Suspension of road tolls: Minister of Roads must consult Attorney General on the right thing to do – Legal expert
The head of Ahmed Legal Consult, Musah Ahmed, has asked the Minister of Roads to consult the Attorney General, Godfred Dame, on the right steps to be taken regarding the suspension of the payment of the road toll.
Speaking on JoyNews‘ The lawhe told host Samson Lardy Anyenini that the consultation is important because Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Attah was at fault in ordering the suspension of road toll payment following the government’s proposal to remove the tax as indicated by the Minister of Finance in the 2022 budget.
He noted that it was a mistake on the part of the Minister of Roads to issue such a directive through the use of a letter and not to follow due process.
âIf you want to cancel the exercise of this power, you must in the same vein do so in accordance with due process. Due process in the sense that you cannot simply by decree, by means of a letter revoke what you use to adopt due process.
Even Parliament cannot sit down and revoke a law. They have a procedure by which a law can be amended, repealed, additions can be made. Therefore, the purported letter from the minister was in my opinion a mistake on his part, âhe said on Sunday.
He therefore advised that âhe (the Minister of Roads) should go back, contact his lawyers, in fact consult the Attorney General who under section 88 is the chief legal adviser to the government to advise The Minister.
The minister should consult the attorney general to find out what to do, because he cannot, by decree or letter, claim to revoke it. Especially when the decision was contained in the government’s budget.
Recall that following the government’s decision to stop the payment of the tax which was submitted to Parliament for approval according to the 2022 budget, read by Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Roads issued a directive according to which the collection of the toll at the various toll stations across the country must be interrupted as of Thursday, November 18, 2021.
This directive was not well received by the minority in Parliament who therefore expressed their dissatisfaction to President Alban Bagbin.
The president, after hearing the case, ordered the sector minister to withdraw the directive as he did not have the power to do so without parliamentary approval.
In response, the ministry said in a press release that its directive was to suspend the operationalization of the toll and not the law.
But Ahmed insists that due process was not followed by the minister. âThe Minister (of Finance) himself had indicated in the budget statement that subject to parliamentary approval. So why was the rush? He asked.
The legal expert expressed the opinion that there is still time to right the wrong that has been done.