Ken Ofori-Atta claps back at NDC over rising public debt

• The Finance Minister has said the country’s inflation rate and interest rate are lower than it was in 2016

• He also said government did not go to the IMF for bailout programmes

• Ken Ofori-Atta said the country’s inflation rate and interest rate are lower than that of 2016

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has subtly jabbed the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for raising what they termed as red flags in the Akufo-Addo led government.

Among other concerns raised by the NDC were the rise in public debts and the potential burden it has on future generations.

Appearing before Parliament to present the mid-year budget review on Wednesday, July 29, 2021, the Finance Minister attributed the rising debt levels to the outbreak of coronavirus.null

He furthered that despite this hindrance, workers have not been laid off and the most talked-about teacher trainee allowance and nursing trainee allowances have not been cancelled.

Also, he noted that, the country’s inflation rate and interest rate are lower than that of 2016.

Ken Ofori-Atta said the exchange rate has been more stable under President Akufo-Addo’s term as compared to the Mahama administration in 2016.

He stressed that these proofs are enough to show that the Akufo-Addo led government has properly managed the economy.

“Notwithstanding our elevated debt levels as a result of COVID-19, our inflation rate is lower than it was in 2016, our interest rates are lower than it were in 2016, our exchange rate is more stable than it was in 2016, our foreign exchange reserves are much higher than they were in 2016 and we did not have to lay off any workers nor cancel teacher trainee and nursing trainee allowances,” he told parliament.null

“Furthermore, we did not go to the IMF for bailout programmes and neither have we built an interchange for the price of 3. This is because we have managed the economy much better than it was managed up to 2016,” he added.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) charged the Akufo-Addo led government to stop excessive borrowing from the Western world.

According to a member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, if government is not guided with their borrowing, the next generation would be burdened with public debt.

Speaking at the Policy dialogue on the economy held in Accra on Monday, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said, the Akufo-Addo government should invest in infrastructure and other beneficial projects.

He averred that, “Everyone borrows but please when you borrow, borrow smartly. Borrow not for chop chop but pay for things that can repay for itself. Even advanced countries borrow. When they borrow, they build infrastructure. They do things that can repay itself. They don’t borrow for chop chop and it is important we make that point.”null

“What the NPP is seeking to do now is to actually give all of us, our kids, our generations a burden of carrying a public debt. A debt that when we are not careful, we cannot pay,” he added.

Watch the stream below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZjxV-cfHkYE

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Government took bold decisions to tackle impact of coronavirus on economy – Ofori-Atta

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament during the delivery of the mid-year budget statement on Thursday, July 29 that the Akufo-Addo administration took bold and decisive measures to deal with the negative impact of the covid on the economy.

Mr Ofori-Atta told the House that the huge negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy was to be expected because no country around the world expected a pandemic of this magnitude.

However, he said governments around the world including that of Ghana acted with prudent measures to deal with the situation.

“The hardship of covid 19, the stress, negative impact on employees and employers was unprecedented but expected because no country in the work had prepared for it.

“We took responsible, innovative and decisive and bold actions to tackle the crisis,” he said.

As part of efforts to deal with the effect of the covid on the local economy, the central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate to the lowest in more than nine years to support the recovery of the economy.null

The monetary policy committee reduced the rate to 13.5% from 14.5%, Governor Ernest Addison told reporters on Monday in Accra, the capital. All four economists in a Bloomberg survey expected the rate to remain unchanged.

Ghana’s central bank was one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa that stepped in last year by cutting lending rates to shield the economy from the fallout of plunging oil prices and lockdowns to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the 150 basis-point cut announced in March 2020 was the last monetary policy support it provided and output expanded at the slowest pace in 37 years, the West African economy still fared better than most of its peers, where gross domestic product contracted.

Economic activity has picked up strongly, even as new taxes that were implemented this month weighed on consumer and business confidence, Addison said. GDP could expand by 4.6% this year, according to International Monetary Fund projections.

Inflation dropped to a 13-month low of 8.5% in April, moving close to the centre of the central bank’s target range as food-cost growth eased. That’s after the rate was above the target band of 6% to 10% for most of the past year. The MPC expects the rate of price growth to reach the midpoint of the target range by June.

Positive moves in the economy and on the direction of inflation, as well as the fact that the risks associated with last year’s election are over, gave the MPC room to bring down the policy rate to signal progress, Addison said.

Source: 3news.com

54yr Old Businessman Jailed For Acid-Bathing Girlfriend And Mother

The Koforidua Circuit Court “B” Presided by Her Honour Mercy Addei Kotei has sentenced a 54-year-old businessman to a jail term of 9 years and five months for throwing acid on his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend and her mother at Awukugua-Akuapem in the Okere District in Eastern region.

The convict, Nana Yaw Mante, who is the biological father of the District Chief Executive for Okere in December 2020 attacked the victims with acid while in their room at Awukugua.

They both sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized, treated, and discharged.

The convict committed the act few months after the Koforidua Magistrate Court “A” found him guilty and convicted him to a fine of GHC1,200 and ordered him to pay a compensation of GHC1000 to the 22-year-old ex-girlfriend for filming and circulating her sexually explicit videos and pictures.

He entered a warrant of good behavior and to stay away from the victim.

Before delivering the judgment Wednesday, July 28, 2021, the Presiding Judge of Koforidua Circuit Court “B” Her Honour Mercy Addei Kotei took into consideration the previous conviction to apply the highest sentencing.

The convict pleaded for clemency and begged to be sent to either Nsawam Prison or Ankaful Prison to begin his jail term.

Previous case.

The 54-year-old Businessman was put before a Koforidua Magistrate Court for filming and circulating nude videos of his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend.

He was charged for obscenity contrary to section 281(i) B of the Criminal Offence Act,29/60.

The Prosecutor, Sergeant George Defia told the Court presided over by His Worship Nana Osei Assibey on Tuesday, May 19 that the convict and the victim, a Senior High School dropout are both natives of Awukugua in the Okere District of the Eastern Region.

According to the prosecuting officer, four years ago, Nana Yaw Mante met the victim who was then 18 years and had dropped out of school due to financial challenges.

Under the pretense of assisting her financially to go back to school, took undue advantage and entered into a sexual relationship with her.

The family of the victim became suspicious and confronted the accused person but he denied having sexual relations with the victim. The relationship hit the rocks due to disapproval and pestering by the family. However, in 2019, the convict convinced the victim and they reunited.

Nana Yaw Mante, for fear of losing the victim again, told her that he had taken her to a shrine and the gods were demanding to see her nakedness.

In November 2019, he lured the victim to Dawu near Adukrom-Akuapem where he recorded series of sexually explicit videos of themselves.

He later shared the videos of the victim with her Aunty and two other men he alleged were also dating the victim. The videos went viral on social media in February 2020.

The victim reported the incident to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit(DOVVSU) at the Regional Police Headquarters in Koforidua.

He was arrested on February 7, 2020, and in his caution statement admitted recording the sexually explicit videos of the victim and sharing same.

The receivers of the videos confirmed to Police during interrogation that the accused sent it to them but denied circulating on social media.

SOURCE: starrfm

Assin North MP breaks silence after Cape Coast High Court verdict

James Gyakye Quayson4456

The Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson, has charged his supporters and, by extension, all sympathetic Ghanaians not to be worried by events on Wednesday, July 28 at the Cape Coast High Court.

He insinuates that the judgement by Justice Kwasi Boakye annulling results of December 7, 2020, Parliamentary Elections is a result of “dark machinations of an elite few”.

He assured his supporters that “I am in high spirit and confident that this momentary travesty shall rather make us emerge stronger”.

These were contained in a statement he issued on Thursday, July 29.

“Our massive victory in Assin North on December 7, 2020, was a pure and legitimate one-handed over to us by the discerning people of Assin North and we shall resist every attempt to subvert the true will of the people,” he stated.

“Victory from the masses is far superior to the dark machinations of an elite few.”null

He expressed gratitude to the chiefs and people of Assin North as well as the rank and file of his party for their support over the last 24 hours.

“The solidarity from the rank and file of the NDC and the general public as a whole has renewed my confidence in a brighter future for this country regardless of the treacherous momentary setbacks.”

He charged his supporters not to be discouraged and that “the confirmation of our historic victory beckons”.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, who won the parliamentary elections, had his citizenship challenged by a resident of Assin Bereku, Michael Ankoma-Nimfah.

But the opposition party has since served notice the judgement will be challenged at the Supreme Court.

Source: 3news.com

1 million jobs coming; gov’t outlines 3-year strategy to address youth unemployment

Ken Ofori-Atta

Government has outlined plans to create about 1 million jobs as part of a three-year strategy to address youth unemployment in the country.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta made this known during his presentation of the mid-year fiscal policy review to Parliament on Thursday July 29, 2021.

According to him, though government through its flagship programmes like the 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F) and Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) has created significant number of jobs, the issue of youth unemployment in the country still persist and it is thus putting measures in place to create more and better jobs for young Ghanaians, both in the public and the private sectors of the economy.

He said: “I have had extensive discussions with my colleague Ministers of Employment and Labor Relations, Youth & Sports and Lands & Natural Resources. These conversations culminated in a comprehensive strategy to sustainably address youth unemployment. New programmes will be introduced and existing ones scaled-up and refocused to meet the aspirations of our youth.

“We will work together to sensitize and connect the youth to the numerous opportunities being made available by Government programmes, including a 3-year strategy to create job opportunities for 1 million Ghanaian youth. There are currently about 5 on-going programmes through which we intend to create these jobs,” he said.

Although the economic disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 has led to more people losing their jobs, Mr. Ofori-Atta said government’s plan to reboot the economy and set it back in motion through the Gh¢100 billion Ghana CARES ‘Obaatanpa’ revitalization programme will be vital in the country’s journey towards the creation of this 1 million jobs.

This he said will help accelerate competitive import substitution and export expansion to generate sustainable jobs for the teeming youth (under 35 years), which constitutes about 71% of the population.

2021 Mid-Year Budget Review: I’m not here for more taxes, says Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta

 Ken Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta says the government will not impose new taxes on Ghanaians or ask for more money for its transformation agenda

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has given assurance to Ghanaians that the government is not going to impose more taxes on them after the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting the 2021 Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament on Thursday 29 July 2021, Ofori-Atta said the government is proud to defend its performance in the first half of the year under review.

“I am not here today to ask for more money. I have not come to ask for more taxes. I have come to update the House on the performance of the economy for the first half-year of 2021 and our plans for the unexpired term of the year,” he said.

Transformation agenda

Ofori-Atta said the government’s transformation agenda for the year remains on course, adding: “However, with COVID-19 still with us, it is important to stress that this recovery is only the beginning; a beginning that requires our collective sense of responsibility and action as citizens to guide, protect and participate in the recovery efforts.”

“One of the serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the loss of jobs, which has exacerbated the unemployment problem, particularly among the youth. As such, government is ready with a comprehensive programme to tackle this intractable problem. The goal is to create employment opportunities for a million of our young people over the next two and a half years by igniting a high spirit of entrepreneurship. We will count on the support of this august House.

“Our focus on taxes is to collect what is due the Republic. To this end, we are building a robust framework to expand Domestic Revenue Mobilisation to focus on compliance and enforcement nationwide. We 7 have established the Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE). The remit of RACE is to identify and eliminate revenue leakages in areas such as petroleum bunkering, gold and minerals export, port operations, transit goods, warehousing, border controls and free zones operations, to name but a few,” he added.

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Ofori-Atta said the government has outlined plans to create about one million jobs as part of a three-year strategy to address youth unemployment in the country.

According to him, though the government through its flagship programmes like the 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F) and Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) has created significant number of jobs, the issue of youth unemployment in the country still persists and it is thus putting measures in place to create more and better jobs for young Ghanaians, both in the public and the private sectors of the economy.

He said: “I have had extensive discussions with my colleague ministers of employment and labor relations, youth and sports and lands and natural resources. These conversations culminated in a comprehensive strategy to sustainably address youth unemployment. New programmes will be introduced and existing ones scaled-up and refocused to meet the aspirations of our youth.

“We will work together to sensitise and connect the youth to the numerous opportunities being made available by Government programmes, including a three-year strategy to create job opportunities for 1 million Ghanaian youth. There are currently about five on-going programmes through which we intend to create these jobs

Why Akufo-Addo has delayed with the appointment of MMDCEs – John Boadu explains

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• The vetting committee of MMDCEs has completed its work and submitted its report to President Akufo-Addo

• President Akufo-Addo will name MMDCEs soon

• This was made known by the General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party

Following the ministerial appointments made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo months ago, Ghanaians were expecting that the list for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) would be announced but there has been a delay with that.

The General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has been explaining why the appointment of MMDCEs has been delayed.

According to him, the team set up for the vetting of the MMDCEs aspirants had to make sure there was a gender balance in their selection.null

Also, the infusion of youthful people and other factors including ethnic backgrounds contributed to the delay in settling for the selected persons.

Meanwhile, the committee formed to vet the MMDCEs aspirants have completed their work and have submitted the report to President Akufo-Addo.

“The committee has finished and presented its report to the president. There is the need to ensure gender balance, the infusion of youthful people, and also to respond to local dynamics and ethnic backgrounds as well,” John Boadu told Citi News.

Per Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the District Chief Executive for every district shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the Assembly present and voting at a meeting

.Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Central bank controlled digital currencies are the way forward for a digitized Africa – Dr Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says African economies need digital currencies backed by central banks to give credibility to transactions.

Addressing participants at the opening of the International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC 2021) in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Bawumia said, with the advent of digitization, digital currencies springing up on the African continent is imminent, but he was quick to warn that what African economies need are central bank-backed digital currencies, not cryptocurrency.

Responding to a question on the readiness of the continent for an African digital currency, especially with the presence of the AFCFTA, Dr Bawumia stressed the imminent adoption of digital currencies but added that such moves should be backed by African Central banks, just as the Bank of Ghana has initiated a pilot digital currency.

“Digitization and the advent of digital currencies is something that is definitely coming. We are facing it and I am very happy that the Central Bank of Ghana is beginning a pilot digital currency and I think it will ultimately be the way to go for Africa. That we will adopt, or we should end up trying to adopt a digital currency,” Dr Bawumia said.

“But I think that a digital currency that is backed by the central banks; that gives a lot of credibility to transactions and I think this is where we should be headed and the Bank of Ghana is leading the way. I expect other central banks to come forward with this in the future. It is the way to go.”null

The conference was attended both physically and virtually by senior officials of African central banks, the African Union, West African Monetary Institute members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other key stakeholders in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Below is a video of the short interview:

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/NG9cjnzW-eqk5XVg5.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Koku Anyidoho’s Dismissal: ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ – Allotey Warns NDC

Social commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has jabbed the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for dismissing their former Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho.

A statement issued by the NDC under the signature of the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia indicated that Mr. Anyidoho has been sacked from the party with immediate effect.

“The Functional Executive Committee (FEC), acting in compliance of article 48(1) of the NDC constitution unanimously adopted the report and accepts full responsibility for your expulsion from the party. You, are, therefore by the decision of FEC expelled from the National Democratic congress and for that matter, you are no more recognized as a member of the party and cannot carry yourself as such,” portions of the statement read.

The statement further directed Koku Anyidoho to “return any party property that may be in your custody and you shall also forfeit any monies, dues or subscription fees that you may have made to the party”.

In reaction to Koku’s dismissal, Allotey Jacobs feared for the future of the NDC with the party left in the hands of the current leadership, with particular emphasis on Mr. Asiedu Nketia.

Allotey Jacobs seemingly regretted playing a role in the election of Mr. Asiedu Nketia as the party’s Chief Scribe saying their decision, which they made after being convinced by the late Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings to vote for Mr. Asiedu Nketia, had “boomerang on us”.

On the trend that the party is taking, Allotey strongly opined that any person who dissents to the party’s ways is seen as a threat and therefore faces dismissal.

This, to him, shouldn’t be encouraged stating, “today, any dissention, you’re sacked. You’re suspended. You’re this; you’re that! And they keep the ignorant and the innocent ones going that what we’ve done is good for the party but well I no longer belong to that party”.

Allotey Jacobs warned the party executives not to rejoice over their acts because they will one day taste the punishment they’re dishing out to others.

“What goes around comes around,” he bellowed.


https://www.youtube.com/embed/-_jSI54mRV4

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com

Ghana’s prosperity is in the hands of Bawumia and Napo – Allotey Jacobs to NPP

Bernard Allotey Jacobs has appealed to members and delegates of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to elect Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as flagbearer.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen are two names that have cropped up as candidates for the flagbearer position of the party.

However, the NPP leadership has cautioned members and supporters to halt their campaigns until the party opens nomination, citing reasons it will divert attention from the good works of the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo.

This notwithstanding, the former NDC Chairman for Central Region, Allotey Jacobs believes Dr. Bawumia will make the best President for Ghana after President Nana Addo’s tenure ends.null

He also rooted for the Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh to be the 2024 Vice Presidential candidate for the NPP.

“I’m not a member of the NPP but, as an old fox in the political arena, I can see the prosperity of Ghana in the blood of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Matthew Opoku Prempeh. So, that should be your project for 2024,” he said on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dHi3gzofQWY

Source: peacefmonline.com

COVID-19: FDA approves Moderna, Pfizer vaccines

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has approved two more COVID-19 vaccines for importation, distribution, and use in Ghana.

The two new vaccines are Moderna (Spikevax) and Pfizer-BioNtech (Comirnaty), bringing the total number of approved COVID-19 vaccines for use in the country to five.

The others are Sputnik V, Covishield and Covidd-19 Vaccine Jassen.

The FDA, in a statement, said it will continue to use the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) pathway, which is the acceptable procedure for all national regulatory authorities globally, in order to ensure timely access to quality and safe medical products including vaccines during this pandemic.

The authority has assured the public that all approved COVID-19 vaccines have been subjected to rigorous safety parameters and, therefore, the public can take them without reservations

163 Convicts On Death Row – Attorney General

There are 163 convicts on death row in Ghana and they are treated as convicts serving life imprisonment, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, told Parliament.

He said, however, that since July 1993, the death penalty had never been carried out although a number of accused persons had been sentenced to death.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice said this when he appeared before Parliament to respond to a question by MP for Madina, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, who wanted to know the steps being taken to amend the laws to abolish the death penalty.

The abolition was recommended by the Constitution Review Commission in 2011.

In response, the Minister said the death penalty in Ghana had constitutional and statutory underpinnings in terms of creation of offences for which the penalty is death.

The offences include high treason, murder, genocide, piracy and organised criminal group contrary to provisions set in the Criminal Offences Act, (1960), Act 29.

He said the offence of high treason was created by Article 3(3) of the 1992 Constitution and a penalty of death is stipulated in the provision for its commission.

Further, Article 19(2)(a) provides a clue that the framers of the Constitution were cognisant of the existence on the statute books of Ghana of offences punishable by death other than high treason.

The provision in setting out the procedure for a trial of a certain class of offence, stipulates thus: “A person charged with a criminal offence shall (a)in the case of an offence other than high treason or treason, the punishment for which is death or imprisonment for life, be tried by a judge and jury.”

The Minister explained that high treason was not tried by a judge and jury and that the provision in Article 19(2)(a) on the clear wording, therefore, suggests that the framers of the Constitution contemplated the existence of offences for which the punishment would be death or life imprisonment.

“It is my respectful submission that an abolition
of the death penalty would imply an amendment of articles 3(3) and 19(2)(a) of the Constitution as well as provisions of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29)” the Minister said, adding; “An amendment of Act 29 is the duty of Parliament, and not the Executive.

Mr Dame, however, said an amendment of articles 3(3) and 19(2)(a) of the Constitution must be effected through a recourse to the procedure stipulated in Article 290, since the provisions were entrenched.

He submitted that the processes to trigger an amendment of an entrenched provision, including the provisions on the death penalty, were the prerogative of Parliament.

The Minister said following the completion of the work of the Constitution Review Committee in January 2010, the Constitution Review Implementation Committee was established in September, 2012, to implement the Government White Paper on the recommendations.

The Constitution Review Implementation Committee proposed 40 amendments of entrenched provisions with two additional consequential amendments and transitional provisions, as well as 50 non-entrenched proposed amendments and six additional clauses.

To achieve this, the Constitution Review Implementation Committee, before the expiry of its mandate on 31st December, 2016, presented to the then Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, a Constitution (Amendment) (Entrenched Provisions) Bill, and a Constitution (Amendment) (Non-Entrenched Provisions) Bill.

Clause 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) (Entrenched Provisions) Bill provides for the abolition of the death penalty.

The Minister said effectively, this would have replaced the death penalty with imprisonment for life without parole.

However, given the limited time, inadequate consultation and the requirement of a referendum under Article 290 of the Constitution, the Constitution (Amendment) (Entrenched Provisions) Bill did not go through the processes constitutionally required for its passage.

According to the Minister, when Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo assumed office as the Attorney-General, she established the Constitution Amendment Review Committee on 17th October, 2018 to review the work and identify practical ways to facilitate the implementation of the proposed amendments.

Mr Dame said the Committee, which he chaired, observed that the manner in which the erstwhile Constitution Review Implementation Committee had proposed 40 amendments of entrenched provisions with two additional consequential amendments and transitional provisions, as one bill, to be voted upon at one referendum was not feasible, unwieldy and not in the national interest.

“The intended exercise could actually be interpreted as an attempt to force the hands of the electorate to make such an important decision without reference to the substantially diverse nature of the amendments,” the Minister said.

“This approach was inherently unconstitutional as the free choice of the electorate, which is an essential aspect of the referendum exercise, would have been defeated.”

Mr Dame said the Committee, in identifying practical ways to facilitate the implementation of the proposed amendments, noted that the proposed amendments needed to be prioritised with reference to those, which were of utmost public interest and importance and those, which could be amended within the shortest possible time.

The abolition of the death penalty was not one of them, he said, and that given that the Constitution was not amended to abolish the death penalty, the amendment of section 49 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and sections 294 and 295 of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) on the death penalty had also not been effected and were still on the statute books.

GNA

Read how John Mahama’s election petition featured in Assin North ruling

John Mahama 1 1 610x400

The presiding judge at the Cape Coast High Court, Justice Kwasi Boakye in his ruling on the Assin North case made reference to the 2020 election petition filed at the Supreme Court of Ghana by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s elections, John Dramani Mahama.

In his ruling which cancelled the Parliamentary elections in Assin North, the judge, Kwasi Boakye said “the court will not permit a plaintiff to be driven from the Judgment seat without considering his right to be heard, except in cases where the cause of action is obviously and almost incontestably bad”

It was at this point that the judge made reference to Mr Mahama’s petition saying “See the case of John Dramani Mahama vs Electoral Commission and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Writ No J1 ?05|2021 dated 4th March 2021.”

The Cape Coast Court High court on Wednesday July 28 annulled the 2020 parliamentary election result.

A cost of 10, 000 has been awarded against the Electoral commission and 30 thousand against Joe Gyekye Quayson who until the cancellation of the result was the Assin North MP.

Justice Kwasi Boakye said Mr. Quayson was “restrained from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-elect for the Assin North constituency within the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana and further presenting himself to be sworn in as Member of Parliament-elect as such until the final determination of the petition.”

One Michael Ankoma-Nimfah, a mason and resident of Assin Bereku filed a petition against over dual citizenship.null

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of using the courts to attempt to win majority seats in Parliament.

He said there is an attempt to change the 137-137 seats for both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP by the governing party through the use of the courts.

Mr Iddrisu indicated that the NDC MPs will resist any such attempt by n filing an appeal against the Cape Coast ruling that cancelled the 2020 parliamentary election results.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday July 28, he indicated that the courts are now being used to tilt the balance of power in Parliament following the equal numbers being controlled by both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“We in the Minority remain unshaken, we are confident that is our seat and will remain our seat, and we will contest the ruling. The judge erred both in law and in fact. It is a travesty of justice but what is worrying, we don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured and that the courts of Ghana have become forums being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power.

“We are equal, 137-137. What is happening is the courts now being used to tilt the balance of power and to weaken time tested historical notion of checks and balances. Justice must not only be done, but must be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”null

A United States –based Ghanaian Professor Kwasku Asare also expressed same concerns saying, the “ Quayson court, as in the Sakande court, erred in interpreting Article 94(2)(a) and compounded the error by equating allegiance to citizenship.

“Natural born Ghanaians owe an indivisible, indelible and permanent allegiance to Ghana and Ghana only. Those interested in this can read Judge Coke in the famous Calvin case, as further restated by Blackstone. Or if you want something with ECOWAS flavor, see Dr. Willie Ogebide v. Mr. Arigbe Osula (2004) 12 NWLR Part 886.

“Article 94(2)(a) preceded Article 8(2), which allowed dual citizenship. It is misinterpretation on steroids to hold that Article 94(2)(a) was meant to disqualify dual citizens from holding public office when that same Constitution, prior to Act 527, outlawed dual citizenship.

“The Judge must stay his ruling and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

“It is because of these errors, motivated by the politicization of citizenship, that we have moved for the repeal of Article 94(2)(a) and other Articles, inserted in 1996, that allow dual citizenship but impose public-office holding restrictions unrelated to Article 94(2)(a).”

Source: 3news.com

More trouble for NDC’s Assin North MP

James Gyekye Quayson

•The Central Regional General Secretary of the NPP wants James Quayson prosecuted for perjurynull

•He has petitioned the CID the investigate and prosecute James Quayson

•The Cape Coast High Court has ruled that Quayson was not eligible to contest the 2020 elections

After losing his seat as the Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyaakye Quayson, the Parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress for the 2020 election will now have to fight against going to jail as criminal proceedings have been instituted against him.

The Central Regional Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party has disclosed that he filed a petition at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service in January 2021, demanding that James Quayson be investigated for committing perjury.

Richard Techie-Mensah told Citi News on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 that James Quayson lied to the state during the filing of nomination forms for the 2020 elections.null

He claims that James Quayson told a judicial officer then that at the point of filing his forms in October he owed allegiance to no country aside Ghana.

Following the ruling by the Cape Coast High Court, Richard Techie-Mensah is of the view that James Quayson committed perjury by lying under oath and must be prosecuted for same.

This position was re-affirmed by the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, Henry Nana Boakye (Nana B) in an interview with the press in Cape Coast after the ruling.

Nana B said that the party will assist the CID to investigate the issue and prosecute James Quayson.

“Our Regional Secretary has made a formal complaint to the CID, so I am very sure that the CID in its judgement will consider it and critically assess it, and we’re also going on with the criminal proceedings. The laws have not changed regarding filing nominations and dual citizenship, so we are looking forward to the law taking effect. Don’t forget that before the swearing-in there was an injunction against him for holding himself up as an MP, and I am very sure that criminal charges will be pressed against him,” he said.null

Precedent

A similar issue that easily comes to mind is of the late Adamu Dramani Sakande who was convicted on counts of false declaration of office, perjury and deceiving a public officer.

He was found guilty of stating that he owed allegiance to no other country at a time his citizenship renunciation process had not been successful.

Sakande was sentenced to two years imprisonment by the Fast Track High Court on July, 27, 2012.

He was granted presidential pardon by John Mahama in December 2012 after battling heart-related illness whiles in prison. He died in 2020

.Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I will never sell Ghana for a pittance’ – Bagbin responds to GUTA critique

Bagbin.png

• Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has clarified comments he made relative to Ghana – Nigeria trade

• Reports emerged that Bagbin had called Ghanaian businesses opportunists during an address in Nigeria

• The Speaker has clarified his comments and accepted an apology from GUTA


Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, has clarified comments he is reported to have made suggesting that Ghanaian traders were opportunists when he addressed Nigeria’s National Assembly on July 7, 2021.

Bagbin told officials of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) during a meeting on Tuesday: “I was talking about others trying to take an opportunity of some weaknesses in our system.

“How can I go to Nigeria to serve Ghanaians and attack them before Nigerians and call my own people opportunists? Where is this coming from?” he quizzed.null

“I will never go and sell Ghana for a pittance. If I wanted money, by this time I would have been one of the richest in Ghana,” Mr. Bagbin said.

Bagbin in his address in Abuja had cautioned that both nations “must not fail to prevent opportunists from taking undue advantage of loopholes in our systems that may jeopardise the economic countries of our respective countries.”

GUTA president Dr. Joseph Obeng who led a delegation that met with Bagbin in Parliament, subsequently apologized for the critical views that his group aired over the purported comments.

He, however, stressed the need for the legislature to continue to push for the interest of Ghanaian businesses.

The GUTA boss also insisted that a proposal to reconsider the US$1 million minimum capital requirement for Nigerian traders operating in Ghana needed to be maintained because reviewing it down will affect Ghanaian businesses.null

Bagbin also assured that the Ghana Investment Promotion Council, GIPC, law which imposes that requirement among other parameters remained intact and will not be altered.

It is based on that law that Ghanaian businesses have clashed with Nigerian traders in parts of the country to the extent of closing down those that are in contravention of regulations.

The law bars a foreigner from investing in or participating in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market – be it petty trading, hawking or selling products in a stall at any place.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ofori-Atta presents mid-year budget review today

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta will today, Thursday, 29 July present the 2021 Mid-Year Budget Review.

Mr Ofori-Atta will announce to Parliament how much the Government has spent in the first half of the year and how it intends to spend for the rest of the year.

There are hints the Government may be seeking Parliamentary approval for additional funds to run the economy on the back of the adverse impact of Covid-19.

The Government has also said the Mid-Year Review, will be providing some economic interventions for the youth

Hepatitis-free future achievable – First Lady

First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has reminded every Ghanaian to get tested and seek treatment if diagnosed with Hepatitis.

Mrs Akufo-Addo gave the reminder when Ghana joined the rest of the world to mark Hepatitis Day yesterday, Wednesday, 28 July 2021.

The theme of “HEPATITIS CAN’T WAIT” according to Mrs Akufo-Addo is a clarion call to action adding that “every 30 seconds, someone dies from Hepatitis related conditions.”

She noted that a hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort.

She, therefore, called on all health units and agencies to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 as set by World Health Organization

GRA Records GHC212m Revenue Shortfall In First Half Of 2021

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has collected GHc25.89 billion in tax revenue as against GHc26.1 billion targeted for the first half of the year, resulting in a GHc212 million shortfall.

The GRA said it collected GHc18.45 billion in domestic tax revenue and GHc7.44 billion from international trade or customs.

Deputy Commissioner in charge of Research, Strategy, Policy and Programmes at GRA, Dr Charles Addae, announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday when giving an update on the country’s tax mobilization efforts and measures undertaken to shore up the taxes.

He said the tax revenue collected in the first half of the year showed a nominal growth of 25.6 per cent.

Dr Addae explained that if the tax collections from other tax revenue sources such as energy debt recovery, sanitation levy, Valued Added Tax and airport charges, the GRA had collected GHc27.17 billion as against a target of GHc27.25 billion, representing a GHc28 million shortfall.

Assessing the average performance of the Authority, Dr Addae said it showed that the Authority was hovering around 47.6 per cent, which was above 46 per cent recorded over the past five years.

On the contribution of the various regions to the country’s tax revenue, Dr Addae said the Greater Accra Region contributed 60.28 per cent, Western 5.02 per cent and Ashanti 4.2 per cent.

The rest of the other 13 regions’ contributions to the nation’s tax revenue were very minimal, he added.

Dr Addae observed that with the linkage of the GRA’s database to the National Identification Authority’s database, it discovered that 33,500 professionals, including medical doctors, engineers, lawyers and IT experts who had Ghana-Card but did not have tax identification numbers (TIN).

He explained that those elite professionals were earning high incomes and had, therefore, invited them for interrogation to ascertain whether or not, they were paying taxes on their earnings.

“We are chasing them because now we have their house and mobile phone numbers but that doesn’t mean that they don’t pay taxes until we have finished the interrogation,” Dr Addae explained.

Dr Addae indicated that the Authority was working collaboratively with German International Corporation (GIZ) and the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry to digitise and capture houses and properties being used for commercial businesses and residential purposes to charge the appropriate tax rent on them.

He advocated the need to intensify tax education drive and enforcement mechanisms to shore up the tax revenue.

The GRA, this year, set a target of GHC60 billion in tax revenue and based on the first-half performance, Dr Addae believed that it would meet the target

Gov’t One Teacher, One Laptop Initiative Takes Off

THE Ghana Education Service (GES) is commencing the distribution of the “One Teacher One Laptop” initiative for some Teachers in second cycle institutions across the country.

The GES in a press statement urged the Regional Directors of Education, to ensure a smooth distribution process, and also liaise with headmasters/mistresses of Senior High Schools in their Regions to provide them with a validated list of names and staff 1D numbers of Teachers in their various schools to get the laptops.

The teachers as gathered are to ensure they submit the various particulars to the Director-General latest by midday, Friday, 30 July 2021.

Earlier Announcement 

Earlier, the GES had announced the plans to secure laptops for all teachers in the country, even though some of the teachers kicked against the decision.

The GES Director-General, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa who announced this in a letter to teacher groups said the development was in consultation with all the teacher unions and each teacher must compulsorily have one and own it as a “personal asset”.

Per the letter, the government will pay 70% of the cost of the laptop which the teachers pay 30% themselves through deductions from their salaries directly from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

According to the GES, all materials needed for effective teaching by the teachers will be uploaded into it, and it makes it very useful especially within this period of COVID-19.

“Consequently, the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) is supporting Ghana Education Service (GES), working closely with the Teacher Unions within the GES to secure laptops for all teaching staff of the service.”

“The laptops are to be owned as personal assets of the individual teachers, and it is mandatory for each teacher since much of the materials for teaching will be uploaded on them.

Thus, to enhance the performance of teachers, the curriculum, Teachers Resource Pack, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), and Professional Learning Communities (PLC) modules as well as the textbooks on core subjects will be preloaded on the laptops.

“Working with the National Teaching Council (NTC), it is intended that the portfolio of teachers towards their professional progression and licensing will be uploaded unto the system to enable teachers to access their build-up online.”

“Government has agreed to pay 70% of the cost while the individual teacher is to pay 30%. These amounts have been agreed upon in consultation with the Teacher Unions.”

The GES said each teacher is to sign an acknowledgment form stating all personal particulars and also authorizing the deduction of the amount from their salaries.

Below is the current letter:

NPP Reads Riot Act To Presidential Aspirants, Warns Of Severe Sanctions

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) has set up a National Complaints Committee, which will receive formal complaints from members against any other member who breaches a new code of conduct adopted by the National Council ahead election of presidential candidate.

According to the party, the code of conduct is to regulate the conduct of party members ahead of the presidential and parliamentary primaries for the 2024 elections.

A press release issued by the General Secretary, John Boadu, on Tuesday said the decision takes immediate effect, as it is to guide party members before the formal opening of nominations for the primaries.

An exception has, however, been made for parliamentary aspirants in constituencies that do not have NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) – orphan constituencies.

The statement said, “It shall be the duty of the National Complaints Committee to investigate each complaint of violations of this Code of Conduct to determine whether or not there is a prima facie case”.

“Where the Committee has established a prima facie basis in a particular complaint, it shall make a referral to the National Disciplinary Committee for the necessary disciplinary actions in line with the provisions of the Constitution.”

The Committee is made up of Frank Davies, who is the Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, Hackman Owusu Agyeman, who is the Chairman of the National Council of Elders, and John Boadu, the General Secretary.

“Sanctions shall be imposed on any member or supporter of the party, who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with the orders of this Code of Conduct.

“Possible sanctions include fines, suspension, expulsion from the party or disqualification from holding any office or position in the party for a stated period.”

The release emphasized that the party reserves the right to disqualify any potential presidential or parliamentary candidate or aspirant who either directly or indirectly breaches the new code of conduct.

Read the full statement below:

NPP ISSUES CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PRE-PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES AHEAD OF THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES OF THE PARTY

The National Council of the NPP, conscious of events of the past and the need to forestall reoccurrence and to instill discipline in Party administration, has adopted this Code of Conduct to regulate the conduct of Party Members in both Presidential and Parliamentary Primaries for Election 2024 during the Pre-Presidential and Parliamentary Primaries period.

The Code of Conduct has been formulated in accordance with Article 18 of the New Patriotic Party’s Constitution and it is applicable to Party supporters and actors including Government Appointees; Ministers; Members of Governing Boards/Councils; Chief Executive Officers of Governmental Institutions; Members of Parliament; Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives; Aspirants/Potential Candidates; their Supporters and all other Members of the Party.

This Code of Conduct is thus applicable during the period preceding the opening of nominations for prospective Candidates to contest for the Party’s Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, and shall be in force until the General Secretary, on behalf of the National Executive Committee/ National Council, officially declares that, positions for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections are opened to prospective Candidates as stipulated in the Party’s Constitution.

Presidential Primaries and the National Complaints Committee:

A National Complaints Committee has been constituted to receive complaints of violations and breaches of this Code of Conduct, through the General Secretary. The National Complaints Committee is made up of the following persons:

a) Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, Lawyer Frank Davies

b) Chairman of the National Council of Elders, Hon Hackman Owusu Agyeman

c) General Secretary of the Party, Mr. John Boadu

It shall be the duty of the National Complaints Committee to investigate each complaint of violations of this Code of Conduct to determine whether or not there is a prima facie case. Where the Committee has established a prima facie basis in a particular complaint, it shall make a referral to the National Disciplinary Committee for the necessary disciplinary actions in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

Parliamentary Primaries and Complaints of Violations

Complaints of violations or breaches of this Code of Code regarding Parliamentary Elections/Primaries shall be handled in accordance with the Party’s Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures enshrined in Article 4 of the Party Constitution. Accordingly, any member of the Party who alleges that there has been a breach of any provision(s) of this Code of Conduct by another Member, shall lodge a complaint/petition against that Member with the respective Constituency Disciplinary Committee through the Constituency Executive Committee, for the necessary actions.

Sanctions For Breaches of the Code

Sanctions shall be imposed on any member or supporter of the Party, who fails, neglects or refuses to comply with the orders of this Code of Conduct. Possible sanctions include fines, suspension, expulsion from the Party or disqualification from holding any office or position in the Party for a stated period.

Orphan Constituencies

This Code of Conduct as it relates to Parliamentary Primaries shall apply in full force but with the necessary modifications by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to the conduct of Parliamentary Primaries in Constituencies where the Party has no sitting Members of Parliament (i.e. Orphan Constituencies). Accordingly, the National Executive Committee reserves the right to alter the applicability of this Code in Constituencies where the Party has no sitting MPs in respect of Parliamentary Elections.

THE CODE OF CONDUCT:

1. Members, Supporters, Sympathizers of the Party at all levels shall:

a) refrain from using the media (traditional or social) to attack the integrity and reputation of other members particularly leading members perceived to be nurturing Presidential or Parliamentary ambitions;

b) refrain from openly debating on the suitability, desirability or otherwise of Presidential or Parliamentary Candidates until the Party formally opens nominations through the General Secretary;

c) not initiate early gatherings camouflaged as activities or meetings which has the tendency of promoting the interest of a prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate;

d) for the specified period, refrain from making any public statements or inferences through any print or electronic media including online portals and all social media outlets regarding the propriety or otherwise of any Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate;

e) be entitled to hold their regular Party meetings; but shall desist from holding discussions on the suitability or otherwise of any prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate;

f) desist from using their public office or portfolio within or outside the Party to promote the interest of any prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate in order to gain unfair political advantage;

g) for the period preceding the election of Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates, not offer money, gifts or other incentives that has the potential to directly or indirectly influence the outcome of the election of any prospective Candidate;

h) not covertly or overtly solicit campaign contributions, gifts and other incentives in cash or kind during this period;

i) not hold any campaign activities for themselves or for any prospective Candidate until such time that the Party so declares;

j) not form any groupings or association within or outside the Party for or against any prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate;

k) not anonymously prosecute campaign activities on any platform in furtherance of the interest of any prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate.

2. Communicators of the Party shall not use both traditional and social media platforms to campaign for or against any prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate, and any Communicator who breaches the Code of Conduct shall be suspended from speaking for and on behalf of the Party. This is without prejudice to any other sanctions prescribed in the Constitution.

3. For the avoidance of doubt, prospective Presidential or Parliamentary Candidates shall be held responsible for the actions and inactions of any person or group of persons identified as supporter(s) of a particular Candidate which are in flagrant breach of this Code of Conduct if the prospective Candidate is seen explicitly or implicitly lending support or condoning and not publicly denouncing the activities of any such person or group of persons.

4. The Party reserves the right to disqualify any potential Presidential or Parliamentary Candidate or aspirant who either directly or indirectly breaches this Code of Conduct.

For emphasis, this Code of Conduct comes into force on this 27th Day of July, 2021, and shall remain in full force until the General Secretary of the Party, on behalf of the National Executive Committee/National Council officially declares Nominations for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections duly opened for prospective Candidates.

Issued on Tuesday, 27th July, 2021

…Signed…

JOHN BOADU

GENERAL SECRETARY

Assin North: You are wrong – Minority to High Court Judge

Parliament Mr Haruna Iddrisu Minority Leader.jpeg

The Cape Coast High Court judge was wrong in his ruling that cancelled the 2020 parliamentary election results in Assin North, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has said.null

The court on Wednesday, July 28 annulled the 2020 parliamentary election result.

A cost of 10,000 has been awarded against the Electoral commission and 30 thousand against Joe Gyekye Quayson who until the cancellation of the result was the Assin North MP.

The presiding judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye said Mr. Quayson was “restrained from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-elect for the Assin North constituency within the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana and further presenting himself to be sworn in as Member of Parliament-elect as such until the final determination of the petition.”

One Michael Ankoma-Nimfah, a mason and resident of Assin Bereku filed a petition against over dual citizenship.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of using the courts to attempt to win majority seats in Parliament.null

He said there is an attempt to change the 137-137 seats for both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP by the governing party through the use of the courts.

Mr Iddrisu indicated that the NDC MPs will resist any such attempt by filing an appeal against the Cape Coast ruling that cancelled the 2020 parliamentary election results.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, July 28, he indicated that the courts are now being used to tilt the balance of power in Parliament following the equal numbers being controlled by both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“We in the Minority remain unshaken, we are confident that is our seat and will remain our seat, and we will contest the ruling. The judge erred both in law and in fact. It is a travesty of justice but what is worrying, we don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured and that the courts of Ghana have become forums being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power.”

“We are equal, 137-137. What is happening is the courts now being used to tilt the balance of power and to weaken time tested historical notion of checks and balances. Justice must not only be done but must be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”null

A United States –based Ghanaian Professor Kwasku Asare also expressed same concerns saying, the “ Quayson court, as in the Sakande court, erred in interpreting Article 94(2)(a) and compounded the error by equating allegiance to citizenship.

“Natural born Ghanaians owe an indivisible, indelible and permanent allegiance to Ghana and Ghana only. Those interested in this can read Judge Coke in the famous Calvin case, as further restated by Blackstone. Or if you want something with ECOWAS flavor, see Dr. Willie Ogebide v. Mr. Arigbe Osula (2004) 12 NWLR Part 886.

“Article 94(2)(a) preceded Article 8(2), which allowed dual citizenship. It is misinterpretation on steroids to hold that Article 94(2)(a) was meant to disqualify dual citizens from holding public office when that same Constitution, prior to Act 527, outlawed dual citizenship.

“The Judge must stay his ruling and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

“It is because of these errors, motivated by the politicization of citizenship, that we have moved for the repeal of Article 94(2)(a) and other Articles, inserted in 1996, that allow dual citizenship but impose public-office holding restrictions unrelated to Article 94(2)(a).

Source: 3news.com

Regional Minister’s Accra Agenda Exposes Negative Attitudes Of Some Residents At Ayawaso Central

Regional Minister’s Accra Agenda Exposes Negative Attitudes Of Some Residents At Ayawaso Central

As part of the “Let’s Make Greater Accra Work” agenda, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, together with the Municipal Chief Executive and Municipal Coordinating Director of Ayawaso Central, on Tuesday undertook an inspection tour of the municipality to assess some spatial and environmental concerns in the area.

Mr. Quartey who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso Central was embarking on a decongestion exercise to rid the vicinity of unwanted and illegal structures in the municipality.

The tour led to the removal and demolishing of some unauthorized structures sited in the area especially close to the Kokomlemle Government school, Alajo storm drain, and Malata Market.

Hitting the streets on the “Make Accra work” agenda, the team made a stop at Panama at Kokomlemle, where some structures built along drains were either removed or demolished.

The Regional Minister however expressed his disappointment in the work of the Municipal Environmental and Health Officer (MEHO).

He was alarmed at the volume of filth piled up in drains and on the shoulders of the road, thereby requesting the whereabouts of the Municipal Environmental Health officer, who was nowhere to be found.

Amid tears and angry rants, some owners of the illegally constructed structures tried to stop the officials from doing their job but the police intervened to restore order.

A resident who had diverted wastewater from her residence onto the streets also attracted the displeasure of the regional minister.

Koku Will Go To Court” – Allotey Jacobs Discloses After Dismissal of Fmr. Dep. Gen. Sec From NDC

“Koku will go to court,” former Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs has disclosed.

The former NDC Deputy General Secretary and CEO of the Atta Mills Institute, Koku Anyidoho has been expelled from the party on grounds of indiscipline.

Details Of Koku Anyidoho’s Dismissal

According to a statement signed by the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Mr. Anyidoho exhibited an anti-party conduct and that the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the party considered the report of the National Disciplinary Committee on the “complaint of misconduct” brought against Mr. Anyidoho pursuant to article 48(1)(9)(a)of the NDC constitution.

“The Functional Executive Committee (FEC), acting in compliance of article 48(1) of the NDC constitution unanimously adopted the report and accepts full responsibility for your expulsion from the party.”

“You, are, therefore by the decision of FEC expelled from the National Democratic congress and for that matter, you are no more recognized as a member of the party and cannot carry yourself as such,” portions of the statement read.

The statement further directed Mr. Koku Anyidoho to “return any party property that may be in your custody and you shall also forfeit any monies, dues or subscription fees that you may have made to the party”.

Background

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC was petitioned to expel its former Deputy General Secretary.

The petition filed by a Deputy Bono Regional Communications Officer of the party, Eric Adjei, cited Koku Anyidoho was showing gross misconduct saying “the petition is grounded on many instances, ill-will speeches accentuated by malice and calculated to subject the party to public ridicule”.

Koku To Take Legal Action

Reacting to the issue during Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” programme, Allotey Jacobs, who was also expelled from the party on same grounds, bemoaned the Committee’s decision against Koku Anyidoho.

He revealed that Mr. Anyidoho wasn’t served with any letter of suspension neither was he summoned before the Disciplinary Committee, hence arriving at a decision to sack him is inappropriate and for that, he will “defend his cause”.

Explaining why the party’s FEC decided to dismiss their former Deputy General Secretary, Allotey said Mr. Anyidoho had told a truth about the leaders at a function to commemorate late President John Evans Atta Mills.

According to Allotey Jacobs, the truth that Koku shared was that the NDC leaders had sat aloof and unconcerned for the President and leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo to renovate the burial place of the late President.

Koku Anyidoho found the act by the President worth appreciating but condemned the NDC leaders, therefore infuriating his party executives to take such harsh decision against him.

“Koku will go to court. First, there was no letter of suspension served on him. I chat with Koku everyday; we’ve been a team from 2002 . . . we’ve been so close and you take us out but, well, what goes around comes around. Koku will go to court because [1] they didn’t serve him with a letter of suspension. They didn’t give him a letter to appear before the Disciplinary Committee.

“Those at the party headquarters know where Koku lives, then all of sudden, they claim they have had a FEC meeting. Anyway, every Tuesday, they hold their FEC meeting and then we don’t know whether the devil was walking in the shadows of the meeting. Whether the devil was present, whether his shadows influenced the decision as to what we read yesterday that Koku has been expelled from the NDC party. He will defend his course,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”.

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

We’ll contest Assin North court ruling – Minority

The minority in Parliament says it will contest the ruling of a high court in Cape Coast which annulled the 2020 Assin North Parliamentary results and called for a re-run of the elections.

The court also directed the National Democratic Congress’ James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as MP.

The petitioner Mr Michael Ankomah-Nimfa, filed processes at the Cape Coast High Court to annul the declaration of Mr James Gyakye Quayson as the Member of Parliament for the constituency.

The NDC candidate polled 17,498 votes in the 2020 general elections to beat the NPP’s Abena Durowaa Mensah’s 14,793.

It later emerged that Mr Quayson held dual citizenship contrary to Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which states: ‘A person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana’.

Reacting to the court ruling, the Minority in a press conference on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 said they will appeal the ruling.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu told the media “He [Quayson] won outright as a citizen, born and bred in that community but for some time had to settle in Canada. He subsequently, as I understand, renounced his citizenship, express so far back in 2019, got his certificate at least before the elections.

“We in the minority remain unshaken, we are confident that it is our seat, it’ll remain our seat. Our first option is to use the same legal processes and legal forum and opportunities available within the constitution.”https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=520316108&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627495903&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FWe-ll-contest-ruling-against-2020-Assin-North-parliamentary-polls-Minority-26131&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627495901773&bpp=3&bdt=1914&idt=1367&shv=r20210722&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=6518347017289&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1621661102.1627495902&ga_sid=1627495903&ga_hid=2034339331&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=2249&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=1975&eid=42530671%2C31061971%2C31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=2622226147196580&pem=977&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEe%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&fsb=1&xpc=d32WQwIfcd&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1391

Mr Iddrisu indicated that “we will contest the ruling, the judge erred both in law and in facts. It’s a travesty of justice. What is worrying, we don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured and the courts of Ghana have become forums being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power.

“We are equal, 137-137. What is happening is the courts are now being used to tilt the balance of power and to weaken the time-tested historical notion of checks and balances.”

He insisted that “justice must not only be done but must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. What happened this morning in Cape Coast, we are told that even when the Supreme Court of Ghana directed Hon Quayson and his legal team to go and file appropriate legal motions for the matter to be referred to the Supreme Court, he was denied that. That is repugnant and upfront to his right to a fair trial guaranteed under Article 19 of the 1992 construction.”

“Danger begets our democracy with the developments happening,” he added

NDC was under pressure to sack Koku Anyidoho long time ago – Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketia7

• Koku Anyidoho has been sacked from the National Democratic Congress party

• This comes after several complaints from some members of the party about Anyidoho’s behaviour towards the party in public

• According to Asiedu Nketia, the party acted according to their constitution

The general secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has revealed that there were several calls from Koku Anyidoho’s constituents and other party members across the country to expel him for his misconduct in public.

According to him, the sacking of Koku Anyidoho from the NDC will make party members very happy.

The NDC general secretary said despite the pressure mounted on them to act hastily, they turned a blind eye to them and acted based on their constitution.n

He furthered that Koku Anyidoho was given time to recuse himself before the action taken against him but he did not show up.

In an interview with Citi News, Asiedu Nketia said, “We think that this decision will actually bring entire jubilation across the country because we have been under enormous pressure to act speedily, but we kept our membership reminded that we have all subscribed to a party constitution and due process for everything that we do so they should exercise patience and let us go through the full cycle.”

“So our members were actually impatient with us over this decision and if we had listened to them even including his constituents, we would have even acted in breach of the party constitution, but we felt that every offender should have his day in court. So let us afford him the opportunity to purge himself of any wrongdoing. But unfortunately, he declined that opportunity and we didn’t have any option other than to bring the full force of the law on him,” Asiedu Nketia added.

In a letter sighted by GhanaWeb, Koku Anyidoho was expelled from NDC after the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of party met.

Part of the statement read, “You are, therefore, by the decision of FEC expelled from the National Democratic Congress and for that matter, you are no longer recognized as a member of the party and cannot carry yourself as such.”null

Koku Anyidoho has been asked to return any property in his custody belonging to the party.

Also, he will forfeit monies, dues or subscription fees that he’s made to the party while he was an active member.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NPP will win Assin North by-election – Ben Ephson

Ben Ephson9909

Pollster and Managing Editor of the Dispatch, Ben Ephson has predicted a victory for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Assin North by-election following the annulment of the 2020 parliamentary elections in that constituency by a cape coast High Court.

Mr Ephosn told Johnnie Hughes on the Mid Day news on 3FM Wednesday, July 28 that electoral statistics favour the NPP going into the by-election.

“This seat is more of an NPP seat than NDC. In 2020 there was a split in terms of the NPP in this constituency. In 2016 the NPP won the seat 15553 votes and NDC 10751, the margin of victory for NPP was 4802.

“In 2020 NPP had 14,793, NDC had 17,498, and margin of victory for NDC was 2733. In the run-up to the 2020 elections, there was a split in front of the NPP. When the margin is not huge in such by-elections the incumbent government always wins so yes he may go for appeal, if the appeal is thrown out, it is going to be fresh elections and likely NDC might lose.”

The Court on Wednesday, July 28 annulled the 2020 parliamentary election result.

A cost of 10, 000 has been awarded against the Electoral commission and 30 thousand against Joe Gyekye Quayson who until the cancellation of the result was the Assin North MP.

the presiding judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye said Mr. Quayson was “restrained from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-elect for the Assin North constituency within the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana and further presenting himself to be sworn in as Member of Parliament-elect as such until the final determination of the petition.”

One Michael Ankoma-Nimfah, a mason and resident of Assin Bereku filed a petition against over dual citizenship.

Private legal practitioner and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Henry Nana Boakye (Nana B) has said the cancellation of the Assin North parliamentary election results by the Cape Coast High Court is a victory for rule of law.

Speaking to the media after the court ruling, Nana B said “Today is another victory for rule of law. This a petition that was filed by our own friend Michael Ankomah-Nimfah.

“Today the court, after almost six months has upheld our position and the petitioner’s position for that matter.null

“We had repeatedly said Honourable Quayson at the time of filing his nomination to contest as an MP was a Canadian and also a Ghanaian.”

Mr Alex Segbefia, a private legal practitioner for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) disagreed with the court saying this is a matter that the Supreme Court has to make pronouncement.

“If they nominate a judge to be in any position when does he become judge? At the point of nomination?

“ It is when he is sworn in so there are three separate dates and this is a matter we think the Supreme Court has to actually rule on.

“There is a time of filing, there is a time of election in this particular case. When the elections took place was he a citizens of this country or not, and then there is a time of when he actually swore that He is a Member of Parliament.”

Source: 3news.com

Police Enforce Speed Limits And Arrest 26 In Accra

The central Motor Transport & Traffic Department (MTTD), of the Ghana Police Service has embarked on a Speed Enforcement exercise to check over speeding at accident prone areas and arrested 26 offenders in Accra.

The special exercise which was carried out at Tesano on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 is part of an ongoing exercise by the MTTD, in Partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Bloomberg Philanthropies to reduce the carnage on our roads and pedestrian knock downs mostly caused by excessive speeding at major intersections such as Anyaa School junction, Weija STC traffic light, Opeibea intersection, Tesano stretch N4, etc.

It is observed that some motorists do not drive within the 50kph speed limit stipulated  by law in the city, a situation that calls for stringent measures to enforce it.

Similar operations have been carried out at various locations such as Korle-Bu, Anyaa, Kojo Thompson Road, Kawukudi among others and offenders arraigned before motor courts where fined between GHC 350 to GHC 2,400 on the average.

Those arrested at Tesano for flouting the speed limits are processed to appear before the Abeka Motor Court on Thursday, 29 July, 2021.

SOURCE: kasapafm

Assin North judgment: NDC to seek Stay of Execution

Sammy Gyamfi is NDC's National Communications Director

Sammy Gyamfi is NDC’s National Communications Director

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it will apply for Stay of Execution in the Cape Coast High Court judgment that nullifies the election of the Assin North MP James Gyakye Quayson.

According to the National Communications Officer of the party Sammy Gyamfi, although the party is ready for a by-election, they will insist on justice to be served in the matter.

“Let me put on record that the NDC is not afraid of any by-election. We are confident of victory in any by-Election if we get to that stage. All we want is for justice to be done. And we will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is done.

“Our lawyers will apply for a Stay of Execution of the orders of the trial judge and Appeal the flawed judgment ASAP. This travesty of justice will not be allowed to stand.

“The NDC is also determined to formally petition the Judicial Service for disciplinary action to be taken against the Registrar and other Judicial Officers of the Cape Coast High Court who engaged in those shameful gymnastics earlier this morning. Such partisan and unscrupulous persons are not fit to serve in that respectable independent arm of government,” Mr Gyamfi wrote in a statement after the judgment.

The Cape Coast High Court today ruled that the lawmaker was not eligible to contest the seat.

Petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, contended that Quayson held dual citizenship as a Ghanaian and a Canadian at the time of his election, and therefore must be restrained from performing the duties of a Member of Parliament.

Below are details of a statement by Sammy Gyamfi

I have taken notice of a decision by the Cape Coast High Court that has annulled the Assin North Parliamentary Election, held on December 7, 2020.

1. First and foremost, let me condemn in no uncertain terms, the shameful manipulation of court processes by the Registrar, Ustaz Hamza of the Cape Coast High Court and other judicial officers of the Court that frustrated and prevented the filing of a formal application by lawyers of the Assin North MP this morning, for the trial Court to refer the Consitutional questions that have arisen in the conduct of the case to the Supreme Court for determination before proceeding to give judgement.

It is reprehensible and appalling to say the least, that Judicial officers who are paid by the State and are supposed to exhibit independence, impartiality and professionalism in their work have compromised their integrity and lent themselves as pliant tools for the manipulation of judicial processes in favor of the ruling New Patriotic Party. The day of reckoning and accountability for those unprofessional and partisan judicial officers will surely come.

2. Let me make the point that the judgment of the trial Court is fraught with many errors of law which have ccasioned a gross miscarriage of justice to the people of Assin North. The decision by the trial judge that Hon. Quayson was not qualified to contest as MP in the December 2020 elections is contrary to section 20(1)(d) of the Representation of People’s Law, PNDC Law 284 and a true a proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, both of which provides in effect that, a person must be qualified to contest as MP at THE TIME OF HIS ELECTION and at the time of him becoming an MP (that’s at the time of swearing in) respectively.

3. It is the considered view of the NDC, that Hon. James Quayson was qualified to contest as MP in the December 2020 elections by virtue of the fact that he applied to renounce his Canadian citizenship before he filed his nominations to contest as MP in October 2020. He was actually issued a certificate of renunciation in November 2020 before the Parliamentary Election on December 7, 2020. He was therefore qualified to be MP at the time of his election as required by section 20(1)(d) of PNDC law 284 and at the time of his swearing-in, as prescribed under Arricle 94(2)(a) of the Constitution. The December 2020 Assin North Parliamentary election in question was therefore lawful and valid in our view and we think the trial judge has erred in annulling same.

4. The claim by the trial judge that the Supreme Court has determined in the “Zanetor case” that a person must be qualified to be an MP at the time of the issuance of the Notice of Poll/opening of nominations by the Electoral Commission and that Hon. Quayson was not qualified to contest as MP because even though he had applied to renounce his Canadian citizenship, he had not been issued with a renunciation certificate as at the time of Nominations in October 2020, is palpably misconceived.

This is because the Zanetor case bordered Article 94(1) of the 1992 Constitution relative to the requirement for a person to be a Registered Voter before he can become an MP. The Assin North case on the other hand borders on Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution which provides that a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament, “if he owes Allegiance to any country other than Ghana”. We therefore hold the view, that the two cases are materially distinguishable.

5. Note that Section 20(1)(d) PNDC law 284, provides clearly that a person must be qualified to contest as MP at the time of the election relative to the issue of allegiance to a country other than Ghana. Also, note that Article 94(2)(a) was not interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Zanetor case which is the ratio the trial Judge appears to have applied in the Assin North case.

6. More importantly, the whole Assin North Election Petition borders on the interpretation and enforcement of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution which falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. That Article has never been interpreted by the Supreme Court before. As we speak, an action has been filed by a citizen of Assin North, Mark Nti to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for an interpretation of that same provision, Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution. The judge should have therefore referred these constitutional questions that to the Supreme Court for determination as he is enjoined to do by law.

7. It is instructive to note, that when Hon Quayson filed his nominations in October 2020, some NPP people within the Assin North constituency petitioned the District Office of the Electoral Commission for him to be disqualified on grounds that he is a citizen of, and owes Allegiance to Canada. The District EC officer then referred the matter to the Headquarters of the EC for determination. The EC demanded that Hon. Quayson provides or adduces his certificate of renunciation of his Canadian Citizenship which he did. It was on this basis that the petition was dismissed and Hon. Quayson cleared to contest.

8. Let me put on record that the NDC is not afraid of any by-election. We are confident of victory in any by-Election if we get to that stage. All we want is for justice to be done. And we will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is done.

9. Our lawyers will apply for a Stay of Execution of the orders of the trial judge and Appeal the flawed judgment ASAP. This travesty of justice will not be allowed to stand.

10. The NDC is also determined to formally petition the Judicial Service for disciplinary action to be taken against the Registrar and other Judicial Officers of the Cape Coast High Court who engaged in those shameful gymnastics earlier this morning. Such partisan and unscrupulous persons are not fit to serve in that respectable independent arm of government.

SAMMY GYAMFI Esq

I won’t hesitate to withdraw your licenses – Mustapha Hamid warns OMCs

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has said that the NPA will not hesitate to revoke the licenses of industry players who continually flout the rules.

Dr. Abdul-Hamid said this at a meeting with board members of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) at GIMPA on Monday.

The meeting was part of his stakeholder engagements, meant to open channels of dialogue for the smooth operation of the industry.

“We shall not hesitate to revoke the licenses of industry players who continually flout the rules.

Over the years, the NPA has been too lenient with people who flout the rules. And this has given opportunity to many people to flout these rules with impunity” he said. “We cannot all be in a conspiracy to run down our country and yet turn round and blame government for what goes wrong” Dr. Abdul-Hamid added.

Dr. Abdul-Hamid said, illegal bunkering, third-party supplies and failure to pay taxes and levies due government are all gross violations of the law and henceforth, those found culpable will face the full sanctions as permitted by law.

The CE of NPA told the oil marketers that it is in their own interest that the market is regulated properly. “Otherwise, when the industry collapses, your businesses will collapse with it” he added.

The Chief Executive whilst seeking the support of AOMCs in order to sanitize the industry assured them the authority will itself play by the rules and ensure an even playing field. “The lawyers tell us that they who seek equity must come with clean hands” Dr. Hamid stated.

He therefore urged them to play by the rules, so that they will have the moral authority to demand same from the regulator.

The CE of NPA said that after 16 years of operation, the NPA Act (Act 691) will be reviewed to meet with current trends in the downstream petroleum industry.

Dr. Abdul-Hamid said that in reviewing the NPA Act, the licensing and inspections regime will be looked at, to make sure that those who acquire OMC licenses really have the capacity to operate in the industry.

He lamented the situation where many OMCs currently fall short of the requirements for holding their licenses and said that soon, all such licenses will be revoked.

“As the industry is being sanitized, all those who have fallen short of the requirement will have their licenses revoked, he said.

The Chief Executive of the AOMCs, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah appealed to the NPA to take steps to check the activities of some new entrants who are taking advantage of some loop holes in the sanctions regime to make quick money.

Mr. Agyeman-Duah said the failure on the part of the NPA to check such people is a disincentive to those who play by the rules. Mr. Agyeman-Duah introduced Mr Felix Gyekye, the Vice-Chairman of the association as the new Chairman following the resignation of its Chairman, Mr Henry Akwaboah.

On his part, Mr. Gyekye said they were glad that Dr. Abdul-Hamid is committed to tackling the problems of the industry head-on. He assured the NPA, that the AOMCs will support the NPA to sanitize the industry

Nana Bediatuo Asante: I’ve not bought Holiday Inn Hotel

The Secretary to the President is urging the public to disregard claims that he has bought the Holiday Inn Hotel in Accra for his wife

Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante on Holiday Inn Hotel

 Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante

The Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, has described reports that he has bought the Holiday Inn Hotel in Accra for his wife as false.

A public notice issued by his lawyers said: “We are instructed to inform the general public that there is [not one] iota of truth in the rumours. We state unequivocally that neither our client nor his wife has purchased or has any interest whatsoever in the said Holiday Inn Hotel.

“Indeed, several persons, including media practitioners both in Ghana and abroad, have contacted our clients to inform him of these rumours,” the notice said.

It added that the reports are attempts to tarnish his hard-won reputation.

“It is obvious that the deliberate circulation of these rumours [is] intended to paint our client in a negative light in view of the very senior position he holds in government.”

Below is the public notice:

Cancellation of Assin North parliament results victory for rule of law – Nana B

Private legal practitioner and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Henry Nana Boakye (Nana B) has said the cancellation of the Assin North parliamentary election results by the Cape Coast High Court is a victory  for rule of law.

The Court on Wednesday July 28 annulled the 2020 parliamentary election result.

A cost of 10, 000 has been awarded against the Electoral commission and 30 thousand against Joe Gyekye Quayson who until the cancellation of the result was the Assin North MP.

the presiding judge, Justice Kwasi Boakye said Mr. Quayson was “restrained from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-elect for the Assin North constituency within the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana and further presenting himself to be sworn in as Member of Parliament-elect as such until the final determination of the petition.”

One Michael Ankoma-Nimfah, a mason and resident of Assin Bereku filed a petition against over dual citizenship.

Speaking to the media after the court ruling, Nana B said “Today is another victory for rule of law. This a petition that was filed by our own friend Michael Ankomah-Nimfah.

“Today the court, after almost six months has upheld our position and the petitioner’s position for that matter.

“We had repeatedly said Honourable Quayson at the time of filing his nomination to contest as an MP was a Canadian and also a Ghanaian.”

Mr Alex Segbefia, a private legal practitioner for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) disagreed with the court saying this is a matter that the Supreme Court has to make pronouncement.

“If they nominate a judge to be in any position when does he become judge? At the point of nomination?

“ It is when he is sworn in so there are three separate dates  and this is a matter we think the Supreme Court  has to actually rule on.

“There is a time of filing, there is a time of election in this particular case. When the elections took place was he a citizens of this country  or not, and then there is a time of when  he actually swore that  He is a Member of Parliament.”

source: 

Nobody would be spared if found culpable in Ejura shooting incident – Dery

Mr Ambrose Dery

Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has stated that no one implicated in the Ejura shooting incident would be left unpunished.null

He said this after he had received a-54 page report comprising findings and recommendations on the shooting incident at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

Receiving the report, Mr Ambrose Dery said ‘I am happy today to receive the Committee’s report which was chaired by His Lordship. I am hopeful that the Committee has done a good job and will study the report and its findings and recommendations and report appropriately to His Excellency, the President of the Republic.

The Minister urged the good people of Ghana to be determined and have confidence in the government which is committed to promoting peace in the country because security issues affect all.

He also assured Ghanaians that the report will be taken very seriously and at the appropriate time, the report will be made public.

He described the incident as regrettable saying the report would be taken seriously.null

He posited that one is proven innocent until proven guilty and the assertions by some sections of the public that they lacked confidence in the Committee to conduct good work was premature.

According to him, after he has finished studying the report, they will come out with their position on the matter.

He expressed his condolence to the families that lost their dear ones in the unfortunate incidents. On behalf of His Excellency, the President, the Minister thanked the Chairman and Committee members, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Service Commanders in the Ashanti Region, the Media, the Chiefs and Elders and all the good people of Ejura for cooperating with the Committee during its Public Hearings.

At the instruction of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, a three-member Ministerial Committee was constituted by the Minister of the Interior to undertake a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of two persons at Ejura.

The Committee was chaired by Justice George Kingsley Koomson, an Appeal Court Judge and other members of the Committee were Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, a Security Expert, and Ms Juliet A. Amoah, Executive Director of Penplusbytes and Ms Marie Louise Simmonds, Principal State Attorney as the Secretary to the Committee

.Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Ejura Mayhem Report Ready Sack MCE, Punish Soldier

The late Ibrahim Mohammed, aka Macho Kaaka

The three-member committee which investigated the mayhem that rocked Ejura in the Ejura/Sekyedumase District of the Ashanti Region, leading to the killing of two people and injuries to four others, on June 29, has submitted its report.

The report was presented yesterday to the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, who had set up the committee on the instructions of President Akufo-Addo.

The minister said he was not ready to disclose the content of the report until he has studied and submitted it to the President.

Purported Recommendation

Snippets from the report indicate that the committee has recommended that the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipal Chief Executive, Mohammed Salisu Bamba, should be removed from office.

The MCE is on record to have said before the report came out that, he is not even interested in seeking to retain his position following the violence.

The military officer who led the soldiers to quell the violence has been penciled to face sanctions as well as the transfer of the District Police Commander for Ejura-Sekyedumase, DSP Philip Hammond.

The families of the deceased and the injured are also to benefit from compensation per the committee’s recommendations.

For the future of policing in Ejura, the committee recommended an upgrading of police infrastructure at Ejura and the expansion of the police force in Ejura.

To help the community, the committee also recommended the creation of community centres under the Zongo Development Fund.

Main Work

The committee that held daily public sittings, taking testimonies from witnesses, was chaired by Court of Appeal judge, Justice George Kingsley Koomson, with Security Analyst, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, and the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Juliet Amoah for civil society organisations while Marie Louise Simmons, a Principal State Attorney was secretary to the committee.

The committee inquired into the circumstances that led to the shooting of the two civilians namely: Abdul Nasir Yussif and Murtala Mohammed, by military personnel during a violent demonstration by angry youth of Ejura, following the death of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Macho Kaaka, a social media activist.

Kaaka had been attacked by unknown people on the night of June 26 and was on admission at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi but died on Monday, June 28, and by the next day, his death had triggered violence in Ejura.

The military had been called in to quell the violence after it became obvious the police could not contain the situation.

Already, three people namely Fuseini Alhassan, Issaka Ibrahim and Idi Mohammed, who is believed to be the brother of Kaaka, have been appearing before a circuit court in Kumasi, charged with conspiracy and murder in connection with Kaaka’s death.

Report Presentation

Presenting the report, Justice Koomson said “we knew that it was a very delicate assignment with huge national expectation. We can assure you that we attached serious importance to the task we were given and treated every issue with meticulous attention and detail.”

He added that, “Having assured ourselves after listening to 22 witnesses and reviewed volumes of documents including audio and videos, we have come with our findings and proffered some recommendations. And we hope the government through your good self (minister) will give a good ear to them and try to accept and implement them.”

Official Receipt

Receiving the report on behalf of government, the Minister of the Interior conveyed the gratitude of government to the committee for the work done.

He said, the findings of the report were “a matter of immense public interest” and assured that “we will take the report very very (sic) seriously.”

He added that he would study the report first and then submit it to the President, saying “at the appropriate time, we will make the report public and available for people to express their opinions on it.”

The minister also commended sections of the public for ‘stepping up’ to demand key witnesses to appear before the committee to testify even when some said the committee did not have the ‘coercive powers’ to get anyone to testify.

To Justice Koomson and his team, the minister said “this country owes you for the good work that you’ve done. I believe this report will help us resolve conflicting stories and above all contribute to better the security situation of the country.”

Prior to the presentation, the committee had met briefly with the minister behind closed doors. Journalists were invited about 12:30pm where a brief presentation was done but the details of the report were not disclosed.

President’s Order

Barely 24 hours after the deadly scenes, President Akufo-Addo, had instructed the Minister of the Interior, “to conduct, forthwith, a Public Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences of Tuesday, June 29, 2021.”

The statement which was signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Presidency said “the Interior Minister is to provide a detailed report from the Inquiry, with recommendations for appropriate action, within ten days, i.e., by July 9, 2021, to President Akufo-Addo,” adding, “The President is deeply saddened by the deaths of Ibrahim Mohammed, alias Macho Kaaka, Abdul Nasir Yussif and Murtala Mohammed. He extends sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.”

The committee initially had 10 days to submit its report for the President to act on it, but in the course of the proceedings they asked for an extension of time which was duly granted by the minister.

A total of 22 witnesses appeared before the government committee and whilst rounding up their activities, Justice Koomson announced that out of the total number, 19 appeared before the committee in public and three others appeared in-camera due to security reasons.

He had said the committee officially kick-started it’s hearing on July 5, 2021 and ended on Friday, July 16, 2021, pointing out that prior to the sittings at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi, the committee had visited Ejura to sensitise the people.

Evidence Received

According to him, 555 pictures in soft copies, 117 video evidence, eight documentary evidence, two written statements, two physical evidence in the nature of spent cartridges and one audio evidence were received from people.

Justice Koomson announced that the committee used three days to review the evidence obtained, stressing that in general, 12 days were used by the committee members to examine the evidence at hand.

Massive Patronage

According to him, the committee members, including himself, were satisfied by the number of people from Ejura, who took time to travel all the way to Kumasi and cooperated with the committee to undertake its core mandate.

“The people of Ejura duly participated and cooperated to make the committee’s work successful. At least, seventeen out of the 22 people that appeared before the committee in Kumasi were the people from Ejura and that is encouraging,” the judge said.

He also remarked that family members of the injured and deceased people as well as some of the demonstrators, appeared before the committee.

Cemetery Return

The violence started when the irate protesters who were returning from the cemetery after the burial of Macho Kaaka, started pelting stones at the few police personnel around.

They reportedly besieged the police station, vandalised some vehicles, and also blocked the Ejura-Atebubu highway, causing a gridlock.

The unprovoked attacks were rapidly getting out of hand so it compelled the few policemen to flee the scene and call for reinforcement, and a joint police and military team arrived quickly.

The security forces, who were armed-to-the-teeth, then started to fire bullets to disperse the angry crowd, who were then destroying all ruling New Patriotic Party items in the Ejura township, leading to the shooting of six people with two sudden deaths.

Initial Politics

The murder of Macho Kaaka was given a political twist when some people sought to politicise the subject by associating the deceased with the ‘#FixTheCountry’ campaign.

Even before the police could delve into the case, those claiming to lead the #FixTheCountry protesters had claimed that until the gruesome murder of Macho Kaaka, he was one of their organisers.

Before he was declared dead, they started making social media posts to the effect that one of the #FixTheCountry leaders had been beaten by people belonging to the government.

Mahama De-Escalation

Former President John Dramani Mahama waded into the unfortunate incident and appeared to create the impression that President Akufo-Addo was not doing anything about the situation.

He said in a statement that, “I urgently call on President Nana Akufo-Addo to initiate an immediate de-escalation of the situation in Ejura,” and added that “there must be a very thorough investigation of both the murder of the youth activist and the security rules of engagement, which resulted in the shooting to death of the two others.”

Subsequent Events

However, subsequent events are showing that the death of Macho Kaaka may not be linked to politics after all.

The assertion that he was murdered because he was criticising the government has since been debunked when it became clear that the deceased was not even a member of the #FixTheCountry political group.

Some have even claimed that Macho Kaaka was a supporter of the government and was a member of the NPP in good standing.

He was said to have even campaigned for one lady who is aspiring to become the next DCE of Ejura Sekyedumase

Massive traffic as articulated truck skids off on Ablekuma highway

An articulated truck with registration number, GT1597 H has been involved in a nearly fatal accident on the Ablekuma highway in Accra.

The incident which occurred on Wednesday around 1:30 am was quite dangerous as the truck left the roadway and came into contact with another vehicle.

The truck believed to be heading towards Amasaman from Takoradi and loaded with Spare parts veered off the road after the driver attempted maneuvering for a slower moving vehicle, a driver’s mate recounted.

Although there wasn’t any casualty involved, the incident has brought massive vehicular traffic on the Ablekuma stretch affecting the smooth movement of motorists.

The police are yet to move to the scene as of the time the report was being filed early Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, residents and commuters have lamented the gross indiscipline on the Ablekuma Curve Junction on the part of motorists especially, the public transports popularly called ‘trotro’ and ‘Pragya

Covid-19: Third wave calls for massive disinfection of public places

The Manager of Vector Control Unit of Zoomlion, Rev Ebenezer Kwame Addae has underscored the need for massive disinfection across all public places in the country in the wake of an imminent third wave of Covid-19.

He explained that such an exercise was necessary to help mitigate the spike in what appears to be a third wave of the deadly Delta variant.

Ghana has recorded the deadly Delta variant in some schools across the country, a situation he described as worrying and unfortunate.

Rev Addae said these when Zoomlion disinfected the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to ensure the safety of both airport staff and passengers.

Places disinfected included departure and arrival halls, washrooms amongst others.

Rev Addae noted that a nationwide massive disinfection of all public places in the country will complement the government’s effort at combating the virus to prevent further surge

UTAG begins nationwide strike 2 Aug over conditions of service

From Monday, August 2, 2021, all academic activities on the various university campuses will grind to a halt as the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), says it will withdraw services until their conditions of service are duly addressed.

According to UTAG, the decision is a result of the government’s failure to properly resolve their concerns which has to deal with their condition of service.

UTAG last month lamented what it calls the slow nature of ongoing negotiations and government’s posture on the issue that has been on the table since 2018 which is causing growing tension among its members on the various campuses.

Addressing a press conference here in Accra National President for the Association Professor Charles Marfo said in light of government’s feet dragging attitude, members of UTAG, effective Monday, 2 August will lay down their tools indefinitely.

Below are details of the statement read at the press conference:

NATIONAL SECRETARIAT UNIVERSITY TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,

PMB, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

28th July 2021

Distribution: All UTAG Branches All Media Houses

STALLED NEGOTIATION ON THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF UTAG MEMBERS

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Press. The National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG is grateful to you for coming to cover our press conference. This press conference has become necessary due to the failure of Government to cooperate with UTAG to complete negotiations on its Conditions of Service (CoS), which started in August 2018.

Although some progress has been made in some respects, the key areas at the core of our CoS have seen no progress and it appears there is no end in sight whilst our members continue to wallow in worsening economic conditions. It is instructive to note that the few times UTAG has had to meet Government over the negotiations of its CoS, Government has always failed to respect the Rules of Engagement signed between the two parties to guide the negotiations, specifically, the full complement of key Government officials who could be described as having locus and, for that matter, capable of committing Government into any serious discussion are always absent.

It is in the face of this exhibition of bad faith and abysmal progress made in the negotiations that we find ourselves here today. For emphasis, the progress made so far is abysmal and, indeed, nothing to write home about. Ladies and gentlemen, UTAG finds this lukewarm attitude of Government as worrying and frustrating, hence, the need for this press conference to inform the public of the unfair treatment against UTAG.

UTAG wishes to state clearly that the Association is not in any way seeking to make anybody or institution unpopular as some narratives, unfortunately, seek to portray. Rather, all we seek to do is to let the public and everyone else understand that UTAG members have been left to wallow in worsening conditions of service for far too long and that we deserve some meaningful attention.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is a brief account of how low UTAG members have fallen in terms of their CoS over the years. In 2003, upon a recommendation by a Standing Joint Negotiation Committee (SJNC), Government accepted a five-year (2004-2008) roadmap for improvement in the levels of remuneration for senior members of the public universities in Ghana. At the end of the road map in 2008, the monthly entry point salary of the Lecturer was USD1,500 payable in Cedi equivalent.

Per the agreement of the five-year roadmap, general increases in salaries in subsequent years would apply to the USD1,500. Also, with the advent and subsequent implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) policy for public sector workers in the country, in the negotiations that ended in January 2012, an Interim Market Premium (IPM) was fixed at 114% of the basic salary and this led to a Lecturer being paid the Cedi equivalent of USD 2,084.41 from January 2012. It is important to note that the 114% of the basic salary was determined to ensure that the gains made with the SJNC in 2003 would be sustained. Ladies and gentlemen, one key element in the implementation of the SSSS was the fact that no employee was to be made worse off with the new pay regime.

Nevertheless, the academic senior member has become worse off following the implementation of the SSSS pay policy. At the beginning of 2020, the entry gross salary (i.e., Basic plus Market Premium) of a lecturer in the public universities was USD997.84 (GHC5,687.66) far less than the USD1,500 per month that was reached at the end of the roadmap in 2008 and further improved with the SSSS in 2012 to USD2,084.42. Clearly, you can see the drop of over USD1,086.57; i.e., GHC6,193.45, a drop which is more than the Lecturer’s present take home pay. I believe you will agree with UTAG that this is unacceptable.

Indeed, the question one would naturally ask is, “Do we aspire for progression in income as works or otherwise?”! Ladies and gentlemen, for the sake of industrial harmony and in order not to compound the already jeopardised academic calendar of the public universities, UTAG demands that Government should just restore the 2012 values for the Lecturer without recourse to adjustments. UTAG believes that this demand is appropriate and fair. If Government finds this difficult to do, UTAG is willing to follow a road map as suggested by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa Baidu’s report on the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders, June 2020.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the preamble of Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu’s report, specifically at page (xi), I quote/unquote: “the Committee strongly urges the Government to also spare no efforts at reducing the wide gap between the highest and lowest paid Public Servant in the Country. This can be achieved by implementing a roadmap (as was done during the tenure of former President Kuffuor for the health and tertiary education sectors) for enhancing the salaries of public sector workers on the Single Spine Salary Structure. The goal must be that the salary earned by every worker should enable him/her to live in dignity”. This snippet is iterated elsewhere again in the document. Ladies and gentlemen, you may recall that in a press release dated 17th June 2021, UTAG stated that “further delay on the negotiation beyond the end of July 2021 will compel UTAG to advise itself”. We also like to state that, until our demands are considered and met in-toto, UTAG would have no other option than to embark on industrial action by withdrawing teaching, which includes the conduct of examinations, marking of examination scripts, and other related matters, starting from Monday, 2nd of August 2021 until further notice.

All UTAG members are requested to remain calm and resolute for it is NOW OR NEVER. Thank you very much.

Prof Charles Marfo

National President Dr Eric K. K. Abavare

National Secretary

Supreme Court yanks Honyenuga off Opuni, Agongo case

The Supreme Court has, today, Wednesday, 28 July 2021, barred High Court Judge Clemence Jackson Honyenuga from hearing the case involving ex-COCOBOD CEO Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo.

The court also said the issues Justice Honyenuga dismissed while hearing the case will be admitted.

Justice Honyenuga has been accused of political bias against the accused persons.

It is recalled that in a video that went viral ahead of the 2020 polls, Justice Honyenuga, in his stead as Torgbui Ashui Nyagasi V of the Nyagbo Traditional area, told president Akufo-Addo during his tour of the Volta Region that “…we wish to congratulate you for the excellent manner you are governing this dear country of ours, it is our hope that with your vision and the gains made in your first term, Ghanaians may consider giving you another four years”.

The lead counsel for Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Codjoe, raised objections to the judge’s continuous sitting on the case since, in his estimation, the supposedly criminal case has metamorphosed into a political one with some NPP bigwigs including a deputy Attorney General, Mr Godfred Dame, backing the re-election bid of the governing party on the success of this case.

This, he said, makes the judge unfit to continue the trial since his comments seem to align with the aspirations of the NPP.

Justice Honyenuga, in his ruling on March 16, 2020, dismissed the motion for his recusal describing it as incompetent and misconceived.

He further described the allegations of bias against him as “mere perceptions and exaggerated to suit the first accused and others” adding that “the allegations, the alleged comments are non-judicial and will not constitute bias or any other matter”.

On July 13, lawyers of Dr Opuni told the Supreme Court about how one of two pieces of evidence that gave contrasting accounts on Lithovit fertiliser, was rejected by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, as he sought the judge’s removal from the case.

Moving the application, Mr Codjoe argued that ”a statement given by a farmer, which said Lithovit fertiliser was good, was rejected and another one which a farmer said Lithovit was bad, was accepted.”

He contended that the accused person senses a possible bias and would not be given a fair hearing if the judge is allowed to continue with the case.

Dr Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo are in court for allegedly causing GHS217 million financial loss to the state in connection with the procurement of fertiliser by COCOBOD.

The two men have been standing trial since 2017

You Goofed On Zoom Request For Kennedy Agyapong’s Hearing– Minority to Joewsie

The Minority in Parliament has accused First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewsie) of scheming to protect the Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong after he was hauled before the Privileges Committee.

Lawmaker for Sagnarigu, Alhaji ABA Fuseini said a request by Mr Joewsie that the hearing should be done via zoom is an indication of a plot to have the businessman and politician, Mr Agyapong shielded.

He told journalists in Parliament on Tuesday July 27 that “Ever since the committee was constituted this is the first meeting of the committee.

“When the chairman said the meeting should be done via zoom we said what the basis was for that. The best is for members to come physically to meet so we do not see any basis for zoom meeting. 
“The same chair advocating for zoom is sitting in parliament with more than hundred people. I have a lost if respect for him but on this one he has goofed.”

The Speaker Alban Bagbin has referred Mr Agyapong to the Privileges Committee of Parliament for his utterances against a journalist with the Multimedia Group, Erastus Asare Donkor.
Mr Agyapong on Friday, July 9, is reported to have allegedly threatened to attack Mr Asare Donkor, “for the journalistic work that the latter undertook during the recent shootings and killing incident at Ejura” on his television station.

The Multimedia Group filed a formal complaint against Mr Agyapong.

On Wednesday July 14, Alhassan Suhuyini raised the issue on the floor of the house and asked the Speaker to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.

He said “Mr Speaker, I think that as a former journalist I feel obliged to draw the House’s attention to this conduct of an Honorable colleague of this house which in my view, brings this house into disrepute.

“Mr Speaker, I urge you to exercise your powers  under 27 and refer this conduct of the Honorable which is becoming unacceptable, to the Privileges Committee to ascertain the veracity  of the comments that were made and recommend sanctions if possible  that will act as deterrent to other members who may be tempted  to act like him.”
In response to his request, the Speaker accordingly referred Mr Agyapong to the committee.
He said he cannot take a decision on Mr Agyapong over his utterances against a journalist in Ghana.

That decision to determine whether or not the conduct smacks of abuse of privileges, he said, rests with the lawmakers as a House, to take.

As it is now, I am compelled to refer it to the Privileges Committee. I want to emphasize that it is the House that will take the decision, it is not the speaker, it is not any other person apart from the House.

“That will be your collective  wisdom that come to the conclusion whether what is alleged is just a mere allegation or is supported by facts and whether those facts constitute contempt of the House and abuse of a privilege  of members,

“It is important for me to emphasize here that the privilege and immunity of free speech applies in full force in plenary session and committee sessions, not when members are outside debating issues or on radio and TV. You don’t have that right, that privilege, that immunity to just say anything because you are a member of parliament.

“We are not above the law. It is for good reasons because you represent a large number of people, you should be given the full immunity to be able to say what the people say they want you to say. That is why you say it here and you are covered.

“That immunity does not extend to you in anywhere else. So pleased the committee should go into the matter, submit the report.”

Source: 3news.com

Prez Akufo-Addo Begins Process To Remove The Chief Justice If…

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with Article 146(6) of the 1992 Constitution, has begun the process to remove Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, if found guilty of a $5 million bribery allegation.

First of all, a prima facie case should be found against the Chief Justice before the full process of his impeachment is triggered.

This was contained in a response from the Presidency to a petition filed by pressure group Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA).

ASEPA had petitioned the Presidency and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the allegations levelled by Kumasi-based lawyer Akwasi Afrifa against the Chief Justice.

Lawyer Afrifa was responding to a petition filed at the General Legal Council (GLC) by a former client, Nana Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta II, who accused the lawyer of taking $100,000 legal fees from him when he could not continue the case.

The renowned lawyer also cited Anthony Akoto Ampaw, who has since responded to the claims made by Mr Afrifa.

Akoto Ampaw issues stringy-worded response to lawyer Akwasi Afrifa
It is on the back of all these that ASEPA’s Executive Director petitioned the Presidency to trigger the process to oust the Chief Justice, who has also reported the matter to the GLC and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

Find the Presidency’s response below:

The Office of the President has stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo has commenced the appropriate processes for the removal of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.

The Presidency made this known in response to a petition from the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA).

A letter sent to ASEPA from the Office of the President, signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said the President commenced the processes in accordance with Article 146 (6) of the 1992 Constitution.

The Chief Justice has been accused by a lawyer of taking a $5 million bribe.

Source: 3news.com

Energy Minister Renews Commitment to Clean Energy

The Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has stated that his belief in future technologies for clean energy which nuclear power is central to, remains unshaken.

Dr. Prempeh made this statement when he inaugurated the Board of Directors for Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) at a short ceremony earlier today at the Ministry. He stated that at a time where Ghana is working assiduously towards boosting Ghana’s industrialization with clean and reliable energy systems such as nuclear and renewables, the NPG has been positioned strategically positioned to facilitate this drive. He expressed his belief that the new board will coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders in this regard.

“Renewable energy sources are expected to grow significantly which will make nuclear power, an important part of today’s clean energy drive. By turning to clean energy systems for electricity generation, we will be able to decarbonize key areas such as transportation and other environmental pollution activities”, the Minister emphasized.

He charged the board focus on providing relevant resources to build a strong safety culture and resilience management systems which will ensure that in the planning and development of nuclear infrastructure and related activities in Ghana, the government’s purpose will be achieved.

In his remarks, the new Board Chair, Prof. Nyarko, expressed his team’s gratitude to the President for reposing such confidence in them and urged them to work together as a team in order to overcome all challenges and provide benefits to the state.

The other members of the seven-member board include Hon. William Owireku Aidoo, Dr. Stephen Yamoah, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, Mr. Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Mr. Anthony Selom Dzadzra, and Dr. Robert Bright Sogbaji

2021 Panafest/ Emancipation Begins With Wreath Laying Ceremony

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST), have finally begun the 2021 celebrations.

The lined up multiple events which begun on Monday 26th July 2021 is scheduled to end on August 1, 2021. This year’s celebration is on the theme: ‘Securing the African Family: Our Health, Our Wealth Our Soul.’

According to the Chairperson for the PANAFEST Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy, the even is bent on honoring heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr. George Padmore and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals and to rise above and beyond the shadows of slavery and celebrate the African spirit of resilience.

Series of activities for the Panafest/emancipation celebrations include community events such as wreath laying ceremonies in Accra, a Pan African Arts Market (Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park) and Creative Explosion: African World Artists at the National Theatre in Accra.

The 2021 Panifest / Emancipation on Monday begun with wreath laying ceremony at the following venues, W.E.B. Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Research Library and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

Today Tuesday, July 27, 2021, also saw the return journey & akwaaba ceremony from Cape Coast Castle’s Door of Return to Elmina Castle forecourt, opening ceremony for colloquium at the University of Cape Coast, opening of bazaar / expo and evening performance at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast

NDC berates Cape Coast court registrar over ‘manipulation’ in Assin North MP’s case

Sammy Gyamfi is NDC's National Communications Director

Sammy Gyamfi is NDC’s National Communications Director

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress Sammy Gyamfi has accused the registrar at the Cape Coast High Court of colluding with the governing NPP to manipulate court processes against the Assin North MP James Gyakye Quayson .

According to him, the registrar Ustaz Hamza has refused to show up or open the registry of the court to enable lawyers of the embattled MP to file the motion for the trial judge to refer the case to the Supreme Court.

“The NDC can see a deliberate and evil conspiracy between the Court’s registry and the NPP to manipulate the court processes and decision in their favor, all in an effort to steal the Assin North seat from the NDC. And this begs the question as whether or not the trial judge is privy or party to this shameful conduct of the Court’s registry.

“It is very shameful to say the least, that Judicial officers who are supposed to exhibit independence, impartiality and professionalism in their work have compromised their integrity and are lending themselves as pliant tools for the manipulation of judicial processes by the desperate and despotic NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Cape Coast High Court will today make a ruling on the legitimacy or otherwise for the MP to hold himself out as a legislator.

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, contends that Quayson held dual citizenship as a Ghanaian and a Canadian at the time of his election, and therefore must be restrained from performing the duties of a Member of Parliament.

Below are details of the write up by Sammy Gyamfi

Folks, it does appear that the Registrar of the Cape Coast High Court, Mr. Ustaz Hamza and some other judicial officers in the Court’s Registry are in cahoots with the New Patriotic Party to prevent lawyers for the Assin North NDC MP from filing certain legal processes before the Trial Judge who has set today for his Judgement on the matter sits this morning.

You will recall that yesterday, the Supreme Court directed lawyers for the Assin North MP to go back to the High Court and make a formal request for the trial judge to refer the case to the Supreme Court on grounds that same borders on the interpretation and enforcement of the Constitution and therefore falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, if they are so minded.

In furtherance of this directive, the National Chairman of the NDC and Lawyers for the Assin North MP were at the Court’s registry by 8am this morning, which is the official time the registry opens, to file the necessary legal processes. As at the time of this writeup, 9am, the registry and filing room of the Court remain locked and the Registrar and other relevant judicial officers who are paid by the State to facilitate the filing of such legal processes are not at work. All efforts to reach them have proven futile.

This is exactly the same way the Registrar and Registry of the Court behaved in the processes leading to the service of an Order of Injunction on the Assin North MP and counter-attempts by lawyers for the MP to challenge same on 6th January, 2021 before the Speakership Election in Parliament.

The NDC can see a deliberate and evil conspiracy between the Court’s registry and the NPP to manipulate the court processes and decision in their favor, all in an effort to steal the Assin North seat from the NDC. And this begs the question as whether or not the trial judge is privy or party to this shameful conduct of the Court’s registry.

It is very shameful to say the least, that Judicial officers who are supposed to exhibit independence, impartiality and professionalism in their work have compromised their integrity and are lending themselves as pliant tools for the manipulation of judicial processes by the desperate and despotic NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.

Sad day for judicial independence. The NPP can have its way today, but the truth shall surely prevail at the end of it all!

Sammy Gyamfi Esq

Cape Coast High Court cancels 2020 Assin North parliamentary election result

A Cape Coast High Court has cancelled the parliamentary elections in the Assin North constituency in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

The court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, ordered for fresh elections to be conducted in the constituency.

Background

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked for the withdrawal of an application seeking its supervisory jurisdiction in a case where the Cape Coast High Court is set to decide a petition challenging the eligibility of the Assin North MP.

The apex court argued that due process was not followed. The application was subsequently withdrawn by lawyers for the MP, paving the way for the Cape Coast High Court to rule on the matter Wednesday.

 This comes after Lawyers for the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Joe Gyaakye Quayson withdrawn an application seeking to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret certain constitutional provisions.

The MP’s lawyer, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah had tried without success, to get the Cape Coast High Court hearing the election petition involving his client, to refer Article 94, Clause (2a) of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

A five-member Supreme Court presided over by Justice Yaw Apau, struck the application out after the MP’s lawyer had withdrawn it.

The judges explained to the lawyer that he should have formally applied to the High Court to refer the said constitutional provision to the Supreme Court for interpretation, and if he refused, there would have been grounds to refer the same to the Supreme Court

Mahama caught in U.K. FixTheCountry Demonstrations funding

In his desperate attempt to reclaim power (that he and the NDC so carelessly lost due to gross incompetence), the former President, John Mahama, has sponsored the activities of these protestors with a whopping £85,000 (Eighty Five Thousand).

Additionally, a new NDC party branch in Telford was commissioned in the UK as a decoy to further support the activities of NDC and CPP operatives who have merged in the UK to form a #FixTheCountry group to incite well meaning Ghanaian citizens in the U.K. and back home against the Akufo-Addo government.

Reports from reliable sources have revealed that Mr Mahama visited the United Kingdom from the 6th of July and left on the 21st of July 2021, followed by his wife Lordina Mahama on the 22nd of July.

The main purpose of the former President’s visit, was to meet up with the organizers of the #FixTheCountry demonstration to provide funding for their activities.

#FixTheCountry faithfuls and the leadership of the NDC chapter in UK were spotted at the former President’s favourite hang out in Kensington.

It can therefore be strongly declared that the so called social media movement #FixTheCountry was born by the National Democratic Congress and some element from CPP to instigate citizens of the country against the incumbent government.

The so called organizers of the demonstrations are remotely controlled by current and former NDC executives in the UK.
One of the organisers, Nana Yaw has been good to blindside #FixTheCountry group of the ill gotten funds from Former President Mahama by soliciting for pennies from unsuspecting followers on social media platforms.

Guest to the Telford branch maiden meeting was the national organiser of NDC – Joshua Akamba, former deputy chief of staff – Alexander Segbefia and the leadership of #FixTheCountry. The headline message from the meeting captured on tape, was to empower the NDC diaspora Chapters to write and propagate false articles to destroy the good name of the country earned by the President, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The faithfuls of the #FixTheCountry protest had an injunction placed by the Supreme Court of Ghana which prevented them holding a demonstration in Ghana. However they have written to the metropolitan police in London to stage a protest in the United Kingdom after the infusion of huge sums by the former President. It is important to note that the so called #FixTheCountry movement have always denied to be an arm of any political group. It is now evidently clear that they are a strong arm of the opposition, NDC, being used to hoodwink and incite well meaning Ghanaians in Ghana and the Diaspora

A-G yet to receive docket on Ahmed Suale

Ahmed Hussein-Suale

Ahmed Hussein-Suale

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has still not built and presented any docket on the case involving the murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale to the Office of the Attorney-General (AG) for prosecution

Although the CID has been investigating the case since Suale was murdered in January 6, 2019, it is yet to present any docket on the case to the A-G.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, disclosed this in his response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa.

Mr Ablakwa sought to find out the status of the pursuit of justice in some unresolved murder cases in the country. The cases include those of Ahmed Suale, Mr J. B. Danquah Adu, Mr Ekow Hayford, and Professor Emmanuel Benneh.

Courtesy call

On the case of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, Mr Dame said he had not been briefed on the matter.

He said the Inspector General of Police (IGP), however, paid a courtesy call on him on March 29, this year and being concerned about the failure to resolve that and the other homicides, he enquired about the state of investigations into them.

“I emphasised to the IGP and his team the need to conclude investigations for action to be taken as soon as practically possible,” he stated.

Hussein-Suale, an investigative journalist with Tiger Eye P.I., was assassinated on January 16, 2019 near his family home in Madina, Accra.

The murder is presumed to be linked with his work.

Murdered MPs

Mr J. B. Danquah, who was the MP for Abuakwa North in the Eastern Region, was murdered in 2016, with police investigations leading to the arrest of Daniel Asiedu, who is currently standing trial.

Mr Dame said the trial of the accused was ongoing in the High Court, presided over by Her Ladyship Lydia Osei Marfo.

He said the case was pending before the same court, then presided over by Justice Buadi who was later transferred to Ho.

“While this case was pending before him, an order was made for the first accused person to be examined by a psychiatrist to ascertain whether he is fit to stand trial. The psychiatrist concluded that the first accused was fit to stand trial,” he stated.

He said prosecution had so far called two witnesses who had been cross-examined, with an intention to call nine witnesses.

Mr Ekow Hayford, who was the MP for Mfantseman, was also killed in 2020, during a highway robbery incident.

The MP, who was returning from a campaign late at night, was shot by the robbers, after his driver allegedly attempted to drive through the robbery scene.

Mr Dame said on May 10, this year, a robbery attack similar to what claimed the life of the MP took place, during which the police were quick to react by opening fire. They subsequently killed one of the robbers and arrested the rest.

The A-G said further investigations revealed that the robbers were the same people involved in the robbery that killed Mr Hayford.

Charges

He said the police on July 13, this year, conducted an identification parade involving the three suspects.

The Attorney-General said a number of victims, including some of the occupants of the late MP’s vehicle, identified them as the armed men who robbed them.

“Investigations have revealed that the late MP was shot by Mohammed who is now deceased.

“The suspects, who are in custody, having been convicted of an earlier offence, have been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery,” Mr Dame said.

Murder of university don

On the case of Prof. Benneh, Mr Dame said in the course of investigations, three suspects were arrested, with the first suspect, Mr James Nana Womba, who is believed to have strangled Prof. Benneh to death, dying while in police custody.

He said after investigations had been concluded, the docket was forwarded to the A-G’s Department, which recommended the prosecution of the suspects.

“On May 21, 2021, a bill of indictment was filed to commence the prosecution of the second suspect, Ebenezer Kwayisi. The third suspect, Opambuor Agya Badu Nkwansah, was discharged after a study of the docket revealed that he was not at the scene of the crime when the offence was committed although he was invited by James Womba to help him rob the deceased,” he explained.

He said the second suspect had been charged with abetment of murder, with his committal held at the Kaneshie District Court, which committed him to the High Court for trial.

“The prosecution is waiting for the notice of arraignment at the High Court for the trial of the accused,” he said.

Source: Graphic

Agyeman Manu signed Sputnik contract before seeking AG’s advice

It has emerged that Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu signed the contract for the purchase of the Sputnik V Vaccine before seeking the advice of the Attorney General (AG) as required by law.

The AG, according to documents sighted by Starr News, however, raised concerns over the fact the deal did not secure parliamentary approval as required by law.

Again, the AG raised concerns over the fact that the ministry had to go through a middleman to procure the vaccine instead of the manufacturer.

The Minister told the Ad Hoc Committee of Parliament tasked to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccines procurement agreement that accumulated frustrations to procure the vaccines for the country compelled him to disregard parliamentary approval as required by Article 181 5 of the 1992 constitution.

In the minister’s justification, he had plans to formally seek parliamentary approval after independently approving the $64.6 million contract.

When asked, “Ghana has an embassy in Russia, You are aware that it has a Trade minister, Russia has a diplomatic relationship with Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana, yet you went ahead to sign a contract with a private person on the 9th of March to get vaccines from Russia before you wrote on the 23rd of March to the Russian minister of trade, and then on 28th of April to the foreign minister of Russia, will you say this was prudent under the circumstance?”

Mr Agyeman-Manu responded “the best at the time was what I did. For prudence, at the time of the pandemic and my frustrations, I would not say so. If it were now, that would have been different.”

He was then asked, “…that you used your best effort to get diplomatic channels to enable you to reach the manufacturer or the Russian authority directly, is that correct?” He replied “yes.”

Asked again if “you even did so by producing letters as evidence of such correspondence is that correct? You further indicated that it was after all those best endeavors had proved futile before you dealt with the Sheikh, is that correct? In his defense, Mr Agyeman-Manu retorted “that might not be correct. I dealt with the Sheikh before frantic efforts to get the vaccines from the right source.”

“So, were you being untruthful to this committee when you indicated that you used your best effort to get direct access to the manufacturer and the Russian authorities before you dealt with the Sheikh? He answered, “I quite remember I have said this anywhere, what I said was that I made efforts but I didn’t juxtapose the timing of the efforts that I made.”

Mr Agyeman-Manu was further questioned, “you stated to the chair of this committee that originally you were not even interested in dealing with private people and that it was after your best endeavors proved futile that’s when you dealt with a private person and the records are there to show.”

He responded: “that is correct. the best endeavors were not being done with the Russians. When we started looking for vaccines, we relied on COVAX and the Africa Medicines Supply Platform,these were not private citizens.”

“But when efforts from COVAX failed because India blocked their routes for export, and Africa Medicines Supply Platform indicated that they couldn’t supply any vaccines till August, I was then motivated to begin to look at private sector people to see if we can get the vaccines.”

He added, “after I had dealt with Al Maktoum, I started writing to try to find out from the right source to see if we can get it cheaper

3rd wave of coronavirus most dangerous – Nana Akomea warns

NANA AKOMEA345

Chief Executive Officer of the State Transport Corporation (STC), Nana Akomea, has cautioned Ghanaians against threat of the COVID-19 third wave in Ghana.

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, July 25, 2021 confirmed that the country has been hit by a third wave of the disease.

In his 26th address to the nation, the President said “as per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that unfortunately, our nation like many others is experiencing a third wave of covid infections…largely driven by the Delta variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and, in our case in Ghana, has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalization and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths”.

Speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, Nana Akomea noted that the third wave which is as a result of the Indian variant called Delta variant is the most dangerous of all the variants, hence warned Ghanaians not to trivialize the President’s instructions regarding the disease.null

He disclosed that, unlike the first wave where the virus affects the throats and nostrils of the victim, the new variant directly infects the lungs of the patient and kills faster.

“This virus is said to be lighter and stays in the air longer. When you contract it, this virus is also said to affect your lungs straight, and by the time you realize you have pneumonia. At first, the virus would be located in your throat or nostrils, but this third wave goes straight to your lungs. So, it’s dangerous than the first two,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.

Nana Akomea advised the citizenry to mandatorily adhere to the wearing of nose mask and practice all the other COVID-19 safety protocols to avoid rapid transmissions and infections

.Source: peacefmonline.com

3rd wave of coronavirus: Don’t travel to Dubai this year – Dr. Okoe Boye Warns

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Former Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has issued strong caution to Ghanaians who enjoy traveling abroad to suspend their travels this year.

According to him, looking at the rate of the Coronavirus infections across the globe, it won’t be safe for any person to travel outside the country.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has confirmed that Ghana has been hit by a third wave of COVID-19.

In his 26th address to the nation, Sunday, the President said “as per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that unfortunately, our nation like many others is experiencing a third wave of covid infections…largely driven by the Delta variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and, in our case in Ghana, has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalization and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths”.null

Dr. Okoe Boye advised travelers to specifically cities like Dubai and others in foreign countries to postpone it accentuating that, “if it’s not very important business or a very, very urgent thing, defer travel to next year”.

He explained the virus prefers cold areas, so traveling overseas is one of the riskiest ways to contract the disease.

“It’s not by mistake that UK recorded about 50,000 cases a day; it’s because it’s cold there. So, when you’re going to cold territories, if it’s not too necessary, wait awhile . . . Don’t go to Dubai this season . .

. “Source: peacefmonline.com

Hajia Alima Mahama: Ghana’s first woman ambassador to the US

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Her Excellency Hajia Alima Mahama has reaffirmed the Government of Ghana’s determination to continue strengthening bilateral relations with the Government of the United States of America.null

She also confirmed Ghana’s commitment to partner with the United States Government in various areas of development.

The Ambassador made this note on Wednesday, July 27, 2021, after President Joseph R. Biden accepted her letters of credence by which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo accredited her as the Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the United States.

She is the first female Ambassador of Ghana to the United States.

Ambassador Hajia Alima Mahama brings a lot of experience to the role having served as a two-term Member of Parliament, cabinet minister and international consultant for several multinational organizations.

She first served as a Member of Parliament for the people of Nalerigu-Gambaga Constituency from the year 2001 to 2005, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development from May 2001 to April 2003 and Deputy Minister of State, Ministry of Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiatives, from May, 2003 to January, 2005. She later served as the Minister of State for the Ministry of Women & Children’s Affairs from January 2005 to January 2009.null

Prior to her current appointment as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, H.E Hajia Alima Mahama served again as the Member of Parliament for the people of Nalerigu-Gambaga Constituency and the Minister of State for Local Government and Rural Development from January 2017 to January 2021.

Her extensive non-governmental and international experiences include roles such as Senior Technical Advisor at Danida, Consultant OXFAM, Faculty of Salzburg Seminar in Austria and Senior Planner, and Gender and Development Coordinator Northern Region Rural Integrated Programme (NORRIP), a Ghana Government and Canadian International Development Agency initiative.

Hajia is a Barrister at Law and was called to the bar in 1982. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies with a specialization in Regional Development Planning from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, Netherlands.

Preceding that, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Sociology from the University of Ghana. She is both a Pearson Fellow and a Humphrey Fellow.

Ambassador Hajia Alima Mahama has concurrent supervision over Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Belize

.Source: ghanaguardian.com

Government set to digitise records at Lands Commission

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Mr Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has said the government is set to digitise all records at the Lands Commission to reduce the turnaround time for registration of lands.null

When successfully done, processing land documents for registration could take only a maximum of 30 days to complete.

Mr Jinapor said the government was engaging the private sector to provide the needed support to successfully launch the scheme. “We are engaging the private sector to provide the capital and technical expertise required to implement this scheme.”

Mr Jinapor said this during the inauguration of the reconstituted Governing Board of the Northern Regional Lands Commission in Tamale.

The 23 Member Board, expected to serve a four-year tenure, was sworn into office by the Northern Regional Supervising High Court Judge, His Lordship Justice Richard Mac Kogyapwah.

Mr Jinapor said since most of the lands in the region were owned by skins and families, it was prudent that the reconstituted Board of the Lands Commission set up Customary Land Secretariat to ensure proper land administration in the region.null

He said, “The Commission is enjoined by the Lands Act, 2020 (Act 1036) to collaborate with the Administrator of Stool Land to ensure the establishment of this Secretariat for each skin, clan, or family that owns the land.”

Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Executive Secretary to the Lands Commission urged members of the Board to serve as advocates against the incidence of land mismanagement at the local level to preserve lands for development projects in the region.

He noted that the issue of land mismanagement was a crime punishable per the new Lands Act, android charged members to ensure fairness and transparency in the administration of land.

Mr Dubik Yakubu Mahama, Chairman of the reconstituted Governing Board, expressed gratitude to the government for the confidence reposed in them and called for collaboration amongst stakeholders in the execution of their duties.

Source: GNA

Bawumia Promotes Bitcoin

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says it is time African governments embrace digital currency (bitcoin) to facilitate trade and enhance other productive sectors of their economies.

He, therefore, lauded the Bank of Ghana’s decision to pilot digital currency later this year towards its nationwide roll-out in the near future, saying that it would give it the needed credibility and legal backing for usage.

Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Bawumia said, Intra-African trade had created the need to establish a Single Central Payment platform on the African continent where financial system operators could carry out all cross-border payments smoothly.

To that end, the Vice-President believed that the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)- a central payment and collection infrastructure- would allow businesses on the continent to clear and settle transactions in their local currencies without depending on third-party currencies.

He said it would also provide an alternative to the current high-cost and long correspondent banking relationships by facilitating trade and other economic activities across the continent through a single, low-cost, and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.

The event brought together Governors of the Central Banks in Africa, captains of industry, chief executives of financial institutions, and the diplomatic community to share ideas and engage in conversations that would create a conducive environment for boosting economic activities and promote growth.

It was held on the theme: “Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector”.

Vice-President Bawumia noted that digitisation had become one of the most consequential policies of President Akufo-Addo’s government and pivotal towards increasing economic activities, macroeconomic stability, and growth.

In that vein, a robust and resilient financial system would provide an impetus for productive investments, expand opportunities for jobs and wealth creation.

“As you may recall, in a bid to improve liquidity and strengthen the banking sector, the Bank of Ghana implemented a new prudential regulatory framework.

“The banking sector clean-up was aimed at promoting a financially stable banking sector.

“Concurrently, digitisation has also become one of the most consequential policies of the Nana Akufo-Addo government. When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced many economies into partial and total lockdowns, it reinforced the need to pursue digitization,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.

He stated that mobile banking was proving to be a more convenient alternative to traditional banking channels as several routine banking and money transactions were now executed through mobile phones and electronic payment systems.

“Indeed, one has to recognise that for the financial services sector to play its role, there must be financial inclusion.

“The implementation of Mobile Money Interoperability in Ghana has shown that more people can be financially included, and this needs to be rolled out across Africa to ensure the growth of the AfCFTA vision,” he added.

To leverage digital technologies and digitized data, he said, the Central Bank had rolled out a couple of systems through its Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS).

They include the e-zwich, Gh-Link, Mobile Money Interoperability, and QR Code and making sure that the underlying payment system runs smoothly is the least we should expect of the financial system if we are to realize the vision of continental free trade.

He stressed that since payments were at the heart of the day-to-day operations of a free trade system, negative spillover effects could be serious if something goes wrong.

Therefore in 2019, the Government introduced the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana, to consolidate the laws relating to payment systems, payment services, and regulated institutions in the electronic money business.

The advent of this legislation, Dr Bawumia explained that, had helped deepen financial intermediation and financial inclusion, not only in Ghana but across the continent.

” I am hopeful that the rollout of the Pan – African system will synchronize successfully with the payment systems architecture developed by Central Banks across Africa and bring about a reduction in cost, time variability, and decreased liquidity requirements of commercial banks and central banks settlements.

“I encourage the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), a partner entity in this conference, to help its members build a solid and resilient productive capacity to benefit from the AfCFTA implementation.

That, he said, would complement the Government’s effort in providing both the required leadership and investments in implementing the continental trade protocols and related action plans.

He expressed the belief that the conference would deepen the conversations on the need for Africa to design its unique models, which would provide an enabling structural transformation of Africa’s economy and thereby, placing Africa on a sustainable long-term growth path.

GNA

This too shall pass’ – Anyidoho reacts to expulsion from NDC

Former Deputy General Secretary of the biggest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho is resolute all will be well despite his expulsion from the party.

In a series of tweets, Mr Anyidoho borrowed the popular mantra of President Nana Akufo-Addo saying “This too shall pass”.

In another tweet, he said: “I continue to remain focused on growing the Atta-Mills Institute, building Asomdwee Park, & flying high the legacy of President Atta-Mills. My bible tells me that, in ALL things, I should give thanks to God Almighty for His grace and mercies. I love Ghana”.

In a separate tweet again he noted that “Vindication lies in the womb of time. Shalom”.

Mr Anyidoho was expelled from the party on Tuesday, 27 July 2021 for misconduct and anti-party behaviour.

A letter from the party addressed to Mr Anyidoho to that effect said: “The Functional Executive Committee (FEC), acting in compliance of article 48 (1) of the NDC constitution, unanimously adopted the report and accepts full responsibility for your expulsion from the party”.

The NDC said Mr Anyidoho cannot be “recognised as a member of the party and cannot carry [himself] as such.”

Additionally, the letter said Mr Anyidoho “shall also forfeit any money, dues, or subscription fees that you may have made to the party”.

Mr Anyidoho was first suspended by the party after a meeting by FEC on 20 January 2021.

At that meeting, FEC, according to a letter to Mr Anyidoho signed by General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, “considered two separate petitions from two registered members of the National Democratic Congress, each of which lodged an official complaint against your conduct, which is viewed to be in breach of the party’s disciplinary code for its members as contained in the NDC Constitution”.

The petitioners are Mr Mobarak Abdul-Karim (Oti Regional Communication Officer) and Eric Adjei (Deputy Communication Officer, Bono Region).

“At the end of its deliberations, the following decisions were taken in accordance with articles 46(1), 46(6), 46(8)(b) of the party’s Constitution: that with immediate effect, your membership of the NDC has been suspended; that the petitions be referred to the party’s DisciplinaryCommittee for further action”,

“You are, therefore, by this letter, to take note and notice is hereby given that your membership of the NDC is suspended pending the hearing and final determination of the petition against your conduct”, the letter directed

$5m bribe: Akufo-Addo starts ‘appropriate processes’ on ASEPA’s ‘remove CJ’ petition

President Nana Akufo-Addo has started the necessary processes in dealing with a petition by civil society group Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), by which the pressure group wants Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah removed from office for being cited in an alleged $5 million bribery allegation.

A statement signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Executive Secretary to President Nana Akufo-Addo, titled Re: In Re: Petition to invoke Article 146 for the removal of Chief Justice, said: “I write to acknowledge receipt of your updated petition in respect of the above subject matter and to inform you that the President of the Republic has, in accordance with Article 146 (6) of the Constitution, commenced the appropriate processes subsequent to being petitioned for the removal of the Chief Justice”.

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice has denied ever demanding or receiving any bribe from one Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV, a plaintiff in a case at the courts, a statement issued by the Judicial Service on Monday, 12 July 2021 and signed by Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, Judicial Secretary, said.

The denial followed an allegation by a lawyer, Mr Kwasi Afrifa, to the effect that Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV had told him (Kwasi Afrifa) that the CJ demanded a bribe of $5 million to help him (Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV) get a favourable outcome at the courts.

The statement issued by the CJ, however, said: “His Lordship is saddened that without any shred of evidence, his name has been dragged into this sordid and potentially criminal matter”.

“His Lordship confirms that he does not know the plaintiff and has not met or seen him anywhere except in the courtroom when he rises to announces his name when his case is called”, the statement noted.

It added: “His Lordship asserts that he had had no personally interaction either with the plaintiff or his lawyer on this matter or any other matter”. “His Lordship further asserts that he has not demanded or received any money from any person to influence any decision on this matter or nay other matter”.

“Indeed, the records show that the plaintiff, unsuccessfully petitioned for the recusal of His Lordship the Chief Justice and His Lordship Justice Victor Jones Mawulom Dotse from the matter, on the claim that they were prejudiced against him”, the statement continued.

It said: “The records further show that the Chief Justice was the only judge on the panel, who recently on 31 March 2021, dissented in an application at the instant of the plaintiff Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV in favour of the respondent, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited”.

Further, the Judicial Service said: “To ensure that this matter is fully investigated, His Lordship has directed that a formal complaint be made to the CID of the Ghana Police Service for investigations and nay necessary actions”.

“He has further directed that a petition be lodged with the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council in respect of this specific matter”.

His Lordship is available to assist in all investigations into this matter while he considers his own civil legal options to ensure that this matter is dealt with to its logical conclusion.

The CJ’s denial comes 24 hours after the plaintiff also denied the bribery allegations.

Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, in a short statement issued on Sunday, 11 July 2021, said the allegations were false.

Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI dragged Mr Afrifa, his former lawyer, to the General Legal Council, through a petition dated 1 March 2021, to have him sanctioned concerning his handling of a case involving the petitioner and Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited.

In the petition, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI said: “I engaged the said lawyer, Mr Kwasi Afrifa, to handle my case, in which engagement we agreed on a fee of GHS300,000, which I paid him in full”.

“In the course of handling the case, he suggested to me that it was in my interest to, besides his fully paid-up fees, provide an amount of USD100,000 to enable him to do some ‘ways and means’ (gymnastics) on my case so that we can obtain a favourable decision”.

“Being naïve and eager to see to the completion of my case favourably, I acceded to his request for him to have the money to go and perform the said gymnastics to ensure success in my case. Although I believed in the strength of my case, I decided to give him the said money based on the advice he gave”, the petition wrote.

However, he said: “I realised, from is demeanour, that he did not use the money for its intended purpose as advised, and, so, I fired him from the case and asked him for a refund of the money but he has since refunded USD25,000 leaving a balance of USD75,000. All efforts to retrieve the remaining amount have failed”, he complained.

“I am appealing to you, as the chairman of the General Legal Council of lawyers, to help me retrieve my USD75,000 from Kwasi Afrifa”, he pleaded via the petition. Responding to the claims made against him in the petition, Mr Afrifa said: “At the end of July 2020, the petitioner informed me that friends of his, who were highly connected, politically, had taken him to see the Chief Justice, who had agreed to help him win his case on condition that he drops my good self, as the lawyer handling the case for him, and engage Akoto Ampaw Esq in my stead”.

“He [petitioner] further informed me that the Chief Justice has demanded a bribe of USD5 million for a successful outcome of his case and that he had already paid USD500,000 to the Chief Justice”, he claimed.

“He further indicated that he was hard-pressed to raise the remainder of the USD5 million and, so, I should refund some of the GHS300,000 paid to me as fees because he had, in line with advice of the Chief Justice, engaged Akoto Ampaw Esq as solicitor, to continue the case before the Supreme Court”, he noted.

“Out of a sense of dignity on my part, I told him that I would rather refund the entire GHS300,000 paid to me and bear the cost of air travel, hotel bills and other expenditure incurred by me in prosecuting his cases at Cape Coast and in Accra”, Mr Afrifa wrote. He continued: “We aggregated the GHS300,000 paid to me as being the equivalent of USD50,000, which I was to refund to him without any timeline being indicated. He said he wanted the payment in dollars because he was raising the remainder of the money to be paid the Chief Justice and that currency was his currency of choice”.

“On the 27 January 2021, I paid an amount of USD25,000 to the petitioner and subsequently paidUSD15,000 to him, making a total of USD40,000, so, the outstanding amount that I have to refund to him is USD10,000”, he insisted, adding: “I am ready, willing and able to make the said payment of USD10,000 when I appear before the committee on 15 July 2021”.

“I categorically deny ever suggesting to the petitioner that he provide any money whatsoever for what he cryptically describes in the said petition as ‘ways and means (gymnastics)’. I certainly have not and will not collect or receive any such money from him”.

In his denial press statement, however, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI said: “My attention has been drawn to a media publication – allegations against my good self and some prominent third parties, including the Chief Justice”. “I unequivocally deny all allegations of intended bribery or actual bribery of any judge including the Chief Justice, who I have never met or known personally apart from seeing him a distance from the bench”, he noted.

He added: “I re-emphasise that I have never met the Chief Justice before nor dealt with him directly or indirectly in official or private capacity, neither do I know where he lives nor have his phone number to have communicated with him”.

“I have since applied for a copy of the said response to my petition against Mr Afrifa in which those fabrications and allegations are said to be contained and will appropriately react to the General Legal Council upon receipt of same”, announcing: “Stay tuned for the truth

Allow National Switches to Integrate Into Pan African Payments And Settlement System – VP Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to re-examine the strategy it is currently using to implement a centralized payment and settlement system for intra-African trade and commerce payments.

The Pan African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS), developed by the Afreximbank is the first centralized payment market infrastructure for processing, clearing and settling of intra-African trade and commerce payments. It is expected to facilitate payments as well as formalise some of the unrecorded trade due to prevalence of informal cross-border trade in Africa.

Rather than requiring individual financial institutions across the continent to connect to a central database, Ghana’s Vice President believes a simpler, quicker and more effective method would be to plug in the existing payment structures being operated by African Central Banks into a central system at Afreximbank.

Dr Bawumia made the call on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 in Accra at the opening ceremony for the 5th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC 2021). The Conference is being attended both physically and virtually by senior officials of African central banks, the African Union, West African Monetary Institute members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other key stakeholders in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“It is important that I mention this, for the attention of Afreximbank and the implementers of the Pan African Payments System: If you look at the strategy and the mode that we are observing in the implementation of the Pan African Payment and Settlements System, we are seeing that individual financial institutions are being asked to connect to the system. I think it’s a very inefficient way to proceed.

“If you look at the financial systems within each of the countries, you have switches and financial institutions are all connected to these switches, whether it’s in Ghana or Nigeria or the BCEAO. I think the easiest and quickest way for us to go as a continent is to have the national switches connect directly to the Pan African Payments and Settlements System. So when the national switch in Ghana, for example, under GhIPPS, connects to PAPPS, it brings along immediately all the 23 or so banks that are functional. It would be similar in Nigeria, similar with the BCEAO. If we want to wait for each individual financial institution to connect directly, there will be a long delay in the process but we don’t have time.

“So my humble advice is that let’s move towards the national payment systems connecting directly to the Pan African Payment and Settlements System and that will bring all the financial institutions under their switches for us to move forward,” he explained.

Alluding to the theme for the Conference, “Facilitating Trade in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector”, Vice President Bawumia noted that a simple, efficient payment system is an integral part of ensuring continental trade.

“After all, payments are at the heart of the day-to-day functioning of free trading system. Making sure that the underlying payment system runs smoothly is the least we should expect of the financial system if we are to realize the vision of the continental free trade.”

With intra-African trade expected to improve from the single-digit levels to over 60 percent, the Pan African Payments and Settlement System will allow businesses on the continent to clear and settle transactions in their local currencies without depending on third-party currencies.

It will also provide an alternative to the current high-cost and long correspondent banking relationships by facilitating trade and other economic activity across African countries through a simple, low-cost, and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.

NDC sacks Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho Ka

• Effective Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Koku Anyidoho will not be recognized as a member of the NDC

• Koku Anyidoho is to return any party property in his custody

• He will also forfeit any money he paid to the party

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expelled Koku Anyidoho for indiscipline.

The decision was taken by the Functional Executive Committee of the party.

“At its meeting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) considered the report and recommendations of the National Disciplinary Committee on the case of misconduct and anti-party behaviour brought against you (Koku Anyidoho), pursuant to article 48(1)(9)(a) of the NDC constitution,” part of a statement from the party stated

“You are, therefore, by the decision of FEC expelled from the National Democratic Congress and for that matter, you are no longer recognized as a member of the party and cannot carry yourself as such,” it added.

Koku Anyidoho has been asked to return any property in his custody belonging to the party.

Also, he will forfeit monies, dues or subscription fees that he’s made to the party while he was an active member.

.Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Akufo-Addo has lost control of the economy – Ato Forson

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Akufo-Addo of mismanaging the Ghanaian economy.

Delivering a lecture at the party’s ‘policy dialogue on the economy’ Monday, Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson said political considerations are making it difficult for government to take remedia measures to save the economy.

“It is now beyond debate, based on the data presented, that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has completely mismanaged the Ghanaian economy and lost control of key economic indices.

“Political considerations are preventing the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government from taking vital remedial measures to avert total collapse of the Ghanaian economy in just over a year,” he said

He noted: “The people of Ghana need to ask questions and elicit candid disclosures and actions from the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to prevent imminent disaster

“We urge the government to demonstrate seriousness in resolving these major problems by announcing convincing measures in the mid-year budget review”.

On debt sustainability, the Ajumako Enyan MP said: “The Debt Sustainability ratios portray a worrying picture of the Sustainability of Ghana’s Debt and should be of great concern to Government. The IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) in 2019, put Ghana at High  Risk of Debt Distress. This was before Covid-19. The situation worsened by the end of 2020. With the planned borrowings in 2021, the situation is likely to deteriorate further.

“Comparing the debt sustainability indicators in 2020 to those in 2001, when Ghana was declared HIPC, it is clear the 2020 indicators are worse than those of 2001. Even though Ghana has not been declared HIPC by the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), the debt sustainability indicators clearly show that Ghana is a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)”.

According to him, “Government may find it difficult to increase public sector wages, just as it failed to increase public sector wages to the minimum level of inflation in 2021. Government will spend more on interest servicing. International Reserves will go down due to huge outflows of foreign exchange (forex) to service debt very little inflows of forex from borrowing since there will be very little fiscal space to borrow. Low economic growth driven largely by low public investment and distortionary tax policies aimed at correcting the fiscal imbalance.

Ghana’s public debt stock shot up by ¢27.8 billion in April 2021 and May 2021 to ¢332.4 billion, the latest Summary of Economic and Financial Data by the Bank of Ghana has revealed.

This is equivalent to $57.9 billion, about 76.66 percent of Gross Domestic Product

Ghana recorded positive GDP growth in 2020 – Akufo-Addo

Akufo Addo Ghana Law School1

• President Akufo-Addo says the economy has been doing better even though the world has been hit by the Coronavirus

• He explained that they have been able to do this through hard work and the grace of God

• He made reference to a certain report from Fitch Solutions to buttress his points

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stressed that amidst the global pandemic that has devastated a lot of economies of the world, Ghana continues to be recording positive GDP growths.

The president explained that while the Coronavirus upset a number of government interventions that were in place prior to the onset of the pandemic, hard work on their part has ensured that the economy is not in distress.

He also explained that the country is already on track to recovery, a feat that is being confirmed by globally renowned organizations.

“Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the government had instituted a number of policies and programs which have succeeded, albeit modestly, in promoting a business-friendly environment, attracting investments, creating jobs, growing the economy, and enhancing the living standards of the Ghanaian people.

“Today, some 16 months later, these achievements have been significantly eroded thanks to COVID-19. Whereas there are positive signs of recovery emerging from many parts of the world, there are still some countries that are facing dire conditions. We in Ghana, through hard work and the grace of God, have however been placed firmly back on a path to recovery as recent credible assessments have established.

“Indeed, even in the midst of a global recession, our economy was one of the very few to have recorded a positive GDP growth in 2020. This development has been buttressed further by the news that in the first quarter of 202, the economy witnessed, according to the Ghana Statistical Service, a 3.1% rate of GDP growth. Even better, is the fact that according to one of the globally most respected credit rating agencies, Fitch Solutions, Ghana is projected to be the fasted growing economy in Africa this year, restoring our position before the pandemic,” he explained.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 2021 Performance Contract Signing Ceremony on Monday, July 26, 2021.

The event was organized by the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA).

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Anti-LGBTQI: Don’t subject yourself to colonialism – Foh-Amoaning advises Gabby Otchere-Darko over ‘blacklist’ comment

Gabby Okyere-Darko (L) and Moses Foh-Amoaning (R)

Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, Moses Foh-Amoaning has hit back at the Executive Director for the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, over some comments he made about the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill and its implications on Ghana in the international community.

Following a proposed Bill to criminalise LGBTQI+ activities in the country, Mr Asare Otchere-Darko opined that the Bill predisposes Ghana to being blacklisted for promoting hate.

But in a reaction on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Monday, Dr Foh-Amoaning challenged the claim, insisting no part of the Bill promotes hate.

“I’ve heard Gabby say that those of us who are promoting the Bill are exposing Ghana to be blacklisted for hate but if you read the law, you’ll notice that this is no way about hate,” he added.

He said the anti-LGBTQI Bill, on the other hand, is aimed at strengthening the legal framework such that it can address all the manifestations of what he described as, an LGBTQI agenda.

“The facts and the statistics show that, we need to galvanise, structure the law and ensure that the right things are done. This is not something that we have to leave, if we leave, we will be blown over,” he said.

He further cautioned Mr Asare Otchere-Darko, a staunch member of the NPP, to be mindful of his words since the promoters of the Bill include senior clergy men such as the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, the current President of the Christian Council of Ghana.

“We are protecting everyone’s rights, including the rights of those LGBTQI activists. It is a bill that promotes proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian values. Those who accept that it is a medical condition, will not be sent to jail. Those that we are after are those who say it’s a lifestyle.

“We don’t hate. He should be very careful over the language that he uses. We can’t allow a degenerate moral behavior, packaged and superimposed on us, as a way of behaviour. That can’t be right. For my good friend Gabby, I’m sorry he should not make himself an object of colonialism,” he added.

Source: Myjoyonline

Supreme Court strikes out Assin North MP’s case, slaps him with GHC5k cost

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Yaw Appau has struck out an application from the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North Constituency; James Gyakye Quayson over his dual citizenship case.

The apex court panel also awarded a cost of GHC5,000 against the MP in favour of the first Interested party ( Michael Ankomah Nimfah, the petitioner).

This was after his lawyer Justine Pwavra Teriwajah withdrew the application as was deemed by Justice Appau as “premature.”

The application from the MP of Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson at the Supreme Court was to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the apex court to assume jurisdiction over the case of his dual citizenship at the Cape Coast High Court.

The Electoral Commission was the second Interested party in the case.

In court on Tuesday, a day before the High Court in Cape Coast had fixed to deliver its judgment in the matter, the Supreme Court said there was nothing before it per the application.

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, contended that Quayson held dual citizenship as a Ghanaian and a Canadian at the time of his election, and therefore must be restrained from performing the duties of a Member of Parliament.

In court on Tuesday, when the parties appeared before the panel which also include Justice Gabriel Pwamang, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Justice Nene Amergatcher, and Justice Yoni Kulendi, the court said, the application ought to have been first raised at the High Court for a determination.

Then, the court said, if they were not satisfied or if there was any constitutional issue of interpretation, then the apex court is called up to settle.

But, following from the records, there was no decision the High Court has made for the Supreme Court to be called upon to intervene as per this Certiorari application.

Justice Appau pointed out that the application was premature and “we think you didn’t lay the foundations well.”

EIB Network’s Correspondent Murtala Inusah reports that lawyer of the MP had a tough day with the Justices before withdrawing the application.

It also came up in court that, lawyers of the MP failed to comply with the High Court’s orders to file written submissions with their hopes on the Supreme Court

Let’s use technology to manage conflict, build peace – Bagbin to ECOWAS parliament

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has urged West African countries to embrace and adopt Information Communication Technology (ICT), as it offers new opportunities to better-manage conflicts and build peace, especially at the local levels.

Mr Bagbin said since most conflicts on the continent are a result of election disputes, the adoption of ICT will promote inclusivity and enhance the integrity of electoral processes.

He said Ghana, for instance, introduced the Biometric Verification Devices, used to capture the biometric details of the electorate to reduce multiple registration and voting.

Beyond assisting in conflict prevention, Mr Bagbin noted that ICT also provides avenues for alternative discourse or community engagement that promotes peace and fosters non-violent attitudes and behaviours.

He noted that it is encouraging that despite the tensions and violence that characterised the conduct of elections in some countries, electoral candidates who are dissatisfied with either the process or outcome of elections, are increasingly resorting to the use of the constitutional courts in those countries to resolve electoral conflicts.

“Unfortunately, the judicial system in some countries in the sub-region is slow in the administration of justice. Indeed, the deployment of telecommunication and information technology tools provide the judiciary the opportunity to dispense justice in a more accessible, transparent, efficient, timely, and accountable manner. It is for this reason that the Judiciary in Ghana, for instance, introduced the Electronic Case Management System to expedite court processes,” he added.

While advocating the use of ICT to propel the growth of the sub-region in the areas of peace, development, education, health delivery, agriculture, the Ghanaian Speaker cautioned: “We must, however, bear in mind that whilst technology is extremely good for development, the human touch cannot be replicated.”

Mr Bagbin said these in his address at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism, Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament in Winneba today, Tuesday, 27th July 2021.

Find below details of the Speaker’s speech:

ADDRESS BY RT. HON A.S.K. BAGBIN, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, AT THE MEETING OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL AFFAIRS, PEACE, SECURITY AND AFRICAN PEER REVIEW MECHANISM, LEGAL AFFAIRS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OF THE ECOWAS PARLIAMENT ON 27TH JULY 2021 AT WINNEBA

Rt. Hon. Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis

Neenyi Ghartey VII, President of the Effutu Traditional Council

Hon. Ministers of State

Hon. Members of the ECOWAS Parliament

The Municipal Chief Executive

Distinguished Resource Persons

The Secretary-General and Staff of the ECOWAS Parliament

Invited Guests

Members of the Media

Ladies and gentlemen! It is for me an honour and a pleasure to be part of the gathering of the ECOWAS Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology. I would like to express my profound gratitude to the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, the Rt. Hon Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis for this invitation.

The theme for this meeting, which is the role of “Telecommunications and Information Technology (TIT) in Achieving Regional Development, Peace and Security and Human Rights’’ reflects the growing recognition of the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in dealing with the myriad of problems we face in our Sub-region. In recent times, ICT services have become an indispensable tool in the development of every facet of our society, whether in the Health, Education, Agriculture, or Trade and Industry sectors. Indeed, telecommunication plays an increasingly vital role in enabling the participation and development of people in communities and nations disadvantaged by geography, whether in rural areas of developing nations or in the global society and economy.

As you may all be aware, the Sub-region is confronted with various challenges such as drug trafficking, child trafficking, proliferation of and trafficking in small arms, organised crime, money laundering and terrorism. Cybercrime and the insecurity in the maritime space in the Gulf of Guinea, are issues that require immediate attention. For this reason, countries in the sub-region through data collection and data sharing are strengthening their collaboration and existing co-operation with International Agencies such as (INTERPOL) and the West Africa Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), in order to combat cross border crimes and terrorism.

Hon. Members, the violation of electoral processes in the conduct of elections has also been a major source of conflict leading to violence and tensions in some countries in the sub-region. It is sad to note that these tensions are occasioned by challenges related to non-consensual constitutional reviews, non-compliance with presidential term limits among others. The refusal to accept election results by sections of the society and the abuse of social media to create tensions and divisions are matters of grave concern. These undoubtedly threaten the progress made in achieving participatory democracy and therefore calls for the strengthening of democratic principles and the institution of agreeable measures to improve the election process and ensure a transparent, free, fair and peaceful elections. There is also the need to adopt mechanisms/frameworks for promoting political dialogue and peacebuilding in such countries. ICT does offer us new opportunities to better manage conflicts and build peace especially at the local levels of our societies. There is the need to promote inclusivity and enhance the integrity of the electoral processes by adopting appropriate technologies in the election management process. Ghana, for instance, introduced the Biometric Verification Devices, used to capture the biometric details of the electorates to reduce multiple registrations and multiple voting.

Beyond assisting in conflict prevention, participatory data collection and processing tools, ICT also provides avenues for alternative discourse or community engagement that promotes peace and fosters non-violent attitudes and behaviours.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is encouraging to note that despite the tensions and the violence that characterise the conduct of elections in some countries, electoral candidates who are dissatisfied with either the process or outcome of elections are increasingly resorting to the use of the constitutional courts in those countries to resolve electoral conflicts. Unfortunately, the judicial system in some countries in the sub-region is slow in the administration of justice. Indeed, the deployment of telecommunication and information technology tools provide the judiciary the opportunity to dispense justice in a more accessible, transparent, efficient, timely, and accountable manner. It is for this reason that the Judiciary in Ghana, for instance, introduced the Electronic Case Management System to expedite court processes.

Mr. Speaker, to achieve regional development through the use of ICT tools, there is the need to address concerns regarding mobile roaming services in the sub-region. According to the World Bank report 2018, there are over 320 million mobile subscribers in the Sub-region. However, the uptake of mobile data in the sub-region remains a serious challenge. It is a fact that most of the ECOWAS nationals who travel to other countries in the sub-region have to pay higher premiums on mobile usage, while others have to change their sim cards to have access to the network available in their new destination. We can only achieve regional development by ensuring that the Regulation on Roaming on Public Mobile Communications Networks in the ECOWAS Space, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 16th December 2017 is implemented. This regulation is intended to reduce charges paid by ECOWAS citizens for communication services while roaming within the community. Rt. Hon. Speaker, it is no gainsaying that telecommunications and information technology is fast becoming a driving force in today’s digital ecosystem by seamlessly connecting communities, businesses and governments. It is, therefore, more imperative now than ever to deploy the use of telecommunications and information technology to advance all sectors of one’s economy and also promote the development of the sub-region.

Technology and ICT are indeed very useful and critical in propelling our sub-region forward, whether in the area of peace, development, education, health delivery, agriculture, etc. We must however bear in mind that whilst technology is extremely good for development, the human touch cannot be replicated. Thus, whilst we strive to inject a lot more technology and ICT into our approaches, we should bear in mind the quote by Lyndon B. Johnson, Former President of the United States of America, which reads “If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them with a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.”

On this note, Hon. Members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I declare the meeting open and wish you a fruitful deliberation.

Thank you for your attention

No 15% base pay rise for CLOGSAG – MoF clarifies

The Ministry of Finance has indicated that the government has not entered into any new agreement to increase the base pay of public servants to 15%.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance on 27 July 2021 said: “The attention of the government has been drawn to media publications and agitations within the public domain in respect of this ministry’s letter dated 12 July 2021 on the payment of fifteen per cent (15%) interim premium to staff of the Civil and Local Government Services (CLOGSAG)”.

“These agitations, we believe, have arisen because the public consider the above-mentioned approval to be a new agreement”, the statement said.

It continued: “The Ministry of Finance wishes to clarify that this is not a new agreement, as it has been in existence since 2016 and fully implemented in 2020”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627413003&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FNo-15-base-pay-rise-for-CLOGSAG-MoF-clarifies-26099&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627413002951&bpp=12&bdt=1845&idt=1006&shv=r20210722&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Dcad9c4135f8e8219-22c60c1377c90063%3AT%3D1627412886%3ART%3D1627412886%3AS%3DALNI_MbxPm1McRVegIrgOk4uZqIPpdE5HA&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=1251195725053&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=924499625.1627412886&ga_sid=1627413004&ga_hid=1647696394&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=1429&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=31060474%2C20211866%2C21065724&oid=3&pvsid=1438141530685166&pem=983&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEebr%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=IQhVROJvVb&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1034

“Since the interim premium of 15% is on the base pay, it became necessary to do the necessary adjustments to reflect the negotiated 4% increase in the public sector base pay for the 2021 financial year”, the statement added.

It noted: “Given the above, this ministry, as part of its communication to the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department on the implementation of the agreement on the 2021 and 2022 base pay, authorised the payment of premium and its associated arrears to CLOGSAG for 2021 in line with the existing agreement.”

The ministry, therefore, reiterated that the “government has not granted any 15% increase in base pay to any public sector institution on the Single Spine Salary Structure”, adding that “the only adjustment on the base pay for the public service still remains the 4% for the 2021 financial year.”

“Therefore, no new agreement has been reached on the payment of premium”, the statement added

Malawi president travels to UK for virtual conference, blames poor internet in his country

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has sparked outrage in his country after he travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) to attend a virtual conference.

Chakwera justified his trip to the UK to attend The Global Education Summit, arguing that the internet in his country was unreliable.

Chakwera has come under criticism in his country for electing to travel to London for a summit that is being held on virtual platforms.

The Malawian president chose to travel to the United Kingdom with a 10-member entourage. The delegation included his wife, First Lady Monica Chakwera; daughter, Violet Lillie and the president’s son-in-law, Sean Kampondeni, who is the State House director of communications.

Chakwera said that he needed his daughter there because she would provide physical and emotional support during the trip as the First Lady was reportedly not feeling well.

The president has also been criticised for taking his family along, particularly Violet, an outbound air tickets sales agent who was recently appointed as a diplomat to Brussels in Belgium.

A source who spoke to the Nyasa Times said, “The president’s eldest daughter, Violet has been included on the list of a 10 member delegation to the UK presumably taking up a place meant for Foreign Affairs Minister.

“What she is going to do there, only she and her father know. It is really sad that instead of taking on the trip people who could make use of the summit and do government business, the president is taking his daughter.”

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka defended the move saying, “This is an education summit being co-hosted by the British Prime Minister and Kenyan President. Different heads of government and state will attend this meeting.

“They have limited the entourage to 10. Malawi is already benefiting from this Global Education Initiative. The policies to be made there will directly impact Malawi. It is imperative that the president attend this

President Attends Education Summit In UK

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo left the country Tuesday for an official visit to the United Kingdom.

He was seen off at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the morning by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and other key government officials including Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare.

The visit is at the invitation of the President of Kenya and the British Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta and Boris Johnson, respectively who are co-hosting the event.

He will be leading Ghana’s delegation to the Global Education Summit, to be held from July 28th to 29th 2021 in London.

The Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025 will be a key moment for the global community to come together and support quality education for all children.

A release from the presidency said “a centre-piece of the summit will be the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.”

It also indicated that “the President will also, at the invitation of the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the Emerging Business Intelligence & Innovation (EBII) Group, attend as Special Guest of Honour, and deliver the keynote address at the 2021 African Investments Risks and Compliance (IRC) Summit, on 30th July 2021 at the University of Oxford.”

He was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway and Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum; as well as officials of the Presidency and Foreign Ministry.

The President is expected back home in Ghana on Sunday, August 1st, 2021.

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will act in his stead as President in accordance with the provisions of Article 60(8) of the Ghana’s 1992 Constitution

Tighten Supervision On School Feeding Programme – Stakeholders

Stakeholders in Nutrition intervention have called for tight supervision on the Ghana School Feeding Programme to ensure food served to school children are done in a safe environment and also address the nutritional needs of the children.

The call followed complaints by stakeholders at a meeting in Koforidua that food served to school children in many instances didn’t meet the four-star diet critical for the nutritional requirements of school-going children.

The four-star diet as recommended by UNICEF for children includes staples like cereals, starchy roots and tubers; legumes; fruits and vegetable sources as well as animal protection sources like milk and eggs.

The participants made the call at the Eastern Regional Stakeholders’ meeting on the school-aged Nutrition Interventions programme implemented by the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service.

It was aimed at helping stakeholders to deepen their understanding of the nutrition programme and to agree on its operational steps at all levels.

The participants noted that the environment in which food was prepared and distributed to school children needed to be enhanced for optimal benefits.

Eastern Regional Director of Education Mary Osei Asamoah, noted that caterers were told to pre-finance and be paid later and should therefore have no excuse for not providing the right nutritional food requirement.

She said caterers were doing pure business and had been contracted based on criteria and so should not “hide behind non-payment to breach the agreement.”

She called on the Parent-Teacher Associations, School Management Committees, opinion and community leaders to report caterers who provided substandard foods to the respective Municipal and District Assemblies for action.

Earlier, Eastern Regional Nutrition officer Rhoda Kyei-Yamoah, indicated that the School-aged health and Nutrition Interventions were to improve the nutrition of children and adolescents for better health outcomes in the future

Buduburam Camp to go down to make way for gentrification

The Buduburam Camp, which, for over two decades, has served as home for Liberian refugees, is to be demolished to pave the way for the redevelopment of the area.

The place will be gentrified to have a senior high school, a residential community, and a modern market.

The camp, which was decommissioned as a refugee base by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in June 2010, has become a settlement and now bears the infamous credential as a hideout for social deviants, including alleged robbery gangs.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa East, Mr Solomon Darko-Quarm, told the Daily Graphic that the demolition of the camp was in response to a request by the Gomoa Fetteh chiefs over the increasing criminal acts in the Gomoa area, with the camp being turned into an abode for suspected criminals.

“The Buduburam Camp has become an albatross around the neck of the nation as it has become a den for many suspected criminals engaged in many criminal activities across the country,” he noted.

He indicated, however, that the exercise would be undertaken after the completion of the ongoing tarring of new roads at Buduburam meant to ease the traffic congestion on that stretch of the Accra-Cape Coast highway.

Buduburam camp

The camp is sited in the Gomoa East District and shares a boundary with Kasoa.

It was set up by the UNHCR in 1990 to serve as a safe abode for more than 12,000 refugees from Liberia who fled the country during the two Liberian civil wars (1989–1996 and 1999–2003).

It also housed refugees from Sierra Leone who escaped from their country’s civil war between 1991–2002.

Although the camp was decommissioned following the return of peace to the two countries, most of the refugees resettled in the neighbourhood.

On May 18, 2021, the chiefs of Gomoa Fetteh, at a news conference, expressed concern about the increasing crime rate at the Buduburam Camp and issued a three-month ultimatum to the government to pull down all makeshift structures — said to be the abode of those suspected criminals — in the area.

Redevelopment

Mr Darko-Quarm said the demolition would also pave the way to redevelop the area to befit the district’s status as the gateway to the Central Region.

“It has become a fast-growing community that needs social and economic amenities to befit its status.

“Among the amenities to be put up in the area will be the construction of a public SHS which will complement the St Gregory SHS which was recently adopted by the government but lacks the capacity to accommodate junior high school graduates in the area,” the DCE said.

Easing traffic

Meanwhile, the district assembly has commenced the expansion and tarring of roads on the Buduburam stretch of the Accra Cape-Coast road to ease the traffic congestion on that stretch.

It forms part of the first phase of the Buduburam redevelopment plan.

“This timely project, when completed, will be a huge relief for many road users, especially motorists plying the Accra-Cape Coast highway,” Mr Darko-Quarm told the Daily Graphic after inspecting the progress of work last Sunday.

He said it was totally unacceptable for road users to spend long hours in traffic on that stretch of the road

Ghana’s debt stock would’ve been worse under a Mahama government – John Kumah

 John Kumah

A Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, has rejected claims that the poor state of the economy is a result of mismanagement by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government.

John Kumah insisted that the public expenditure on COVID-19 instead resulted in the current situation the country finds itself in.

The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, at a Policy Dialogue on Monday, July 26, 2021, accused the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government of being responsible for 60 percent of Ghana’s total debt stock.

Dr. Forson said out of Ghana’s Public debt of GHS291 billion as of December 2020, President Akufo-Addo’s government accounts for GHS171.22 billion representing 60 percent.

“The main causes of the current hardships are the twin problems of the largest budget deficit (15.2%) in recent history, and a choking debt overhang that threatens the stability of the Ghanaian economy,” he stated, adding that “the hardships arising out of the deficit and debt situation is the direct result of mismanagement of the economy and misplaced populism by this government.”

Dr. Forson, who is also a former Deputy Finance Minister, cautioned that if the government does not pull the brakes on the current situation, the country will experience a decline in capital expenditure even as it spends more on interest servicing.

But John Kumah, who represented the Finance Minister at the Minority’s forum, does not entirely agree with the assertions espoused by Dr. Forson.

According to him, had the challenges faced by the Akufo-Addo government occurred under the erstwhile Mahama administration, more debt would have been incurred.

“If you check the reality of what happened under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s tenure, I am sure if it had happened under former President John Mahama, we would have jumped to $100 billion. There was no COVID-19 to warrant a lockdown for extra expenditures of the government.”

“So these are very difficult times that President Akufo-Addo has been in, but he has managed it so well that he has won the world commendation.”

Source: citinewsroom

Dual citizenship case: Appeals court dismisses applications by Jomoro, Assin North MPs

Two separate applications filed by two NDC Members of Parliament whose elections are being challenged at the High Court have been dismissed by a Court of Appeal.

The Assin North MP, Joe Gyaakye Quayson, and the MP for Jomoro, Dorcas Affo Toffey, are facing a challenge to their election for allegedly possessing dual citizenships.

In the case of the Assin North MP, the court dismissed an appeal of stay of proceedings, while in the case of the Jomoro MP, an application to stay execution of the High Court’s order for her to produce documents evidencing the renunciation of her alleged Ivorian citizenship was dismissed.

This means the case against the two MPs would have to continue at the High Court.

The lawyers for the Assin North MP had earlier filed a motion at the Supreme Court to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the apex court to assume jurisdiction over the case at the Cape Coast High Court.

The Cape Coast High Court Three set Wednesday 14th, July 2021, to give judgement in the Assin North MP’s case, but had to adjourn due to the move by the defendants.

Source: citinewsroom

Ghana won’t go back to IMF – John Kumah replies NDC

Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. John Kumah has refuted claims by the National Democratic Congress which suggests President Akufo-Addo’s government is heading back to the IMF for policy credibility.

John Kumah has noted that the NDC is just speculative and so Ghanaians should treat their claims with the contempt it deserves.

John Kumah who doubles as the Member of parliament for Ejisu Constituency admitted that there’s been an increase in Ghana’s total debt but it does not necessarily mean that Ghana could go back to IMF.

Speaking to Omanhene Yaw Adu Boakye on Kessben Maakye, he opined that the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak has contributed so much to the increase in Ghana’s debt rate.

He added that Akufo-Addo is committed to the Fiscal Responsibility Act which requires that the country’s fiscal deficit must not go beyond 5%.

But Dr. Ato Forson at the Policy Dialogue in Accra on Monday 26th July 2021 revealed that due to the bad management of the economy under the watch Akufo-Addo and Bawumia, Ghana is heading back to the IMF.Ato Forson

Mr. Ato Forson has described current Ghana’s economy as the worse in recent history.

Hon. Ato Forson who is the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee issued a warning to the government to as a matter of urgency put measures in place in dealing with the huge budget deficits.

Ato Forson noted that Akufo-Addo’s government alone is responsible for 60% of Ghana’s debt stock but John Kumah disagrees with some of the assertions raised by Ato Forson.

“If you check the reality of what happened under Nana Akufo-Addo government, like covid-19 and its associated challenges to deal with”

“Now, these are very challenging moment that President Akufo-Addo has been dealing with, but he has managed it so well that he has won the world commendation” Dr. John Kumah added

Bagbin receives Millennium Excellence Award in Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin is the recipient of the 2021 coveted Parliamentarian of the Decade Award for his contribution to the growth of national development, sustenance of parliamentary democracy and good governance since the inception of the country’s Fourth Republican Parliament.

The accolade was conferred on the veteran politician and lawmaker who has been in Parliament since the advent of the 4th Republic and has served virtually in all positions available in the House by the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) at a Special Sitting of Parliament on Monday, July 26, 2021.

Speaker Bagbin in his acceptance speech thanked the President, Board of Governors, and Advisory Technical team and programme managers for the honour bestowed on him and promised to uphold the high tenets and principles of parliamentary democratic proceedings.

He stated that though a Speaker from the Opposition party in a hung Parliament, he will not frustrate the Executive arm of Government with which he has already established a healthy working relationship as well as the Judiciary.

The Millennium Excellence Awards was established as a non-profit organization to celebrate successful enterprises in Africa by Ashim Morton, an Architect by profession and Entrepreneur who returned to Ghana after several years in the United States to give his quota to the development of his nation.

As a witness to the constant negative outlook and poor governance stories coming out of the African Continent daily, Ashim Morton, who is the great-grandson of the Asantehene Otumfuo Prempeh I, made it a decision to tell the successful enterprises and highlight individuals who were bringing about change in Ghana.

Now in their 20th year, the awards are organised by the Millennium Excellence Foundation to celebrate outstanding personalities championing key development initiatives in leadership, governance, and entrepreneurship Africa.

The Foundation focuses most of its resources in three key areas – agriculture and food security, water, sanitation and hygiene and science, innovation and technology.

It aligns also its objectives with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce poverty, ensure accountability in Governance in key areas of attention that will lead to sustainable growth and development for the citizens of Africa.

The Millennium Excellence Awards is hosted once every five years and recognize institutions and individuals for their contribution to national development and the ceremonies are privately funded by corporate bodies and individuals who believe in Ashim’s vision.

The 2021 edition of the Millennium Excellence Awards was held on July 17th, 2021 at a ceremony in the Manhyia Palace, Kumasi where over sixty distinguished personalities and corporate bodies were honoured.

In attendance was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was honoured with the Gold Award for his leadership, national cohesion and political stability in Ghana.

Music maestro Kojo Antwi who was also awarded for his immense contribution to the music industry and entertained guests with some tunes throughout the night.

Former President Jerry John Rawlings and late Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Organisation Secretary-General were former recipients of the prestigious awards

Parliament won’t frustrate Executive – Bagbin

Parliament will not work to frustrate the business of the Executive Speaker Alban Bagbin has said.

Mr Bagbin said he has built a healthy working relationship with President Nana Akufo-Addo and also reached out to the Chief Justice and is happy with the harmonious working relationship between them.

He noted that the good working relationship has translated into the successes that they have achieved in resolving delicate and thorny issues that have confronted the nation.

He said: “While efforts are made to strengthen the independence of Parliament to give Ghanaians the true sense of the democracy that they voted for, Parliament will not work to frustrate the business of the Executive. As a fact, immediately after my election as Speaker of Parliament, through the initiative of the President, I have built a healthy and fruitful working relation with H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana. I have also reached out to the Chief Justice and I am happy with the harmonious working relations between the Legislature and the Judiciary. The synergy this has generated in the working relations of national leadership, translates into the successes that we have achieved in resolving very delicate and thorny issues that from time to time confront our dear nation.”

The speaker said development will be quickened when the various arms of government work together in harmony but independent of each other.

“Hon Members, indeed, evidence abounds throughout the developed world that the majority of them made tremendous strides in their development trajectories through the collaborative, yet principled role played by the respective arms of government. Parliament of Ghana, under my leadership, will strive to make this principle a governance culture in Ghana,” Mr Bagbin stated.

He further said under his leadership, he will also create space to bring the views of the generality of Ghanaians to bear on the governance of the country to ensure that decisions that affect the people of Ghana are borne out of processes that take into account the very needs of the people.

“We will equally work to ensure that there is value for every decision made and for every expenditure incurred in furtherance of the development agenda of our dear country. The era when Ministers of State and other government officials ignored the call of Parliament to account for their stewardship is gone and I believe, will remain as a thing of the past,” he added.

The speaker said these in his acceptance speech when he received a Millennium Excellence Award at a Special Sitting of Parliament on Monday, July 26, 2021 for his contribution to the growth of national development, sustenance of parliamentary democracy and good governance.

Read the speaker’s full acceptance speech below:

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE RIGHT HONORABLE ALBAN SUMANA KINGSFORD BAGBIN, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, AT THE CONFERMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM EXCELLENCE AWARD ON THE SPEAKER

The Hon First Deputy Speaker

The Hon Second Deputy Speaker

The Co-Leaders and Leadership of the House

Hon Ministers of State

Hon Members of Parliament

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Members of the Parliamentary Service Board

The Clerk to Parliament

Representative of His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene Members of the Board of Governors of the Millennium Excellence Foundation

Our revered Religious and Traditional Leaders

Management and Staff of the Parliamentary Service

Members of the Parliamentary Press Corps Distinguished Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I thank the Almighty God whose favor and mercies have brought me this far and for guiding the recognition of me for this prestigious award. His guidance over the years has given me the opportunity, needed strength and fortitude to serve this House in various capacities; first as a Member of Parliament, then as Chairman of various Committees, Minority Leader, Majority Leader, Second Deputy Speaker and today, the Speaker of this Parliament, an institution of might and majesty. I owe this award to His continuous grace and blessings.

Indeed, many individuals have contributed in diverse ways to the success of my political career which has culminated in this recognition. I recognize my immediate and larger family, whose love, prayers and support have helped me through thick and thin to weather the storms in the bumpy terrain of politics to see this day in its glory. I also recognize the positive impact of the Speakers, Leadership and Members of Parliament, both past and present, on my political career and I am indeed grateful to all. For the nearly three decades that I spent on the floor of this House as a Member of Parliament, I can say with certainty that I have immensely benefited from the wisdom, experience, and the constructive engagement of a significant majority of Members across the political divide in all the Parliaments in which I served. I have some truly good and dependable friends on both sides of the political divide. This has contributed to making me the Speaker and who I am today. To my guardian angels, here I mean, the good people of Nadowli/Kaleo whose mandate kept me in this House all these years and propelled me, in the end, to the High Office of Speaker of Parliament, I will forever remain indebted to you for your unflinching support. To the great National Democratic Congress, the platform that propelled me to stardom, you will forever grow from strength to strength and from victory unto victory to continue to give birth to more iconic leaders in the country and the world.

I cannot help at this point but to make reference to a quote from Johannes Alexander Gaertner, the German art historian, poet and theologian who said “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant; to enact gratitude is generous and noble; but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” I will continue to live in gratitude to those who have helped me along the way to get this far.

Hon Members, distinguished guests, it is with great humility and a deep sense of honor that I accept, from the Millennium Excellence Foundation, this prestigious award, the Millennium Excellence Prize for Leadership and Excellence. I am sincerely appreciative of this recognition that has been bestowed on me to crown my over 28 years in Parliament from 1993 to date. I dedicate it to the Almighty God and to the people of the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency.

Seven months ago, after all the wrangling that greeted the declaration of the results of the general elections of December 2020, and having become manifestly clear that the Eighth Parliament would be a hung Parliament, many were those who were apprehensive about how our Legislature would fare in this uncharted territory in the history of our parliamentary democracy. With membership of the House equally divided – each of the two political parties represented in the House having 137 members apiece and with 20 female members’ representation on each side of the divide – some Ghanaians feared that a gridlock in political governance was imminent. My election as the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic from the party not in government, the first ever in our post-independence political history, fortified this fear as it was received with shock by a section of the Ghanaian public who thought that government policies and programs would be imperiled. True to my inaugural statement to all Ghanaians to allay those fears and place expectations in their proper perspectives, and thanks to the maturity demonstrated by this august House with particular reference to the Leadership, we have proven as a collective that the growth and development of our democracy is paramount to us as representatives of the good people of Ghana. Indeed, the statement that my choice for this award was in recognition of my “unwavering pursuit of fairness, excellence and the developmental vision of the parliamentary affairs sector in Ghana” is candid and humbling as it reflects the principles which have guided me this far.

Hon Members, this award, to all intents and purposes, is a manifestation that our conduct both on the floor of the House and outside the precinct of Parliament is under scrutiny. Also, it is a reflection of the fact that the House is constantly being monitored and assessed in the performance of our duties by the generality of the public.

While this award has been won through the good work of not just myself but the entire House. The award represents a loud call to duty of all of us, to the extent that the aspirations of the electorate and the people of Ghana would be served. It is therefore imperative that our conduct both in and out of the House reflects the trust reposed in us by the citizenry. We owe it as a duty to the present generation and generations yet unborn, to ensure that as a people, we eschew unguided utterances and open vituperative attacks on one another to showcase leadership by example. It is also to convince our supporters that is the way to go in national discourse to advance the agenda of nation-building. Hon Members, we have to work together in harmony to preserve and enhance the peace and development of our dear country.

This award further represents a call on the general public to partner with the Legislature to ensure a broad participatory approach in our democratic dispensation. Thankfully, the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) and the adoption of the guidelines for the introduction of Private Members’ Bills in the Seventh Parliament provide opportunities for the public to actively engage in the governance of the nation through parliamentary processes. Through the collaborative work of the Leadership and Members of the House, the revised Standing Orders is before the House to provide further avenues for public-parliament engagement. New provisions have been included in the new Standing Orders to open up Parliament and make our work more transparent and understandable to the people. To this end, a Petitions Committee will be constituted to create the platform for channeling petitions to the House, while access to the proceedings of Committees would be made easy by reason of the fact that Committees of the House will generally sit in public except under exceptional circumstances where they will sit in camera.

In much the same way, while efforts are made to strengthen the independence of Parliament to give Ghanaians the true sense of the democracy that they voted for, Parliament will not work to frustrate the business of the Executive. As a fact, immediately after my election as Speaker of Parliament, through the initiative of the President, I have built a healthy and fruitful working relation with H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana. I have also reached out to the Chief Justice and I am happy with the harmonious working relations between the Legislature and the Judiciary. The synergy this has generated in the working relations of national leadership translates into the successes that we have achieved in resolving very delicate and thorny issues that from time to time confront our dear nation.

Hon Members, indeed, evidence abounds throughout the developed world that the majority of them made tremendous strides in their development trajectories through the collaborative, yet principled role played by the respective arms of government. Parliament of Ghana, under my leadership, will strive to make this principle a governance culture in Ghana. We will also create space to bring the views of the generality of Ghanaians to bear on the governance of the country to ensure that decisions that affect the people of Ghana are borne out of processes that take into account the very needs of the people. We will equally work to ensure that there is value for every decision made and for every expenditure incurred in furtherance of the development agenda of our dear country. The era when Ministers of State and other government officials ignored the call of Parliament to account for their stewardship is gone and I believe, will remain as a thing of the past.

Hon Members, our ability to widen the democratic space in this country and forge ahead as a united people with a common destiny would depend on how accommodating we are of the views of one another in the interest of the good people of Ghana. Ghanaians undoubtedly voted in the December 2020 elections against extreme partisanship characterized by acrimony and rancor in our debates on the floor of the House. Indeed, it is very obvious that the people of Ghana require both sides of the House to work closely with each other to help build the country. This is the concept on which the Parliament of Ghana was crafted. A unique Parliament, made in Ghana and though similar, it is different from all Parliaments in the world. This is found in the engrained meanings of the traditional symbols on the Mace of the House, the authority of Parliament and the horseshoe arrangement of seating in the House. This uniqueness demands of us to strive, in unity and wisdom, to build consensus more often without suppressing dissenting views or the views of the minority and the marginalized in our society. I am quite pleased to have observed that so far both sides of the House have performed creditably well, and I have been spared the ordeal of often overseeing a rancorous House, as witnessed in some Legislatures. The House, by this, has succeeded in sending a message of unity and an unflinching resolve to optimally explore available avenues in order to secure greater dividends for our democracy. To this end, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Leadership and Members of the House and hope that this cordiality will be maintained to deepen our parliamentary democracy. To His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, whose mentorship has tremendously impacted on my performance and life in general, I am extremely grateful and I know the Almighty God will continue to heap His abundant blessings on you. I know it is your wisdom that has initiated this award program and together with the distinguished board of governors of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, you have made a bold statement to chart a path for the development of our dear country and Africa by the institutionalization of this award scheme. It is a scheme which identifies excellence and seeks to reward Ghanaians and Africans who have selflessly invested significantly by way of financial resources, time and knowledge, in various aspects of the socio-economic and political development of this country and Africa. You are indeed awakening the consciousness of the Ghanaian and the African to pursue excellence in whichever field they find themselves, which is a vital ingredient for the development and sustenance of any country or continent. I will humbly and respectfully, encourage you not to rest on your oars but to continue to knock on our doors and alert us whenever you find us falling short in the performance of our duties as is consistent with the old adage that he who charts a path does not always know that it is crooked.

Once again, I am humbled and grateful for this prestigious recognition and encouragement to continue to serve Ghana to the best of my ability. I am confident that I will continue to enjoy the unwavering support of the Leadership and all Members of Parliament as well as the Clerk, Management and Staff of the Parliamentary Service in this effort.

I seize this opportunity to encourage all Ghanaians to strive for excellence with integrity. Indeed, the meaning of integrity is so beautifully couched in the inspirational African proverb “A clean conscience makes a soft pillow”. That is my pledge to Ghanaians – to serve with integrity.

I thank you all for your attention

NDC Asks Govt To Seek IMF Bailout

NDC Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, is urging government to, as a matter of urgency seek debt relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to curb the country’s rising public debt.

Ghana’s total public debt stock as at the end of May 2021, stood at ¢332.4 billion, an increase of almost GH¢30billion from a previous GH¢304.6 billion recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest Summary of Economic and Financial Data from the Bank of Ghana.

The new debt figure brings Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 76.6 per cent as of the end of May.

Speaking at a Policy Dialogue on the Economy organised by the Minority Caucus in Parliament in Accra on Monday, Mr Forson, described the country’s debt stock sustainability as worrying.

He said the IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), in 2019 prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic; put Ghana at a high risk debt distress, adding that the situation was likely to worsen this year if government did not take a relook at its borrowing plans.

The Former Deputy Minister of Finance under the erstwhile NDC government also noted that even though Ghana had not been declared as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) by the Bretton Woods institution, the debt sustainability indicators showed that the country was heavily Indebted.

“Comparing the debt sustainability indicators in the year 2020 to those in the year 2001, when Ghana was declared HIPC, it is clear that 2020 indicators are worse than those in 2001, even though the debt to GDP indicator shows an improvement,” he added.

Mr Forson, therefore, advised government to seek immediate assistance from the IMF to ensure that the rising public debt was halted.

“We expect the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to seek an urgent debt relief from the IMF through the newly proposed Debt Relief Initiative known as the Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSR) which can be likened to HIPC.

“We also submit that failure by the Akufo-Addo’s government to do so as recommended will mean that within 18 months from today, Ghana will be exposed to a high risk of default on its debt service obligation, which will plunge this country into a deeper economic crises,” he said.

On his expectations of government going forward, Mr Forson said capital expenditure was likely to reduce, adding that government would not be in a position to increase public sector wages, even to the minimum level of inflation.
He also noted that government in the coming days would spend more on interest servicing, while the country’s international reserves was also expected to reduce.

“This is simple because I do not expect forex to come into the economy as expected, because government’s borrowing abilities will reduce in as much as we will be spending a little bit more as outflows being amounts that we will use in repaying our debts,” he explained.

Mr Forson, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, urged government to ensure that any newly imposed taxes targeted the right people.

“They should be taxes that will spur economic growth targeting the right people of the economy and should not disturb the running of the economy,” he said.

Mr John Kumah, a Deputy Finance Minister, speaking at the event was adamant the economy was on a strong footing.

“Just to remind us that as we speak Ghana has hit the highest in history of our cocoa production so the economy is on track,” he retorted.
GNA

There is no anti-LGBTQ+ bill before Parliament – Oppong Nkrumah

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• Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the anti-LGBTQI+ bill is yet to presented to Parliament

• He says it is a draft bill being sponsored by some MPs

• He wants Ghanaians to get the full fact of an issue before commenting on it

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi has appealed to media practitioners and Ghanaians to exercise some restraint and get the full facts of an issue before running commentaries on them.

The Information Minister is concerned that some Ghanaians appears to always be in a haste to pass judgement on issues even when facts have not been presented to them.

Speaking on Okay FM, Oppong Nkrumah cited the case of the controversies around the anti-LGBTQ+ bill as an instance of how some Ghanaians have been misled on an issue.null

He disclosed that at this particular time, the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Families Values Bill, 2021” is not before Parliament.

Oppong Nkrumah explained that the document in circulation is a draft bill by eight Members of Parliament which is yet to be tabled before the house.

“There are reports of a bill before a parliament to deal with LGBTQI but one should ask if there is indeed a bill before parliament. I can tell you that there’s no such thing before parliament.

“When something comes up, we don’t make time to read and understand it, we just carry along but there is no bill before parliament. Eight MPs have written to Parliament about how they want to regulate LGBTQI issues. It’s called private members draft.

“They held a prayer meeting with Speaker of Parliament to inform him about the bill and the Speaker assured them of his backing. As we speak, there’s no such bill before Parliament,” he said.null

The controversial bill has sharply divided Ghanaians with people clashing heads on the matter.

Over the weekend the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George clashed with a number of high profiled persons on the proposed bill.

Sam George in a social media post commended his colleague MPs for their resolve in ensuring that activities of LGBTQ are criminalized in the country.

“I am proud of my 7 Colleague Members of Parliament with whom the Draft Bill for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values was worked on.

“At a time when some may choose convenience and the alluring offers being made, these men and women have given true essence to the title the offices they hold bear. They have stood up for what is right, just, and noble.

“You have every right to disagree with our Bill. We can live and tolerate your disagreement. However, let your disagreement be based on law, fact, and science. Not your emotions or thoughts. We are open for anyone who has a memorandum on the Bill to submit same to the Parliamentary Committee when it calls for same. We are ready to debate the issues with anyone or group so long as it is based on law. We are Legislators,” he said.

But private legal practitioner Kofi Bentil has criticized the bill which he claims is ‘unconstitutional and a waste of time.’

“I’ll resist all invitation to discuss the pointless bill to regulate sex in Ghana. It’s patently unconstitutional and a waste of time. Whats saddest is that we used the first opportunity to do a private members Bill for this Brutum Fulmen!!” Bentil posted on Facebook on July 23.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Captain Smart narrates how he once rescued Vim Lady from Nima mob

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•Captain Smart has condemned the attack on Erastus Asare Donkor by Kennedy Agyapongnull

•He is concerned with the attacks on journalists in the country

•He believes that the government must do more to protect journalists

Godsbrain Captain Smart, the host of Onua TV’s breakfast show has given an account of how he saved colleague journalist Afia Pokua (Vim Lady) from being lynched by a mob at Nima over a news item.

Captain Smart recounts his then Adom FM colleague was accosted by a group for filing a story that appeared to put the National Health Insurance Scheme in a bad light.

He disclosed on his show that he had to rush from the office of Adom FM to go rescue his colleague from the angry youth.null

“When Afia Pokua was at Adom FM, she was assaulted for a story she did on the NHIS. I had just come to Accra and heard that she was being beaten in a gutter so I had to drive from Multimedia to Nima with a club to save her.”

Captain Smart was speaking in response to a comment by the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, which comments have been criticized as seeking to instigate a public attack on journalist Erastus Asare Donkor.

Captain Smart warned that journalists ought to be protected and called on the Akufo-Addo government to call Kennedy Agyapong to order.

He said that the government can only claim it is not against the persecution of journalists if it condemns the attack on the LUV FM journalist by Kennedy Agyapong.

“Today, we are being told that a journalist should be beaten for a report he did. When we say it, they debunk that government is doing everything possible to protect journalists. If you think you are protecting journalist, then talk to Kennedy Agyapong and bring him to order,” he said.

Captain Smart cautioned Kennedy Agyapong to be guarded by his public utterances charging that he is prepared to take him on.

He said that the era where he only observed Kennedy Agyapong unleash verbal attacks on people is over.

“Kennedy Agyapong is becoming too much in this country but no one is scared of him. I was quiet because he was championing the cause of the youth so I had to keep quiet and support him.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana needs a leader like Kennedy Agyapong – A Plus

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•A Plus says Kennedy Agyapong is the type leader the country needs at this time

•He says the Assin Central MP is unfazed by issues and will not hesitate to punish his own appointees

•He believes President Akufo-Addo is too loyal to some members of his government

Musician and activist Kwame A Plus has opined that Ghana’s current situation requires a leader cast in the mould of the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.

A Plus said on Angel FM on Monday, July 26, 2021 that it has become imperative for the country to be governed by a leader with the courage and will to crack the whip on his own people.

He noted that Kennedy Agyapong who has been in the news lately for some comments he made against a journalist possesses the qualities needed to steer the affairs of this country.

“You may not like Kennedy Agyapong but we need someone like him as president. We need someone who is not shy and always prepared to crack the whip.”null

A Plus then passed a damning verdict on the governing skills of President Akufo-Addo, stating that he is a man who prefers loyalty over correctness.

He explained that President Akufo-Addo is overseeing a failed government due to his inability to punish appointees who misconduct themselves.

“Nana Akufo-Addo never forgets when you do something good for him. When an appointee of his does some things, he sometimes clears them because of some good they did for him in the past.

“Nana Addo is not bad person, he just lacks the courage to punish people. If you do something good for him, he will always depend and be loyal to you. When you do something, he’ll find it hard to reprimand you,” he said.

He described President Akufo-Addo as ‘peaceful’ man contrary to the ‘monstrous’ figure some persons have created of him.

“Nana Addo is not same. His anger is like the white man. That’s why when some people were making it look it Nana Addo was a monster, I said that Nana Addo is the ‘asomedwehene,” he added.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Twitter deletes Sam George’s anti-LGBTQ+ post

Sam George Action Mood

• MP Sam George has actively used Twitter in his strong anti-LGBTQ+ advocacy

• It turns out that one of his tweets violated platform rules

• It has since been deleted by the social media giants

Social media giants, Twitter, have deleted a tweet by Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George after it ruled that the views contained therein were in violation of platform rules.

The deleted tweet posted on July 24 read: “I have been overwhelmed by the massive show of support even here on a ‘liberal’ platform like Twitter for our Bill on the LGBTQ+ menace.

“Homosexuality is not a HUMAN RIGHT. It is a sexual preference. Preferences are not absolute or unregulated. We shall pas this Bill through

That post attracted a response from a British politician, Seb Dance, who engaged in a heated exchange on the issue of same-sex relationships and the wider topic of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queer, LGBTQ+.

Sam George is leading an 8-Member Private Members’ Bill which is titled: “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, Bill 2021.”

Last Saturday, the lawmaker posted a screenshot of a communication from Twitter which said a tweet of his had been reported but that the company was taking no action because “it is not subject to removal under Twitter rules.”

“Accordingly, we have not taken any action as a result of this specific report,” Twitter said.

Sam George captioned the post: “So they want us to accept their perversion but cannot accept our opinion of their perversion. Thankfully the folks at Twitter apply some common sense and logic.”

But as at Monday, July 26, GhanaWeb‘s checks showed that the said tweet could not be found on Sam George‘s handle. In place, Twitter posted a message which read: “This tweet is no longer available,” accompanied by a link to a page explaining their range of violation enforcement in the event of a breach of platform rules.

Currently, the 36-page anti-LGBTQ+ document is at the draft stage and will be laid before the house and subsequently expected to be referred to the appropriate committee for consideration.

Sam George spent the better part of Saturday (July 24) on social media defending the need for the bill which he insists is a necessity in preserving the moral and cultural values of Ghanaians in general.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Nana B, NPP youth leaders declare support for Bawumia

Bawumia Tamsaco

The National Youth Leader of the ruling Political Party, Henry Nana Boakye, known as Nana B has led the leadership of the Youth Wing of the party to declare their support for the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The NPP Youth Organisers who numbered 15 who paid a courtesy call on Dr. Bawumia underscored how the timely and reliable supports and contributions of the Dr. Bawumia in the execution of the youth campaigns at the national and regional levels.

They further acknowledged the “significant and impactful support from the Vice President to the National and the 16 regional youth wings across the country during elections 2020.”

“The youth of the party is blessed with a Vice President who is very supportive, generous and passionate about their progress and wellbeing. The National Youth wing and all the Regional Youth wings, over the years, have received periodic support from the Vice President. The myriad of logistics and other contributions from the Vice President accounted significantly for the successful execution of the youth campaign during elections 2020,” Nana B said.

He further named the Vice President as someone who is worthy of commendations adding that “the youth of the NPP have no excuse not to support the Vice President to assist President Akufo-Addo to deliver on the mandate given them by Ghanaians.null

“The Vice President has gained the loyalty of the NPP youth with his compassion, competence and sterling performance, and for that matter, we will support and pray for him to sustain and even improve upon the better job he’s doing for the betterment of the NPP youth in particular and Ghana in general.”

The Youth Leaders have thus appealed the Vice President to come up with the implementation of more youth oriented policies and initiatives that would enhance the living conditions of the Ghanaian youth, even as they continue to make giant progress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its concomitant economic challenges.

“The first term of this government saw the implementation of enormous youth oriented policies and initiatives that had far reaching benefits for the youth, in terms of sustainable employment, quality, affordable and accessible education, and progressive entrepreneurial activities. We are of the strong conviction that more of such initiatives would be introduced in the next 3 and half years in order to make the youth more productive and successful” Nana B added

.Source: rainbownradioonline.com

Rancour in Police Service over Oppong-Boanuh’s promotions

IGP James Oppong Boanuh

The recent promotions in the Police Service by outgoing Inspector General of Police James Oppong-Boanuh appear to be creating tension in the service as some Chief Inspectors are unhappy over the move.

Mr. Oppong-Boanuh, for the first time in so many years, in consultation and approval of the police council, promoted one thousand, eight hundred and forty-two personnel with first degrees on and before 2008 to new ranks. The announcement was made last Friday.

This means any police personnel who passed out before 2008 and possess a first degree with or without study leave or permission qualifies for promotion.

So far seventeen (17) corporals are moving to the rank of sergeant, nine hundred and eighty-nine (989) officers are moving from sergeant to Chief Inspector, and eight hundred and thirty-six are moving from Inspector to Chief Inspector with increased salaries.

However the hope of Some Chief Inspectors who have been in the service for more than twelve (12) years with first degree and were hoping to be promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) still hang in a balance.

“I actually don’t understand these promotions, look I am still Chief Inspector, someone who was my junior with the rank of inspector is now with the same rank with me with enhanced and better conditions of service which recognized institution will encourage this?,” an angry Chief Inspector told Empire FM’s Emmanuel Ohene Gyan in Takoradi on Monday.

Another also lamented, “ the new arrangement by Mr. Oppong-Buanoh means that I need to vacate my seat as a station officer for my junior to take over, this has seriously affected my morale.

The aggrieved Chief Inspectors who are concerned about the development want the anomalies corrected before it further dampens morale in the service as new IGP COP Akuffo Dampare prepares to take over

Bullion van attacks: We’re providing bullet-proof vests, helmets for officers – Dery

In a bid to protect police officers sent on escort duties with bullion vans following the recent attack that led to the death Constable Emmanuel Osei in Accra, the government says it has started providing adequate protective gears for such officers.

This is according to Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.

The Minister said efforts are being made to provide bullet proof vests and helmets as well as body cams for officers.

Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of the final funeral rites of the late officer, Ambrose Dery said the government will facilitate discussions between the banks and the police to ensure the safety of the officers.

“The government has started providing bulletproof vests, bulletproof helmets and we are also working towards providing body cams. Discussions are ongoing between the IGP and the banking systems, and we are going to facilitate that to see how we ensure that the bankers and the police personnel are better protected than they are now,” he said.

The outgoing IGP, James Oppong-Boanuh, following the killing of the officer suggested that the bullion van was substandard and therefore gave banks up to the end of June to provide fortified bullion vans or have no police officer escorting their cash.

Banks in the country however indicated that the deadline given them by the Police is not realistic.

They said it was too close to enable them make the needed changes.

The Ghana Association of Bankers in a statement on the matter said, “as a response, we have committed to comply with the “latest industry standards in compliance, and certification requirements of Cash in Transit (CIT) operations; strengthen dialogue with the providers of CIT service to develop a comprehensive infrastructure, and implement an aggressively proactive approach to staying at the forefront of the continually evolving security threats that the banking sector is exposed to.”

A few months before the unfortunate incident, the Bank of Ghana had issued a directive to all financial institutions to get bulletproof bullion vans to transit their cash.

It said the financial institutions have up to July 2023 to do that.

Source: Citinewsroom.com

I rejected a UK based club job for Asante Kotoko – Nana Yaw Amponsah

 Nana Yaw Amponsah

Asante Kotoko SC CEO, Nana Yaw Amponsah has surprisingly disclosed he rejected an offer from a club in the United Kingdom to take up the Kotoko job because of the huge respect he’s got for the club.

The Asante Kotoko Board’s decision coupled with an approval from His Royal Majesty, Otumfour Osei Tutu II, appointed Nana Yaw Amponsah in August last year to lead the club management as the new Chief Executive Officer. Before his appointment, there were series of reports that were also linking the enterprising football administrator to take up a job at English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, with him confirming that development but didn’t reveal the actual club. Nana Yaw Amponsah has confirmed the earlier speculations that, he turned down an offer from a club in UK just to accept the Asante Kotoko SC job. He said; “There’s a club in UK that wanted to employ me as director of Football. People should respect the institution Asante Kotoko. My salary was negotiated with the board.” Since taking over the club in less than a year, the renowned football agent managed to secure Hisense and Erea as a mega headline and kit sponsorships for the club and also landed a partnership agreement with English Premier League side Southampton- a deal which was launched few weeks ago.

Source: kickgh.com

Mahama refused to rebuild Asomdwee Park – Koku Anyidoho

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Former Deputy General Secretary of the opposition NDC party, Koku Anyidoho has slammed the party’s immediate past flagbearer, John Mahama, for refusing to rebuild the deteriorating Asomwdee Park where late ex-President Atta Mills was laid.null

According to him, ex-president John Mahama has done nothing to honour the memory of his former late boss under whom he served as Vice President,

His comment follows the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday, July 24, commemorating the ninth anniversary of the demise of Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the third President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held at his resting place, Asomdwee Park, near the Osu Castle, in Accra at 0700 hours

Many bigwigs of the Party, including former President John Dramani Mahama, National chairman, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary, including his widow, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, and some party supporters graced the occasion.null

But in an interview with Okay FM monitored by Kasapafmonline.com Monday, Koku Anyidoho who was the Director of Communications during the Mills Administration stated that ex-President Mahama while in office did nothing to ensure that the resting place of his former boss, was put in good shape.

“I won’t go into details but we tried and tried. I will state publicly that John Mahama refused to rebuild Asomdwee Park. Out of millions of Ghanaians Late Prof. Mills picked you to be his running mate, we sold our manifesto and the millions of Ghanaians voted for President Mills to be the President and you became his vice. He passed on and you became President, I’m asking what has John Mahama done to honour the memory of late ex-President Attah Mills”?

Koku Anyidoho appealed to President Akufo-Addo to honour his promise of fully rebuilding the Asomdwee Park, adding that it will be great to have the park ready by the late Prof. Mills 10th anniversary to enable him to add that to his legacies.

Prof Mills died, while in office, on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at the 37 Military Hospital, three days after his birthday

.Source: classfmonline.com

Parliament will not work to frustrate the business of the executive – Alban Bagbin

Alban Bagbin Speaker Of Parliament 202212

• Alban Bagbin says the work of Parliament will not frustrate that of the executive

• He stated that he and the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have grown closer since his election as Speaker of Parliament

• He made this known during the conferment of a Special Award on him in Parliament


Alban Bagbin has said that the work of Parliament will not interfere with that of the executive.

The Speaker of Parliament explained further that the work of Parliament is not in any way intended to make the business of the executive, led by the president, a difficult one.

“While efforts are made to strengthen the independence of Parliament, to give Ghanaians the true sense of the democracy that they voted for, Parliament will not work to frustrate the business of the executive,” he said.null

He added that as evidence of that fact, he and the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have since built stronger ties, ensuring that they work together for the good of the nation.

“As a fact, immediately after my election as Speaker of Parliament, through the initiative of the president, I have built a hearty and fruitful working relations with His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the president of the Republic of Ghana.

Alban Bagbin made this known while delivering an address during a Special Sitting of Parliament to confer a Special Award on him as Speaker of Parliament.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Amfo appointed Ag. UG VC

The newly constituted council of the University of Ghana, Legon, has appointed Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo as the acting Vice Chancellor of the university.

A statement signed by the University’s Registrar, Mercy Haizel-Ashia today, Monday, 26 July 2021 indicated that Prof Amfo’s appointment takes effect from 1 August 2021 until when the University Council appoints a substantive Vice-Chancellor.

Earlier today, a new Council of the University of Ghana, Legon was inaugurated and sworn in by the Minister of Education at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Education, Accra.

The council has Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo as Chair.

In a short meeting after the inauguration of the new Council, it considered Section 10 (2)(b) of the University of Ghana Act 2010 (Act 806), and Section 6(3) of the University of Ghana Statutes, and decided on the appointment of the senior of the two Pro Vice-Chancellors, to act.

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo was the Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for Academic and Student Affairs.

She is the first female to rise to the rank of Acting Vice-Chancellor.

Source: Classfmonline.com

Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill: Base your arguments on law, science not emotions – Sam George

The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Sam George, has said he and his colleague anti-LGBTQI+ legislators are ready to debate anyone who is opposing their anti-gay bill put before parliament but adds that the disagreement of those opposed to the bill must be based on law, facts and science rather than emotions.

He said people have the right to disagree with the stance they, the legislators, have taken to criminalise LGBTQI+ and are welcome to submit memoranda to the Parliamentary Committee when it calls for same.

In a Facebook post, Mr Nartey George said he is proud of his other colleague lawmakers with whom he drafted the bill for the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values.

The 36-page Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, which is yet to be considered by parliament, seeks to unequivocally criminalise LGBTQI+ activities.

Among other things, it says people of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”

It covers any person who “holds out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”

The bill is being sponsored by anti-LGBTQI+ legislators on either side of the aisle.

They submitted a copy of the draft to the Speaker of parliament on 29 June 2021.

The bill is not only targeting persons of LGBTQI+ orientation but also promoters of it.

Below is the full post from Sam Nartey George:

I am proud of my 7 Colleague Members of Parliament with whom the Draft Bill for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values was worked on.

At a time when some may choose convenience and the alluring offers being made, these men and women have given true essence to the title the offices they hold bear. They have stood up for what is right, just, and noble.

You have every right to disagree with our Bill. We can live and tolerate your disagreement. However, let your disagreement be based on law, fact, and science. Not your emotions or thoughts. We are open for anyone who has a memorandum on the Bill to submit same to the Parliamentary Committee when it calls for same. We are ready to debate the issues with anyone or group so long as it is based on law. We are Legislators.

To those asking the essence of having a Bill, what is the value of plenty talk and promises if you are not interested in giving life to your words? Or are they empty words that do not portray the intents of your hearts? Let’s put our money where our mouth is.

I am so proud of my Colleagues and the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians who have stood with us so far. We shall succeed. We shall be victorious.

Hon. Bedzrah Emma Kwasi

Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso

Hon. John Ntim Fordjour

Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini

Hon. Rita Naa Odoley Sowah Hon. Dafeamekpor Etse Rockson Nelson

Hon. Della Sowah

Hon. Samuel Nartey George

Source

Ghana Immigration Service Seizes 1,550 Parcels Of Wee

The Honuta Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has intercepted 1,550 parcels of suspected India hemp at the Klave border enclave.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency, Volta Regional Public Relations Officer of GIS, Assistant Inspector Felix Klu-Adjei, said Superintendent Bernard Kojo Nketiah, the Commanding Officer of the Service at the Honuta Border and his men made the arrest upon intelligence.

He said the driver and his accomplices, on the arrival of the Patrol Team, abandoned the goods and a Toyota Mini Bus with registration number GG 2314-20.

He said a search in the bush, revealed some 19 big sacks, which subsequent investigation by the Ghana Immigration (GIS), Police, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), showed 1,550 compressed parcels of Indian hemp.

Mr Klu-Adjei said a Ghanaian Voter Identification Card bearing the name Ganuvo Kwaku, a driver’s license, GRA Certificate and GRA Income Tax documents were found at the crime scene at Klave.

Deputy Commissioner of Immigration (DCI), Peter Claver Nantuo, the Volta Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, addressing the media, commended the Officer In-charge and the team for a great show of professionalism, high excellence and integrity in foiling the illegal operations of the cross-border syndicates.

He thanked the sister security agencies for their respective efforts and effective collaboration to actualise a common objective.

He praised the District Chief Executive of Ho West, Ernest Victor Apau, the Chiefs and the entire community for rendering their support to the operations of the security agencies.

The confiscated parcels were handed over to the Head of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) in the District, Rodger Vanderpuije, in the presence of the District Chief Executive, for further investigation.

The Command is also in the process of handing over the said vehicle to the appropriate authority for onward investigation.

GNA

We’re Fighting Demons, Principalities – Says Bawumia

Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said sarcastically that there are ‘demons’ and ‘principalities’ working to impede the growth of the economy and the overall development of the country, but assured that the government is determined to take the fight to them.

The Vice President made the statement, which attracted spontaneous laughter and applauds, on Saturday, when he spoke as the Special Guest at the 13th Congregation of Nana Opoku-Ampomah University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

“As you enter the public sector,” he told the graduating class, “you will see that you will be challenged by demons and principalities. The demons and principalities are all over the place and you will have to fight them and we are going to fight them and we are going to win that fight too.”

He said the government’s effort towards building a robust economy through the application of ICT and digitisation, is on course and that will not be compromised in any way.

The Vice President said “some people have wondered, and said oh, Dr. Bawumia, you used to talk about the economy and now you are talking about digitisation, but they do not really see the link that the two are one and the same (sic) because we need to build the fundamentals of the economy and that building the fundamentals of the economy lies in putting in place a system that promotes transparency and accountability and fight corruption.”

Taxable Population

“In fact, we had only about 4% of our adult population registered for taxes that is our tax identification records at the end of 2016 that is from independence to that year and that tells you how narrow the tax base was. There were multiple sales of land, no database on properties, lack of transparency and so on. So we are dealing with a lot of these problems in the economy and in the society,” he pointed out.

He said that “what we basically said was that we have to attack these problems and find solution to these problems because, we have talked about them and talked about them for many years and therefore, the task that faced us was to build a system that was based on data and not on who you know or the discretion of individuals.”

He continued that “if you look at the system that we were inheriting, a lot of activities were based on discretion and on who you know culture. We need to build a system that promotes transparency and accountability, a system that eliminates corruption in the provision of government services and the system that works for the poor and the vulnerable and the excluded in the society.”

Digitising Economy
“We decided that one of the best ways, as we entered this fourth industrial revolution, in the global economy, Ghana could really position itself in the global economy and as well address all of these problems, was to pursue a strategy of digitisation of the economy; and this is why over the last four years, under the leadership of the President, we have been focusing on this,” he added.

The Vice President said that “one of the key tools that we have implemented in this fight has been the national identification system, that is the biometric system and it is a unique system. So far, we have been able to register 15.5 million people under the national identification system, so we moved from zero to 15 .5 million. That is a major for us because now everybody has a unique ID which means that you cannot hide.”

Bank Loans

He said “there used to be a time you can go to a bank, borrow money and then you go and change your name and go to another bank to borrow money and then do that again and again. It used to happen but sorry it is no longer going to happen again because with the national ID we want to bring transparency and with the national ID we are linking all bank accounts.

“We have also implemented a nation digital property addressing system whereby every location in Ghana has a unique address. We had only about 10% or less addressing systems for properties in Ghana but today every property has a unique address and so we have 100% coverage.”

In pursuit of this agenda, the Vice President said that “we have identified 7.5 million properties including properties in the villages and as you can see, the process of placing addresses on all properties is ongoing and we hope to complete that process by next year. This is going to be very important for e-commerce, for deliveries and government services and so on.”

Momo Interoperability

He said “we have also implemented a very unique interoperability for our mobile money. 30% of our adult population have bank accounts and most people had mobile money accounts and we just decided that we should do the interoperability of the bank accounts and the mobile money account so that a mobile money account can function like a bank account. It is a simple idea. We put it together and our people have been able to do it.”

He narrated that “today, Ghana is the only country in Africa that has been able to do this so it has moved the number of people with access to financial services through an account, be it mobile money or bank account from the 30% to 90% and that is a major growth.”

Dr. Bawumia added that “mobile money interoperability has made Ghana the fastest growing mobile money market and last year mobile money transactions in Ghana total $100 billion dollars equivalent, so it is impacting on the economy.”

New Babies

He also said that “we have brought in the universal QR code. We have digitized operations at the DVLA, Passport Office. We are 80% done at the Births and Death Registry and by next year, anybody who is born in the country, regardless of where you were born, at birth you will be given national ID card number and then it will enter the database and that will follow you through school all the way till you die.”

“It will make our census down the road very easy because everybody who dies will get off the database and those born will get on the database and we will have much more accurate data as we move forward,” he added.

Linking ID

“Just by linking the national ID number and making it your tax identification number, we solved a little problem. Immediately we did that, as at June this year, we increased the number of people registered for tax purposes from 4% as at 2016 to 86%. By doing that we were expanding the tax base of the economy and we know that by next year we will be over 90%,” he said, adding “we have done a similar thing for the SSNIT, and NHIS. It is a new economy that we are building and it is going to be a major factor.”

“In the education sector, as we know, COVID-19 presented many challenges across several sectors of our economy but despite the challenges, a number of universities including UPSA have been able to leverage the technology and digitisation to support academic work. And access to internet and connectivity to ensure that academic work, commercial transactions and other social activities were uninterrupted.”

UPSA Boss

Vice Chancellor of the UPSA, Prof. Abednego F.O. Amartey, giving his report said 870 students graduated and the School of Graduate Studies alone presented 764 students comprising 55 for Master of Philosophy, 591 for Master of Business Administration, 107 for Master of Arts and 11 for Master of Science and Insurance Risk Management.

The UPSA Law School also graduated 106 students where 15 of whom obtained Second Class Upper, 47 Second Class Lower and 35 Third Class and one obtaining a pass.

“In 2017, our total student body count was about 11,500, today we are more than 18,000 students,” the Vice Chancellor said, adding “in 2017 we had a total of 20 academic programmes, and we have increased the number to 30. It is worth noting that we have about seven additional programmes in various stages of accreditation

I’m Coming Back – Mahama

John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama is lacing his boots to contest the 2024 presidential election, barring any hitch.

He has, therefore, tasked Muslims in his hometown Bole in the Savannah Region, to pray for him, as he prepares to return into the contest once again after losing the 2016 and 2020 elections respectively to the NPP’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.

Radio Announcement

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bole-Bamboi, Alhaji Yussif Sulemana, relayed the former President’s intentions on Bole-based Nkilgi FM during the 2021 Eid-ul-Adha celebration on Tuesday.

“Former President John Dramani Mahama who is from Bole here (sic) has asked me to tell the good people of Bole-Bamboi Constituency that he has not forgotten of the good things they have done for him over the years and that Inshah Allah (God willing) he is likely to come back to contest elections in his party and so they should use this special Eid-ul-Adha day to thank God and to ask for good health, success and victory for him,” the MP said.

He then said that Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God to sacrifice his only son Ismael to Him and that Ibrahim made an attempt; which is the highest form of obedience to God and situated it to the political dispensation saying, “so former President Mahama entreats his Bole-Bamboi constituents to continue to be obedient to their creator, their parents, elders and also respect and love each other.”

Official Statement

Mr. Mahama, in his 2021 Eid-ul-Adha message, said there is the need for Ghanaians to be reminded of the value of obedience and sacrifice as Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Adha across the world.

He had said Ghanaians should use Eid-ul-Adha to inspire people to give back to humanity, something that is bigger and then sent specific message to Muslims in Bole-Bamboi saying he has always cherished their support over the years and that they should continue to pray for him in all his endeavours.

Long Process

Before he becomes the NDC flagbearer once again, he has to cross the party’s hurdle at the primaries, which political pundits believe is a mere formality.

In 2012, Mr. Mahama, then Vice President, was seconded by the party to contest then impending December presidential election following the sudden passing of then President John Evans Atta Mills whose death occurred on July 24, 2012 and was buried on August 10, 2012.

Mr. Mahama won the controversial election which culminated in the landmark Presidential Election Petition of 2013 which verdict (5-4) narrowly went in his favour on August 29, 2019, after about eight months of trial.

The 2012 petition had been filed by then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and then NPP Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, now deceased.

Then candidate Akufo-Addo after the court’s verdict announced that even though he did not agree with the judges, he was letting things die for the sake of the peace and development of the country.

He then went back to the drawing board planning how to win the 2016 contest, and by dint of hard work, the NPP overpowered the NDC subsequently.

2016 Drama

In 2016, whilst seeking a second term in office, Mr. Mahama was defeated heavily by then opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, by over one million votes, making him the first incumbent to lose an election to an opposition leader in the Fourth Republic.

While Nana Akufo-Addo’s votes appreciated significantly and NDC’s John Mahama dropped votes with then president-elect widening the gaps with 1,002,749 votes, when there was four more constituencies outstanding.

In the final analysis, candidate Akufo-Addo had polled some 5,755,758 representing 53.7% over Mr. Mahama’s 4,771,188, representing some 44.4%, to clinch one touch victory in 2016.

2020 Test

In 2020, there was another showdown between the two leaders but Mr. Mahama was fighting to become President from opposition with the same Nana Akufo-Addo as incumbent.

He was once again defeated by the incumbent President Akufo-Addo who polled 6,730,587, representing 51.303%, to beat the former President, John Mahama, who garnered 6,213,182, representing 47.359% in the eighth election of the Fourth Republic.

The votes’ gap by the president-elect over the former president, who was staging a comeback, was around 517,405 and Mr. Mahama’s 44% in 2016 appreciated to 47% in 2020.

Legal Tussle

Mr. Mahama subsequently launched a legal challenge, claiming he won the election but was denied victory, after he and his party had amassed their supporters to hit the streets to cause mayhem.

However, by the time the case was being heard, the NDC’s stance that Mr. Mahama was denied victory had shifted to whether or not none of the 12 candidates that participated in the 2020 Presidential Election got the constitutionally mandatory 50 per cent plus one of the total valid votes.

The NDC also pushed that the Supreme Court should determine whether the Electoral Commission (EC) had to organise a run-off election between Mr. Mahama as petitioner and President Akufo-Addo who was declared winner by the EC on December 9, 2020 after the crucial December 7, 2020 general election.

No Concession

A few hours after the petition was unanimously dismissed by the Supreme Court, Mr. Mahama refused to concede defeat, and rather launched blistering attacks on the judges, the President and some state institutions.

What was meant to be a criticism of the final judgment of his petition, spilled over to other issues that even had no bearing on the proceedings of the court.

He accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of discriminating against some tribes in the country, saying certain tribes have been sidelined, attacked and discriminated against for quite too long and even said the discrimination has been extended to Mr. Daniel Y. Domelevo, the Auditor General who retired from public service.

He said Mr. Domelevo was compelled to retire because he was from a certain tribe that he said had suffered great injustice and abuse under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, and conveniently refused to explain the circumstances that made the presidency to ask Mr. Domelevo to retire because he had attained the retirement age of 60.

Interestingly, Mr. Domelevo was asked to retire because it had been found out that he tampered with his records at SSNIT in order to remain in government employment, but Mr. Mahama glossed over the facts and just attacked the government for political convenience.

“Others were falsely branded as foreigners and their citizenship called into question unjustly, an abhorrent nation-wrecking prejudice which had been directed against certain ethnic groups of this country and had continued till date, and had even recently visited cruelly on the Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo,” he had said in the no-concession speech.

Volta Propaganda

He also alleged that President Akufo-Addo’s government strategically used the military to create fear and panic in some targeted ethnic groups to discourage them from participating in the 2020 polls.

Mr. Mahama said the selective deployment of military personnel in some parts of the country was used as a tool to instill fear in citizens in those areas and prevent them from taking part in the voter registration and other electoral processes.

Mr. Mahama also alleged that the NPP government spent huge amount of state resources to launch unprovoked attacks on some people, leading to avoidable deaths of some innocent NDC members.

“In the last election, unprecedented levels of state funds were doled out by the ruling party and provoked deadly violence during and after the 2020 general elections,” Mr. Mahama said, adding, “in the process, eight of our compatriots were murdered in cold blood and several others maimed during the process of the elections.

“We have designated these compatriots whose bloods were shed just because they sought to participate in what was a purely civil exercise as Martyrs of Democracy, to whom we shall dedicate an appropriate monument when the time comes.”

Interestingly, the police administration in their post-election press conference said their preliminary reports indicated that almost all the incidents that resulted in deaths in particular constituencies were started by Mr. Mahama’s own NDC supporters

NDC demands comprehensive audit of all COVID-19 related expenditure

• The NDC says it wants all expenditure on the Coronavirus audited

• Haruna Iddrisu explained that the NDC wants the current government to also audit the monies spent before the elections

• He made this known at a forum in Accra


Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, has stated that they want, as a matter of urgency, a comprehensive audit of all expenditures that have been undertaken since the Coronavirus started in Ghana.

According to him, there is the need to know how much has been spent since the pandemic was recorded in the country, as well as every other spending that has been done towards the fight against the coronavirus.null

“The Minority is demanding a comprehensive audit of all COVID-related expenditure in the country, including and adding on the 21 billion that was spent prior to the elections,” he explained.

He made this known at an NDC Ranking Members Forum on the Policy Dialogue on the Economy in Accra addressed by Cassiel Ato Forson, who is a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/54tdM408Tfc

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The NPP is giving our children a burden of carrying a public debt that we cannot pay – NDC

Cassiel Ato Forson Hhgf

• The NDC in Parliament say they are worried about the future of Ghana’s economy due to the current borrowing of the incumbent government

• They explained that the debts we might leave for our children may never be repaid

• They, therefore, advise the government to begin to borrow smartly

The Minority in Parliament has raised concerns about the future of the country, based on what it says is the un-smart borrowing style of the current government, led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Cassiel Ato Forson, a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament and Member of Parliament for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency, explained that with the borrowing streak that the government is on, it will leave huge debts for the future of this nation.

He added that if care is not taken, our children will have to carry such debts on their heads, and may never be able to repay everything.

“I agree with ** when he argued back in 1961 that national debt is a burden for the next generation, and this is especially when the debt is used for consumption expenditure instead of capital expenditure. What the NPP is seeking to do now, they are actually giving all of us – our kids, our next generation, a burden; a burden of carrying public debt, a debt that if we are not careful, we cannot repay,” he explained.

Addressing an NDC Ranking Members Forum on the Policy Dialogue on the Economy in Accra, he advised that the government, like many countries of the world, should borrow but do so smartly.

“So, I want to submit that everyone else borrows but please, borrow smartly. Borrow not for chop-chop, but borrow for things that can repay for itself,” he advised.

The forum is also being addressed by the Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A/R: COVID-19 infects 1,595 health workers

Some 1,595 health workers in the Ashanti Region have been infected with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Regional Health Director, Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, told the media at a press conference today, Monday, 26 July 2021 that 151 of the infected health workers are doctors while 868 are nurses with 576 being other health workers.

He said 1,593 of the infected health workers have recovered while two have died.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), as of Friday, 23 July 2021, Ghana’s total number of active cases stood at 4,521.

A total of 1,406,011 tests have been conducted, out of which 102,103 persons have been infected with the virus, and 96,759 persons have recovered.

The daily infection rate for the past week is 350 cases.

Some 823 people have since died of the pandemic.

Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remain the hotspots

FixTheCountry demo’ll come off despite COVID upsurge – Organisers

The leaders of the #FixTheCountry movement have said they will still proceed with their planned demonstration against the government despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The group, which had intended to pour out on the street last month over the failure of successive governments to fix the prevailing challenges of Ghana, was restrained by the Ghana police service on grounds that the march could be a super spreader of COVID-19.

Given the fact that Ghana’s cases are much higher than before, there are worries that the planned protest slated for August could worsen the COVID-19 situation in Ghana.

However, the group’s spokesperson, Mr Anthony Morkeh, in an interview with Class News, said the group is resolved to go ahead with the demonstration while strictly complying with COVID-19 protocols.

Mr Morkeh said the group ought to be allowed to exercise its rights just as the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did a few weeks ago.

He said: “…As of now, we haven’t been given any red light to stop our demonstration. The COVID is our concern but still the demonstration should come on”.

“It is the president or the police that can tell us not to demonstrate but we have had several demonstrations and funerals in this country and, so, will a #fixthecountry demonstration for just one or two hours burn down the country? I think things must be put in place to make sure we observe COVID-19 protocols”.

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed that the wearing of masks in public places is mandatory and anyone who flouts this law will have him/herself to blame.

He bemoaned and described as ‘troubling’, the drastic decline in the hitherto high compliance rate of mask-wearing.

Failure to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, according to the president, had led to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Addressing the country on the pandemic for the 26th time on Sunday, 25 July 2021, Nana Akufo-Addo said: “It is extremely troubling to note that the high compliance rate with mask-wearing has fallen alarmingly. The wearing of masks in public places, fellow Ghanaians, continues to be mandatory. There are no exceptions to this rule, and strict conformity with this protocol will be enforced. Anyone found to be flouting this directive will have him or herself to blame. We cannot afford anyone’s recklessness to endanger the lives of the majority of persons in the country.”

As part of measures to stop the spread of the virus, the president announced a ban on all post-funeral receptions and said one-week funeral anniversaries should be “restricted solely to family members, and should not exceed a duration of two hours”.

He also directed that all funerals should not go beyond two hours.

He urged workplaces and their owners to run shifts as part of measures to stem the tide of the COVID-19 upsurge

Ofoase Ayirebi: Oppong Nkrumah builds medical theatre for constituents

The Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi constituency in the Eastern Region, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has handed over of a medical theatre to support the services of the facility’s first medical doctor.

The state-of-the-art facility comes on the back of the provision of an official residence and vehicle for the doctor at post so he can serve the over 100,000 people in the district.

The medical theatre has ultra-modern equipment including 1 Electrocardiography (ECG) machine, 10 ECG papers, two incubators, 2 oxygen concentrators, 2 delivery beds, 2 examination couches, 2 examination lamps, 10 hospital beds, 10 bedside cabinets, 5 intravenous (IV) stands, 2 nebuliser sets, 20 oxygen nasal prongs, and 2 vital sign monitors among others.

Speaking at a brief ceremony to open the health facility on Friday, 23 July 2021, Mr Oppong Nkrumah celebrated the work of Dr Prince Koranteng Ampaw and his team and encouraged them to take good care of the facilities.

He said the completion of the theatre will greatly improve health delivery in Brenase as other health facilities in the district are revamped to shore up the health infrastructure stock as part of efforts to close the equity gap as far as geographical access to health services is concerned..

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is the Minister of Information, said: “When I assumed office as Member of Parliament, one of the things that was missing in the constituency was an excellent health facility that will cater for the health needs of my constituents”.

“Accordingly, that was a top priority, so, […] the DCE, Mr Paul Asamoah, and I, channeled our energies into making sure the constituency has state-of-the-art health facilities”.

“Like we did for Ayirebi, today, I am happy to announce to the people of Brenase that they have a designated health facility that will see to their health needs”, he announced.

He also expressed his gratitude to the chiefs and people of the area for providing a conducive environment for the construction and completion of the project.

The ceremony also saw the opening of a permanent residence for the only doctor in the Akyemansa district.

The doctor, who is now stationed in the district, was also given a pick-up vehicle to help with his transportation needs.

In his remarks, the DCE also underscored the benefits of the medical theatre in improving healthcare delivery in the constituency and beyond.

Mr Asamoah said the completion of the theatre is further proof that the MP for the area is committed to providing health infrastructure to help improve healthcare delivery in the district.

For her part, District Health Director Gifty Sunu lauded the minister for listening to the call of his constituents and acting accordingly, in providing the health facility.

She, however, admonished managers of the facility to maintain it so it can adequately serve its intended purpose, stressing that “a lot of investment has gone into this project and we need to prevent the equipment [from] damages”.

Source: classfmonline.com

I support anti-LGBTQ+ bill as a Christian, human rights lawyer – Madina MP

Francis Xavier Sosu 21212121212121211

Francis-Xavier Sosu has clarified his stance on a Private members’ Bill aimed at criminalizing the activities of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, LGBTQ+.

The Madina Member of Parliament last week made comments calling for challenges in the bill to be addressed and for Ghana to be ready to face the economic consequences that may arise from passing such a law.

His views on the poistion of the Speaker of Parlaiment on the issue and comments such as 10 year custodial sentence the bill proposed being highhanded and unresonable attracted some public backlash.

One of which was from former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, who described the Madnina MP’s stance as “courageous, fooolishly courageous,” stressing that most of his constituents will oppose his pronouncements on the issue.

In a Facebook post published late Sunday, July 25, Sosu clarified that he was in
“Following the introduction of Private Member’s Bill titled: The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, Bill 2021, from eight colleague Members of Parliament, there has been varied opinions and misleading reportage about my comments which have been completely taken out of context.

“It appears to me that many people have wrongly judged me when they have neither read the bill nor listened fully to the interviews I granted TV3 and Metro TV in Parliament on Friday, 23rd July, 2021 on the subject matter.

“I have seen and read how many have taken the issues out of context to imply that I am not in support of the bill and that I am even against the Right Hon. Speaker on this Bill.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I am not against The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, Bill 2021 and I am not and will never be an advocate for gay rights although I have been a leading Human Rights advocate for over 10 years and counting.

“As President for Youth for Human Rights Africa, I have had several invitations to be a gay rights advocate but turned all of them down. This is because my personal beliefs as a Christian are against that position and the collective aspirations of the people I represent as a Member of Parliament is against this position as well.

“I believe in the position that, there is no human rights in homosexuality or lesbianism and all its variance now collectively known as LGBTQ+. I have made this position clear throughout my human rights activism and everyone can cross-check that.

“Both in my law practice and human rights advocacy, this position has been clear. If in doubt get the full videos from TV3 and Metro TV to properly understand my position. I also have immense previous records and public positions on this matter,” his rejoinder on the issue read in part.

LGBTQ bill; when the dust settles, reason shall prevail over emotions – Francis Xavier Sosu writes

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

LGBT: You’re courageously foolish – Mubarak descends on Sosu

Ras Mubarak

Ras Mubarak

Former lawmaker Ras Mubarak has described fellow party member and Madina MP Francis Xavier Sosu as courageously foolish over his seeming liberal stance on homosexuality.

It comes after the lawmaker told TV3 that the Speaker of Parliament’s extreme position on LGBT rights did not represent the position of Parliament on the matter.

The Speaker, Alban Bagbin, is on record to have said homosexuality is worse than COVID-19.

Commenting on the development on Facebook, Mr. Mubarak who is former MP for Kumbungu said the Madina MP must recognize that his constituents who voted him are against LGBT rights.

“The Madina MP is courageous but foolishly courageous. He’s in Parliament representing the people of Madina. If he’s minded, majority of the people he represents are very opposed to the things he seeks to defend.Madina MP Francis Sosu

“His is a lost cause and quite sad he’s not putting his constituents first. And for the record, I had called Sosu on Friday and Saturday to see if what had been attributed to him in the last 3days is true, but got no response”.

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament is a known hardliner against rights of the LGBT community.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=442971494&adf=3304061791&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.19~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1627285319&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&tp=site_kit&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F07%2Flgbt-youre-courageously-foolish-mubarak-descends-on-sosu%2F&flash=0&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1627285319650&bpp=25&bdt=5460&idt=-M&shv=r20210720&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D35562e6eb7ef2658-22ee0f3477c900bd%3AT%3D1627285316%3ART%3D1627285316%3AS%3DALNI_MaMk3L0DfmbIu01GkTV9zNf0hthJQ&prev_fmts=0x0&nras=2&correlator=4831436532161&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=12658077.1627285318&ga_sid=1627285318&ga_hid=13690496&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=0&ady=1932&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=609&eid=31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=2044109921526550&pem=610&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=2&uci=a!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=MsWOrjUG3s&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=144

“This world was created by God as a society, is created for us to enjoy and commanded us to procreate and fill the world, now we know those who actually believe in God, now we know where religion actually started.

“This pandemic must be fought by all of us. I can tell you is worse than covid 19, now am happy our beloved country Ghana is together in this. The faint-hearted will soon be stranding to come back to join the fight. His Excellency the President has spoken, our traditional leaders have spoken, our religious leaders have spoken together, Ghanaians have spoken,” the Speaker said about the community last month in Parliament

10 key things Ghana’s anti-LGBTQI+ bill is proposing

Ten key things the Anti LGBTQ Bill is proposing before passage.

The official name for the draft legislation by Ghana’s parliament to criminalise LGBTQI+ practice and advocacy in the country is ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.’

The private members’ bill is being championed by eight members of parliament, namely;

Sam George (MP, Ningo-Prampram)

Della Sowah (MP, Kpando)

Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West)

John Ntim Forjour (MP, Assin South)

Alhassan Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North)

Rita Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon)

Helen Ntoso (MP, Krachi West)

Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi)

The 36-page document is to ensure proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection of and support for children, persons who are victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities.”

It comes at a time when there is raging debate on the subject of LGBQI+ activities in the country, and the tolerance of the country’s laws to persons in the queer community.

The idea for ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021’, was mooted when it became clear that the often-quoted existing laws used to argue against LGBTQI+ activities in the country including Section 104 of the Criminal Code “Unnatural Carnal Knowledge; (c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour; (2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal,” does not necessarily ban persons in the LGBTQI+ community from carrying out their campaign activities.

The proponents of the bill in their memorandum stated that many national leaders including President Akufo-Addo and ex-presidents such as John Agyekum Kufuor and Prof. Evans Atta-Mills have denounced LGBTQI+ activities.

“We believe the time is ripe for Parliament to actualize the intentions of the framers of our Constitution by providing a legal framework for the promotion of the values that define our nationhood,” the promoters of the bill indicate.

Below are some 10 key things the bill is proposing:

  1. Individuals of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are to be fined between 50 and 5,000 penalty units or face a jail term of between 3 years and 5 years, or both.
  2. Persons who use any medium or technological platform to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publish or distribute materials with the intention of promoting LGBTQI+ activities face a jail term of between 5 and 10 years.
  3. All LGBTQI+ groups, associations, clubs and organizations to be disbanded. Anyone found guilty to be jailed between 6 and 10 years.
  4. Proscription of sex with or marriage to an animal
  5. Ban on same-sex marriage and marriage to someone who has undergone sex reassignment
  6. Anyone who funds or sponsors activities of LGBTQI+ groups or individuals to be jailed between 5 and 10 years
  7. LGBTQI+ persons not to be granted application to adopt or foster a child or children
  8. Persons of the same sex who make public show of amorous relationship to face jail term of between 6 months and a year.
  9. Anyone who physically or verbally assaults, abuses or harasses a person accused of being LGBTQI+ to be fined between 500 penalty units and 1,000 penalty units or to be jailed between 6 months and a year.
  10. Persons accused of being LGBTQI+ should be granted access to medical assistance if they make such a request during the period of their incarceration.

LGBTQI rights in Ghana

Some persons have called for a specific law in Ghana to make homosexuality a criminal offence.

Although there are some provisions in the Criminal Code under which a homosexual can be prosecuted, especially for having intercourse with a partner, the belief is that a specific law must be enacted to declare homosexual relationships illegal.

Others have also called for a review of Ghana’s laws to be more accommodating of minority groups, as many countries are decriminalizing homosexuality.

In February 2020 for instance, the then Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, warned the World Bank against homosexuality conditions in development assistance to Ghana.

The current Speaker of Parliament has also spoken about his commitment towards the passage of a new law to deal with homosexuality.

Source: Citinewsroom

Ghana’s debt stock hits GH¢332 billion, debt to GDP now 76.6%

Ghana’s total public debt stock has increased once again according to new data released by the Bank of Ghana.

The debt stock which ended the first quarter of 2021 at GH¢ 304.6 billion, increased by almost GH¢ 30 billion in April and May.

This saw Ghana’s total public debt as of the end of May 2021 rising to GH¢ 332.4.

The new debt figure brings Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 76.6% as of the end of May.

This is the highest recorded so far in the past year, slightly higher than the debt to GDP ratio of 76.1% recorded at the end of 2020 according to data from the central bank.

External Debt

A breakdown of the debt numbers shows that the component of the debt secured outside the country after remaining relatively stable in the first quarter rose significantly by about GH¢ 20 billion from GH¢ 141 billion at the end of March 2021 to GH¢ 161.5 billion at the end of May this year.

The external debt component as of the end of May 2021 made up 37.2% of the total value of the economy, which is projected to be about GH¢ 434 billion for 2021.

Domestic Debt

On the other hand, the component of the debt secured locally increased steadily in the first 5 months of 2021.

When compared with the figure recorded at the end of the first quarter, Ghana’s domestic debt rose by about GH¢ 7 billion, bringing total domestic debt to GH¢ 170.8 billion at the end of May this year from the GH¢163.6 billion recorded at the end of March this year.

The new figure represents 39.4% of the projected GDP for 2021.

The domestic component of the total public debt contains the financial sector resolution bond, which was GH¢ 15.2 billion at the end of May 2021.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s 2021 article IV consultation press release, which contains their staff report and statement by the Executive Director for Ghana, the IMF’s Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) shows that Ghana remains at high risk of external and overall debt distress under the baseline, even though public debt is assessed as sustainable going forward.

The Bretton Woods institution is meanwhile projecting Ghana’s Debt-to-GDP ratio to rise to 83.5% by the end of 2021

Coronavirus: Akufo-Addo sends strong warning to non-mask wearers

Akufo Addo's 17th Address   Nose Mask

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sent a strong warning to people who despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country are not adhering to the key safety protocol of mask wearing.null

Addressing the nation for the 26th time on measures taken against the spread of the deadly virus, Akufo-Addo blamed non-wearing of mask for the recent increase in infections and warned that people who are found guilty will have themselves to blame.

“It is extremely troubling to note that the high compliance rate with mask wearing has fallen alarmingly. The wearing of masks in public places, fellow Ghanaians, continues to be mandatory.

“There are no exceptions to this rule, and strict conformity with this protocol will be enforced. Anyone found to be flouting this directive will have him or herself to blame. We cannot afford to allow the recklessness of a few to endanger the lives of the majority of persons in the country.”

Akufo-Addo confirmed that Ghana is experiencing a third wave of infections as a result of the Delta Variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates.

Ghana’s active cases, as of Wednesday, 21 July 2021 stands at 4,094.

Source: 3news.com

Pastor And Wife Found Dead In Their Home At Ayitikope

Police at Akatsi are yet to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a pastor and his wife at Ayitikope, a farming community near Akatsi in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta Region.

The lifeless bodies of the two, Apostle Augustine Gbedema and Comfort Gbedema were found in a pool of blood in their gated four-bedroom-house last Saturday morning, July 24, 2021. Whereas the Apostle was lying in the compound, the wife was found in the living room and in a supine positon.

The bodies which had multiple wounds suspected to have been caused by a machete, were discovered in an advanced stage of decomposition and diffusing a pungent smell. Suggesting their death happened more than three days before discovery.

Although Police investigation has just started, the hundreds of residents who thronged the house to see the bizarre incident say, they suspect murder.

Family members and residents are unable to come to terms with what they describe as horrific murder of a good couple who were great examples in the community and their church, the Harmony with Jesus Ministry International.

Mr. George Gbedema, an elder of the church and a nephew to Apostle Gbedema narrated that the last time they were seen was on Sunday, July 18, 2021 during church service. He spoke to him the following day on phone and that was it.

He said the couple lived alone in their four-bedroom house located on the outskirts of the community. To this end, apart from Church services and programs, they were hardly seen in the main community. Phone calls were the usual means of checking up on them.

However, since last Thursday, July 22, 2021, several calls made to the phones of the couple were not returned and at some point not reachable. Some members of the Church decided to visit them on Saturday morning.

One reaching there, they saw the main gate locked with a padlock from outside and the small gate locked with a metallic material. However the pastor’s vehicle was parked inside. After knocking the gate several times, they suspected something was not right.

They forcibly entered and found the lifeless body of the pastor outside the house, while the wife was found inside. They secured the house and alerted the Police accordingly. According to George Gbedema, his uncle was his 70s, while the wife was in her late 50s.

With teary eyes, he and other church members said “We are in a state of shock, this is sad and heartbreaking. It is hard to believe that this is true. It is a tragedy.” They described the couple; who left behind a daughter as generous, loving, caring and good shepherds of God’s ministry.

The Akatsi South Municipal Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Joseph Atsu Dzineku who confirmed the incident said investigations have commenced to unravel the mysterious death of the couple. The bodies have since been conveyed to the morgue for preservation and autopsy.

Meanwhile, the Church of the deceased, the Harmony with Jesus Ministry International did not have service last Sunday, July 25, 2021. Instead, the church members and residents joined the family in the house of the couple to mourn and begin preparations for burial

COVID-19 upsurge: Run shifts – Akufo-Addo to workplaces, business owners

President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged workplaces and their owners to run shifts as part of measures to stem the tide of the COVID-19 upsurge.

In his 26th address to the nation on Sunday, 25 July 2021, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “With workplaces currently witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, I want to admonish businesses, workplaces and their owners and management to observe staff management and workplace protocols, such as the use of a shift system and technology, with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols”.

The Ghana Health Service, he noted, “has moved to fortify its contact tracing, testing and treating campaigns, especially across the hotspots of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas. COVID-19 treatment centres continue to be resourced with medical supplies, personal protection equipment, and health workers”.

The president also said: “We will continue to ensure that all arriving passengers at the Kotoka International Airport are in possession of a negative PCR test result upon their arrival in Ghana, a test which should have been conducted not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. In addition, all passengers will continue to be subjected to a mandatory COVID test on arrival”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627249544&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FCOVID-19-upsurge-Run-shifts-Akufo-Addo-to-workplaces-business-owners-26048&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627249543866&bpp=8&bdt=806&idt=973&shv=r20210720&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3402479f9d186f6f-222c59f276c9003e%3AT%3D1627249532%3ART%3D1627249532%3AS%3DALNI_MYFCs-IkEFNvsd5ZYgqKmUF8gcMew&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=2438596081740&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=207965611.1627249534&ga_sid=1627249545&ga_hid=1389892267&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=1781&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=42530671%2C31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=874126911765021&pem=39&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEebr%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=7kUiQhqpqk&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1007

The president said the upsurge in cases clearly shows that Ghana is experiencing a third wave, which he put down to the relaxing of adherence to the safety protocols.

“As per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that, unfortunately, our nation is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections”, the president noted.

“These increased infections have largely been driven by the Delta Variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and, in our case in Ghana, has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalisation and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths”, he noted.

Indeed, he said, in Update No.25, “the last update I rendered, our total active case count stood at one thousand, three hundred and fourteen (1,314), with our daily infection rate standing at one hundred (100). One million, one hundred and twenty-one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight (1,121,168) COVID tests had been conducted, out of which ninety-two thousand, four hundred and sixty (92,460) persons had been infected, ninety-one thousand, one hundred and forty-six (91,146) persons had recovered, with a total of seven hundred and eighty-three (783) deaths”.

As of Wednesday, 21st July 2021, however, “ten (10) weeks later, the Ghana Health Services is now reporting that our total number of active cases stands at four thousand and ninety-four (4,094). A total of one million, three hundred and ninety-four thousand, five hundred and forty (1,394,540) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and one thousand, one hundred and seventy (101,170) persons have been infected with the virus, and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (96,255) persons have recovered”.

“Sadly”, he bemoaned, close to 40 more people have died from COVID over the last 10 weeks, with Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remaining the hotspots of infections. “This entire development is very alarming, especially as we are being told by officials of the Ghana Health Service, that the recovery rate is on the decline”.

“Fellow Ghanaians, it is obvious from the data that we have let our guard down, with many going about their daily duties in clear breach and disregard for the protocols”.

“At a time when the economy is on the rebound, and business activities picking up, we must do everything possible to contain this outbreak”, he urged, adding: “We cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties for all of us”.

The president announced a ban on all post-funeral receptions and said one-week funeral anniversaries should be “restricted solely to family members, and should not exceed a duration of two hours”.

He also directed that all funerals should not go beyond two hours.

The 26th COVID-19 address comes 24 hours after the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) warned that fully-vaccinated persons are testing positive for the fast-spreading Delta variant with very high viral loads.

NMIMR observed, “with concern”, some characteristics of the new Delta variant of SARS-Cov-2 detected at the institute’s testing centre since April 2021.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2732832048&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627249545&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FCOVID-19-upsurge-Run-shifts-Akufo-Addo-to-workplaces-business-owners-26048&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627249543895&bpp=5&bdt=835&idt=1219&shv=r20210720&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3402479f9d186f6f-222c59f276c9003e%3AT%3D1627249532%3ART%3D1627249532%3AS%3DALNI_MYFCs-IkEFNvsd5ZYgqKmUF8gcMew&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=2438596081740&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=207965611.1627249534&ga_sid=1627249545&ga_hid=1389892267&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=5295&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=42530671%2C31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=874126911765021&pem=39&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEebr%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=epau2ekmaQ&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1255

In a statement issued on Saturday, 24 July 2021, the Institute said the “positive cases have very high viral loads indicated by low cut-off thresholds (CT values) obtained in the real-time RT-PCR assay”.

The CT values for the majority are between 15 and 20 compared to higher values above 30, seen previously, NMIMR noted.

The Institute also said it has observed that “the positive individuals are taking longer to clear the virus”, explaining: “This is evident in the number of retests that still test positive”.

NMIMR also revealed that its recent sequencing of SARS-Cov-2 has revealed an “increased circulation of the Delta variant in Ghanaian communities compared to the earlier Alpha variants”. “The higher viral loads observed in recent cases are attributable to the Delta variant”, the statement said.

Transmission of SARS-Cov-2 is directly linked to how much virus is shed in droplets during sneezing and coughing, which also determines the spread through talking, singing and other related activities.

The Delta variant has been reported to spread faster than the other variants and our testing observations confirm that.

The statement said some clinical specimen submitted to the Institute have tested positive with high viral loads. “Also, 7.34 per cent (840/6,538) of the positive cases recorded from asymptomatic persons who visit the walk-in centre to test for travel, work- or school-related purposes from 1 June to 22 July 2021, have equally high viral load”, NMIMR noted.

Noguchi warned: “With a population of more than 80 per cent unvaccinated, the country must be concerned that if these, apparently healthy carriers, transmit the virus to the unvaccinated, we may have a more serious outbreak to deal with as a nation”.

Some of these positive cases, it noted, “have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccines”.

“It is, therefore, recommended that the government take a second look at the state of adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols and appropriate restrictions”. Currently, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Ghana has shot up to 4,094, the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service indicate.

Some 423 new cases have been confirmed.

The death toll has also risen to 821.

Since March 12, 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Ghana up to date is 101,170. Out of that number 96,255 have recovered.

A few days ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the rising number of active COVID-19 cases shows that “we’ve let our guard down”.

Addressing Muslims at the Eid-ul-Adha celebration at the National Central Mosque at Kanda, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us – unfortunately”.

“This means that for the second year running, we are having to hold a subdued Eid celebration”, he observed. “As we continue to count on the grace of God to protect our country from the ravages of the pandemic like he has since its outbreak, we can only minimise its health effects and avoid a full-blown third wave if we continue to be responsible and observe the safety and hygiene protocols.”

He noted: “The recent increase in the number of infections is a source of worry for me and, indeed, for all Ghanaians”.

“From the rising numbers, it is safe to conclude that we have let our guard down and are beginning to live our lives and conduct our businesses as though we are in normal times”.

“It is important to repeat that the virus is still with us and until each one of us receives a dose of the vaccine, the protocols must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily activities,” he added

COVID-19 upsurge: Run shifts – Akufo-Addo to workplaces, business owners

President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged workplaces and their owners to run shifts as part of measures to stem the tide of the COVID-19 upsurge.

In his 26th address to the nation on Sunday, 25 July 2021, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “With workplaces currently witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, I want to admonish businesses, workplaces and their owners and management to observe staff management and workplace protocols, such as the use of a shift system and technology, with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols”.

The Ghana Health Service, he noted, “has moved to fortify its contact tracing, testing and treating campaigns, especially across the hotspots of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas. COVID-19 treatment centres continue to be resourced with medical supplies, personal protection equipment, and health workers”.

The president also said: “We will continue to ensure that all arriving passengers at the Kotoka International Airport are in possession of a negative PCR test result upon their arrival in Ghana, a test which should have been conducted not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. In addition, all passengers will continue to be subjected to a mandatory COVID test on arrival”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627249544&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FCOVID-19-upsurge-Run-shifts-Akufo-Addo-to-workplaces-business-owners-26048&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627249543866&bpp=8&bdt=806&idt=973&shv=r20210720&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3402479f9d186f6f-222c59f276c9003e%3AT%3D1627249532%3ART%3D1627249532%3AS%3DALNI_MYFCs-IkEFNvsd5ZYgqKmUF8gcMew&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=2438596081740&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=207965611.1627249534&ga_sid=1627249545&ga_hid=1389892267&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=1781&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=42530671%2C31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=874126911765021&pem=39&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEebr%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=7kUiQhqpqk&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1007

The president said the upsurge in cases clearly shows that Ghana is experiencing a third wave, which he put down to the relaxing of adherence to the safety protocols.

“As per data available from the Ghana Health Service, it appears that, unfortunately, our nation is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections”, the president noted.

“These increased infections have largely been driven by the Delta Variant of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, has increased transmissibility rates, and, in our case in Ghana, has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalisation and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths”, he noted.

Indeed, he said, in Update No.25, “the last update I rendered, our total active case count stood at one thousand, three hundred and fourteen (1,314), with our daily infection rate standing at one hundred (100). One million, one hundred and twenty-one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight (1,121,168) COVID tests had been conducted, out of which ninety-two thousand, four hundred and sixty (92,460) persons had been infected, ninety-one thousand, one hundred and forty-six (91,146) persons had recovered, with a total of seven hundred and eighty-three (783) deaths”.

As of Wednesday, 21st July 2021, however, “ten (10) weeks later, the Ghana Health Services is now reporting that our total number of active cases stands at four thousand and ninety-four (4,094). A total of one million, three hundred and ninety-four thousand, five hundred and forty (1,394,540) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and one thousand, one hundred and seventy (101,170) persons have been infected with the virus, and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (96,255) persons have recovered”.

“Sadly”, he bemoaned, close to 40 more people have died from COVID over the last 10 weeks, with Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remaining the hotspots of infections. “This entire development is very alarming, especially as we are being told by officials of the Ghana Health Service, that the recovery rate is on the decline”.

“Fellow Ghanaians, it is obvious from the data that we have let our guard down, with many going about their daily duties in clear breach and disregard for the protocols”.

“At a time when the economy is on the rebound, and business activities picking up, we must do everything possible to contain this outbreak”, he urged, adding: “We cannot afford to return to the days of partial lockdowns, which brought considerable hardships and difficulties for all of us”.

The president announced a ban on all post-funeral receptions and said one-week funeral anniversaries should be “restricted solely to family members, and should not exceed a duration of two hours”.

He also directed that all funerals should not go beyond two hours.

The 26th COVID-19 address comes 24 hours after the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) warned that fully-vaccinated persons are testing positive for the fast-spreading Delta variant with very high viral loads.

NMIMR observed, “with concern”, some characteristics of the new Delta variant of SARS-Cov-2 detected at the institute’s testing centre since April 2021.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2732832048&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1627249545&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FCOVID-19-upsurge-Run-shifts-Akufo-Addo-to-workplaces-business-owners-26048&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1627249543895&bpp=5&bdt=835&idt=1219&shv=r20210720&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3402479f9d186f6f-222c59f276c9003e%3AT%3D1627249532%3ART%3D1627249532%3AS%3DALNI_MYFCs-IkEFNvsd5ZYgqKmUF8gcMew&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=2438596081740&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=207965611.1627249534&ga_sid=1627249545&ga_hid=1389892267&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_nplug=0&u_nmime=0&adx=56&ady=5295&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=42530671%2C31060474%2C20211866&oid=3&pvsid=874126911765021&pem=39&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CEebr%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=epau2ekmaQ&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1255

In a statement issued on Saturday, 24 July 2021, the Institute said the “positive cases have very high viral loads indicated by low cut-off thresholds (CT values) obtained in the real-time RT-PCR assay”.

The CT values for the majority are between 15 and 20 compared to higher values above 30, seen previously, NMIMR noted.

The Institute also said it has observed that “the positive individuals are taking longer to clear the virus”, explaining: “This is evident in the number of retests that still test positive”.

NMIMR also revealed that its recent sequencing of SARS-Cov-2 has revealed an “increased circulation of the Delta variant in Ghanaian communities compared to the earlier Alpha variants”. “The higher viral loads observed in recent cases are attributable to the Delta variant”, the statement said.

Transmission of SARS-Cov-2 is directly linked to how much virus is shed in droplets during sneezing and coughing, which also determines the spread through talking, singing and other related activities.

The Delta variant has been reported to spread faster than the other variants and our testing observations confirm that.

The statement said some clinical specimen submitted to the Institute have tested positive with high viral loads. “Also, 7.34 per cent (840/6,538) of the positive cases recorded from asymptomatic persons who visit the walk-in centre to test for travel, work- or school-related purposes from 1 June to 22 July 2021, have equally high viral load”, NMIMR noted.

Noguchi warned: “With a population of more than 80 per cent unvaccinated, the country must be concerned that if these, apparently healthy carriers, transmit the virus to the unvaccinated, we may have a more serious outbreak to deal with as a nation”.

Some of these positive cases, it noted, “have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccines”.

“It is, therefore, recommended that the government take a second look at the state of adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols and appropriate restrictions”. Currently, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Ghana has shot up to 4,094, the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service indicate.

Some 423 new cases have been confirmed.

The death toll has also risen to 821.

Since March 12, 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Ghana up to date is 101,170. Out of that number 96,255 have recovered.

A few days ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the rising number of active COVID-19 cases shows that “we’ve let our guard down”.

Addressing Muslims at the Eid-ul-Adha celebration at the National Central Mosque at Kanda, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us – unfortunately”.

“This means that for the second year running, we are having to hold a subdued Eid celebration”, he observed. “As we continue to count on the grace of God to protect our country from the ravages of the pandemic like he has since its outbreak, we can only minimise its health effects and avoid a full-blown third wave if we continue to be responsible and observe the safety and hygiene protocols.”

He noted: “The recent increase in the number of infections is a source of worry for me and, indeed, for all Ghanaians”.

“From the rising numbers, it is safe to conclude that we have let our guard down and are beginning to live our lives and conduct our businesses as though we are in normal times”.

“It is important to repeat that the virus is still with us and until each one of us receives a dose of the vaccine, the protocols must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily activities,” he added