Debates of 12 Feb 2015

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:50 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 11th February, 2015.
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday 5th February, 2015.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, in consultation with Leadership this morning in my Lobby, I have decided to give special attention to the Customs Bill, 2014. A number of amendments are there. We should try and see how far we can take it today, if possible, have an extended Sitting.
    Hon Members, without much ado, I will want us to move straight to the Customs Bill, 2014.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is so. We discussed that we should pay much attention to the Customs Bill, 2014. The Ministry of Finance has also indicated to us that if possible, we should

    have an extended Sitting to look at this Bill in detail.

    So, Mr Speaker, if that is the pleasure of the House, let us move to item number

    17.

    Dr Anthony A. Osei — rose --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Yes?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is true that this discussion had gone on. The request was made by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance-- [Interruption] -- The issue is not that he is coming.
    He made a request as an emergency but he is not here. The Hon Speaker has called us to go on.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, what are you defending? The Hon Member is right.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    We have other business here. What the Hon Member for Old Tafo is saying is right. You have brought a Bill to the House; the House wants to accept your request to support the Bill. The Hon Minister is not here and the deputies are also not here. He is right. Try and get them to come in as early as possible. However, but let us start. [Pause.]

    Yes, Chairman of the Finance Committee?

    Customs Bill, 2014 at the Consideration Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 11 a.m.

    STAGE 11 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Clause 123?
    Mr James K. Avedzi 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, we did not conclude clause 121. There was an outstanding issue that we want to have a new rendition. So, if you would permit, we would look at that one before we move to clause 123.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Have you resolved it? It is there as “debate to continue.”
    Mr Avedzi 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was asked to come up with a new rendition. So, I have the rendition and I would want to read it to the House.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    Then in that case, let the Hon First Deputy Speaker take the Chair because I was not there when the debate started. I might be lost in the argument. However, let me listen to you, if I can get it, then I will proceed.
    Mr Avedzi 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the issue is on clause 121, subclauses (8), (9) and (10). The subclause (8) says:
    “A person who releases confiden- tial risk management information without the authority of the Commissioner-General commits an offence and is liable on summary
    conviction to a fine of two hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or to both.”
    Then the amendment was to delete clause 9 completely and then clause 10 could be amended to say:
    “(10) Despite subsection 8, an officer who releases risk register, risk profile, and other risk management data to a person without the authority of the Commissioner- General is subject to disciplinary action.”
    The issue was why the officer should be subjected to disciplinary action but not punished by a penalty unit or an imprisonment. So, we agreed that we should amend either the clause 8 to include “a person” “and an officer” or to amend the clause 10 to also sanction the officer. So, I have two options. The first option is to maintain the clause 8 --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, do we have the rendition? Has it been advertised on the Order Paper?
    Mr Avedzi 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no! It is not advertised.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    I will let the Hon First Deputy Speaker come and take it. Let us deal with the clause 123. When he comes, he will start from the clause 121. The rules of the House allow us to defer a clause.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think as it is, we probably can go on and the reason is the following: Currently, in subclause (8), it says “a person” --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Yes, I want us to defer it till the Hon First Deputy Speaker comes. He was in the Chair yesterday and he will deal with it. So, let us start while he comes to take the Chair.
    If we can start the clause 123. I hope you get the point that I am making?
    Mr Avedzi 11 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Clause 123 -- seizure and forfeiture.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (2), paragraph (a), at end, add “or”
    The new rendition would read:
    “(2) Where goods liable to forfeiture are seized, the officer who seized the goods shall give written notice of seizure to the owner,
    (a) by delivering the notice to the owner personally or;”
    We are adding “o” because if we do not have it, it means that you have to do the subsections (a), (b), (c) and (d) to satisfy that condition. But the actual reason is that either of these four options satisfy the condition. So, we are putting “or” there.
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:06 a.m.
    Very well,
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:06 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (2), paragraph (b), line 1, before “post,” insert “registered” and in line 2, at end, add “or”
    Mr Speaker, this is the same as I have explained in the previous amendment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:06 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (2), paragraph (d), line 1, before “national” insert “a”
    Mr Speaker, I would want to further amend the amendment captured on page 7 as item number (x) to read as follows --
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause 2, paragraph (d), line 1, delete “national newspaper” and insert the following:
    “a State-owned national daily newspaper.”
    Mr Speaker, I am doing so because of what we did when we were passing the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, Act 815. We have a similar requirement for publishing of reports. I read from section 56 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act of 2011, Act 815, page 27. It reads:
    “The accountability committee shall
    (a) publish a semi annual report and an annual report in at least, two State-owned national daily newspapers…”
    Now, what we have in the Bill here is referring to a publication in the Gazette or national newspaper. For us to be consistent with what we are doing, I am proposing an amendment to change what we have in the Bill to read same as we have in the previous legislation, that we delete “national newspaper” and substitute it with, ‘a State -owned national daily newspaper”.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because we are dealing with customs, I can foresee why we would want to refer to “State- owned”. However, assuming that the State no longer decides to be in the business of owning a newspaper, what happens?
    Yesterday, we were discussing something about a daily publication of a national newspaper -- then it covers both private and State-owned newspapers. In case the State does not continue with publication, it would be alright.
    So, I would want the Chairman to consider that. This is because if the State goes out of publication, then this cannot be met. If it is a daily publication and there is a national newspaper, there would always be a national newspaper with a daily publication, whether State or private. Why should we limit it to the State?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know why my Hon Colleague wants us to make this law based upon assumption. He started his statement by saying assuming the State decides not to own a news paper again. That is an assumption. As of today, we are making the law and the State is owning a newspaper. So, it should not be based upon an assumption.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that the whole purpose of this clause is to ensure that there is as wide a circulation as possible. This presumes that a State newspaper would have a wider circulation than a private daily newspaper. As we speak now, that is false. Certainly, why should we be so much interested only in the State?
    No! Let it be a national daily newspaper. Those in charge would take a decision thereof. Why restrict them to the State, anyway? What about the private newspapers?
    I think we should be forward-looking. When we are talking about making the playing field even. In my view, I would tell you, philosophically that I am against a State-owned newspaper. I would prefer a public-owned newspaper, which is not the State owned newspaper.
    For instance, if the State diverts itself of say, Graphic Communications Company and floats it on the stock exchange, this clause would not apply. This is because it is not State -owned. So, “State-owned” is restrictive. Let it be, “national daily newspaper” or “daily newspaper of national circulation”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to support my Hon Colleague from Sekondi.
    I think we should be forward- looking. It may have been an oversight concerning the law that we made on the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA).
    Mr Speaker, but I think for this one, we should look at the “national daily newspaper”. Maybe, if we would want to make a public national newspaper, that is a different matter. But a “national daily newspaper” whether it is private or State, the reason being that, if we go to the
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:10 a.m.


    developed countries and we are aspiring to be so, the biggest and most authoritative newspapers are private. Whether it is The Sun in the United Kingdom (UK) or the The Washington Post; they are the private ones. Whether it is in the television industry, it is the same thing.

    I do not see Ghana in the next 30 or 40 years having State newspapers dominating the news in Ghana. I do not see it that way if we want to grow. It would come to a time that the State may be forced to privatise the Graphic Communications Company. Almost everything is being privatised. In fact, it is starting from you and it would continue.

    Mr Speaker, I do not think that we should restrict it just to the State owned papers. Like what he is suggesting, what if tomorrow we decide to go to the Ghana Stock Exchange and float The Graphic Comunications Company or The Ghanaian Times, which are the biggest selling State newspapers? If we do that, what happens? If we float the two, then they would suddenly become privately- owned by Ghanaians; they would be no more State-owned though the State may have a share in them.

    We should be forward -looking; we should change it. We should take off the word “State”. It is too restrictive.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have been in this country where newspapers come and go. State-owned newspapers come and they exist.
    I have been in this country, and before I was born The Graphic Communications Company was there. After me, it would continue to be there. But look at the
    private newspapers; how many of them come and continue to be in existence?
    So, to be able to reach the general public, State-owned newspapers are preferable to the privately-owned newspapers. That is exactly what the amendment is seeking to do.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Sampson Ahi and then Hon Nana Ofori Atta.
    Mr Sampson Ahi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am tempted to support the Hon Deputy Minority Leader but just to say that there should be consistency in whatever law we pass.
    In the PRMA, we have stated categorically that it should be done in the State-owned newspaper, The Graphic Communication Company. Could we have another law prescribing another set of means of advertising? Mr Speaker, we cannot just leave it open because there should be certainty in law.
    If we are saying that it should be open to the -- [Interruptions] -- Could they listen?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr Ahi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if they are saying that it should be open and left to the discretion of the administrators, then we are creating problems for ourselves. Because of consistency, I think that what we are doing now should conform to the already existing laws, and that is why I support the State-owned newspapers.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, I would like to come to you as the last but one contributor on this issue and then we would go to the Chairman. This is because you brought up this issue.
    Let us listen to the Hon Member for Bekwai and the Hon Member for Effutu, then we will come to you.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the issue being brought about here raises even constitutional matters. Could we, as a country, discriminate against other publications in making the law?
    As a business, there is a choice opened to those placing the advertise- ment, looking at which ones have wider coverage. But we cannot legislate, leaving no room for other entities. I think that would be unconstitutional. If it had been done in the past, it was wrong and we should not repeat it.
    Mr Speaker, what we should do is newspapers and publications -- let the person placing the advertisement determine which one would reach many more people and the service purpose. But we should not legislate State owned newspapers as if Ghana is operating in the old time.
    The Constitution has room for both private and public businesses and they are all to be treated equally.
    Mr Speaker, I think any requirement that it should be State-owned should be jettisoned.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, the Hon Member for Effutu? [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    No! I called on the Hon Member for Effutu. You proposed the idea, so, I will like to come to you before I get to the Chairman. So, just exercise patience.
    Yes, the Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you.
    I believe that the main stay of the submission by the Hon Dr Akoto Osei was to the effect that a paper of national circulation could either be privately- owned or State-owned. That is the gravamen of the submission he made. If we limit it only to State-owned, it could be that the State-owned newspaper is constrained and cannot have the national circulation which is desired by the institution. So, if we want to limit it and be specific, there would be a problem.
    I agree with Hon Ahi, whom you said is a law student -- [Interruption] -- That is Mr Speaker; I did not know.
    His submission that there must be certainty in law is well founded. However, if you want to be certain in whatever you do and ensure consistency, then you have to look at the practicality of same. What he is saying is to the effect that, practically, if we put in the caveat “State- owned” we would put ourselves in a lot of difficulty.
    Mr Speaker, on that note, I beg to support what Dr Akoto Osei said, that we need to open it to read “newspaper of national circulation.”
    I thank you so much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Loh?
    Mr George Loh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that both sides generally are saying the same thing, but because of the fact that we must not fetter the discretion of public officers when it comes to this, I would also go with a new rendition that should read, “national daily newspaper.” So that it covers both private and public. Of course, sometimes, the information must be timely. So, I think that when we add “national daily newspaper”, it would go a long way to cure all these things.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    I thank my good Friend. If he does not mind, are we saying national daily paper might not capture it? If we can say “daily newspaper of national circulation” --
    We want “daily” because if it is “weekly”, it does not catch it. That would cure it, so that the emphasis would be on national circulation.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee, you have listened to the various submissions, what do you say?
    Mr Avedzi 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I brought this amendment because, as confirmed or said by the Hon Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, we want to be consistent in whatever we are doing here. If in one legislation we are saying State-owned daily newspaper and then in another legislation, we are saying a different thing -- If we ourselves think that the previous one was a mistake, which I do not think it was -- but if majority think that it is a mistake and that we should amend this particular one to read “a daily newspaper
    of national circulation,” I think it would be something that I would not hesitate in agreeing to. So, we can go by that amendment.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, if I get the sense of the House, we will like to give it to “a newspaper of some national circulation.” So that the discretion would lie with the customs people to decide which of the papers have that character in which they should publish. So, can I then put the Question?
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a problem with this “daily news- paper” thing. Are we suggesting that if it is a weekly newspaper or a newspaper that comes out three times a week, we cannot place an advertisement in that newspaper?
    That would be discriminatory to --
    It might be a weekly newspaper but then the circulation would be wider than the daily newspaper. So, it should be a national newspaper but the “daily” should be dropped. That is my opinion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Cassiel Ato B. Forson 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the word “daily” is important because of the timeliness of the information. For instance, if a newspaper comes out once or twice in a week or once
    in a month, the information may not reach the intended recess in a timely manner that we expect it to be there. So, I think the “daily” is important.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well. So, we with let it stay.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (3), lines 3 and 4, delete “thinks fit” and insert “considers appropriate”.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee is of the view that --
    “Where goods are seized in accordance with this Act or any other enactment, the Commissioner- General may direct the goods to be immediately marked in a manner that the Commissioner-General considers appropriate.”
    Not “thinks fit”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (6), line 1, delete “and”, and insert “are not”.
    I beg to further amend line 2, detele “a” after “of”, and insert “the”.
    The new rendition will read:
    “Unless a person claiming that goods seized are not liable to forfeiture gives written notice of the claim to the Commissioner-General within 30 days, the goods in question shall be considered forfeited.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (11), line 1, before “Where”, insert ,“Despite subsection (1)” and in line 4, after “retained” insert “to abide the result of any claims in respect of the goods”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition would read 11:20 a.m.
    “Despite subsection (1), where animals, perishable or unwholesome goods have been seized, the Commissioner-General may direct that they be sold immediately by public auction or disposed of in a manner that the Commissioner- General may direct and the proceeds retained to abide the result of any claims in respect of the goods.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    The Chairman has made an amendment which is on the Order Paper. But in reading it he read, “where” again. The new one should be; “Despite subsection (1) …” But when he was reading it, he repeated the word “where”. So, it means that he has abandoned the first amendment. [Interruption.]
    He made the amendment but in reading the new one, he read “where” --
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would still read the “where”, but I would precede that one with “Despite subsection (1)”. That was what I read: “Despite subsection (1), where animals …”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, this is because the amendment being sought is a prefix to the original word.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, can the Hon Chairman explain in simple language here -- and could be legal -- “to abide the results of any claims ….”, What does it mean? They did not teach me this in Achimota Secondary School.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the goods are ordered to be sold by public auctioning, and later claims are made by the importer, the proceeds are to be kept in such a way, that when claims are made and there is a need for a refund, refund can be made from the proceeds. That is what is meant by, “to abide by the results of the claims”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    There is no “by” there. Is it “abide by” or “abide”?
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    It is “abide”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Is it “to abide”?
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    “To abide the results of any claims in respect of the goods.”
    Mr Loh 11:30 a.m.
    It is correct.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Are we al- right with the rendition?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 123, subclause (12), line 2, delete “knowingly concerned” and insert “involved” and in line 5, delete “twice” and insert “two hundred per cent”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 11:30 a.m.
    “where goods are forfeited or become liable for forfeiture under this Act, a person who is involved in the act of omission that rendered the goods forfeited or liable for forfeiture shall incur the penalty provided by law in respect of the act or omission or, where no penalty is provided, shall incur penalty in a sum equal to twice the duty payable on the goods seized or forfeited.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Before then, Hon Chairman, I think that on the Order Paper, the word “delete” is missing in respect of the first amendment.
    Subclause 12, line 2, “‘knowingly concerned” and insert …” without indicating that we are deleting. Correct that and I shall put the Question.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I noticed it. And so when I was reading, I read “delete.' So, that should be part of the Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the last amendment, the word “of”, which he read is not there. The amendment says “two hundred per cent of the duty”. But what is on the Order Paper does not have “of”. Is he forgetting the “of” or retaining it?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    All right. So, that correction is also taken care of.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 123 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to seek your permission for us to go back to clause 121.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, you are right. Let us go back to clause 121. This is because there were certain issues that were raised, and then we had to stand down the consideration of that particular clause.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on clause 121, subclause 8, we have agreed that where we amended the two hundred penalty units, should read:
    “two thousand five hundred penalty units”.
    Mr Speaker, we have also agreed that, we should prefix it with “not less than”. Accordingly, the term of imprisonment should also be prefixed with “not less than five years”.
    So, clause 121, subclause 8 would read as follows:
    “A person who releases confiden- tial risk management information without the authority of the Commissioner-General commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two thousand, five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or to both.”
    Mr Speaker, we agreed on that yesterday.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    We also agreed that we delete clause 9.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    No! Let us deal with them one after the other. We have dealt with it; let us put the Question on it and agree to it, then we will move to the next one.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to subclause 9, yesterday, we moved a Motion to delete, and it was carried. So, I will move to subclause 10.
    This is where we propose to ensure that officers who also release risk profile, risk register and other risk assessment data should not be subject to only disciplinary action but also punished just like we have in subclause 8.
    So, I have a rendition here, which I would want to read for us to consider.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, subclause 10 should read as follows 11:30 a.m.
    “A customs officer who releases risk register, risk profile and other risk assessment data without the authority of the Commissioner- General commits an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or to both.”
    Mr Speaker, it is just like the subclause
    8.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman would let me offer a suggestion, in my opinion, what is on the Order Paper is alright. This is because in subclause 8, a person includes a customs officer. So, when we go to subclause 10, it says; “despite subsection 8, the customs officer is subject to disciplinary action.”
    Mr Speaker, this would be simpler than trying to create all of that. So, subclause 8 would cover everybody, as long as he is also a person. Then, I think what we have would suffice.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it looks like if one looks at the “person”, then one would say the customs officer is also a person, and therefore, it is captured under it. But if one looks at the information that is given, they differ.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    That is where I disagree. The only difference is that the risk register, the risk profile and other risk assessment data could be summarised as “risk management information”. All three are called “risk management information.” What they did was that, they spelt it out.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, I think what the Hon Member for Old Tafo is saying is that if you bring in the “despite” to the provision in clause 8 -- because every person inclusive of custom officers have been dealt with by clause 8; if you set them out, then you need to make some reference to the earlier provisions. That is the point he is making. Am I right?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    If I may make it clearer, then it would read as follows:
    “Despite subsection (8), a customs officer who releases risk manage- ment information is subject to disciplinary action.”
    Then we delete that breakdown; it would be consistent and it is shorter and clearer.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it means that if subsection (9) is deleted, and we use “despite subsection (8)”, then it solves the problem.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    I believe subclause (9) has been deleted.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Yes. Subclause (9) has been deleted but subclause (10) is prefixed with “despite”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have been informed that we actually did not delete subclause (9). So, I would move the Motion to delete it now.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Clause 123, subclause (9), delete.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 121 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 124 -- Claims for Seized Goods
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 124, subclause (7), line 1, delete “is” and insert “are”.
    The new rendition reads:
    “Where the goods seized are owned by more than five owners …”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 124 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 125 -- Disposal of goods suspected to be un-customed.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 125, headnote, delete “suspected to be un-customed”.
    Mr Speaker, the other portion on the Order Paper should be disregarded. The new headnote should read:
    “Disposal of goods”, not “disposal of goods …”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 125, subclause (4), line 3, delete “national” and insert “at least, two State- owned dailies”.
    In view of the earlier amendment we just agreed to, we should also amend it to read:
    “… a daily newspaper of national circulation”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Can we have some order, Hon Members?
    Clause 125 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 126 -- Prohibitions.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 126, subclause (3), line 1, after “may” insert “in consultation with the Minister for Roads and Highways.”
    The rendition reads as follows:
    “The Minister may, in consultation with the Minister for Roads and Highways, by Legislative Instru- ment, make regulations to prohibit the construction of any road and the making of any metro truck which leads to any point within a specified distance of any specified part of the boundary of the country.”
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just need to be educated by the lawyers here.
    Can the Hon Minister make regulations by other instruments apart from an L.I.?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    What is the rationale behind this question?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is because we are saying that:
    “The Minister may, by Legislative Instrument, make regulations …”
    But if it is regulations, that is the only instrument that I understand he can use.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    It is for the avoidance of doubt.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 126 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 127 -- Offences against an officer.
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the clause 127 talks about offences against an officer but the Committee is of the view that this should be broken down into offences in relation to the conveyance, the officer or the offender himself. So, we have broken it into three parts.
    We have it now as 127, 128 and 129, where we have “Shooting at a conveyance”, “Shooting at an officer, and “Offender going armed”. We are deleting the 127 in the Bill and substituting it with the new rendition as captured on the Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, delete and insert the following 11:40 a.m.
    “Shooting at a conveyance
    127. A person who shoots at a conveyance in the service of the Authority commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not more than twenty years.
    Shooting at an Officer
    128. A person who shoots at, maims, wounds or causes harm by any means to an officer acting in the execution of the duty of the officer commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not more than twenty years.
    Offender going armed
    129. (1) A person who is or has been engaged in the commission of an offence under this Act and who is armed with a firearm or other offensive weapon commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years or to both.
    (2) A person who is armed with a firearm or other offensive weapon and who is found with goods liable to forfeiture under this Act commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years or to both”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    rose
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition stipulates a term of imprison- ment of not more than twenty years. I would like to suggest a term of imprisonment not less than twenty years. This is because shooting a person could even involve the death of that person and “not more than twenty years” is a bit too small. I believe it should be not less than twenty years.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    In other words, you are tying the hands of the court that the sentence should not be less than twenty years but it could be more?
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, exactly so. It could be more.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we should set a minimum sentence. I think that 20 years may also be too punitive. There is the need for us to set a minimum sentence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    So, you agree with him?
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.
    I agree with him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well. Then in that case --
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.
    No! I do not agree with him in terms of the sentence, but I agree that there should be a minimum sentence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Isaac Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I support that view, because the present rendition means that the person can go in for six months. So I agree with the Hon Deputy Minister when he says that there must be a minimum sentence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, let us look at the minimum sentence. Do we agree with the “twenty” there being minimum?
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that if we are setting the minimum to be 20 years, it is too much. If we say “not more than 20 years”, we set “20” as the upper limit, and set “10” as the lower limit. That would be considered.
    So, I would like to propose that we further amend the amendment proposed to read:
    “…is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well. I will put the Question. We have the minimum and the ceiling. Am I right?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 127 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, shooting at a conveyance, an inanimate object, carries more penalty than shooting at a person. That is what we are saying here. Conveyance could be a car or ship. So, shooting at a ship, one could go in for 20 years, and shooting at a person attracts only 10 years. What kind of legislation are we making?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are going to apply both the minimum and the upper limit for the new clause 127, clause 128 and clause 129.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    My point is that shooting at a conveyance should be different from shooting at a human being -- an officer. Shooting at an officer is more serious. The two should not carry the same weight.
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    So, what do you suggest for the new clause 1 28?
    Dr A. A.Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Conveyance should be for five years to 10 years, human beings should be higher. You cannot equate --
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    If that is the case, then we do not need clause 128. So, we assume that shooting at a conveyance is shooting at a human being. I think there is a distinction, because you said that the human being is in the conveyance. So, if I shoot at the conveyance, I am shooting at the human being.
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    That is not the point I am making. Shooting at the conveyance-- I am saying that the conveyance is controlled by a human being. So, shooting at the conveyance also includes shooting at a human being. But shooting at an officer is separate; if the officer is not controlling the conveyance, shooting at the offer is different.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    If I am shooting at a human being in a conveyance; how can you tell my intention? The human being is in the conveyance, and you say I am shooting at the conveyance. I could be shooting at the human being in the conveyance.
    I think we are distinguishing between an equipment and a human being and we should not equate the penalties. They cannot be the same. Let us look at it carefully.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, in order not to keep on ad infinitum on this issue, can we defer it for further consideration?
    Very well. So, it would go with clause 128, is that it? Or we can deal with clause 128 separately?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    [Inaudible.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    In that case, can we move on to clause 129? Would that be alright with you, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is an amendment proposed for clause 128 in the Bill. So, if we can take the clause 128 in the Bill before we go to the clause 129?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Clause 128 -- Obstruction of an Officer
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 128, subclause (2), line 4, after “imprisonment” insert “of”.
    So, it would read: m
    “…or a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, or to both”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just double-checking what I have here. This is line four of clause 128, subclause 4, it says -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Subclause 2 --
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Subclause 2? All right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Are you all right?
    Yes, Hon Isaac Osei, you were up.
    Mr Isaac Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, I thought, to resolve the issues raised by Hon Dr A. A. Osei, with respect to clauses 127 and 128, we may perhaps, keep 127 as it is, and then provide the minimum sentence for clause 128. I think that would actually
    resolve the issue, so that the court would have a discretion depending on what happens to the conveyance, to give them a lower sentence. I think that is one way of looking at it. To have a minimum for shooting at an officer and then to leave it open when it is at a conveyance.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    That is why I have chosen to defer it, so that they would have time to look at it. When we come back, I think it would be sorted out.
    In the meantime, the original clause 128 on the Bill has some amendment proposed to it, and that is what we are looking at now. So, may I put the Question?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 128 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 129 -- Interfering with customs gear or goods found at sea
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 129, subclause (1), line 4, delete “customs” at both occurrences and insert “customs-controlled” and in lines 7 and 8, delete “less than the cedi equivalent of two thousand United States dollars” and insert “more than two thousand, five hundred penalty units”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition will read noon
    “A person who cuts away, casts adrift, removes, alters, defaces, sinks or destroys or in any other way damages or conceals an aircraft, ship, vehicle, buoy, anchor, chain, rope, entry gates into the country or customs-controlled area, or exit gates from the country or any customs-controlled area or mark in

    the charge of or use by any person for the prevention of smuggling or in or for the use of customs, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 2,500 penalty units as well as the full cost of the repairs”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Appiah-Kubi noon
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    I think that the Bill seems to give too much room for discretion, and that cannot be the essence of punishment. It is not punitive enough. If we were to sentence somebody to not more than 10 years imprisonment, the judge can decide to give him or her three days; it is also not more than 10 years. Does it translate -- [Interruption] --
    Yes, I am also referring to clause 129, and it is the same thing -- not more than 5,000 penalty units --[Interruption.] He talked about not more than 2,500 penalty units --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Chairman, I think I agree with him. This is because in that way, you are giving the judge too much latitude.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi noon
    Yes, too much latitude; too much room for description.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    And he or she might decide to give a very soft sentence and it will be within the law. So, if we can give a minimum, even if we do not have a ceiling, but we have at least, a minimum, it will guide the court.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I think that it is just in line with what we did in clause 127. We are trying to set lower and upper limits. So, if “of not 1,500” -- Mr Speaker, we set the lower limit of 1,500 penalty units and an upper limit of 2,500 penalty units. If they can capture this rendition.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi noon
    Somehow, Mr Speaker. But I still do not understand why we want to always set an upper limit. What is the meaning? What is the essence of setting the upper limit? [Laughter.] -- Can the Hon Chairman explain to me?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Yes, Hon Chairman, did you hear his question? He asked whether there is the need to set an upper limit. If so, what are the reasons for doing so?
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, if setting an upper limit will give too much discretion to the Judge, in the same way, setting the lower limit without the upper limit would give too much discretion to the Judge -- So, if you look at the nature of the offence, we need to say that for a particular offence, the punishment cannot go beyond a certain level. That is why we are setting the upper limit.
    That was the reason behind the setting up of 2,500 penalty units initially. We are saying that, if we do not set up the lower limit, we will be giving too much discretion to the Judge. That is why we are coming up with a lower limit of 1500 penalty units.
    So, giving the range and the power to the Judge to play within that range, we will not say that he or she has used too much discretion on deciding on the case.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, I honestly think that we should look at this construction. The headnote is, “Interfering with customs gear or goods found at sea.” Now, clause 129 provides, and Mr Speaker, and with your kind permission, I beg to read:
    “A person who cuts away, casts adrift, removes, alters, defaces, sinks…..”
    Mr Speaker, this is where my beef is noon
    “…..sinks or destroys or in any other damages or conceals an aircraft, ship…”
    Mr Speaker, a person sinks a whole ship because maybe, there are some goods, and maybe, our customs officers are alerted - Let us say that it is a container load of cocaine, and he causes a whole ship to sink, and the Hon Chairman is talking about this penalty? Mr Speaker, this is outrageous. We should be very careful of what we are doing here.
    Someone sinks a whole ship. So, we should look at it, maybe, the upper limit.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I believe that if the Hon Minority Leader could read the last sentence or the last line, and with your kind permission, I beg to read:
    “…..as well as the full cost of the repairs”.
    So, if the person sinks the whole ship, the cost of the ship will have to be paid in addition to the penalty.
    Dr A. A. Osei noon
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is concerned about somebody sinking a whole ship of cocaine, and we put an upper limit of the conviction -- I think because of, maybe, varying degrees of offence, why do we
    not say, “not less than 2500 penalty units,” so that we give room for the Judge to determine if he sinks the whole ship. So, not less than 2500 penalty units will give room to consider various offences.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman, did you hear him?
    He feels that if we set the minimum, then we leave the upper ceiling open, because depending on the gravity of the offence, the Judge would have room within which to impose the appropriate kind of sentence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Isaac Osei?
    Mr Isaac Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think you used the correct word when you said; “range”. I do not think the “range” should be zero to whatever. But at the same time, we should not give so much discretion to Judges such that they can be capricious in their exercise of the power that they have. That is why we must have a range.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, did you seek permission from the Hon M; “capricious”? [Laughter.]
    Mr Isaac leader, we can use his words anytime that we wish.
    Actually, Judges should not have so much discretion such that they can impose any sentence.
    I think that it is not within the spirit of our Constitution, and therefore, there must be an upper limit --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    He made that comment because of what the Hon Minority Leader said. As serious as an

    offence of sinking a whole ship -- including its contents -- and you fix a ceiling, which might not measure up to the gravity of the offence, that is my fear.

    At the same time, we believe that we have some level of confidence in our Judges to do what is right.

    In any case, a party which feels aggrieved by a sentence, thinking that the Judge went beyond, can go on appeal, and if it is possible, have it reversed or reduced; it can be done.

    But I am scared by the attention drawn to us by the Minority Leader that such a grievous offence -- a whole ship, with its contents, then you talk about repairing the ship -- fine. But it must be covered by insurance, and that would have taken care of it.
    Mr Isaac Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the Minority Leader's example is rather an extreme one. But it is possible that it can happen. I think that we must keep everything in due bounds.
    Apart from the rights of the individual, I think it should be paramount in our minds, not to set a limit. We are actually setting no limits and Judges are actually doing that. We do trust them, that they would be sensible in the way they sentence people. But if they have that full discretion --
    We were talking about discretion; if we set an upper limit, then they can even send somebody in for three months. But on the other side of the coin, if we set no upper limit, then they can do practically, anything that they want. I think that is not acceptable.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Can I hear from you, Hon Chairman, so that we decide on which way to go?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that based on the discussions so far, and looking at the nature of the offence, it is better that we change the upper limit of 2,500 penalty units to a lower limit, and leave the upper limit open.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, sorry to take us back.
    I am looking at the import of (6) and (7) in clause 128. Already, you have taken the vote on that, but I would want to read 6 and 7.
    Mr Speaker, if you can reflect on it, I am not too sure that it captures --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Sorry; what clause are you referring to?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 128, subclauses (6) and (7).
    Mr Speaker, we have done it, but I wish we can go back to it. I am not too sure that what is there is right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, we have already dealt with that clause.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I am seeking your leave. This is because, if you look at --
    “128 (6), A person who, with intent to frustrate an officer in the execution of the duty of the officer,
    (a) warns, or attempts to warn; or
    (b) causes to be warned a person engaged in a contravention or attempted contravention of a provision of this Act, whether that person is within distance to take advantage of the warning or not, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years or to both.”
    Having said that, we come to subclause (7), and it says;
    “In pursuance of subsection (6), a person may prevent a warning being given and may go on land for that purpose without being liable to prosecution.”
    What do we mean? [Interruptions.] (6) is alright, but ties it to (7). That is why I am asking for the relevance of (7). I am not too sure what it is meant to achieve.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Minority Leader can look at it, and propose an amendment, so that we can move on, because we have gone past it.
    So, we would want him to consider it during a second Consideration Stage, so that we are not stopped.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    So, in that case, where are we now? Clause 129? Have we completed the amendments with regard to clause 129?
    We have. Have we not, Chairman of the Committee?
    Have I put the Question with regard to clause 129 as amended? I do not think so. Therefore, Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    Clause 129 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 130 -- Impersonation of an officer.
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 130, subclause (1), line 2, before “five”, insert “not more than two thousand”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read;
    “A person who impersonates an officer commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred penalty --”
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not a point of order. I actually stood up, long before you called the Hon Member.
    Mr Speaker, I needed to draw your attention and the House's attention to a point I find quite interesting.

    I beg your pardon? You stood it down? Thank you very much, because it is so critical.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, it has been stood down.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read;
    “A person who impersonates an officer commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two thousand, five hundred penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, I can hear you say; “why not less than?” Can you propound your argument?
    Yes, Hon Ahiafor?
    Mr Bernard Ahiafor 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman, how do you respond to that?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the upper limit is the five years, and the two thousand five hundred, is the penalty units. And the lower limit in this case, would be one day, or if it is -- [Interruptions.]
    But there is an argument that impersonation is a very serious offence, and for that matter, the five years or the two thousand five hundred penalty units should be the lower limit, so that we set the upper limit open.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    I thought so too, because impersonation is quite a grievous issue. So, the minimum is what you are talking about, and we are leaving the ceiling open.
    Is that the concensus? Then I will put the Question.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think a minimum of five years would be too harsh. So, if we are setting a minimum, then maybe, two years; but just for impersonating someone and you are getting a minimum of five years, I think that would be too harsh.
    Mr Forson 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think impersonation of a revenue officer is a serious offence, because it has revenue implication. I believe the maximum of five years should be a minimum; it should not be the upper limit. It is not just the impersonation but impersonation of a revenue officer is a serious offence.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, I think that impersonating a customs officer is a very serious one and we must let the punishment serve as a deterrent. So, minimum five years; the rest, the sky is the limit. --
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the minimum is two years, it does not stop a Judge from imposing the maximum or any number of years. But if you set the minimum at five years, I still think it would be too harsh.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted us to think through. This is because “impersonation”, in one way, could be described as misdemeanor. And in that case, if you go on that path, the highest level of punishment is two years.
    Impersonating an officer, is second degree felony and in that case, the two years could be the minimum, which should be the highest for misdemeanor and then

    we go up. So, I would think that if the minimum is two years, and the maximum is five years, it should be a right. Or maybe, you can just establish the minimum and leave it to the discretion of the Judge.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Let us listen to the Hon Member; he proposed the amendment.
    Mr Ahiafor 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, impersonating a revenue officer for a day, we cannot imagine how much you can make out of it. Therefore, the punishment should be deterrent enough to deter people from impersonating revenue officers.
    Mr Speaker, it is on that basis that I am proposing that the minimum sentence should be five years, to deter people from going into that area.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have heard the proposal and I tend to agree with the argument that to impersonate a custom officer is a grievous offence. I totally agree. But then, what is the basis for arriving at either two years or five years? Is it am arbitrary figure just being put there or there is some base lines upon which the proposal is being based on? Probably, the Hon Member who moved that amendment may have to come clear and educate us on his base line for this proposal or is it arbitrary?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought my good friend who is a law student was going to tell us that it is either a misdemeanor or felony [Interruption.] He should be propagating his knowledge here.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are not talking about “impersonation” as ordinary impersonation. But why would somebody want to impersonate a customs officer?
    Mr Speaker, it is even worse than the word “impersonation.” We should even forget about the word “impersonation” and look at the intent, why somebody would go and wear a customs officer's uniform or pose as a customs officer? Mr Speaker, it is only when you start to think about the harm that can be caused that you start to think about the punishment that we should give to such an officer.
    It is not an ordinary impersonation that you go and stand there and a journalist comes and you say you are so, so and so. No! Mr Speaker, this is a serious offence; second degree felony and the minimum, Mr Speaker, should be five years.
    Mr Speaker, I was going to say ten years. Why am I saying that? We had a Bill on the floor of the House that became an Act -- concerning the Public Health Bill and had to do with the Food and Drugs Law and it we realised that selling fake medicine was as simple as -- as we are saying, oh! you are going to sell fake medicine, “six months”.
    Mr Speaker, we found out that in Nigeria, if you sell fake medicine, it was a capital punishment. If we are staying with the five years, all the fake medicine producers in Nigeria would come and stay in Ghana, because the Judge would give you six months or a penalty. Who would not want to do a penalty?
    Mr Speaker, let our punishment reflect the intent why somebody should go and wear a customs officers uniform, hence I agree with my Hon Colleague. Five years, in my view, is too small. But on this case, I would go with the five years and we could go more.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have been convinced by the debate on the floor of the House and if actually we want to check some of the mess that we have at
    our entry points, we have to make this very deterrent in order to prevent people from impersonating officers of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
    So, on that note, I would want to further amend the amendment to change in line (2), the “more” there, to “less”, and then in line (3), also to change the “more” to “less”:
    “A person who impersonates an officer commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or to both”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Before I put the Question, although it would sound in order, I would prefer that we crosscheck with our Criminal Act what kind of punishment does “impersonation” attracts, so that we do not do something which would be contrary to what is there.
    As we feel strongly about it, it is a serious offence. But for all you know, it might be a misdemeanor under the Criminal Code. And misdemeanor attracts a maximum of two years. So, let us be careful about it and defer it if we can, and then crosscheck with the existing law, especially the Criminal Act.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what about if the intention of the House is to over set the Criminal Act and prescribe something? What would be wrong with that?
    Mr Speaker is right on that point. Maybe, we should confer and find out about the misdemeanor because I heard something about misdemeanor and all those things; I am not sure where they are getting these things from. I also feel that, we can as a House, decide that, well, “impersonation”, maybe, mis- demeanor, if that is what is under the Act.
    But if we think that it is too serious and we want to take it out of the general description, why not? But I defer to you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, I believe that if we crosscheck and we find the figures as far as sentencing is concerned and we think that despite all that, we want to go above it, then we know that it is not as if we did not know. We knew but we thought we should go that way so that we will be covered.
    So, can we defer this?
    Hon Members, the Second Deputy Speaker to take over the Chair. But we will continue while he comes.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while waiting, you have not called clause 131. I wanted to -- Are we dealing with clause 130 (2) while waiting?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I think we have dealt with clause 130. Have we not? That is what we have deferred. Is that right?
    Now, we move on to clause 131.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought we had dealt with clause 130 (1). Are we stepping down clause 130 (2) as well?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    The whole of clause 130. So, we move on to clause
    131.
    Clause 131 -- Assembling to run goods
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I am sorry. There is no advertised amendment to clause 131, so --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    But I would want to be educated. This is because clause 131 says:
    “Where two or more persons assemble for the purpose of running goods …”
    I should think that “running goods” is a term of art but it is not defined anywhere. So, I would want to be educated by the Chairman of the Committee. What is meant by “running goods”?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is alright to be educated but that is impeding the flow of the legislation. He can see us outside and -- [Laughter] -- We have passed that. Mr Speaker --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    We have not passed it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    There is no amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    So, I am asking.
    Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
    We are on the consideration.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, but not on clause 131. He can come back at the second Consideration Stage and ask. Mr Speaker, I guess --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, I think that we should move forward.
    Hon Minority Leader, you can take it up at the second Consideration Stage but for now, there is no advertised amendment to clause 131.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know, but I was really counting on your benevolence and magnanimity in this respect. This is because all of us need to be educated. The Bill is not for the Finance Committee alone; it is for all of us. So, if there is something outstanding, we should be educated before we move.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Our rules say that --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not sure that you have recognised the Hon Member for Old Tafo. And this manner of injecting into other people's discourse -- He should be stopped.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon George Loh, can you offer some assistance?
    Mr George Loh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, “running of goods” is a term of art that he rightly put it. In that industry, some people carry goods across the borders like those we call deka deka, and the term they use is that they are “running the goods”. It is just like the concept of gun running in the arms trade. Basically, that is what it means -- [Interruption.] Maybe, the interpretation could be defined but that is the term they use in that trade.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank the Hon Minority Leader for bringing this issue up. Terms of art must be put in the Interpretation, so that there is no mistaken interpretation somewhere else.
    You might say it but it might not be the same thing somewhere else. So, please, remember that in the Interpretation, you will define it carefully.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I agree with the spir it of trying to know everything, I also think that we should try and do it at the appropriate time. This is because, if Hon Prempeh is saying that after all, this time, it could also be a problem. As we go along, if I see something that I do not understand, then I raise it -- [Interruption.] Yes! But there is nothing to advertise. No! Not now. Wait, either you bring it to the second Consideration Stage, otherwise, we will spend --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Clause 131 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    You have the opportunity at the second Consideration Stage to bring it up. Otherwise, the Committee can look at the possibility of bringing it under the Interpretation, so that we will be safe.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree. That is what should be done. But if you look at it, it says: “Assembling to run goods”. The offence is, “the running of goods” which would be defined but why should it be that; it should be two or more?
    If a person runs goods in that context, it is an offence enough. So, why should we say that “where two or more persons assemble…”? If it is one person engaged in the business of running goods, that is an offence. But if you insist that we should bring it back --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    My problem is that, it was not advertised. But can you take a look at it -- members of the Committee? The Bill says two or more persons. Is it possible for one person to carry out that misconduct? And if it is, then you are leaving that one person off the hook if it happens. This is because you are saying “two or more”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Look at it and then move on.
    Clauses 132 and 133 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, with respect, there is no advertised amendment to clause 132. The construc- tion begins:
    “Where a ship within the country does not bring to on the proper signal made by any vessel or boat in the service of the Republic and it is chased …”
    Mr Speaker, what does it mean?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    It appears there is an omission.
    Chairman of the Committee, there appears to be an omission in clause 132, between “to” and “on”, in the first line.
    “Where a ship within the country does not bring to on the proper signal made …”
    I think there is an omission. Please, take a look at it and then we can address it.
    Mr Avedzi 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we looked at this at the Committee level and we also questioned as the Minority Leader is doing. That if it is English, then there is something missing there. But we have been told that, it is a term that is used in the industry, that:
    “where a ship within the country does not bring to on the proper signal …”
    It is a term -- “bring to on the proper signal”. We can still confirm from them.
    I remember that if it is English, you would have to put something there but if it is a term used -- We questioned, “bring to on the signal”. We are told that it is a term that is used. We cannot define the term.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Members, take a second look at it and let us see if there is anything that can be done.

    Clause 134 -- Sale of smuggled goods.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 134 -- Headnote, delete and insert “Uncustomed or prohibited goods offered for sale”
    Mr Speaker, the headnote in the Bill talks about the sale of smuggled goods and the content of the clause is actually referring to uncustomed or prohibited goods. So, we are proposing an amendment to change the headnote to read as “Uncustomed or prohibited goods offered for sale”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 134 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 135 -- Concealment of goods.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (1), concluding
    paragraph, line 3, delete “of the Authority” and in line 6, delete “or tax”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read,
    “Where a person, imports or exports, attempts to import or export, or causes to be imported or exported goods concealed in anyway, or packed in a package, whether there are other goods in the package or not, in a manner calculated to deceive an officer or any package containing goods not correspon- ding to its entry, the package and the goods in the package are liable to forfeiture to the State and that person shall incur a penalty of not more than three hundred per cent of the duty payable on the goods contained in the package”.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to further amend that in the tenth line, we delete “times” and insert “three hundred per cent of”, to be consistent with the earlier amendment we made in terms of the penalty.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (2), line 7, delete “times” and insert “hundred per cent of” and after “goods”, add, “and the conveyance shall be forfeited to the State”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read 12:40 p.m.
    “The person who owns the goods shall incur a penalty of not more than three hundred per cent of the duty payable on the goods and the conveyance shall be forfeited to the State”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Second Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment on roman number xxvi should be abandoned. So, I move to the next one, xxvii.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (4), paragraph (c), line 1, before “any” insert “with”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, are you sure you are reading the right amendment? Are we not dealing with number xxvi?
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have abandoned that one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Have you abandoned that one?
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    I am reading the xxvii.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    All right. Let me give you leave to abandon it, otherwise, it will still --
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek the leave of the House and your goodself to abandon the amendment proposed in xxvi.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Leave granted. So, you can go on.
    Amendment withdrawn with leave of the House.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (4), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “on board which goods have been”, and insert “goods on board which have been”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read as follows 12:40 p.m.
    “With any part of the contents of which has been thrown overboard to prevent seizure”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (4), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “on board which goods have been” and insert, “goods on board which have been”
    Mr Speaker, this is just to make the rendition clearer.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 135, subclause (4), concluding phrase after paragraph (d), line 5, after “hundred” insert, “and not more than six hundred”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read 12:40 p.m.
    “…forfeiture to the State or where the goods are not available, the master shall pay a penalty of not more than six hundred penalty units”.
  • [MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
  • Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:47 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    rose
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 12:47 p.m.
    Can the Chairman of the Committee, please, give reasons for the amendment? It used to be “not less” and now, he has changed it to “not more than” [Interruptions.]
    No! He has amended it to “not more than”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:47 p.m.
    Maybe, it is because he did not read it -- “but not less than six”.
    So, so you add “not more than”. We are keeping a range.
    He did not read it but he has not amended it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:47 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:47 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, still on the concluding phrase, I am not sure that what we have there is correct. After (d), we have
    “…every person who is knowingly concerned…”
    I am not sure that is how to --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:47 p.m.
    That is the mistrial.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:47 p.m.
    It needs a further amendment but it is supposed to be consequential. Wherever we have “knowingly concerned”, it should be amended to be “involved.”
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    We have,
    “Every person, who is involved”.
    In that case, it should be “any person, who is involved”, not “every person, who is involved.”
    So, Mr Speaker, it should be “any person”, not “every person”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.

    Clause 136 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 137 -- Civil Proceedings
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    I will put the Question. [Interruptions.]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Is it clause 137?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 136. We are talking about --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    What clause, please?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    In general, clauses (1) and (2).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    In general, what clause, please?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Clause 136. We have;
    “(1) A person who
    (a) gives, offers, or agrees to give or procure to be given, a bribe, gratuity, recompense …”
    And then
    “(c) induces or attempts to induce an officer…”
    What I see is not contained in all this; that is clause 136, both (1) and (2). It is facilitation.
    The person may not be the one giving, but he would be facilitating. How would we have that expression covered in both subclauses (1) and (2)? An officer might not be the person who is demanding the bribe but would be facilitating it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    So, what do you suggest?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    I think that we should find a way to capture that; the facilitation of the bribe. For instance, the Hon Akoto Osei --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    No, please. Do not use such examples. Use Kwaku Ananse. You have to speak to the Speaker and not to yourselves. I am sorry but this is very --
    Mr Avedzi 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was telling him that, if an officer is facilitating the giving out or taking of bribes, that officer is indirectly taking the bribe. That is because, it could be an arrangement between him and that person, so that he goes back and takes the bribe from him. But why is he facilitating it? It constitutes bribe. If you are helping, then, there is a benefit the one is also deriving. Even if one is not directly receiving cash, one is getting benefits in another way. So, it is also bribe.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, what is the name of that organisation? Is it APNA? Can you give us the full rendition? African Parliamentarians for --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNC).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Is that the one you chair? You are the chairman for Africa. So, we must take your suggestions.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
    How do we define “facilitation”? Is it in our legal language?
    An Hon Member 12:50 p.m.
    Yes!
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
    Facilitation is known in the legal language --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    You can conspire with somebody.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
    “Conspire”, yes, but “facilitation” is what I am --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Facilitation can amount to conspiracy.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
    How is it defined? That is what I would want to know. If you say “conspire”, I understand. I do not know anywhere that we have defined “facilitation.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, are we bringing this matter to an end today? Is it our aim to finish with the Bill today?
    Mr Avedzi 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would want to have an extended Sitting to about three o'clock, so that we see if we would be able to finish with it today; if not, tomorrow morning.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    No problem. I think we will flag that because we are all interested in expanding the anti- corruption horizon. So, we have already passed that stage and put the Question. But we can come back to it at the second consideration Stage, if need be.
    I am sure that, if we need to expand the frontiers of anti-corruption by adding a few words, I am confident that you will not be against it. We will continue while you and the Hon Minority Leader --
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader and Chairman of APNA?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my concern is, within the service, the officers know themselves. Maybe, something goes to somebody and then because he knows the clients, they come before him pleading.
    He says to them that he knows officer “X” who needs money, so they should go and give him this much and he would take it. It is not that officer who is taking the bribe but he is just leading a person to do it. It is connivance. So, I am looking at it from that perspective and not the person benefiting, because he is not taking the bribe and that is my worry. If there was a way of capturing it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    If the draftspersons are here, then perhaps, we will proceed and then we will consult them and see whether their definition of “bribes” here includes the situation that the Hon Minority Leader is describing. If it does not, we will all look at it again.
    Let us proceed. Let me put the Question on clause 137. So, Hon Minority Leader, do you agree with me? We will proceed while we think through and come back to it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree because it is a form of aiding and abetting a crime. How do we capture it in that? I think that it would be a very useful provision. I do not have that construction readily in mind. So, as you have said, we could think through it further and see how to enhance that construction.
    Mr Forson 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that in the process of facilitating, you will make an offer. So, I think the word “offer” takes care of that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, I think you are looking at it? In the definition of “bribe”, does “offer” cover aiding and abetting and facilitation?
    Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta 12:50 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker. I have not adverted my mind to it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    I will want you to be looking at clause 136, and I may ask you after a short while your
    views while we proceed. Let us proceed and then we will come -- clause 136, the question that has been raised so ably by the Hon Minority Leader is, whether clause 136 as it stands, takes care of situations of aiding and abetting and facilitation, or it only takes care of the person who is actually giving or taking the bribe.
    The answer that has been given by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is that, the word “offer” can be expanded to mean that. I will seek your view in a minute but I will proceed to --
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect before --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    You do not want me to proceed?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    What the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance said, with respect to him, has no relevance at all in this context. A person who offers a bribe; if you read it, it really relates to the bribe.
    “A person who offers
    a) gives offers, or agrees to give or procure to be given a bribe gratuity, recompense or reward to an officer.”
    This does not capture aiding and abetting at all and that is why I am saying that, it does not really enhance it. But we could still think it through and see how to better capture it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    I saw the Hon Member for North Dayi, George Loh prominently when I was in my office. Is he not here? He has left? All right.
    Hon Atta Akyea, I hope you have been following the discussion?
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    I will call you in a minute. So, look at it. Whether the definition of “bribery” includes aiding and abetting. We are proceeding. I do not think this is something we must -- I will come back to it. Clause 137?
    Mr Bernard Ahiafor 1 p.m.
    There is no amendment but with your leave, I would like to draw your attention to a correction.
    “The Commissioner-General may sue for, determine…”
    Mr Speaker, it should be;
    “…may sue to determine, enforce or recover…”
    So the word “for”, should be replaced with “to”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    I think it is fair, or?
    Mr Ahiafor 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it is “for”, then it should be “for determination”, but it is here as “for, determine”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    But there is a comma there?
    “The Commissioner-General may sue for, determine, enforce or recover…”
    Dr A. A. Osei 1 p.m.
    These lawyers, you will create trouble for us. Mr Speaker, in any case, if we go this way -- at least, let him come back in the second Consideration Stage and bring us legal --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what he is saying is incorrect. That is because, the correct reading of it means that, the Commissioner-General may sue for, a duty, tax, penalty, levy fee, charge --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    “May sue by civil proceedings in the court of competent jurisdiction” --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Yes, he is suing for that for a duty.
    Then, the second one is, “he may determine a duty, a tax and penalty.” They are not the same.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Thank you.
    I will put the Question --
    Mr Ahiafor 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, still on clause 137, particularly subclause (2):
    “Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2004 (C.I. 47) apply to civil proceedings under this Act.”
    Mr Speaker, automatically, every civil proceedings before the High Court the (C.I. 47) is applicable to it and so, in my view, this subclause (2), is superfluous and there is no need for it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1 p.m.
    With due respect, I would want to crave your indulgence. It is not being offered for amendment. If he wants to, he should come back at second Consideration Stage. This is because, it does not take away from the -- If we go on, a lot of things that are not being offered for amendment -- then we can stay here all day.
    I know you gave him leave but I think we should as much as possible follow the procedure and let people come on the Second Consideration.
    This is because this is not the first time we are looking at it. Then we will stop everything anytime someone wants to make an amendment they have just seen, some three days back. There is a time that
    we must work and so, I would crave your indulgence --
    If people want to do things, then let us do what is right. The Committee has no problem. But everything that has not been offered for amendment -- I can get up and see something else. Let them take it, read it and come properly with amendments. I know this way of doing things -- I know we are masters of our own rules but -- It is not fair to the Committee, with due respect.
    Dr Prempeh 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the Hon Ranking Member's submission but he should also understand that no matter how long and how well one does these things, sometimes as we go on, such things come up and that is why at Consideration Stages, Speakers after Speakers have even allowed amendments to be introduced on the floor as we -- Sometimes, the Speakers do ask Hon Members to bring them to be read, so that constructively --
    Like my Hon Friend just did, sometimes these things come up and Speakers should have a big bosom to accept these things, so that the work of government can progress. But if we follow what the Hon Member just said, our work would be very constricted and restricted.
    Mr Speaker, I think you would allow us to continue. I know how Finance --
    Mr Avedzi 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that if we want to allow that, we will not finish with this Bill. This Bill has been with us since July, 2014. We should propose amendments apart from the Committee's amendments and Hon Members will read the amendments they have proposed and make an opinion, so that when they come, they either support or reject them. If we go back to be reading everything and proposing amendments, it is something that would --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in this House, we are guided by our Standing Orders. So, for every point we make, we must consider whether our Standing Orders debauch. Mr Speaker, I would refer the House, with your permission, to Order
    129.
    “At the consideration Stage of a Bill: -
    (b) “if any Member announces, while a clause is being called, that he wishes to move an amendment to, or make some comment on the clause, Mr. Speaker shall not put the question with regard to the clause which has been called but not yet agreed to, which shall then be considered;”
    Mr Speaker, in the light of Standing Order 129 (b), I believe that the Hon Member from Akatsi South, the Hon Speaker's Constituency, is justly entitled to move his amendment. Whether the House would be favourably disposed to it, is another matter entirely. But to say that, by virtue of our Standing Orders, he cannot do it, then what sort of objection is that? He is justly entitled to raise it and he has raised it.
    Mr Speaker, you may permit him to argue it. But not to say that it has not been advertised and so, he should go back and so forth.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I never said that he is not entitled to it. I can give you an instance today, where we have also gone passed the clause. The Hon Speaker called it and amendments have been offered. I am craving his indulgence, that giving what is happening today, that where we have clocked, we have even gone back to look at the amendment and that he should be guided for us to move forward. [Pause.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, this reminds me of the beginning of equity, where it was said that equity was as long as a chancellors feet. Some chancellors exercise their equitable jurisdiction very widely and some chancellors exercise it very narrowly. I intend to have a very long foot in this matter and so, my discretion on the matter is very wide. I will give relief to either propose an amendment or make a comment in line with Standing Order 129 (b). Every Hon Member of Parliament is representing his people and I think they are acting in their best interest.
    I also understand what the leadership of the Committee are saying; the Bill has been in front of them for a long time, et cetera, but I think that there is merit in what you are saying — What you are saying is important. So, I will let you say it. Please, say it again.
    Mr Ahiafor 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity. I am proposing that, section 137 (2) be deleted in its entirety.
    Mr Speaker, the reason is that, the High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2004 (C.I. 47), automatically applies to all civil proceedings before the High Court. Therefore, this particular clause is superfluous. So, I am proposing that it should be deleted in its entirety.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just today, I asked a similar question whether or a Minister without using a Legislative Instrument (L.I.), can make regulations, and I was advised by the Mr Speaker, that even though that is true, for the abundance of caution, we should put it there. I think the case applies here. It does not hurt anything.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:10 p.m.


    Mr Speaker earlier ruled that, yes, what he is saying is true, but placing it here does not destroy anything. So, let us keep it there —

    Question put and amendment negatived.

    Clause 137 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Amoako-Attah, your advice on clause
    136?
    Does clause 136 take into account facilitation, aiding and abetting and so on? — Hon Atta Akyea too is standing by.
    Mr Amoako-Arthur 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that whoever abets crime is as guilty as the one who committed the crime itself. If you look at the section, it is so definitive; it says that the “person who gives, offers…” It means that the person is abetting the crime, and for that matter, facilitating the crime, and the facilitator of a crime, in my respective view, is as guilty as the one who committed the crime.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Atta Akyea, does clause 136 cover facilitators of the crime and persons who aid and abet a crime?
    Mr Akyea 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in my humble view, if we pay regards to clause 136 (c), the words are very clear, “induces or attempts to induce…”, then I am tempted to believe that it would cover conspiracy.
    Mr Speaker, it is elastic enough to take care of issues of conspiracy.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    I think that we will continue with the discussions quietly as we continue with clause 138.
    Clause 138 -- 140 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 141 — Service of summons
    Mr Avedzi 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, c lause 141, paragraph (b), delete “to”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will be;
    “The solicitor of the party” not “to the solicitor of the party”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    It is because of these sections that there is the previous provision. These are civil procedures, and that is why there is that previous provision in clause 137 (2):
    “Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2004 (C.I. 47) apply to civil proceedings under this Act”.
    We can now see that clause 141 is seeking to do something different from the High Court Rules and so, it is good that we did not take that one out.
    Hon Chairman, do you get the point that I am making, that there is High Court Civil Procedure Rules? But under the Customs Bill, there are certain provisions that deal with Civil Procedure and that is why it is there. When you are looking at actions dealing with customs matter, it is not only the High Court Rules that you look at, but you must also look at this Act in terms of procedure. So, it is good that we kept it there.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu —rose —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, do you have a problem?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, not where we have got to—I was just having a short discussion with the Hon Ranking Member of the Finance Committee about the value to be attached to goods that are seized —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Which clause?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    That is clause 138 (2) —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Very well. Then let me take this Question —
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Yes — Maybe, we can come back to it and see -- with the Hon Deputy Minister here, whether he can offer us some new relief.
    Question put and amendment agreed to
    Clause 141 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 142 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Clause 143 — Hon Amoako-Attah?
    Mr Amoako-Attah 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, if I could take you back to clause 141 and I beg to quote:
    “A summons issued by a court under this Act to bring a person before a court as a defendant or witness shall be considered to be served where an officer of the court, proper officer or other duly authorised person delivers the summons to”.
    Mr Speaker, we know that a process is duly served, if it is served by a bailiff, unless under special circumstances and conditions, the court directs otherwise. Why do we not be specific here; that when talking about processes, the service of processing; mention a bailiff or “any other person duly authorised by the court”, instead of this long sentence of; “officer of the court, proper officer or other duly authorised person delivers the summons to”.
    It is too long, cumbersome and confusing, because who is the “proper officer of the court”?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I thought you were going to raise the issue of substituted service, because if you look at clause 141 (c), it deals with substituted service —it says:
    “The last known place of abode or business in the country of the party”,
    So, it is basically dealing with a substituted service but without going through the process of substituted service. This is because we know that under the Civil Procedure Rules, you first have to try and serve the person and when you cannot get the person to be served before you go for an order for substituted service. But this process is circumventing that, I do not know.
    Mr Amoako-Attah 1:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I am not supposed to comment. So, I am quietly sitting here. But maybe, we should flag it for the Hon Chairman to look at because there is a lengthy procedure with the court. Maybe, there is a reason for going this way. When they try to serve you and they do not get you -- This is because the whole idea about our justice system is that
    Mr Amoako-Attah 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am drawing our attention to this because the rules are clear on what constitutes proper service. But Mr Speaker, as you said, if a process is served, whoever effected the service is even supposed to prove service before the court can go ahead with proceedings, particularly if it is on notice.
    That is why I am saying that since the rules are clear and unambiguous on what constitutes a service and for that matter, proper service, and the authorised person to effect service is known, I wanted this clause to be very clear and getting it undone, so that we do not create any room for any ambiguities.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I believe that Hon Member for Asuogyaman agrees with him --
    Hon Member?
    Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw 1:20 p.m.
    [Inaudible.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I saw you nodding and I think you agree with him. [Laughter.]
    Hon Chairman, I think we have passed that stage, so, we flag it. You have listened to the comments. We will continue; if you think and Hon Members think it should come for a second Consideration, they will bring it back.
    I think we have passed that stage Hon Chairman. These are comments that have been made in good faith. We will continue; we can come back to you later.
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Allright. Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    We are on clause 142 -- [Interruption] -- I have put the Question on clause 142 already; clause 143.
    Clause 143
    I will put the Question now, it is only the Hon Chairman who is responding -- [Laughter.] Hon Chairman, where are your Committee Members?
    Yes, it has become a dialogue between myself and the Hon Chairman. [Laughter.] How can I have a dialogue?
    Clause 143 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 144 -- Prosecution by an officer
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker I beg to move clause 144, line 2, delete “whether criminal or civil” and in line 3. delete “or a penalty”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition will read 1:20 p.m.
    “A lawyer in the employment of the Authority may prosecute and conduct a prosecution or other proceedings in respect of an offence committed under this Act subject to section 56 of the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act
    30).”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, when the Constitution gives a power to a particular person or body, can Parliament delegate that power on behalf of the person? I ask this question in line with article 88 of the Constitution. Article 88 (3) says that:
    “The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences”.
    That power is not even subject to the President, the Attorney-General exercises that power. He/she not subject to anybody in the exercise of that power.
    Dr A. A. Osei — rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon A. A. Osei, I do not know whether you are raising a point of order against me.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought you had finished that was why I stood up.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Article 88 (3) is on the Attorney-General; article 88(1) says that:
    “There shall be an Attorney-General of Ghana who shall be a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government”.
    Article 88 (3) says that:
    “The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences”.
    Article 88 (4) says that:
    “All offences prosecuted in the name of the Republic of Ghana shall be at the suit of the Attorney- General or any other person authorised by him in accordance with any law”.
    Now, when you come to the Criminal and other offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30), it says in section 56 subject to Article 88 of the Constitution
    “(1) The Attorney-General may appoint by Executive Instrument generally, or for any specified class of criminal cause or matter or for a specified area, public
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am wondering. I thought that was trite clear. It is trite clear.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    I can also see other people who have worked at the Hon Attorney-General's Office nodding their heads. I do not want to mention their names. All right -- Hon Ursula Owusu who worked in the Attorney-General's Office is also nodding her head. We do not have that power.
    As a Deputy Speaker, I will not sit down and allow -- unless you convince me that under the Constitution, we have that power. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah would agree with me that I cannot sit down and preside over unconstitutionality. It is not
    in my power to interpret the Constitution. Even the Supreme Court has said that in matters that have been referred to it for interpretation, if there is no issue of interpretation, you do not have to interpret. There is no issue of interpretation here.
    rose
    Mr Speaker Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    So, Hon Member, propose an amendment and let us delete it, then advise the Attorney- General, that she should appoint people to do that.
    Mr Amoako-Attah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even to buttress -- [Pause.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Akoto Osei?
    Sorry, Hon Amoako-Attah, yes, and then Hon Akoto Osei.
    Mr Amoako-Atta 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even to buttress that point that you have ably made, that by the powers that are conferred on the Hon Attorney-General by article 88 of the Constitution, even if we advert our minds to article 1 (2) of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and ground law -- the provision says that:
    “(2) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be incon- sistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
    So Mr Speaker, to buttress that point, this would even be inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution. It is therefore, void and must not be tolerated.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, then Hon Akoto Osei.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Akoto Osei, we will take it from the back to the front. Today, you are sitting permanently in the front --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect, I thought we could precede it with “subject to article 88 of the Constitution”. So, as I am on my feet, may I, with your leave, beg to move, that we amend clause 144 to read:
    Mr Speaker, I would take it again 1:30 p.m.
    “Subject to article 88 of the Constitution, a lawyer in the employment of the Authority may prosecute and conduct a prosecu- tion or other criminal proceedings, in respect of an offence or a penalty committed under this Act subject to section 56 of the Criminal and other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 30).”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    The Chairman of the Finance Committee is receiving legal advice. It is good.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I support the spir it of the amendment, I believe that amending it by introducing the expression:
    ‘Subject to article 88 of the Constitution, a lawyer in the employment of the Authority may prosecute and conduct a prosecution or other proceedings, whether criminal or civil, in respect of an offence or a penalty committed under this Act.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Who is the Attorney-General in Parliament, please?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:30 p.m.
    Yours truly, the Hon Minority Leader -- [Laughter] -- He is the Hon Attorney-General in Parliament. [Laughter.]
    The article 88 (5) says:
    “The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the institution and conduct of all civil cases on behalf of the State…”
    Article 88 (3) is in respect of criminal cases. So, we should make it subject to article 88 --
    That is all that is amended; then we delete all the words following, “under this Act”. That is, we delete, “subject to section 56 of the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30)”.
    So, the new rendition will be:
    “Subject to article 88 of the Constitution, a lawyer in the employment of the Authority may prosecute and conduct a prosecu- tion or other proceedings, whether criminal or civil, in respect of an offence or a penalty committed under this Act.”
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:30 p.m.


    Bearing in mind that a penalty is not criminal. [Interruption.] You have the “penalty”? All right.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, two amendments have already been made. So, if they would advert their minds to them, the rendition should properly be read as:
    “Subject to article 88 of the Constitution, a lawyer in the employment of the Authority may prosecute and conduct a prosecu- tion or other proceedings, in respect of an offence committed under this Act.”
    After all the changes, we should leave it at that and we should go on.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    I think I will put the Question on that.
    But have you looked at the Order Paper? When you look at the Order Paper, item (xxxi) is on clause 144, then it goes to clause 145. Then item (xxxiii) is also on clause 144. [Interruption.] It is a mistake?
    All right. So, I will put the Question. The rendition of the amendment as proposed by Hon Akoto Osei is what we are voting on.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 144 as amended ordered to stand part of Bill.
    Clause 145 -- Burden of proof
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 145, subclause (1), paragraph (a), line 1, delete “concerns” and insert “in relation to”.
    The new rendition will read:
    “(1) In proceedings under this Act, the following proofs shall lie on the person who asserts the fact:
    (a) in relation to the place from which goods have been brought”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you do not seem to be happy. All right. I will put the Question -
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just looking at the construction in clause 145 (1): “In proceedings under this Act…” and the “proceedings” Mr Speaker, would relate to the fact that an impropriety might have taken place and the one who is asserting would assert the fact that, maybe, it is not the proper duty that has been paid on the goods. The burden of proof would lie on the person who is asserting that improper duty has been paid on the goods. The goods have not been properly imported, removed and so on and so forth. But I am looking at how it has been captured here.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    What is your suggestion, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my suggestion is that the construction should rather be in the negative and not how it is stated. This is because:
    “In proceedings under this Act, the following proofs shall lie on the person who asserts…”
    And who is the person asserting? It is the prosecutor.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, could you please, listen?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my understanding, unfortunately, I have not been - Even though I am a member of the Committee, I have not been closely following the debate at the Consideration Stage. But it says:
    “In proceedings under this Act, the following proofs shall lie on the person who asserts the fact…
    (b) that the proper duty has been paid on the goods.”
    So, if proceedings are brought against me and I say I have paid the proper duty, I have to prove even though I may be the defendant. That is what it means. This is because you are then asserting that you have paid the proper duty.
    So, the burden is not on the person who asserts that he has not paid the proper duty, but he should be able to satisfy the court that he has paid the proper duty. So, that is the rationale behind this.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    What is the rationale?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    The rationale is that a lot of people would say that, well I did not know, I have paid the proper duty and this is my duty. So, he has to prove that he knew that it was not the proper duty and it is difficult to prove.
    In my view, it re-enforces the point that when it comes to recovery of taxes and levies, the proof is strict. You have brought your goods into the country; you can conspire with another person to pay a lesser amount. But you said that, well, this is the proper amount and I have paid and they said prove that it is the proper amount, other than that you would say, I did not know. You would have to prove that he knew.
    Mr Speaker, we do not want to put that burden on those who have been entrusted with the Authority to collect taxes and levies when it comes to customs duties.
    So, it is in line with internationally accepted norms when it comes to payment of duty. That is why Mr Speaker, people may be purchasing cars and then somewhere along the line, even after the cars have passed, gone through hands, they just seize the cars that you have not paid the duty.
    So, you have to prove that you have paid the duty. That is the rationale, other than that, we can never recover sums owed to the State as duties.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Thank you.
    But if I may just ask that the powerful institution as the State against an individual and then the State alleges that the proper duty has not been paid, then immediately the burden shifts on me or the person must then prove that he has paid the proper duty.
    The State does not have the responsibility to prove that I have not paid duty and then the burden then shifts on me to prove. So, I should, as it were or the person who allegedly, did not pay the duty must prove that --
    I am not supposed to engage in the debate but --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you know that there have been a racket involving non-payment of duties when it comes to containers, et cetera, where people then conspire with others and they manage to get containers out of the port without paying duty?
    So, I see you and ask, where are your documents? Then he says, “but I have paid the proper duty.” Then I ask, all right, show me the documents to indicate that you have paid the duty. That is it.
    So, the burden must shift. When he shows it to me, I would say, no, this is not how much you have to pay; then he would say, “this is what I was told I have to pay.” Then, I would say, no, this is not the proper duty. There would then be a legal basis for asking him to pay some money in excess of what he claimed to have paid.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    To understand what you are saying, if the burden is not this way, then when I say that you have not paid the proper duty, then I would have to prove it before the burden shifts?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    But immediately I say you have not paid the proper duty, then the burden shifts to you, to say, “ I have paid and this is my proper duty.” Then in that case, the burden shifts back. Is that the situation?
    Hon Member, if you say to me that you have not paid the proper duty and I showed these documents to you that as far as I am concerned, I have paid for example, GH¢30,000, which is the proper duty, where would the burden be lying now? That is between you and me.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know that in these matters -- When it comes to trials, the burden keeps on shifting as you go along. But when he tells me, that I have paid the proper duty and these are my documents, then I will say that, “but you know that you have to pay two per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) or National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and so forth, your goods have been undervalued.” He would then have to prove that his goods have not been undervalued.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    But I do not work at the customs office. We are assuming that the person is a crook; the law is made for all kinds of people. Somebody comes to present his goods and then the custom official tells him that the duty on his goods is for example, GH10 and then he pays --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the point of view that you are expressing. But really, if we do not do that, we would have a lot of people not paying the relevant taxes and duties. That is why it is always like this. Even in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA), it is like that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, I do not intend to upset the apple cart. Let us rest our case.
    Are you supporting what he is saying?
    I am saying we will not upset the apple cart. Anybody who feels strongly about this should come back at the second Consideration Stage.
    I am being advised by the Hon Akoto Osei that the person should go to court or alternatively he could burn the sea or go on a demonstration; you have many options. But we have closed the door on
    the Consideration Stage and we will go to the second Consideration Stage.
    But please, what I said was made in jest.
    Hon Minority Leader, when I said you should go to court, it was not personal.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not that at all. This is because I felt that we should be very careful.
    Mr Speaker, it is not that at all - This is because I first raised it and I felt that we should be very careful.
    The Hon Papa Owusu Ankomah refers to what obtains in the United Kingdom (UK). In the UK, there is a Financial Intelligence Law; we do not have it here in Ghana. We have the Financial Intelligence desk at the Office of the President. We do not have it. So, we cannot invoke that and shift the burden of proof onto the person who has been accused.
    If you ask me whether I have paid duty, if I showed my documents to you that, I have paid the duty, but you say that I have not paid the proper duty, you should prove that I have not paid the proper duty. What is it that I should do?
    But the burden of proof really is not on the suspect, it is the person who is alleging. That is why I am saying that rather this construction should be in the negative because --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    That is wh y we a r e sayin g t h a t t h i s construction --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, shifting the burden of proof onto the suspect would be at variance with our criminal procedure. I am not too sure of what we intend to do with this.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    What I will say is a slight amendment to my previous position. My previous position was that, if you are not happy, on the advice of the Hon Akoto Osei, you should go to court. But I think that we would not take it that far. There is a window of opportunity here but I think people are expressing strong views.
    I know that both Hon Akoto Osei and the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee have developed the art of compromise and the art of reconsidering issues in the best interest of the nation.
    I will just say, as we move on, that the concern of some Hon Members of the House is that, when you shift the burden in such a manner, it may be disadvan- tageous to the ordinary Ghanaian as against the State. The other side of the coin we are being told is that, if it is not rendered in this fashion, there is a loophole created for people to jump through. This is because everybody will say that as far as they are concerned, they have paid the right duty.
    The duty that you are supposed to pay is a matter of fact. If the law says you are supposed to pay GH¢10.00 and you have paid GH5.00 and you say as far as you are concerned you have paid the right duty, then the customs official or the court will tell you that when you look at the law, you are supposed to pay GH¢10.00. So, your GH¢5.00, you cannot tell us that - So, you have to pay the rest or a penalty and so on.
    I have absolute confidence in the Hon Members of the Finance Committee as well as the Hon Members of the House. We can think about this thing. As we proceed, we should continue thinking about it and if need be, it would come under the guise of a second Considera- tion Stage.
    I think we will all agree to that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Sorry. Having regard to the state of Business, I hereby direct, as it is set out under Standing Order 40 (3), that Sitting be held outside the prescribed period.
    We have not put the Question on clause 145 --
    Clerks-at-the-Table, have we put the Question?
    We have not put the Question yet?
    So, should we continue while you consult?
    We have deferred the Question on clause 145, we will come back to it.
    Clause 145 accordingly deferred.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    So, let us go to clause 164.
    Clause 146 -- Evidence of Officer.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    On clause 146, there are no advertised amendments?
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second clause 144 in the Order Paper should rather read clause 146.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 146, line 3, delete “corroborated” and insert “conclusive”
    The new rendition will read:
    “Where in proceedings under this Act, a question arises as to whether a person is an officer, the evidence of the officer in so far as it relates to the employment of the officer in the Authority shall be conclusive.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 146 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Naabu, I want to welcome you to the House. Did you travel?
    Mr Joseph B. Naabu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I did. I went to my constituency. I came back yesterday. Meanwhile, I attended the National Sanitation Day.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Thank you.

    Hon Afenyo-Markin, I heard it. He is speaking to me not to you. I heard it.

    Hon Naabu, is my special Friend; do not bother him.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 146, we have dealt with earlier clauses on impersonation and so on and so forth. Clause 146 provides:
    “Where in proceeding under this Act, a question arises as to whether a person is an officer, the evidence of the officer in so far as it relates to the employment of “that” officer
    . . . ”
    I believe it should be “that officer” and not “the officer” “… in the authority shall be conclusive.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Members, I am a little puzzled. I do not like to use the word “confused”. I am a little puzzled because of what the purpose of this is -- For example, if in the court, a question arises that Mr Djietror works in Parliament, and whether he works in Parliament, he brings evidence that he works in Parliament.
    Once he brings evidence that he works there, that ends the matter. So why is this debate about whether it has to be corroborated or conclusive? Is it even necessary?
    “Where in proceedings under this Act, a question arises as to whether a person is an officer, the evidence of the officer in so far it relates to the employment of the officer in the Authority shall be corroborated”.
    This is how it used to be. So, it means he has to call a second person. Now, you are saying it should be “conclusive”. Why is it there? Is it necessary?
    If a question is asked in court, say, is Hon Osei-Owusu a Member of Parliament (MP)? He answers, yes, and produces his evidence, the court continues.
    Why is it stated in the law that it must be “conclusive” or I must be “corroborated”. Why is it there? What purpose does it serve? What mischief are we trying to rectify?
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Osei Amoah, before I come to you.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Evidence Act regulates evidence and the value to be placed on evidence. I do not think we need to provide for it in this Act. The Evidence Act provides all the methods for evaluating, accepting or rejecting evidence, and we do not need to import that old thing into this Act again. I am entirely in tune with Mr Speaker, that this is not necessary.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that the provision had been put there because of the issue of impersonation, which we have just dealt with. That is why I thought it had been provided.
    My worry is that, in the case of Parliament, if the position or the identity of a Member of Parliament becomes an issue, it is the Hon Speaker who attest. That is why I thought that the evidence of that unknown person --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, if you appeared in court as a witness somewhere in Sefwi Wiawso in the northern part of the Western Region and somebody gets up and asks whether you are sure you are a Member of Parliament, if you tender the oath that we sign when swearing-in, is it not sufficient? Do they have to go and bring the Hon Speaker to come and give evidence, that yes, he has seen you in Parliament, that you are a Member of Parliament? It is even a notorious fact.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, you are on the right path.
    Of course, the Evidence Act has provided for all these things and I do not think we have to belabour the point and insist that some of these things should still be put in the Bill to become an Act.
    Mr Forson 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ideally, your suggestion would hold if it is like a small company. But we are dealing with Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), whereby we
    have a huge number of workers. I am of the view that they have also been working on revenue issues and there was the need for us to corraborate the fact that the worker is indeed, a worker of GRA.
    Somebody may easily clone an identity card, or falsify information to mean that he works with the GRA. But if one is to pursue and to find out that, indeed, that person is a worker of GRA by ensuring that a colleague can corraborate that he is a worker or to pursue to the conclusive end. I believe that is a better way of identifying that person.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you know what you are doing? By putting the word “conclusive” there, you are raising the bar higher. Once it is about the issue of employment -- Forget about the GRA -- With the Ministry of Finance, where we have officers all over Ghana, you do not know all the people of the Ministry of Finance.
    If there is a court matter, the question of whether the person who is giving evidence is an employee of the Ministry of Finance -- Even in Parliament, we do not know all the workers. That question is a question of fact that would be proved in court.
    It is a simple matter. The person who is saying he is an officer of the Ministry of Finance must prove it. The person who is alleging that that person is not working with not the Ministry of Finance would have the opportunity to cross examine him, say, I have looked at your appointment letter, and I think it iw forged. It would be referred to the police for forensic proof.
    The law is clear in these matters. So, I do not know why we are sitting in Parliament changing “corraborate” to “conclusive”, in this law, which is seeking to enter into evidence, civil procedure and create a new regime.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there are two things. Firstly, I am surprised that you asked Hon O. B. Amoah whether he was on the right path.
    Mr Speaker, he and I were saying that we were on the wrong path before you called him. [Laughter.] That is what he was saying and when the Hon Speaker called him, he said he was on the right path. You are intimidating the Hon O. B. Amoah.
    Mr Speaker, on a more serious note, we can easily drop this provision without causing any trouble. Firstly, if I go there as an impersonator and nobody knows, and I happen to have a fake identity card, what they are saying is that, my fake identity card that I have presented then becomes conclusive. That is even more dangerous. So, if dropping this would not affect the law, we should take it out.
    Hon Minister and Chairman of the Committee, in my opinion, we should take it out.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    We will drop it or we will keep it. But before you come in, Hon O. B. Amoah, this reminds me of a story somebody told me of a President. I will not mention which President it was. He asked his Minister, what he thinks about an idea. Just before the President asked the Minister, the Minister was conferring with another Minister and saying that, “this is a useless project and it would never work”.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the first place, I have not conferred with Hon Akoto Osei on this matter.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    I know that; I sounded that and you were quiet.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 2:10 p.m.
    Secondly, Hon Osei- Owusu is my witness. We have been discussing it and we are on the same path. I do not know whom he spoke to, but certainly, not Hon O. B. Amoah. He has to look for the person.

    Mr Speaker, for the records, you are on the right path.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    He said: “Your Excellency, this idea is an excellent one.
    Mr Avedzi 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we read the clause again it is:
    “Where in proceedings under this Act, a question arises as to whether a person is an officer, the evidence of the officer in so far as it relates to the employment of the officer in the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) shall be conclusive.”
    Now, what is the evidence relating to the employment of an officer in the GRA? The number one evidence is his appointment letter, which proves that he is an officer of the GRA. It is because of the environment in which we find this organisation. The environment of GRA is one where we have other people who work there; like the “goro boys.” There are a number of them at the Airport and the Tema Port.
    So, if an issue of this nature arises and there is a proceeding in court, producing a letter of appointment should be conclusive and that could be verified in any way, so that a fake letter of appointment is not produced.
    Mr Avedzi 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am still on my feet. I have not finished because I was interrupted.
    When they speak of evidence, one can produce a document. But then, say it is evidence and therefore, they must take it to be conclusive, they must verify that document. So, read the clause again, it says:
    “… the evidence of the officer inc so far as it relates to the employment of the officer in the GRA shall be conclusive.”
    So, when I produce my appointment letter and it is verified to be genuine, then it is conclusive. That is the point.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mrs Ursula G. Ekuful 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the mischief being sought to be cured by the proposed clause would not be cured in the manner in which the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance and the Chairman of the Committee have explained it to the House.
    It is actually going to create even more problems if the production of the evidence by the person whose employment is in issue
    is just going to be accepted as a conclusive evidence of his employment. That appointment letter itself would need to be verified by another person. The person properly authorised by the GRA, in terms of issues of employment, the Human Resource person in charge of all the people employed in GRA would have to authenticate that letter to make sure that, indeed, it is as the officer said it is.
    So, by inserting “conclusive” for “corroborated” would even compound the issue that we are seeking to cure. If we look at clause 130, it deals with the impersonation of an officer. So, if anybody seeks to impersonate an officer, he commits a criminal offence and the law makes provision for it.
    Mr Speaker, I do not see the reason we need to have clause 146 and I would respectfully move, that that entire clause be expunged from the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
    Mr Forson 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to say that I disagree with the Chairman of the Finance Committee on the grounds that an appointment letter cannot be seen as evidence of active employment, in the sense that somebody could be employed yesterday but ceases to work today; probably, he stopped working. So, that cannot be seen as evidence.
    Mr Speaker, I am of the view that we step this down and do further consultation before we expunge it.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I looked at the Interpretation section and the first time “proceedings” is used is when clause 142 was started.
    All these arguments of whether any evidence is conclusive or needs to be corroborated, results from proceedings under the Act. And what is proceedings under the Act”? Is it not related to an
    action in court, whether civil or criminal? And what is the role of that officer in those proceedings? It could only be occasioned where he has been called to give evidence in court. So, where there is prosecution by a prosecutor from one's own office, are we saying that we do not even trust the lawyer who may be helping?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    But when you said that you saw the interpretation of “proceedings”, where did you see it?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said that I did not find it. It has not been defined. However, the first time it is used is when we came to clause 142.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Do we need to define “proceedings”?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you go back, “proceedings” is used in relation to the court. So, it means that it is very limited. It is not about any activity elsewhere which requires a person's identity being confirmed and establishing whether he works with the Authority. If it is limited to the court, it means that it is the prosecutor or any person involved in the matter, higher in authority who would invite that person. So, at that point, why do we have to belabour the point? Therefore, I support the position by my two seniors.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before the highest court of this land, which is the Supreme Court, we have had an occasion of somebody injecting himself into proceedings and describing himself as representing the President, when in point of fact, it could not be established and he was given space to wax. And how did he describe himself?
    Some Hon Members 2:10 p.m.
    Amicus curiae - [Laughter.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he came in at first instance, that he was representing the President and then later changed his stance. In fact, we should be careful and I think that in matters of impersonation, we need to be careful.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, why do you want to --
    Mr Osei-Owusu 2:20 p.m.
    The issue clearly is, if the authority or the locus of a witness is challenged, it has to be proved. Proof is regulated by the Evidence Act in whatever form. I do not think that once we use “conclusive”, it means that we are saying that, that person's evidence, once it is put in or it is accepted as evidence, nobody can question what it contains, not even the Judge. It could even take away the jJge's evaluation power to determine whether that evidence truly is conclusive or otherwise. I think that it is dangerous.
    I am glad that the Hon Deputy Minister agrees with us. Let us drop it and make progress.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    So, the Question is that clause 146 be deleted, as proposed by Hon Ursula --
    Mrs Ekuful 2:20 p.m.
    Ekuful
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Ekuful.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    We were Colleagues in the same chambers. So, what I remember -- my mind seems to be fixed in time. What I remember is the maiden name.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 146 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    That is the vote I moved. The question is that, Hon Ursula Ekuful proposed that clause 146 be deleted.
    Do you have a further amendment? So, I should put your amendment first? No problem, I can do it again.
    Mr Chairman, do not worry. You have another amendment? All right. I put your amendment first. The amendment is that --
    I need some advice here. What is happening is that I cannot do it again. You have an amendment that “corroborated”, should be changed to “conclusive.” Then the Hon Member proposed what was a friendly amendment to your amendment. Was it unfriendly?
    Hon Chairman, was it an unfriendly amendment?
    Mr Avedzi 2:20 p.m.
    [Inaudible.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    I thought it was a friendly amendment?
    Yes?
    Mr Forson 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I propose we step it down and then do further consultation on this matter before we delete it entirely.
    Mr Speaker, I strongly feel that we should do further consultation on this matter.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    But the difficulty I have was -- pardon me, let us --
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A.A.Osei 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised at the Hon Deputy Minister. He got up and eloquently supported Mrs Ekuful. Now, he is changing his mind. It would not get us anywhere.
    He said we should step it down and consult further, but he had already spoken that he supported her. I do not know.
    He wants to get his Bill done, the evidence has been adduced sufficiently. This is not an economic matter. If it is deleted, the law is alright. So, why would he want to raise an argument and then delay it further?
    He had already spoken on the floor of the House to support the amendment. But now he wants to consult further? Please, it is a legal matter.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my issue is that if we delete it completely and there is an issue about somebody impersonating as an officer of GRA and the issue is before court, what would we do?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, thank you very much for your concern.
    But I wish to assure you, with all the confidence and seriousness that I can muster, that the law takes care of the situation you are dealing with in extenso.
    The Evidence Act shows proof - In fact, you have already provided for it in a way by creating the criminal offence of impersonation. So, do not worry. You are covered. There is an insurance company that has an advertisement that said you are covered -- you are covered totally.
    I am grateful to you for your concern that you would like to make sure that the right thing is done.
    I am grateful to the Minister for Finance; I am grateful to Mrs Ursula Ekuful, formerly known as Ms Ursula Owusu, Member of Parliament for --
    Mrs Ursula Ekuful 2:20 p.m.
    Ablekuma West.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, is there a matter?
    Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was told that clauses 127, 128 and 129 -- I was here-- were stood down, and that we were going to consult the Criminal Act, to find out the position on misdemeanor and the sentencing limitations as we now intend to stipulate in the new law. So, I was doing some research down there, and I just came up.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, I have complete confidence in your ability. When people do not see you here, they think that you are not with us; you are actually correct.
    The issue whether clause 126 covered facilitation and aiding and abetting and so on was extensively debated, and we stood it down. So, at the appropriate time, we would get your advice.
    We have answered the question, though. You came a little late; we have answered the question.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am so grateful for the confidence you always repose in me. My other Hon Colleagues do not seem to know that, but I am always working very hard.
    Thank you for the compliment.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon K. T. Hammond.
    Hon Osei-Owusu?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Sitting times of the House are regulated by our Standing Orders. I noticed that it is long past 2.00 p.m., and I am not aware that you have directed that we sit outside the time.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Osei-Owusu, I wish to assure you that in spite of the way we are moving from left to right, we are in total control of all our faculties and also the Standing Orders, and we have already referred to Order 40
    (3).
    In fact, at the time I was referring to Order 40 (3), was when according to Hon Akoto Osei, he and Hon O.B. Amoah were busily conspiring against me.
    Thank you.
    Yes, clause 147, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in view of what we did in clause 146, I would propose that we abandon the amendment on the Order Paper and delete clause 147 completely.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, that is a very sensible -- [Pause.]
    These are my good friends. Thank you very much for keeping quiet.
    The amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman is that we delete clause 147.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 147 accordingly deleted.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Clause
    148?
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, line 2, after “Regulation” add “to”.
    Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah 2:30 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I propose that we amend - - This is because if the proposition is put there, it would not run smoothly through all the subclauses. If you look at (c) and (d), the preposition “to” would not conform to those sentences unless we amend them as well.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, if we go further, you would see that we have amended a lot in clause 149. So, we have taken care of all those --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    On the next page.
    Mr Amoako-Attah 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, but the amendment -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    We are bringing the “to” to the --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Hon Amoako-Atta, look at the next page.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (a), delete “to”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, just mention the roman number.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Roman number (xxxvi).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (b), line 1, before “prescribe”, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (c), delete “for the conduct of” and insert “conduct”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Amoako-Attah?
    Mr Amoako-Attah 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is exactly the basis of my opposition. This is because if you read the proposed amendment to subclause (c), it will not flow. It will then read as follows:
    “The Minister may on the recom- mendation of the Board, by legislative instrument make Regulations to conduct of a post- clearance….”
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    The amendment proposed was to delete “for conduct of”. So, we have deleted that “of”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    So, it will read:
    “…make Regulations to conduct a post-clearance audit of systems…”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (d), line 1, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (e), line 1, before “prescribe”, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (f), line 1, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (g), delete “to”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment -- [Interruption.]
    An Hon Member 2:30 p.m.
    Which one?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:30 p.m.
    Item (xlii), in respect of subclause (h). He said we should delete -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Item (xlii) is in respect of subclause (f).
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:30 p.m.
    Roman number xlii is rather subclause (g). All right.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Yes, roman number xlii is rather subclause (g).
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am alright with that -- with subclause (g).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Are you alright with that?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:30 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. I have an issue with subclause (h)
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    I will put the Question --
    Sorry. Hon Member for Ablekuma West?
    Mrs Ekuful 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have an additional amendment to propose for subclause (g) in terms of the inclusion of the words “free port” after “free zone” with the eminent operations of the Atuabo Free Port. It is likely that the customs procedures there will be different from those in the traditional ports. It will be useful for us to make regulations to govern the conduct of customs procedures in the free ports as well.
    So, I am proposing an amendment to add “free port” after “free zone”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Member.
    It is amazing. Yesterday, I was reading Act 504 (1995), which is the Free Zones Act. The reasons are also the inclusion of “Free Zones.”
    Indeed, our concept of free zones includes free ports, free skies as well as free zones. We combine the enclave system with the single facility system. So, I appreciate what you have said, but our definition of free zone encompasses free ports as well.
    Thank you very much for veering into my area to allow me to -- [Laughter] -- express myself for a change.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, your ‘Noe' was not heard.
    Mr Avedzi 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (h), delete “for the implementation of” and insert “implement the”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you.
    After 2.00'clock. when it comes to extended Sitting under Standing Order 40 (3), if you want to say “Noes”, it must be exceedingly loud. This is because before 2 .00'clock, I hear more of the “Noes” -- after 2 .00'clock, it is high. It is fast, and then we move on. So, after 2.00 'clock, your “Noes” must be very loud.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, that is a piece of advice to you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Look at that -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (i), line 1, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (j), before “prescribe”, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (k), line 1, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, paragraph (j), before “give”, delete “to”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 149, add the following new paragraphs:
    “(l)prescribe goods that may be warehoused;
    “(m) amend the Schedule;”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Member for Atiwa? Is it Atiwa?
    Hon Member, your constituency, please?
    Mrs Abena Osei -Asare 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is Atiwa East.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    I saw you looking at the -- Did you not have anything to say?
    Mrs Osei-Asare 2:40 p.m.
    It was the num- bering. The “L” is a small “l” but thought it was supposed to be capital. [Interruptions.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    So, Hon Osei-Owusu, do you see that when people are even talking, I see that they want to say something and I recognise them?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I recognise your experience in presiding. Actually, you have made it more exciting, otherwise, I would be bored and would have been outside by now.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Osei-Owusu. What would I do without Hon Members like you?
    Yes, Dr Appiah -Kubi?
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Allow me to take us back to clause 149. I beg to move, that the word; “economic operators”, be interpreted in the Interpretation section.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    The words?
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    “Economic Operators”, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    We have not come to the interpretation of clause 150. So, when we come to clause 150, then you can propose it.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are still at clause 149.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Are we still at clause 149?
    I am saying that even though you have seen it at 149, the Interpretation section is clause 150.
    So, draft a proposed amendment or a proposed interpretation, so that when we come to clause 150, then you raise it. I will recognise you then.
    Yes, Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendments indicated that we should add a new paragraph “prescribe goods that may be warehoused”, and it also says; “amend the Schedule.”
    So, I looked at where the Schedule is in the Bill. There is no such “Schedule” attached. That was my worry. But the Hon Member for Old Tafo has indicated to me that the “Schedule” is being proposed. So, I think I am content with that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, is it to amend the “Schedule”? There is no “Schedule”.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is regulatory. But the Hon Minister made this Regulation to cover this item, and we are adding the Schedule to the list of the areas that the Hon Minister can make the Regulation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, if you look at the Bill, there is no “Schedule”. So, the Hon Minority Leader is right. But when you look at page 18, you are proposing a Schedule, and so, you anticipate that it would be part. Therefore, you are asking that since it would be part we should also look at amending it. All right.
    The Question that I put was the amendment of clause 149, to add subclauses (l) and (n) which were carried and so stands part of the Bill. So, I will put the Question on the whole of clause
    149.
    Clause 149 has been amended so many times. So, let me hear your response loud and clear. [Interruption.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 149 makes room for a Legislative Instrument (L.I.), which, when you look at what it is supposed to do, seems to be very important.
    From experience, we can attest to the fact that very often, legislative instru- ments are not submitted for our consideration. We had this issue last time when we considered the last Bill.
    Is it possible for us to --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Which Bill was that?
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) Bill. Is it possible for us to probably include the timeline within which the Hon Minister would be required to submit the L.I?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    This should be known as the Hon O. B. Amoah's principle, because it was first introduced to this House by Hon O. B.
    Amoah, when we were doing the GYEEDA Bill.
    It is a matter of some concern, because there are some laws that the L.I.s have been there ad infinitum. But I do not know the feeling of the Finance Committee, whether we would want to restrict the O. B. Amoah's principle to GYEEDA, or transpose it to all those that we are doing.
    In every Bill, if you get up and say the O. B. Amoah's principle, then everybody would know that it is a question of time.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:40 p.m.
    This particular Bill is really not new. It is a cleaning up of an old Customs Bill, which regulations are already there. So, it is not that they are new.
    It is usually with the new Bills but this one is not of old.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you.
    So, it does not easily lend itself to the O. B. Amoah principle?
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:40 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what is wrong with applying the Hon O. B. Amoah's principles to this Bill as well? There is nothing wrong with that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    There is nothing wrong per se, but the difference is that, with the Customs Bill, if you look at page 106 of the Bill, it talks about repeal, then it goes to clause 151 (2);
    “Despite the repeal of the enactments specified in subsection (1), every statutory instrument and all notices, orders and rules made under those enactments and in force
    immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, until altered, revoked or modified under this Act, continue in force as if made under the corresponding provisions of this Act.”
    So, I appreciate the point you have raised. But as we are learning, we have seen that the Hon O. B. Amoah's principle, lends itself more to new Bills than to any Bill, especially in the area of customs, which has so many L.I.s, orders, rules and so on.
    So, thank you for the advice. But I think that we would proceed.
    Clause 149 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 150 -- Interpretation
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, Interpretation of “approved place of unloading” and “approved place of loading”, line 3, after “Gazette”, insert “and at least two State owned daily newspapers”
    Mr Speaker, because of what we had in the morning, it would be “at least two daily newspaper of National circulation.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Just mention the roman numbers, then we will proceed.
    Mr Avedzi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause150 --
    Interpretation of “boarding station”, line 2, after “Gazette”, insert “and at least two State-owned daily newspapers.”
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just wondering whether since the Chairman mentioned “two” “at least two State-owned daily newspapers” is changed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    He changed it in line with the morning debate.
    “Two daily newspapers of national circulation”. That was what he said. That change was made in the morning.
    In the morning, there was a long debate, where there were various contributions by Hon Ahi and Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah. It was something that was moved by the Hon Dr A. A. Osei.
    I was watching proceedings, and the Question was whether they should use “State-owned”. Hon Agbesi contributed and he said the Daily Graphic was there before he was born, and it is still there. He said Daily Graphic would still be there after he has died.
    Some of the private newspapers have come and gone. I found it very interesting. So, that debate was done, and in the morning, they came to this rendition. When we come to “State-owned” again, we must use the same rendition.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with you, that our Orders provide that in dealing with matters in a Bill, any decision that follows a decision that had been made earlier should not be inconsistent with that decision.
    With respect, we can have two dailies, which may claim to be national dailies, which perhaps may print about 100 copies. There are newspapers in this country which call themselves national
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, the point was also made this morning, that it is not all State-owned newspapers which have higher circulation than some of the private newspapers. I have not mentioned any newspaper.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as we speak today, everybody knows that the newspaper of highest circulation is the Daily Graphic, followed closely by the Daily Guide and then we have the Ghanaian Times. But we have papers that print less than 200 and yet they get heard. They call themselves newspapers of national circulation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    I agree with you but Minority Leader, the person taking that decision, how can he justify that decision to any reasonable person, that a newspaper that has 100 copies is of national circulation? How can he justify it? We must be able to trust some people and give them some discretion and I think that what you are doing amounts to what is known in court as a review.
    In court, after a decision has been given, you can change the decision by coming by way of a review and the courts have said that they will grant the review only in exceptional circumstances where there is an error of law.
    Your circumstance, unfortunately, is not exceptional and the matter was litigated in extenso this morning. What you are saying just now was held in high
    esteem by Hon Agbesi. I remember a statement he said, “Graphic was there before I was born, it is still there, it would be there when I die”. I remember the Hon Member for New Juaben South asked why are we saying “daily”? That a paper can come three times a week but can have better circulation than the paper that comes daily. Hon Member , was that what you said? I remember you said that.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I did not add was that a newspaper like the Evening News is now defunct. So, the Daily Graphic could also be defunct in a few years' time. The fact that it is a national newspaper does not necessarily mean that -- But the Evening News --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    But this morning, you said that a paper can come out three times a week but it should not be a daily.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:50 p.m.
    Or even weekly, like the Mirror.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    That was your contribution?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:50 p.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    But it is Hon Agbesi's statement that is most prophetic and I like that. So, we will proceed.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    There is a friendly amendment that instead of “State-owned daily newspaper” it should be “a daily newspaper of national circulation”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, Interpretation of “conveyance” delete “means” and insert “includes”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, add the following new interpretation:
    “‘customs' advanced ruling”, means a binding written statement issued by customs that interprets and applies customs laws and regulations to a specific set of facts upon applications by a trade about a prospective transaction”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “customs house agent” lines 1 and 2, delete “license to operate as a customs house agent” and insert “licence to carry out customs business”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, much as I respect your post 2'o'clock opinion --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Minority Leader, that was said in jest; do not take it too serious.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect to the Chair, we should at least, respect Order 129 (c). You do not just call for a deletion of one word and you say I move this and then we go; but please, explain to us the import of it and these amendments -- [Mr Nitiwul: Walked pass.] Eyi Nitiwul! [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, indeed, we are really in post 2 o'clock affairs.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Minority Leader, I will take it that I did not see what happened but I also know that you would take appropriate sanctions and report to me on the sanctions taken.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this may be a very arduous task but I think we have all unseen what happened.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    I do not want to say whatever but me and you saw it. We shall deem it that we did not see it and you will take the appropriate sanctions under your rules of your Caucus.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have unseen what I saw.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    All right. So, I have unordered what I ordered you to do.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just imploring my Hon Colleague, that in tandem with Order 129 (c), in moving the amendment, the amendments do not exceed four lines -- and if the Hon Chairman is listening to me, he should please, move all the amendments where they do not exceed four lines, so that we follow it. -- [Pause.] [Mr Nitiwul: Bowed.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Hon Nitiwul, I think you will bow twice. I am asking you to bow twice. One for the first one that you did.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Minority Leader, I have already taken action. What the Hon Minority
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.


    Leader is raising -- I have looked at Standing Order 129. It says that:

    (a) Mr Speaker shall call the number of each clause and the Clerk shall read the marginal note opposite to each clause or notes on top of each clause, and if no amendment is offered Mr Speaker shall, after each clause has been called, put the question “That clause … stand part of the Bill;

    (b) if any Member announces, while a clause is being called, that he wishes to move an amendment to, or make some comment on the clause, Mr Speaker shall not put the question with regard to the clause which has been called but not yet agreed to, which shall then be considered;

    (c) where an amendment appears on the Order Paper and exceeds four lines it shall not be necessary for the Member moving it or Mr Speaker in putting it to read out the amendment, provided that the place in the Order Paper where it appears is pointed out;

    (d) after the clause has been so considered and after any proposed amendment to it has been agreed to or negatived, Mr Speaker shall put the question “That clause … (or clause … as amended) stand part of the Bill.”

    There is nowhere in Standing Order 129 that tells us the procedure after the clause has been considered. So, when the person moving the amendment gets up and says “Mr Speaker --” It says that “when it is more than four lines”, he does not have to read it. It does not say that

    when it is less than four lines, he has to read it. It does not say that.

    When a Member gets up and says that, ‘I move that the amendment advertised as (v) on page 14 of the Order Paper be moved”, the Speaker can deem that he has read it. Unless he can be sure, that there is something that says he must move it. The practice has developed that it is moved because the person must explain. I think that under Standing Order 129 (d) where it says:

    “after the clause has been so considered and after any proposed amendment to it has been agreed to or negative, Mr speaker shall put the question “That clause … (or clause … as amended) stand part of the Bill”

    It is under that clause that we say that get up and something -- What is the reason for moving it? But when we are doing “to”, “and” and “at”, I think that there is nothing -- The procedure that I have taken, I have not flouted the rules.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I certainly will not call the conduct of the Chair into question.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Do that. I give you the opportunity to do that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    I will soon do that but I was just saying that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, let me assure you that these matters are not personal at all. We are all learning; we are all teaching one another. So, if you think that there is a Standing Order that gives backing to what you said, please, feel free to point it out and I will not take it personal or see it as an affront to the Chair. In fact, your duty is to assist the Chair.
    Yes, I am waiting.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not want to fall foul to a very pertinent provision in our Standing Orders, which provide that the conduct of Mr Speaker shall not be called into question.
    Mr Speaker, the point I was making is in respect of Standing Order 129 (b) which says:
    “if any Member announces, while a clause is being called, that he wishes to move an amendment to, or make some comment on the clause, Mr Speaker shall not put the question with regard to the clause which has been called but not yet agreed to, which shall then be considered”:
    So, the consideration, Mr Speaker, in my view, is dependent on the Motion being moved, that is, moving to amend this particular clause. When he has done so, then it will be opened to further consideration -- If there is nothing, the question then may be put. Then subclause (c) provides that where an amendment exceeds four lines, it shall not be necessary for the Member moving it to read it out.
    So, I was saying that even though you and the House are indulging him, just so that there should be some seriousness -
    - 3 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    We should not make it a practice.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Yes, that is what I am saying.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Yes; Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have not seen you stopping anybody from -- [Interruption.] It is Mr Speaker who calls it but as the Hon Leader read, Standing
    Order 129 (b) which says that the process -- if an Hon Member wants to say something, he can get up. So far, I have not seen anybody getting up.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Have you gone back to reconsider, especially for the Minority Leader?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3 p.m.
    I am just suggesting that if he wants to get up, he should make sure that Mr Speaker sees him.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, you know I am monitoring, immediately somebody shifts in his chair, I will recognise him. I do not even wait for him to rise. I am working with the Minority Leader in harmony and peace, not in pieces.
    Hon Minority Leader, I understand. We do not want this to develop as a practice, that the minute an Hon Member just mentions -- let us just go forward and -- The speed seems fast. I agree with you. I think that is your main concern.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is my concern. Regardless of that, I still bow to the Chair.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you do not need to bow to the Chair. We are working hand in hand.
    Chairman of the Committee, read the proposed amendment. It is only one line.
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “customs- controlled area” line 3, delete “or” and insert “and”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “declarant” line 3, delete “importer or exporter”, and insert “importer, exporter”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 - interpretation of “electronic declaration” line 3, delete “or broker”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 -- interpretation of “signature” line 1, before “signature” insert “electronic”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am struggling to see where “the signature” is.
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Page 101 -- at the top.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    Page 101?
    Mr Avedzi 3 p.m.
    Yes. At the upper part of the page. It should read “electronic signature”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3 p.m.
    “Electronic signature”; not signature. I was struggling to see “signature”.
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    We are changing “signature to “electronic signature”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, Minority Leader, what is your position?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Because he said “interpretation of signature”, I was struggling looking for signature -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, Order!
    You know, they are all my Friends so, I can mention their names. Or Hon

    Members, should I mention names now? Should I name and shame?

    All right, yes, Hon Minority Leader, Chairman of the Committee, have you found where the signature is?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    We have resolved it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Have you resolved it?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, we have resolved it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Clause 150, Interpretation of “entered” line 4, after “officer” insert “and” -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Order! [Mr Kofi Brako Walks towards Minority side of the House.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, come to the middle.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Minority Leader, in Parliament can we commit for contempt like the Court? Can we not? Or do we not have that power?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, a person could be cited.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Pardon me?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    I do not think that you want to tread that path.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    I agree but I just want to know the extent of the powers.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, a person could be cited for contempt.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    A person could be cited for contempt?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Then let me advise that there are people treading on dangerous grounds.

    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 -- interpretation of “export value” line 7, delete “Ghana” and insert “country”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    I would not argue with you but I do not know why the amendment is there.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “goods” line 1, delete “an article, conveyance” and insert “all kinds of articles”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Chairman of the Committee could read the new construction for us.
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition in the Bill for definition of goods says:
    “Goods include an article, conve- yance, currency, merchandise, livestock and produce of the soil”.
    The amendment we are seeking to bring is to delete “article, conveyance” and replace it with ‘all kinds of articles'. So, the definition of goods here includes all kinds of articles, currency, merchandise, stock and produce of the soil.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, really, I do not see the relevance of this amendment. This is because singular connotes plural. If you say an article, it could also mean articles and since we are not describing the article, it means any article at all.
    If you say all kinds of articles, I do not see the value addition. So, it is an article. If you are telling us that we should delete “conveyance” that is something else. But I do not think what you have written here, really improves it.
    So, if you want the deletion of “conveyance”, it would then simply read, “goods include an article, currency, merchandise, livestock and produce of the soil”
    I do not see its value.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, what is your view on that?
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can further amend the Interpretation to delete “conveyance” and maintain article and the rest of the description given in the Bill.
    Mr Speaker, the Interpretation will read 3:10 p.m.
    “Goods include articles, currency, merchandise, livestock and produce of the soil”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, I think it takes care of your concern.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Clause 150, interpretation of “goods of same class or kind” line 1, delete “means” and insert “include” and in line 3, delete “includes”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Members, should I put the Question? Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you see, I am asking your permission before I put the Question, having regard to Order 129's concerns. I have indulged you for about 30 minutes and I am going back to my old habits. Old habits die hard.
    Question put, and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, I advise that you go back to simply mentioning the roman numeral and I would take it as if you have read it.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “manufacture” line 2, delete “produced” and insert “produced,”
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not really see the relevance of the amendment which has just been moved.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    That is “manufacture”, delete “produced” and insert “produced,”. But “produced” and “produced” are the same. [Interruptions.] Delete “produced” without a comma and insert “produce” with a comma? But Chairman of Committee, you can sort out these drafting issues next time. Do not let me go in that direction.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Yieleh Chireh 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know why he is proposing an amendment. From the interpretation here and I beg to quote --
    “manufacture” means to make, produce, or cause to be made or produced goods…”
    I really do not see what he is amending and why he is saying we should remove “produce”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    They are saying we should remove “produce” without a comma and add “produce” with a comma.
    Mr Chireh 3:20 p.m.
    “Manufacture” is a verb, so the other things we are adding, “…where produce -- it has to be -- [Murmuring.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, thank you very much.
    Mr Chireh 3:20 p.m.
    I have seen what they are saying now.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, I have come to the conclusion that after 2 o'clock, even things that you do not see, you would see just to bring peace on earth and goodwill to man. Yes, Chairman of the Committee, this comma and so on, we would not accept it.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 interpretation of “officer” line 2, after “Authority” insert “and assigned to perform custom duties”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “over age” line 1, delete “over age” and insert “over- aged” and in line 2, delete “as over a certain age”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Now, even the Chairman is tired and he has stopped saying “aye”. The dialogue has broken down between the Chairman and me. [Laughter.]
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause interpretation of “owner of goods” line 1, delete “means” and insert “includes” and in line 4, delete “includes”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 interpretation of “port” line 2, after “Gazette” insert “and at least two state owned daily newspapers”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the understanding that the consequential amendments would be made --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    That is the daily newspaper to the consequential
    -- 3:20 p.m.

    Dr A. A. Osei 3:20 p.m.
    Yes.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    I would direct the draftsperson takes into account the previous decision of the House relating to national newspapers and makes all consequential amendments. Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 interpretation of “regulations”, after “Act” insert “by legislative instrument”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Chairman of Committee, the dialogue is now serious between me and you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “State warehouse”, line 3, delete “abandoned” and insert “abandoned, detained”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 Interpretation of “sufferance wharf”, line 2, after “Commissioner- General”, insert “may” and in line 3, delete “in his or her discretion'' and further in line 4, delete “as he or she may”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150 interpretation of “time of entry”, line 4, after “officer”, insert “and”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:20 p.m.
    In moving for the amendment, he moved, Interpretation of “sufferance wharf”, line 2, after “Commissioner-General”, I did not hear what he said about the rest.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Amendment proposed -- Interpretation of “sufferance wharf”, line 2, after “Commissioner-General” insert “may” -- I think that the whole idea was that if there was “may”, “may” is discretionary so there is no point in adding --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    I have put that Question so now I am at lxx.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, Interpretation of “time of export”, line 1, delete “Ghana” and insert “the country”; line 3, delete “Ghana” and insert “the country”; line 7, delete “Ghana” and insert “the country”; line 8, delete “waters” and insert “waterways” and further delete “Ghana” and insert “the country”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    I think this is in line with the previous amendment where you changed “Ghana” to “country”. Chairman of Committee, may I ask why you are changing Ghana to country.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do not know if tomorrow, the name of Ghana could be changed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    The first was “in Ghana” and you have changed Ghana to “country”.
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the reason I am giving that if tomorrow, we decide to call Ghana something else - If the law says “Ghana” but if it is “country”, it is the country. It also covers the geographical areas of Ghana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Thank you. I would put the Question.
    I would put the Question again because there was a loud no.

    I have put the Question and I have to say who has it and I am warning you that the Noes are picking up gradually. So, you would have to be careful; you have to marshal your forces.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 150, interpretation of “time of import”, line 2, before “from” delete “Ghana” and insert “the country”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    I would put the Question.
    Hon Chairman, which clause are you moving? The last subclause of clause 150.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Let me just bring something to your attention. In volume I of the revised edition of the Laws of Ghana, the Statue Law Revision Commissioner states as follows, in the second paragraph of the preface on page 8:
    “The terms Ghana, State, Country and the Republic have been used in various Statutes. A distinction could be made using State or Ghana to stand for the geographical entity called Ghana, and using Republic to stand for the legal entity. It is possible that the distinction may cause confusion. Thus, to make it user-friendly, in the present Edition, for the sake of consistency, Republic where appropriate, has been used in place of Ghana or State.
    Now, the purpose of statue law revision is to bring the laws of Ghana first of all into conformity with the Constitution, to bring consistency, and to repeal obsolete methods.
    So, if this question of “country” and “Republic” and so on has been addressed by the Statue Law Revision Commissioner, all the laws which precede are -- Do not forget that this came into effect in 2008. So, in all the laws before 2008, you do not see the word “Country”. You would see the “Republic” or “Ghana”.
    Then post 2008, we are seeking to cause confusion again by changing “Country” to -- We have to take the Statue Law Revision into account. We need to have consistency in our law making. We cannot in 2008 review our law and say that “Ghana”, “State”, “Country” and “Republic” have been used in various statues.
    A decision should be made using “State” or “Ghana” to stand for the geographical entity called “Ghana”. And use “Republic” to stand for the legal entity. “Country” is not part of it, then we are amending “Ghana” to mean “country”. Are we going forward or backwards?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why the Speaker is here to guide us. So, we accept your statement and we would want you to give directives for the draftsperson to do the consequential amendments so that we could make progress.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, can I give that directive?
    Mr Chireh 3:30 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. The decisions we make here must also be consistent with other laws and the Constitution. And since the Statue Law Revision Commissioner was appointed and his Report approved, and for
    whatever reason, anytime we are making a law, we would want to make it consistent and understandable.
    But where you have one or two different words used interchangeably when they should not mean so, the courts are likely to go along with what the Statute Law Revision Commissioner has put there.
    Again, about the use of “Country” and “Ghana”, if we say the “Republic”, that is of course the legal regime. We are talking about the legal aspect of it.
    When we are talking about the geographical location, then the issue of “State” does not come in. This is because it has legal implications. That is why sometimes it is better to leave it as “country”. But since there is an authority on this, we need to be guided. And in fact, the draftspersons must also refer to this and be consistent with what they do.
    This is not a decision of changing the law we have made. It is not a policy issue also. It is just that the nomenclature needs to be consistent as advised by the Commissioner.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just for your information, when we are in Committee, we are guided by the Legal Adviser of the Government. So, if when we were making this change, they were there and they could not remind us of such a change in there, we would not know it all because they are supposed to advise us. So, when we proposed that change, they should have told us no, our laws do not allow that. Otherwise, why do we seek advice from the Attorney-General's Office.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Thank you.
    But now, Hon Akoto Osei, I have armed you; I have given you strength and the relevant provision is Volume I of the Laws of Ghana, and it is the second paragraph on page 8. So, anytime they are saying change to “Country”, refer to that and stand your ground. First, make the point without reference to the law and when they argue with it, before you pull out the law. That is the strategy, Hon Akoto Osei.
    Mr Chireh 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in fact, in agreeing with him I still want him to also know that even though somebody may be a draftsperson or a lawyer, he does not carry all the law and he depends on who is there.
    In fact, currently, as we discuss this, there should be draftspersons here listening to what we are doing. Sometimes the people who also draft make errors in what they do. So, it is our duty to point out these. And in doing so, because you are a Member of Parliament (MP) and we always say that once the document is here it is our property and we can do anything to it, they are afraid. Maybe, we have decided to change some words on our own.
    But I agree with him that in many cases, we also defer too much to those who are guiding us, whether they are lawyers or experts in the field.
    So, it is this guidance that we should now be aware of that the fact that the person says that this is what should be the case, it does not mean that it is.
    In fact, he may not be aware of the latest version of the law or what is even in the Constitution. And you do not expect everybody to be carrying the knowledge of the law around. That is why there are big books which we carry; we have to go and refer.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    I would just want to put on record for those who do not know that Hon Yieleh Chireh is a pharmacist, a lawyer as well as a draftsperson. He has finished a course in legislative drafting conducted by the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is a student of Justice V. C. R. A. Crabbe; the Statute Law Revision Commissioner. So, when he speaks about matters of drafting, he is speaking on authority.
    Mr Avedzi 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would just want to let us know that what we took into consideration by changing “Ghana” to the “country”, is that, we considered “Ghana” or the “Republic” as the legal entity in terms of the law but the “country” as the geographical area of Ghana. That is why we decided to use “Ghana”. This is because we are dealing with the customs law which deals with the geographical area of Ghana and that is why we changed “Ghana” which is a legal entity to “country”, considering the geographical area of Ghana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Thank you.
    What I would say is that, I will put the Question — The Ayes will have it, but then, I will make consequential orders that, the draftsperson should look at it, taking into account the advice given by the Statue Law Revision Commissioner. If the
    draftsman still believes that in spite of Justice Crabbe's advice, over 80 years, you would still want to make it “country”, I will not go and fight with them — The draftsperson are sitting there looking at me, but they cannot intimidate me — They know that. They are sitting — Hon Minority Leader, how do you call that — this is the inner-Chamber — How do you call those sitting — At the flanks?
    There are draftspersons sitting at the flanks, and they are threatening me with their eyes—[Laughter]—but these are my former colleagues—I used to work with them and so we have a good relationship.
    I am going to direct them, whether they like it or not.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    I direct that the draftsmen take into account, or consider the amendment that changes “Ghana” into “Country”, in the light of the advice given by the Statue Laws Revision Commissioner, which may be found at page 8, the second paragraph of the First Edition of the bound volumes of the Laws of Ghana, and if they so deem it fit, this House would have no objection to them changing “country” that we have proposed back to “Ghana”.
    We will see it not as over turning our decision but just as a drafting correction.

    I think that it is left with only one amendment to be done on the clause 150 — I do not know why we should not go on to take that and then take —
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, because it is a new one — What we just finished were already there. This is a very brand new one and we do not want to get into a long discussion so that we would have a chance to look at the other issues when we come back on Tuesday — We would consult. It would help us.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
    We would not look at this tomorrow. We want time to consult so that when we come on Tuesday, we would finish it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, do you have something to say?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I notice that some amendments have been proposed in respect of giving interpretation to some words that have been used and I would plead with the Committee to go back to some of the issues that we raised, to offer some interpretation: “shrinkages, goods running”, and so on.
    I am saying that just reflect on them and see if it would not be expedient to offer some interpretations in those ones.
    But Mr Speaker, the last one that I observed which I believe the Committee may have to look at, the interpretation of “wine and beer”. You define -- “wine and beer”; for the purposes of customs duties means;

    “liquor not containing more than 24.5 per cent of pure alcohol by volume shall be considered as wine; and no liquor containing more than 10 per cent of pure alcohol by volume is considered as ale, beer, cider, perry or stout”.

    Mr Speaker, these days, we have many beers coming out. I know of tiger beer for instance, that is 12.5 per cent —How do you situate that here. I would also suggest that, what they have written here, cider is a kind of beer —

    Stout, what is known here in Ghana as Guinness, is a kind of beer, like pilsner, and so we have those kinds of beer. Pilsner is a type of beer — stout is beer — brand we use in Ghana is Guinness, but it is beer and then cider is also another beer, and so why do you come to say; “beer, cider, perry or stout”, then you would have to include pilsner and the rest.
    Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, these are technical definitions that are given by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) and so it is not our own definition that we have provided. It is a definition that we are adopting.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Thank you, but I would take the advice from Hon Dr A. A. Osei. These are matters that are best suited for our next Sitting. We have agreed that we would bring it to an end here.
    Once I allow the debate on the different types of beer to start, that alone may get us into a state of drunkenness and we may be here — not alcoholic drunkenness, but the arguments are so attractive that we would be here for time unending.
    At this stage, I just want to thank all of you and I would be grateful if the Hon Chairman would resume his seat —We have all sat down for such a long time —
    Yes, Hon Member for Ablekuma West?
    Mrs Ursula Ekuful 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was wondering where the new proposed amendment fits in, because I have looked at the entire Bill and I do not see where, “members of family” fits in, and so I am wondering if we cannot deal with this before we leave—[Interruption]— ”husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister” in the Customs Bill? I am really wondering whether it is not totally out of place.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    My advise to you is that, you meet the Hon Chairman in the Division Room when we rise, because he has not moved that yet, but you have an opportunity to bring that forward.
    That brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage.
    Hon Members, let me take the opportunity to thank you. Very interesting afternoon section — The Customs Bill is a technical document. You are all very key in making sure that we do the best for our country and even though it was done in good spirit and in gist, I am very confident that all Hon Members were paying keen attention and I thank each and every one of you for your contribution this afternoon.
    ADJOURNMENT 3:40 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 3.48 p.m. till Friday, 13th February, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.