Private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini has slammed Members of Parliament for being overly partisan on issues that should ordinarily be clear-cut.
He avers that the recent back and forth around the Speaker of Parliament’s directive to the Roads and Transport Minister is needless and “shameless.”
“The basic principle of law is that once a law has been passed by Parliament, which we have all given our power to pass laws under the Constitution, once the law has been passed, that law cannot be reversed, cannot be suspended, cannot be revoked by administrative fiat or action and that is the basic thing.
“When the law is in force, the only way to change the law or to stop the law or to revoke it is to use the due process of the law and not by executive fiat.
“So either the law is amended, it has been repealed or it is a matter for a court and then the court has struck the law down as being unconstitutional,” he submitted on Joy FM’s Top Story programme on Friday, November 19.
The Majority Caucus in Parliament is defending the Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, over an administrative fiat he issued for the suspension of all road and bridge tolls nationwide.
The Speaker agreed with the Minority Caucus that the cessation of tolling was contained in a budget that had yet to be approved hence the Minister had acted ultra vires – beyond his legal capacity.
The Majority’s defence has been that the Minister has the right to suspend the tolls with the Ministry’s recent statement stating that it was to avert violent occurrences between motorists and toll booth attendants.
What Ofori-Atta said about the cessation of Road, Bridge tolls
“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” Ken Ofori-Atta hinted while reading the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.
He added, “Over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.
“The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.”
The Finance Minister stressed that, “a portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”