24.08.2005 Crime & Punishment

Odumasiman Distillers Association file for stay of execution

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Koforidua, Aug. 24, GNA- The Odumasiman Distillers Association (ODA) and the United Ghana Distillers/Retailers Association (UGDRA) have jointly filed an application for a motion for a stay of execution against the judgment of a Koforidua High Court barring them from purchasing akpeteshie and issuing waybills to authorize purchasers to convey the drink to retailing points.

The two associations also filed a motion for a review of the judgment entered against them by the Court until they apply to the Minister of Finance to be placed under the Excise Ordinance 153 (31), in pursuant of the provisions of the Liquor Licensing Act, 1970 (Act 331). The two motions were in reaction to the judgment by the High Court, presided over by Mr Tom Bentil, in favour of the Ghana Co-operative Distillers Association on July 21, this year. In their notice and affidavit in support of their motion for review filed at a Koforidua High Court on their behalf by Messrs Ebaa Law Consult, the two associations contended that, "the said judgment was given 'per incuriam' in view of the fact that the High Court did not advert itself to the fact that Excise Ordinance 1953 (31), which was the basis of section 1 (2) of the Act 331 was repealed as far back as 1972 by the Customs and Excise Decree 1972 (NRCD 114) which has consequently been repealed by the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993, PNDCL 330."

In the affidavit signed by Davis Agyei, president of the ODA, the associations claimed that the licence issued to them by the Commissioner under section 212 of PNDCL 330 was "lawfully and properly procured in so far as the licence covers the purchase of akpeteshie and the issuing of waybills to authorize purchasers of akpeteshie to convey same to retailing points."

It said, "had the attention of the Honourable Court been drawn to this significant position of the law, the Court would have given judgment in favour of the defendants."

Meanwhile, the leadership of the two associations had cautioned the security agencies and agents of the Ghana Co-operative Distillers Association against any harassment of akpeteshie dealers belonging to any of the other 14 distillers associations in possession of the VAT/NHIL waybills or invoices pending the final determination of the case, which is scheduled to be held on September 6

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