Friday, September 7, 2012
NPA contempt case adjourned
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 (Page 3 Lead) A contempt suit filed against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Alex Mould, over the imposition of petroleum levy has been adjourned to September 12, 2012. The applicant, Development Data, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), filed the contempt suit at the Fast Track High Court against the NPA and its Chief Executive for failing to remove the ex-refinery levy imposed on petroleum products. However, the case could not be heard at the Fast Track High Court’s sitting in Accra yesterday, because the court did not sit. In the substantive application, the applicant is praying the Fast Track High Court to imprison the respondent for failing to adhere to the High Court and Court of Appeal orders to remove the ex-refinery levy imposed on petroleum products, as well as failing to account for all moneys accrued from the levy and pay the amount into the Consolidated Fund. However, counsel for the NPA, Dr Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba, has denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client. He said the NPA had complied with the court order and published the accounts of moneys accrued on the levy. Counsel further argued that his client was not in contempt of court because the NPA had received Parliamentary approval on the petroleum pricing formula. Dr Bamba said there was no basis for the contempt suit, adding that the applicant did not follow due procedure in filing the contempt application. He has described the application as incompetent and defective and accordingly prayed the court to dismiss it. In March 2012, the Court of Appeal ordered the NPA to, with immediate effect, remove ex-refinery levy imposed on petroleum products. It further directed the NPA to account for all moneys accrued on the levy and pay the amount into the Consolidated Fund. The High Court, in November 28, 2011 ruled as illegal the ex-refinery levy which had been part of the petroleum price build-up. It accordingly ordered the NPA to scrap the levy and also ordered the NPA to refund all amounts accrued from the collection of the illegal levy to be paid into the Consolidated Fund. Dissatisfied with the lower court’s decision, the NPA filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal and filed an application for stay of execution of the lower court’s order pending the outcome of the substantive appeal.