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Ghana IT regulator responds to lawsuit

National Communications Authority

ACCRA – GHANA’S National Communications Authority (NCA), which is facing a lawsuit in relation to the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH), has filed its responses pending the first hearing on Wednesday.

NCA is facing the lawsuit alongside all telecommunications operators in the country namely MTN, Airtel, Glo, Vodafone, Tigo, and Expressl and the selected ICH operator, Afriwave Telecoms Ghana Limited.

These have also filed their responses.

The counsel for NCA is Yoni Kolendi of Kolendi at Law while counsel for Afriwave is Ekow Daniels of Gyan Chambers. Bentsi Enchill of Letsa and Ankomah Chambers represents the telcos.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, together with Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the Research Director of Development Data , a policy research organization, sued the NCA, telcos and Afriwave early last month challenged the legality, constitutionality and necessity of the ICH.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to declare government’s move as “unlawful, unnecessary and an unconstitutional interference in the communication rights of telecom subscribers in the country.”

The ICH is being set up as a private operator to connect international calls and interconnect calls between mobile networks in the country.

It would also do real time monitoring of all domestic traffic on behalf of Ghana Revenue Authority.

Currently, the telcos have mutual arrangements and systems for interconnecting calls but government is asking them to abandon that and connect calls through the ICH.

The plaintiffs contend that while subscribers have standard agreements with the telcos to transmit their communication, they have no such agreement with any ICH operator.

They are therefore asking the court to order government not to proceed with the implementation of the ICH policy.

– CAJ News

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