The MP for Obuasi West, Hon Kwaku Kwarteng, together with Mr Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the Research Director of Development Data (a policy research organisation) has filed a suit at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court challenging the National Communications Authority (NCA), Airtel Ghana, MTN Ghana, Tigo Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, Expresso Ghana and Glo Ghana on the setting up of the Interconnect Clearing House.
UntitledThe Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) is an operator government is setting up to connect international calls and also interconnect calls between mobile networks on behalf of telecommunications companies (TELCOs) in Ghana. At the moment, the TELCOs have developed mutual arrangements and infrastructure for interconnecting calls. Per the ICH, government is asking the TELCOs to abandon their interconnect infrastructure and route their calls through the ICH.
The complainants (or Plaintiffs) in the suit are asking the court for a declaration that the Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) is unlawful and unnecessary. They contend that while they have standard agreements with the TELCOs to transmit their communication, they have no such agreement with any ICH operator. The complainants therefore claim that the ICH is an unconstitutional interference in the communication rights of all telecommunications service subscribers and are asking to court order government not to proceed with the implementation of the ICH.
The 1st Plaintiff, Hon Kwaku Kwarteng has been very outspoken against the ICH since the National Communications Authority announced the idea in November 2014. He has argued at various fora that the ICH idea is nothing but dubious arrangement between government and its cronies in the private sector posing as some ICH company to benefit illegitimately from tax payers’ monies.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has also condemned the government move saying that “The ICH has the potential of crippling the telecoms industry and rolling back the gains made in the sector so far.”

The Wireless Applications Services Providers (WASP) and the Internet Service Providers (ISP) are wholly Ghanaian-owned operators in the telecommunications industry. They have also condemned the ICH and asked government to abandon the idea.
However, government is adamant and has proceeded to appoint an ICH operator to build and operate the facility beginning from May 2015.
But one of the Plaintiffs, Mr Elijah Adansi-Bonah, Research Director of Development Data says government has no business taking over something private telecommunications companies have been doing so well as part of their business operations.
Joined to the court suit are the six major telecommunications companies who would be working with the NCA to make this controversial policy a reality.
Lead lawyer for the Plaintiffs is Thaddeus Sory (Esq) supported by Kwaku Nsiah-Asare (Esq) both of [email protected] Chambers, East Legon, Accra.

spyghana.com

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