This will be an interesting case—considering the fact that the application made is elevating the status of the tolls to be collected to the status of tax…
If the Court agrees that the tolls being charged by the University of Ghana is a form of tax (forget the name it is being called), then the University would have violated the 1992 Constitution for enforcing a tax system without an Act of Parliament stipulating so.
Forget all the legal gibberish and interpretations being sought and ask the question; is University of Ghana mandated to ‘primarily’ educate or to collect tolls?
So many taxes and tolls being collected in Ghana and yet we do not know what the monies being collected are used for.
This comes across as another dubious way to extort money from students and other people, using the broken system route.
According to Daily Graphic;
Two students of the University of Ghana have sued the institution at the Supreme Court over the decision by authorities to charge road tolls.
The two who brought the action in their capacity as Ghanaians are praying the Supreme Court to stop the university from charging the said road tolls.
They are, accordingly, urging the highest court of the land to declare the action of the university as unconstitutional.
Ernest Victor Apau and Musah Mustapha, per their reliefs, are seeking the court to perpetually restrain the university and its agents from charging motorists who ply the university’s routes.
The University of Ghana is being sued as an entity. Joined to the suit is the Attorney-General.
Reliefs being sought
The writ dated January 29, 2014 and filed on behalf of the applicants by Mr Egbert Faibille, a legal practitioner, came about as a result of the university’s plan to charge road tolls with effect from February 1, 2014.
Reports, however, indicate that the university on Saturday, February 1, 2014, begun charging the road tolls.
The reliefs being sought by the applicants include a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the road usage and user charges the university sought to introduce amounted to taxation.
A move by the university to exempt some of its members of staff from paying the road usage and user charges, according to the applicants, was in violation of Article 17 (1) (2) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
They also see that move as an abuse of discretionary powers and are, therefore, praying the court not to countenance it.
Act of Parliament sidestepped
The applicants are arguing that the action of the respondents had violated Article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, because the tolls were introduced without an Act of Parliament.
They are further praying the court to grant any other relief it (court) deemed fit.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the writ.