The Old Tafo MP, Vincent Ekow Assafuah, has justified President Akufo-Addo's decision to assent to the E-levy bill despite two injunctions filed at the Supreme Court at the time.

According to him, the Office of the Attorney-General did not write to the Presidency, asking the President to refrain from assenting to the bill.

Speaking on JoyNews' AM Show, Mr Vincent argued that it is fatuous for Ghanaians especially the Minority in Parliament to compare the controversy surrounding the recently passed anti-LGBTQ bill to the circumstances around the E-levy.

Read also: Don’t transmit the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill to Akufo-Addo – Presidency to Parliament

"Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution gives the Attorney General (AG) the authority or the mandate to be the principal or chief adviser to the president.

"As far as I am aware, I did not see any advice from the AG’s office when the E-levy was sent to court.

"It is also within the mandate of the lawyers in the case to move an application in court to cite someone for contempt of court if that person is believed to do something that goes against the dictate of the law.

"If the lawyers failed to do that then it is very difficult for me to answer for them and also the rules of the court allow the court itself to cite someone for contempt without any application or whatever emanating from someone and so if the court also did not see it relevant to cite the President for contempt, (I cannot answer to that).

"...Remember Article 2 of the Constitution says when someone is cited for Contempt of Parliament, especially in the person of the President, it is high crime which can result in his removal," he explained.

His comment comes on the back of arguments by a section of the public that since the President assented to the E-levy bill despite the lawsuits at the Supreme Court, he cannot use an injunction as the basis for his refusal to approve the anti-LGBTQ bill.

Read also: Supreme Court in a unanimous 7-0 decision dismisses Minority MPs’ injunction case against e-levy

On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, some three Minority MPs filed a suit against the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This followed the bill’s passage by the Majority Caucus on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, despite a walkout by the Minority Caucus.

The Minority MPs contend that the levy would worsen the plight of Ghanaians in the face of harsh economic challenges.

The MPs subsequently sought for an injunction against the implementation pending its substantive case, but that did not stop the implementation.

However, the Presidency in a letter addressed to Parliament and signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, on March 18, requested Parliament to refrain from sending the anti-gay bill to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

The decision, according to Nana Bediatuo Asante, stems from the acknowledgement of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

The letter emphasised that it would be improper for Parliament to proceed with transmitting the Bill to President Akufo-Addo for any action until the matters before the court are addressed.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the Attorney-General has advised the President against taking any action regarding the Bill until the issues raised in the legal suits are resolved by the Supreme Court.

Also read: Parliament suspends approval of Akufo-Addo’s new ministers, deputies amid row over anti-gay bill

Touching on the directive from the Presidency to Parliament, the Tafo MP said he saw nothing wrong with the stance of the President.

He stressed that the interested parties in the e-levy suit should have triggered a contempt of court process against the Presidency instead of comparing the two issues.

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