
In his ruling Justice Anthony Yeboah said the application by the two applicants was merely based on public sentiments and debates as they failed to provide any real evidence to back their claims that their privacy would be breached should the contract be executed in its current form.
Reacting to the Court’s ruling the Communication Ministry said in a statement described the ruling as a “decisive” and “in the national interest.”
“This decision is in the national interest. We believe it is a decisive step which reinforces our repeated assertion that the Common Platform Project only seeks to give Government an objective means of verifying traffic volumes to determine that indeed, the Telcos are paying the correct tax revenues to Government.
“We need to be certain that we are getting all the revenues due to government for the much needed developmental projects. Without being able to finance our own development, Ghana Beyond Aid will remain a slogan,” said the statement.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT ON APPLICATION FOR INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTION – COMMON MONITORING PLATFORM CONNECTIVITY PROJECT
The Ministry of Communications appreciates the decision taken by the Human Rights Court dismissing the application for Interlocutory Injunction against the implementation of the common platform for revenue assurance and monitoring.
This decision is in the national interest. We believe it is a decisive step which reinforces our repeated assertion that the Common Platform Project only seeks to give Government an objective means of verifying traffic volumes to determine that indeed, the Telcos are paying the correct tax revenues to Government. We need to be certain that we are getting all the revenues due to government for the much needed developmental projects. Without being able to finance our own development, Ghana Beyond Aid will remain a slogan.
The Court, upon evaluating the affidavit evidence before it, drew the following conclusions:
- The Law under which the Government was proceeding to monitor revenue from the Telcos did not permit the state to monitor calls, voice, data etc.
- There was a filtering system put in place to ensure that the common platform monitors only billing and signalling data and not the contents of subscribers’ communications
- The Telcos did not file any paper before the court to challenge the assertion of Government that indeed, the essence of the common platform is for the purposes of revenue assurance.
- The claim by the applicants that, they were acting upon public concern cannot also be founded since the Telcos who are in a position to challenge Government assertion were simply silent.
- The silence of the Telcos leaves the court in no doubt that the fears of the applicants have no legal basis.
- The application was speculative and based on public debate and commentary which the applicants could not substantiate
- The application has no merit and the grant of same would result in a loss of revenue to the state.
- The Court of Appeal Judge who presided over the matter as an additional High Court Judge, Justice Anthony Yeboah, stated emphatically that the two applicants, Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh were engaging in ‘peddling evidenceless fear’. He had no hesitation in dismissing the application for injunction as unmeritorious.
The Ministry of Communications therefore wishes to assure Ghanaians that government will protect the privacy of customer’s voice and data communications just as the court found.
Kindly seek clarification from the Ministry on all matters arising out of the implementation of the Kelni GVG contract and we would be grateful if the public would refrain from uninformed and alarmist public debate and commentary not borne out by the facts.
While we await the conclusion of all other cases in court, we will stay focused and work diligently to enable us derive the full benefits of the Common Platform Project.