ECOWAS Court dismisses case against Ghana

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Malik Abass Daabu
Date: 20-11-2013 Time: 05:11:40:pm
Attorney-General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has dismissed the case brought against Ghana by some Nigerian traders doing business in the country.

The Court rejected the arguments of the traders that sections of the new Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Act which bar foreigners from engaging in retail trade in the country’s markets were in violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of people and goods.

It upheld submissions filed by the Attorney-General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, and argued by Deputy AG, Dr. Dominic Ayine and Chief State Attorney, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah.

They, among other things, argued that the law was necessary to protect Ghana’s domestic interests and could not have been said to violate the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of people and goods.

Some Nigerian traders, led by the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), petitioned the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice over the new GIPC Act which was revised in July this year and among other things, specifies the criteria foreigners would have to meet in order to be able to do business in the country.

The revised law raised the minimum capital for foreigners wishing to do business in the country from the previous US$300,000 to US$1 million either in cash or goods.

Arguing that the law is inconsistent with the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Goods and People, the petitioners prayed the sub-regional court to intervene and stop Ghana from enforcing the legislation.

The Nigerians cited the ministries of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Justice and Attorney-General, as the respondents.

The AG’s department, therefore, filed a response praying the court to dismiss the petition.

A source at the A-G’s department told Myjoyonline.com, the court gave its verdict, dismissing the petition on Friday, November 15, 2013.

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