Ghana: Obinim Sues GRA for Freezing His Account

Bishop Daniel Obinim, the Presiding Bishop of the International Godsway Church, has sued the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for freezing his bank account over alleged non-payment of more than GH¢769,000 in rent taxes to the state.

The GRA froze the account of Bishop Obinim with the Fidelity Bank, for not paying tax on a 21- unit shop, operated by Abroso Guest House at Tema.

The plaintiff said that the guest house was a separate entity and not under the direct control of Bishop Obinim, adding that he had paid all outstanding rent taxes to the GRA and receipts were issued.

Bishop Obinim said that Fidelity Bank denied him access to his funds on June 3, 2019, when he attempted to access the account.

In a suit filed by his counsel, Ralph Poku-Adusei, the plaintiff said the conduct of the GRA was unlawful.

The plaintiff asked the court to declare that he has paid all taxes in respect of rent from 2014 to 2018, and that he did not owe GRA GH¢ 769,095.87.

He asked the court to set aside or strike out the "Garnishment Notice" issued by GRA on June 27, 2019.

The plaintiff urged the court for perpetual injunction restraining the Fidelity Bank from freezing the plaintiff's bank accounts and from paying of funds in his bank accounts to GRA.

He asked for an order directed at Fidelity Bank to defreeze his bank accounts and all other fixed deposit investment.

The GRA on December 18, 2018, wrote to Bishop Obinim demanding payment of alleged tax liability of GH¢ 719,890.00.

In a response, the plaintiff stated that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) conducted audit and assessment on the property for the period spanning 2014 - 2018 and concluded that plaintiff's tax liability was GH¢ 39,555.00.

At proceedings on July 12, 2019, Mr Poku-Adusei said that GRA was answerable to his client's claim.

Consequently, the case has been adjourned to July 24 for counsel to make legal arguments.

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