Crusaders Against Corruption – Ghana petitions Speaker to censure Roads Minister
The Office of the Speaker
Parliament of Ghana
Dear Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin,
PETITION TO CENSURE AND SURCHARGE MR. KWASI AMOAKO -ATTA (GHANA’S MINISTER OF ROADS AND HIGHWAYS)
Crusaders Against Corruption –Ghana (CACG), is an Anti –Corruption and Good Governance Civil Society Organisation. We provide Anti- Corruption and Good Governance public advocacy, policy advice to decision makers, anti-corruption education and support to improve the lives of our citizens, our public service administration and government institutions that impact the growth and health of our nation.
Mr. Speaker, on the 17th of November 2021 the Finance Minister of Ghana presented the 2022 financial year budget in which he stated that government of Ghana intends to abolish road tolls as reflected in paragraph 306 of the budget statement, and quoted as “…Government will zero-rate tolls on all public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved…”
However, Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta on the 18th of November 2021, being the very next day after the budget reading ordered for the cancellation of the road tolls.
Unconstitutional and Illegal
Mr. Speaker, the 1992 constitution of Ghana has provided on how laws are enacted and otherwise, including the body that is mandated to enforce these laws. For avoidance of doubt, reference is made to Article 93 (2) of the aforementioned constitution which states “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the legislative power of Ghana shall be vested in Parliament and shall be exercised in accordance with this Constitution”.
In addition, Article 174 of the same constitution states that:
“(1) No taxation shall be imposed otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
(2) Where an Act, enacted in accordance with clause (1) of this article, confers power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by that Act, the exercise of the power of waiver or variation, in favour of any person or authority, shall be subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution”.
Further, the 1992 constitution of Ghana provides in Article 58 (2) that “The executive authority of Ghana shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution and all laws made under or continued in force by this Constitution”.
Mr. Speaker, it is observed by CACG that the executive of Ghana, through the Roads Minister’s action as stated in paragraph 3 of this petition, is unconstitutional and amounts to an act of illegality.
Causing Financial Loss to Ghana
Respectfully, the Criminal Code, 1960 (ACT 29) provides for matters that bother on causing financial loss to the state. Section 179A states that “(2) Any person who in the course of any transaction or business with a public body or any agency of the State intentionally causes damage or loss whether economic or otherwise to the body or agency commits an offence”.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana’s Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori –Atta indicated that the country would lose GH¢78 million should the road toll be abolished. This figure translates to the country losing GH¢209,677.00 each day as a result of the road tolls not being collected. This means that from November 18, 2021 to 9th March 2022 being the day of submitting this petition, Ghana, has lost a total of GH¢23, 483, 824.00 (Twenty Three Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Four Ghana Cedis), through the unconstitutional and illegal act of Mr. Amoako-Atta
Mr. Speaker, in line with the aforementioned, Crusaders Against Corruption Ghana (CACG) is officially petitioning parliament through your office to as a matter of urgency, public interest and protecting the public purse:
Pass a Vote of Censure on Ghana’s Roads Minister (Mr. Kwame Amoako-Atta)
Direct the Attorney General of Ghana to invoke Article 187 Clause 7 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, in line with Surcharging Ghana’s Roads Minister (Mr. Kwame Amoako-Atta)
Respectfully Mr. Speaker, and in the interest of Ghana, CACG counts on your swift response and action to this Petition.
Yours in the interest of Ghana,
Emmanuel Wilson Jnr.
On Behalf of Crusaders Against Corruption -Ghana (CACG)
The Clerk of Parliament
The Majority Caucus
The Minority Caucus