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Court throws out 1-teacher 1-laptop lawsuit

An Accra High Court has thrown out the suit filed by two teacher unions, Innovative Teachers, and All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG), that jointly sued the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Attorney-General, and the Education Ministry over a move to award a contract on the initiative to the 1st Defendant, K.A Technologies Ghana Limited.

Law court

The court also awarded a cost of GH¢15,000 against the plaintiffs in favour of K.A Technologies Ghana Limited.

The plaintiffs are demanding that the sole-sourced contract awarded to K. A Technologies Ghana Limited, be annulled on grounds that it is contrary to sections 40 a, b, c, d, and e of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

Also, "that the 4th Defendant has failed to publish the details of the contract on the website of the Public Procurement Authority, contrary to section 3 c(1 and 2) of the Public Procurement Act in an attempt to hide the transaction from public scrutiny.

Further, "the 1st Defendant lacks the capacity to enter into contractual relations with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants acting for the government of Ghana to manufacture and distribute laptops to all teachers throughout the country," and that "the 1st Defendant does not meet the Mandatory Eligibility Criteria as set forth in Section III (C) of the procurement of the Information Technology Product document issued by the Public Procurement Authority, Ghana for the year 2019," among other claims.

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The plaintiffs also accused the government of creating K.A Technologies "only by virtue of the contract for distributing laptops under the initiative by the government, acting through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendant."

The court hearing the case on Thursday, December 23, 2021, dismissed the suit on grounds that, the plaintiffs have not demonstrated the capacity with which they filed the suit.

According to the court, the issue of capacity goes to the root of the matter the Plaintiffs have filed and cannot seek legal rights when they are not parties to the contract.

The court said the plaintiffs have "no cause of action against the Defendants" and proceeded to award a cost of GH¢15,000 in favour of the 1st Defendant (applicant).

Lawyer of the 1st Defendant (K.A Technologies Ghana Limited) Edward Kwadwo Oppong had moved a motion for the suit to be set aside.

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Oppong told the court that "We have an application to set aside the Plaintiffs’ writ of summons and statement of claims as well as service of same on the 1st Defendant (applicant) and for this court to dismiss the instant suit against the 1st Defendant in the case for want of capacity to sue."

Under one teacher one laptop policy, the government will pay 70 percent of the cost of GH¢1,550 with the teachers paying 30 percent through deductions from their salaries.

The programme is aimed at bridging the ICT gap between teachers in urban areas and their colleagues in rural areas.

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