Court Dribble Kwaku Kwarteng etal in ICH Injunction Case


The Human Rights Court, presided over by Mr. Justice EK Essel Mensah today refused to grant an injunction on the interconnect clearinghouse policy being implemented by the National Communications Authority (NCA).

The judge ruled that since the issues raised by the plaintiff in the injunction case were the same issues raised in the substantive case, he would rather defer final ruling on the case after the substantive one had been heard.

He therefore advised an expeditious action on the substantive case, which has therefore been slated to open. May 28, 2015.

Obuasi East MP Kwaku Kwarteng and Development Researcher Elijah Adansi Bonnah has gone to court to place an injunction on the implementation of the ICH policy pending hearing on a suit they filed challenging the legality, constitutionality and necessity of the ICH.

The two sued telecoms industry regulator NCA, the six telecom operators in Ghana, and the selected ICH operator, Afriwave Telecoms Ghana Limited.

In their suit, they also argued that as subscribers, the each have direct contracts with their respective telecoms service providers but they had no such contract with the ICH and so ICH activities could constitute a breach of their right to privacy.

They therefore sought an injunction on the ongoing processes to kick start the operations of the ICH, but after weeks of arguments and counter arguments, the court today decided the processes towards the take off of the ICH can go on while the main case is being heard.

Lead plaintiff in the case, Kwaku Kwarteng told journalists after the ruling that “it is not over yet because the main case is yet to be heard.”

The ICH is being set up as a private monopoly to manage interconnect traffic on behalf of the telecom operators, verify incoming international traffic on behalf of the NCA, and also do domestic traffic verification for the Ghana Revenue Authority pro bono.

The GRA job has however been re-awarded to Subah Infosolutions Limited for a fee for another one year.

The telcos have challenged the whole ICH model and raised similar questions contained in the plaintiff’s case against the ICH policy. But the court’s decision today means NCA can continue with implementing the ICH while the case is in court.


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