Ghanaian Activist to be Tried

Political activist Oliver Barker-Vormawor will be tried in the Ghanaian Supreme Court today. Barker-Vormawor was arrested in February and charged

Ghanaian Activist to be Tried

Photo: The Ghanaian Standard

Political activist Oliver Barker-Vormawor will be tried in the Ghanaian Supreme Court today.

Barker-Vormawor was arrested in February and charged with treason for a social media post threatening to stage a coup in case the E-Levy Bill introduced in parliament is passed. The post also described the Ghanaian Army as “useless” for not acting despite public sentiment against the bill.

The controversial electronic transactions levy is a consumptions tax to be imposed on the value of all electronic transactions conducted in the country.

Supporters of Barker-Vormawor in #FixTheCountry movement— a youth movement fighting to end economic hardship in Ghana of which he is a founding member and key convenor—argue there should be no such tax because of its unequal impact on citizens and corporations. They argue that an e-levy should instead be a tax imposed on the transaction fees charged by telecoms companies.

Although supporters of Barker-Vormawor were seen in front of the Supreme Court, their number has declined as the government has clamped down. It is unlikely a conviction for Barker-Vormawor—who is relatively unknown among the Ghanaian population—will cause any major political upheaval, but will instead weaken the #FixTheCountry movement and set back the drive against excessive spending and corruption.

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