An application instituted at the Human Rights High Court by plaintiffs, Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh, seeking, among others, an interlocutory injunction to restrain the government and its assigns from implementing and operationalizing a Common Platform to monitor revenues of telecommunication companies has been adjourned to the 3rd of July 2018 for hearing.
The Presiding Judge, Court of Appeal Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, Justice Anthony Yeboah, heard the case in his chamber instead of in open Court. After the hearing, parties in the case told Journalists that the judge indicated that he had received the docket on the case only thirty (30) minutes before the hearing.
To that end, he told all the parties that he will require a bit of time to study the docket to bring himself up to speed on the issues that need to be set out for determination. He added that if he is satisfied with all that the parties have filed, he will go ahead to give his ruling on the interlocutory application.
The applicant are before the Court because they insist that having followed the public debate and upon further enquiry, they gathered that the 1st (Ministry of Communication), 2nd (National Communication Authority) and 3rd (Ghana Revenue Authority) respondents, who are primarily responsible for the implementation of the common platform intend to carry out the exercise in a manner which will be in breach of the applicant’s fundamental human right to privacy.”
The plaintiffs claim that the architecture of the common platform to be implemented is such that instead of connecting to only the billing node provided by the telecom companies as stipulated under Act 864, the connection will be made to all the physical nodes, and it will be a breach of Article 18 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.
According to the applicants, the mobile networks have a statutory duty to protect their customers, including the plaintiffs under Section 73 of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775) by ensuring that correspondence and communications of customers are not intercepted or interfered with.
They insisted that in the current form, a third party acting on behalf of the government even without a court order can intercept communications and correspondences, including text messages and voice calls of customers of mobile network operators.
The applicants also believe that the intended implementation of the common platform constitutes a real threat to the enjoyment of their fundamental human right to privacy, adding that the implementation of the common platform and its attendant breach of the applicant’s right to privacy will be irreparable.
The Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, was present in court as were representatives of all the Telecom companies were also in Court for the hearing.
Source: www.abusuaFMonline.com/Ghana/Wilberforce Asare