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04.03.2009 Crime & Punishment

Court to rule on GLOA’s injunction

By GNA

An Accra Fast Track High Court will on April 1 rule in respect of an injunction pending an appeal filed by the Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA).

This was after the court had heard legal arguments by counsel of GLOA and National Lotto Authority (NLA) in relation to an application for injunction pending an appeal that had earlier on been dismissed by different court.

Counsel for GLOA, Mr Aurelius Awuku, making an oral application before the court, presided over Mr Justice Edward Asante, drew the court's attention to the fact that the NLA contended that GLOA and its members did not have licence to operate.

Mr Awuku cited efforts by the NLA to prevent GLOA and its members from acquiring licence.

Quoting from the Supreme Court ruling, Mr Awuku said GLOA had a right to operate, adding that, right ought to be regulated in a fair and candid manner by the court.

Mr Kizito Beyuo, who represented NLA, pointed out that the National Lotto Act, which had been effective since 2006, proscribed the activities of private lotto businesses.

He said exhibits referred to in the matter showed that apart from GLOA and its members registering, they had not procured any licence.

“GLOA, set to protect the rights of private lotto business, has no locus at all in this matter.”

According to Mr Beyuo the Supreme Court had earlier ruled that Act 722 was valid and that the plaintiffs could not operate outside the Act.

He drew the court's attention to the fact that plaintiffs had shifted the substance of the matter to another action and prayed the court not to entertain the application.

On February 11 the Supreme Court unanimously granted an order for certiorari filed by GLOA against the NLA and quashed the decision of the Accra Fast Track High court in respect of an interim injunction pending an appeal and order of stay of execution filed on October 22 and November 4, 2008 respectively.

The Supreme Court therefore directed that the application for an interim injunction be remitted to the Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr Justice Edward Asante who was originally scheduled to hear the matter.

“The case should be remitted to the court and the application for interim injunction be properly heard before the Fast Track High Court,” the Supreme Court declared.

The members of GLOA are Obiri Asare and Sons Limited, Rambel Enterprise Limited, Dan Multi Purpose Trading Enterprise, Agrop Association Limited, Star Lotto Limited and From Home Enterprise.

An affidavit filed on August 13, 2007 by Mr Seth Asante Amaoni, Secretary of GLOA, said they placed an interlocutory injunction before a High Court restraining the National Lotto Authority from interfering with their property rights or lotto operating business.

GLOA said their appeal had a great chance of succeeding given the serious errors in the ruling of the Fast Track High Court.

On August 20, 2008 the Fast Track High Court dismissed an action by GLOA challenging the constitutionality or otherwise of the National Lotto Authority (NLA) Act 2006, Act 722.

Dismissing the action, the court upheld that Act 722 of the Lotto Act was lawful.

GNA

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