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Galamsey: 1 dead, 14 arrested, 2 Toyota Landcruisers vandalized in Ashanti region

Fourteen(14) persons are in the grips of the Ashanti Regional Police Command for chasing some illegal miners from a mining site at Ntobroso in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region, resulting in the death of one.

The group, who had stormed the mining town in two Toyota Prado Land Cruiser vehicles posing as a task force from the Minerals Commission are alleged to have been terrorizing and extorting money and gold from artisanal miners in that area for a long time, but luck eluded them on Wednesday.

One illegal miner died when he fell and drowned in the Offin River while fleeing from the group who had stormed the mining site in their two vehicles clad in security accouterments and wielding guns.

The deceased, popularly known as Nana Addo was a cobbler at Asuoyeboah, a suburb of the Kwadaso Municipality who had gone to the mining area in the company of other young men for greener pastures after he was unable to operate his shop during the 3 week lockdown on the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area.

Speaking on Kumasi-based Angel FM on Thursday, Oboy Emma, a mobile phone seller at Adum Kumasi who was with the deceased hunting for gold when the group stormed the site said the disease fell in the river in his attempt to flee from the fierce group; they were two that jumped into the river but the other survived.

Youth of the Ntobroso town barricaded the road and accosted the group when they tried fleeing after noticing the death of the young man; their two land cruisers were seized and vandalized.

The District Chief Executive for Atwima Mponua, Hon Williams Darko said it took the intervention of the chief of Ntobroso to whisk the group of 14 into his palace for cover before the youth could lynch them.

He indicated that they have been arrested, fourteen in all and handed over to the Ashanti Regional Police Command.

Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah says the matter is being investigated and whoever falls foul before the law would not be spared after it was suggested to him that the group had links to the government and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Source: My News GH

Amidu’s age eligibility: Dominic Ayine got it wrong – Deputy AG

Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney-General (AG) and Minister for Justice, has indicated that his predecessor, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, sought to mix up the terms Public Office and Public Service.

He explained that Article 295 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana defines the two expressions, namely, “Public Office” and “Public Service” differently.

According to the Deputy AG, the only qualification for a person to be a Public Officer is to draw salaries or emoluments out of public funds or the Consolidated Fund.

“Indeed Article 295 of the Constitution defines Public Office to be an office, the emoluments attached to which are paid out of the Consolidated Fund and then the Public Service also defined as any office in the civil service. So, you find that Public Service has broader elements in relation to the narrow definition of a public officer and this imply that there are many categories of public office holders,” he told Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana on Thursday.

He explained further that persons holding career offices in the public service thus retire at the age of 60 as clearly defined in Article 199 of the 1992 Constitution.

“The Constitution has a separate chapter devoted to the Public Services of Ghana and Article 190 (1) defines Public Services, and the first on the list is the Civil Service of government and it goes down to the Judicial Service, the CHRAJ, the Parliament of Ghana, the Audit Service amongst others,” he stated.

He noted that the President has the power under the constitution to appoint all public servants in Ghana. “So, Article 194 states that the power to appoint a person to hold an office in the public service of Ghana, is vested in the president upon the advice of the governing council given in consultation with the Public Service Commission.”

Lawyer Dame stated that the Attorney-General in the Ayine v Amidu case pointed it out that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) falls within the category of persons anticipated under Article 199 which stipulates the retiring ages of public service holders.

He said that Dr Ayine reduced the argument of Martin Amidu’s age into simple terms which implies that a public officer is a public servant and all public servants retire at the age of 60.

“That is a constitutional fallacy because not all public officers are public servants but indeed all public servants are public officers. So, public office has that broad umbrella,” he stressed.

He stated further that the Supreme Court distinguished that the Special Prosecutor, was appointed into the broad public office.

“Martin Amidu is a public officer because his salaries are paid out of the consolidated fund but Parliament in exercise of its powers enacted an Act of Parliament specifically making provisions for the manner of appointment of Martin Amidu,” said the deputy A-G. “The Act of Parliament gave a term of 7 years to the Special Prosecutor to retire.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

10 previous govt appointees jailed for causing financial loss to the state

Corruption in Ghana has been common since independence.

There is a growing perception in Ghana that government-related corruption is on the rise.

Even though corruption in Ghana is relatively low when compared to other countries in Africa, businesses frequently quote corruption as an obstacle for doing business in the country.

Corruption occurs often in locally funded contracts, companies are subject to bribes when operating in rural areas.

Ghanaians have been occupied in recent weeks by the trial of former government appointees.

Under the administration of former President John Agyekum Kufour, many former government appointees were trailed and jailed on charges of corruption.

Though most of the jailed appointees belong to the opposition, that record of successfully prosecuting corrupt public officials stands unmatched.

Here are 10 previous government appointees that were jailed by the NPP for causing financial loss to the state.

1. Tsatsu Tsikata: Legal luminary and former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation boss, Tsatsu Tsikata was jailed in 2008 for causing financial loss to the state. He was said to have intentionally misapplied GH¢2,000 (20 million old cedis) to acquire shares in Valley Farms. Tsatsu was pardoned by President Kufuor before he exited office.

2. Mallam Issa: The People’s National Convention (PNC) member and former Minister of Youth and Sports was jailed in 2003 when monies that were in his car got missing mysteriously during a Black Stars World Cup Qualifier against Sudan in 2002. The money was $46,000.

3. Dan Abodakpi: In 2007, former Member of Parliament for Keta, Dan Abodakpi was jailed 10 years. sentenced him on three counts of conspiracy, two counts of defrauding, and two counts of willfully causing financial loss of $400,000 to the State.

4. Victor Selormey: The late Victor Selormey was a former deputy Minister of Finance and was accused of conspiring with the then Minister of Trade and Industry, Dan Abodakpi to divert funds of $400,000 meant for a project. But he was sentenced in 2001 for his involvement in the Quality Grain Scandal.

Selormey, who was convicted on all the six counts of defrauding by false pretense, conspiracy, and causing financial loss to the state arrived at the Nsawam Medium Prisons at exactly 4 pm amidst tight security.

5. Kwame Peprah: An Accra High Court sentenced former Finance Minister Kwame Peprah to 4 years in prison in 2003 for his role in the Quality Grain scandal. charged with conspiracy and causing financial loss of 20 million dollars to the State in a rice project at Aveyime in the Volta Region.

6. Abuga Pele: A former National Coordinator of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Abuga Pele was convicted in February 2018 and charged with a six-year jail term for willfully causing a loss of GH¢4.1 million to the state of Ghana.

The court also found Pele guilty of acting in a manner that resulted in the loss of the amount to the state.

The former MP was slapped with a lower sentence because the court held that there “was no evidence that he benefited from the proceeds of the crime.”nal Communications Authority (NCA) was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

He was jailed for his role in a “clandestine” purchase of US$4million cybersecurity equipment.

8. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie: Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former board chairman of the NCA will also serve six years imprisonment for his part in the $4m NCA scandal.

Baffoe-Bonnie received more years because the court held that he personally benefited from the deal to a tune of $200,000.

9. Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman: A former Deputy National Security Coordinator also joined Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and William Tetteh Tevie for willfully causing financial loss of $4m to the state.

Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

The three were found guilty of indulging in acts that led the State to lose the amount in a deal purchase of a cybersecurity surveillance equipment, known as the Pegasus machine, for the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which was sponsored by the NCA.

10. Philip Assibit: Philip Akpeena Assibit, a representative of the Goodwill International Group was jailed to 12 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of causing financial loss to the state.

Assibit will serve 3 years for dishonestly causing financial loss to the state and 12 years for defrauding by false pretense.

The conviction follows 4 years of a legal battle at the High Court, where state prosecutors and defense lawyers for the accused put forward evidence to advance their claims.

Assibit was jailed together with Abuga Pele. The two men were alleged to have connived to defraud the state of some ¢4.1 million but they had pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.

Source: pulse.com.gh

No voters’ register, no election 2020 – Danquah Institute

There was a raging debate over whether or not Ghana needs a new voters’ register in the upcoming December elections until the Electoral Commission (EC) put things to rest by confirming April 18, 2020, as the date for the compilation of a new voters’ register to begin.

The EC’s plans has been derailed with COVID-19 arriving at the shores of Ghana. And this has started another debate on whether the register needs to be compiled amidst the outbreak of the virus.

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Richard Ahiagbah, has insisted that the new voters register needs to be compiled regardless.

According to him, election 2020 cannot come off per the constitution of Ghana if the new voters’ register is not compiled.

He made this statement in an interview on Happy98.9FM’s ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show with Doctar Cann. In his own words he noted, “we need to compile a new voters’ register. The law gives no room for us to have an election without compiling the register. We need to compile a new register or engage in a limited voter registration exercise”.

When concerns were raised on the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard Ahiagbah opined that it is possible for the voters registration exercise to go on whilst the Government still fought the virus. He noted that his statement was not made out of political ambitions. “Whether there is COVID-19 or not, whether we will vote or not, we need to open up the voters’ register for people without their names to get registered. And that is the law”.

On his authority if it becomes impossible for citizens to get their names in the voters’ register then there would be no need for election 2020, because these individuals will be deprived of their right to vote.

He reiterated that, he could not dictate to the EC what they should do but the law requires them to compile the voters’ register. “Election 2020 can never come off without a limited voters’ register or new one. The EC can even be sued for preventing citizens from exercising the rights”.

Source: happyghana.com

Claims that Ghana is at the peak of coronavirus false – Lecturer

Contrary to claims by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) that Ghana was at its peak of the coronavirus, a biostatistician has refuted the claims calling on Ghanaians to expect more cases.

Dr. Justice Aheto explained that Ghana currently does not have the supportive and fundamental data needed to arrive at such a conclusion as it fights the pandemic.

The GHS on Tuesday announced Ghana was at its peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie said we at the stage of decline but not out of the hook yet.

At a press briefing at the Ministry of Information in Accra today [Tuesday, May 5, 2020], Mr Sarkodie in answering a question as to where Ghana is on the bell curve, he said, “So to answer directly to the question, we are at the peak of the curve.”

He explained that the determination of the bell curve depended on a lot of factors, noting that based on the samples that are being tested, the country appears to be at the peak of the curve.

“If we are using the daily case incident with the signs and symptoms, then that will have a challenge. So clearly, the best data that we are using for the bell shaped curve is the use of data of the dates samples were tested”, he said.

He added “So, you will realise that with the sharp rise and now with the cases that we are testing, clearly, we seem as a country to be on top of the peak and we are at stage to decline; that is the observation now.”

But speaking to Accra based Citi Fm, the University of Ghana lecturer, Dr. Aheto said: “We are still working together in order to get reliable data that can help us estimate the prevalence of the infection and the peak of it. We haven’t got there yet so I don’t know which data he is speaking to. Something we need to know is the reproductive rate so we could tell how many people can be infected within a day to enable us to make a forecast on how many people will be affected, recovered, or dead with a specified time period.

“It is only when we have this available to us before we can say that Ghana is at its peak when it comes to the infection. But as of now, we have not been able to get that data yet. The figures they churn out are accumulated figures and not daily data”.

” We need this data to be able to make a proper determination as to whether we are getting to the peak or we are decreasing. This has not been done yet so I don’t know which data the Ghana Health Service Director is using. In instances like this, you cannot determine at which rate you are reaching your peak.”

Source: rainbownradioonline.com

Pistol, empty shell retrieved from accident vehicle of dead VRA staff

A Brazilian made Pistol with registration number NFP 73466 Taurus and an empty shell have been retrieved from the accident Vehicle of a Senior Staff of Volta River Authority (VRA) who was killed in a fatal accident at Akuse.

Kasapafmonline.com published Sunday that On Saturday, May 2, 2020, at about 16:15 pm, the deceased Engineer – Eric Dogbe, 46, a senior staff of VRA was driving an unregistered Toyota Corolla vehicle with one occupant on board from Juapong to Akuse, but on reaching a section of the road, a few metres away from the VRA security checkpoint he lost control of the steering wheel and as a result, the vehicle veered off its lane into the opposite lane and entered a Canal nearby.

Both the driver and the passenger were rushed to Akuse Government Hospital for treatment but the driver Eric Dogbe was pronounced dead on arrival whilst Peter Horlenyor was admitted but has been discharged.

Kasapa News has gathered that a day after the accident, one of the persons who helped extricate the two occupants of the vehicle, walked to Akuse Police Station and handed over a Pistol without the magazine and stated that he found the Pistol when assisting to bring out the accident victims from the vehicle in the Canal.

The pistol is suspected to belong to the deceased Eric Dogbey.

A further search by the Akuse Police in the accident vehicle by Detectives detected a small hole at the back of the driver’s seat and also found in the vehicle an empty shell.

Police became suspicious and went to the Mortuary for further examination on the deceased. A wound suspected to be a gunshot at the back of the right shoulder was found.

The body of the deceased deposited at the Akuse Government Hospital mortuary would be moved to Police Hospital mortuary for autopsy.

Source: Kasapa FM

Arrested royals to be processed for court tomorrow for flouting social distance protocol

Four royals of the Akuapem Traditional Area in the Eastern Region arrested by the Police over the weekend for flouting social distancing protocols in the wake of COVID-19 are expected to be processed for court on Tuesday, 5 May 2020.

According to the Police the four royals spearheaded the enstoolment of the Paramount Chief of the Akuapem Traditional area, Odehye Kwadwo Kesse despite a ban on social gathering as part of moves to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus which has killed 18 Ghanaians so far with some 2,169 recorded cases.

President Akufo-Addo extended the ban on social gatherings by additional two-weeks during his last address to the nation.

Social distancing is recommended by the World Health Organisation as part of measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To this end, some Ghanaians took to social media to criticise the action by the traditional council saying they put the lives of the people of the region at risk with their mass gathering.

Source: Class FM

Brother of Bishop Bernard Nyarko speaks on how his brother died

The Ghana Movie Industry was hit with the news of the sudden demise of actor and man of God, Bishop Bernard Nyarko.

Many of his colleagues and movie lovers have been mourning the late actor.

There have been a lot of speculations about the cause of his death, with some attributing it to juju that was plotted by his colleagues in the movie industry.

In a recent interview, the brother of the late actor, Isaac Darko, disclosed that his brother died a natural death.

“My brother died peacefully at Ridge Hospital in Accra,” he said.

He, however, discredited the speculations within the media circles.

Source: GH Base

Mahama’s running mate is from the Ashanti Region – Paul Adom-Otchere hints

Following the announcement that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is set to announce the running mate for its flag bearer, John Damani Mahama ahead of the 2020 elections in May, Television broadcaster, Paul Adom-Otchere has hinted that the person to be named hails from the Ashanti Region.

According to him, after several meetings between the NDC’s flagbearer and the founder of the party, Jerry John Rawlings, it has been decided that someone who comes from the Ashanti region would be selected.

This plan, Paul believes, when adhered will garner the support of the founder as well as help in the campaign towards the elections.

“We suspect that if J.J Rawlings is thinking about a running mate for John Mahama, giving that John Mahama comes from the North and he’s thinking about a running mate from the south, we think JJ will point him…directly to the Ashanti Region,” he said on his TV show Good Evening Ghana.

He asserted that the reason for the delay in the announcement of Mahama’s running mate was because both Mahama and Rawlings were in talks to select the ‘right’ person from the Ashanti region with integrity.

“We think John Mahama is having conversations with Rawlings and the conversations have not ended conclusively and that is why this conversation has delayed. We think that what is conclusive about their conversation is that they’ll go to Ashanti region, and the criteria that Rawlings has put on the table for the running mate that he would support is a criterion called integrity.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

7 pregnant women test positive for coronavirus

At least seven pregnant women in Ghana are said to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Dr. Gabriel Benaku, Chairman for Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) on Health, who revealed this to Stephen Anti on TV3’s Midday Live Tuesday fears the disease could have effect on the unborn babies.

“We already have spotted 7 pregnant women who are infected with covid-19,” he said, “that have implication on their children, and their immediate family.”

As of April 26, 2020 Ghana has recorded a total of 1,550 cases of covid-19 since the disease was first confirmed in the country on March 12. Eleven persons have died with 155 recoveries leaving the active case at 1,384.

Dr. Benaku is therefore calling on all and sundry, especially government, to give the needed support to scientists in Ghana to help save such situation.

Though he commended government for developing interest in vaccine for patients living with Covid-19, he wanted the government to walk his talk.

“Government should invest into vaccine production locally so we can use our integrated approach” he said, in solving cases of Covid-19 as well as malaria and other infectious diseases.

Source: 3 News