A Ghanaian social activist Oliver Baker- Vormawor has been arrested by the police for making claims of carrying out a coup if a controversial electronic levy policy is passed by the country’s parliament.
Barker-Vormawor who is a convenor of the popular pressure group #FixtheCountry Movement was arrested by operatives from the National Security at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The police have since confirmed his arrest and said he will soon be processed for court.
The lawyer and Cambridge University PhD student was picked up upon arriving from the United Kingdom on Friday evening, according to local media reporting.
In a social media post, supporters of the movement demanded the release of their convenor, as they describe his detention as unwarranted.
The group said one of its Convenors “has been abducted by the state security apparatus.” They demanded for him to be “RELEASED immediately #FreeOliverNow’.”
We demand that he is RELEASED immediately pic.twitter.com/J17S8HfmoH
— Fixthecountry (@Ghfixthecountry) February 11, 2022
But the police have explained that Baker-Vormawor was arrested for allegedly threatening to stage a coup over the imposition of a levy on electronic transactions.
News Release : Man Arrested for Threatening a Coup
Read more from the attached. pic.twitter.com/6TJNY7J0SD
— Ghana Police Service (@GhPoliceService) February 12, 2022
The decision by the government of Ghana to introduce the levy on electronic transactions had left many citizens infuriated.
In the presentation of the country’s 2022 budget statement last year, the country’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta announced that the introduction of the e-levy has been necessitated by the astronomical rise in electronic transactions, hitting $80 billion in 2020.
According to him, between February 2020 and February 2021 alone, Ghana saw an increase of over 120% in the value of digital transactions.
The government wants to impose a 1.75 percent levy on all electronic transactions such as mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances.
Although the government plans to use some of the proceeds to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs for the youth, many Ghanaians have kicked against it.
The government is also struggling to get the bill passed in parliament amid opposition from minority members of parliament.