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Private legal practitioner and journalist, Samson Lardy Anyenini says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, under the disguise of Executive Instrument (EI) 63, is spying on his citizens.
He said that EI 63 is more dangerous than the ‘Packets and Telecommunication Message Bill’ popularly known as the ‘Spy Bill’ of which the ruling NPP which is led by the President fought hard against in 2016 together with some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Per section 100 of EI 63, the president could assume direct control of the telcos and determine their operations, a power which the private legal practitioner says is unconstitutional and illegal.
He explained that “this is clearly intended to get all the government could not in normal times get from telcos including through Kelni GVG which did not get the support of the central bank.”
He stated, “All your mobile money data, transaction and wallet details, merchant code, bank details – practically your every private transaction details the telcos are being compelled to disclose to the government”.
During Samson’s Take segment on Newsfile, Mr. Anyenini noted that EI 63 has no expiration date, implying that the president’s fresh powers could still be used in normal times after the novel Coronavirus pandemic has lessened.
The year 2020 happens to be an election year for Ghana and EI 63, could be used by the president to target his political opponents regarding their conversations and other things otherwise private to them.
Samson Lardy Anyenini, noted that the president may be “added to the list of autocrats in democracies exploiting the coronavirus pandemic for selfish private ends”.
He said a Supreme Court judge, Justice Francis Kpegah in Awuni vrs. WAEC in 2004 cautioned that “[a] nation that stands by and looks on while the rights of the individual are slowly pecked at, eventually pays the ultimate price of finding its own rights eroded.
Often times, the concept of ‘public interest’ and ‘national security’ have been used to undermine and subvert individual freedoms.
These are words which are not infrequently on the lips of potential dictators and often used as convenient excuses for the violation of individual rights.
We may accept some limitation on the fundamental rights of the individual only if it is justified and proportionate.”