February 26, 2021
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“BE AGENTS OF PEACE”–ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON URGES FIRST TIME VOTERS

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, has urged all First Time Voters to be agents of peace as Ghana prepares to hold Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on December 7, 2020.

Ms. Mensa noted that the “destiny of this country is in the hands of the youth and their participation in the political process is key. However, the youth need to put the interest of the country first by standing out as agents of peace before, during and after the elections.”

The Chairperson said this when she met with Youth Bridge Foundation, a youth group aimed at mobilizing and building the capacity of Ghanaian First Time Voters to ensure they make informed decisions when they go to the polls.

Led by actress Clara Amoateng Benson also known as Maame Serwaa, the youth group commended the Commission’s Let the Citizen Know initiative for its role in giving them an opportunity to understand and be part of the electoral process.

The actress, herself a First Time Voter, led her colleagues to make a pledge to support the Commission’s voter education campaign and play an advocacy role in the efforts to get the youth in Ghana to respect the electoral process.

“We are happy that for the first time, the youth in this country are showing a keen interest in the electoral process. I urge them to review the policies and programmes of the various political parties before casting their vote. I also encourage them to turn up in their numbers early on election day and vote,” Ms. Jean Mensa added.

On his part, Dr. Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission in charge of Corporate Services assured all registered voters and the First Time Voters that their registration details are intact and that the Commission will continue to be fair, transparent and also uphold the integrity of the electoral process.

Haruna Attah Eulogizes John Mahama In Forthcoming Book

Former Ambassador to Namibia and Botswana Haruna Attah in his yet to be launched book has eulogized President John Dramani Mahama as they worked in close proximity with each other, personally and professionally.

The book will be released at the end of August, with NDC running mate Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Ageymang as the Guest of Honor.

The over 300 paged book contains the diplomats privilege of the working relationship he had with President Mahama as a High Commissioner and also as a friend.

In Mr Attah’s words “it’s a vignette of events. It’s a book in two parts, the first part is what I call the homeland briefs and that one talks about our homeland issues, whether it is dumsor, whether it is the GITMO-2 whether it is the MONTIE-3, whether it is to do with our chieftaincy system and the ballot box. Its a collection of so many things.

“Then the part two also looks at my experience in diplomacy as High Commissioner of Ghana to Namibia and Botswana and all sorts of interesting things also. And you have to read them to see the diaspora engagements for example, my experience with meeting for the first time in my life a transgender person, and how an ostrich nearly cost me my life,” Mr Attah said on the sidelines of the Hype UP Park N Watch event at the Ghana Club on Friday.

The book will feature bits and pieces of President Rawlings, other past presidents and also President Mahama’s growing up.

Part one consists of Forty-two chapters, whiles part two will have Twenty-five.

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

5 major highlights from Akufo-Addo’s 9th coronavirus address

Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave his 9th address on the COVID-19 on Sunday, May 10, 2020.

He updated the nation on the measures taken against the spread of coronavirus.

Amongst other things, President Akufo-Addo revealed in his address that COVID-19 cases in Ghana are now 4,700.

He also noted that 494 patients have so far recovered with the death toll still standing at 22.

Pulse.com.gh presents highlights of President Akufo-Addo’s 9th address to the nation on the COVID-19 crisis.

1. Critics of government’s COVID-19 fight doing it for ‘political survival’ – Nana Addo President Nana Akufo-Addo said: “I know some political actors would want you to believe that our current numbers represent a failure on the part of the government” but “do not begrudge them”, adding: “They need to make such comments for their political survival”.

Akufo-Addo extends social gathering ban to May 31 He also announced an extension of the ban on social gatherings to the end of May 2020.

“Tonight, I have come into your homes to announce that the ban on public gatherings, as set out in Executive Instrument 34, has been extended, also to the end of the month i.e., 31st May.”

Healthy living to boost immunity against COVID-19 Nana Addo further called on Ghanaians to as a matter of urgency improve their fitness and personal hygiene practises as a way of boosting their immunity against COVID-19.

“It is critical that I raise one significant side of the fight against this virus, which has not been given enough emphasis, but has to do with the change in attitude that will impact our lifestyles.”

NCCE to get 10,000 nose masks and cash for COVID-19 sensitization The President said his government will on Monday, May 11, provide the NCCE with 10,000 locally produced nose masks and cash to enable it effectively carry out its responsibilities as a state agency.

“Further, we have extended this gesture to other frontline actors engaged in the fight, with the presentation of five thousand (5,000) PPEs to members of the media, and tomorrow, Monday, 11th May, 10, 000 domestically-produced face masks and more money will be delivered to the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), to enhance its capacity to undertake the important work it is already doing”, he said.

W.H.O has reached out to Ghana to share our sample-pooling techniques with other African countries “The World Health Organisation has reached out to us to share our sample pooling experience with other African countries, so they can adopt this strategy and also ramp up their testing capabilities,” President Akufo-Addo said during his address.

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

New voters’ register or not, Akufo Addo will still win 2020 elections- Sammy Awuku

National Organizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Sammy Awuku , has expressed confidence in President Akufo Addo and his government, saying that the ruling party will win the 2020 general elections even without a new voters’ register.

He stated emphatically that, even though the New Patriotic Party has been consistent on the compilation of a new voters register, the National Democratic Congress will find it difficult to convince Ghanaians on why they should re-elect former President John Dramani Mahama, hence President Akufo Addo will be victorious in the 2020 elections.

Sammy Awuku made this statements when speaking to Accra based Kingdom FM.

“We as a political party, the New Patriotic Party, we have been consistent on this new voters register.

“Whilst in opposition, even as at 2012, we complained about the current voters’ register. And when you look at Ghana’s population and its number of voters, it’s the highest in the world for over 60% of a population to cast their vote during an election.

“Voters register or no register, I can confidently tell you that any register that will be use for 2020 general elections will be completely different from what was used in 2016. Because you have done limited registration in 2017 and by law it obvious that some persons will surely turn 18 within every year, therefore the EC must put in measures to ensure all these persons are given the mandate to go through the needed registration processes”.he added.

Source: kingdomfmonline.com

Koku Anyidoho vows to expose some top NDC gurus

Former Deputy General Secretary for the National Democratic Congress (NDCs), Koku Anyidoho, is bent on exposing top some NDC officials for a wicked plot against him.

According to him, some top persons in the NDC hierarchy are plotting to create fake Facebook accounts to destroy him.

Koku Anyidoho disclosed that he will be doing a press conference very soon to expose the evil deeds of NDC.

“I will be doing a press conference soon to reveal some secrets and evil plot against me,” Koku Anyidoho told Kingdomfmonline.com

“I will be exposing some of the NDC members who have plotted evil things about me and to also disgrace my personality,” he added

He alleged that the people who are conspiring evil against him are the same people who are currently around NDC flagbearer John Mahama.

Source: kingdomfmonline.com

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

Tell NDC to have patience, Akufo-Addo will deliver new promises – Gabby Otchere-Darko

“Please tell the NDC to have patience; they must be in no rush to Dec 7…Trust Nana, he may be unusually ambitious but he usually puts his mouth where his ambition is.”

That is the advice a nephew to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has issued to some leaders of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have doubted a latest promise by the president to invest heavily in the health sector.

President Akufo-Addo in his eighth address to the nation on measures taken by his government to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus made new promises which including the construction of some health facilities across the country.

To top up, the president said the construction excepted to begin this year will be completed for use in a year.

These promises were outrightly ruled as unattainable by some members of the opposition NDC and a section of Ghanaians who claimed it is another figment of ‘Nana Showboy’s’ imagination.

But Gabby Otchere Darko says such pessimists only need patience to witness the transformation the president will bring to the health sector in the coming year.

In a response on his Facebook page, Mr Otchere Darko described the president as an “unusually ambitious” person who “puts his mouth where his ambition is”.

He cited the several interventions the president put in place during the banking crisis and more recently, the slashing of utility bills for Ghanaians amidst the coronavirus pandemic as reasons to trust that he’ll deliver.

 “I’ve heard some senior NDC politicians making jokes that there is simply no money budgeted for health in 2020 to allow the President to deliver 88 hospitals. Well, there wasn’t COVID-19 when the budget was made. There wasn’t any 50% subsidy for electricity and 100% free water in the budget but that and many more are happening.”

“The same way, before COVID-19, there was no budget for collapsed banks, savings & loans, etc and yet this government found the money… When Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet sat until 2am last Thursday they didn’t do that to drink tea and chew cream crackers. They were dissecting every aspect of this most ambitious health infrastructure programme ever to be rolled out since Independence”

President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his address, Sunday evening, noted that the global pandemic has exposed the ailing health sector and ignited the need for his government to pay more attention, hence the decision to have the largest health investment in the history of the nation.

These include amongst others the construction of “88 hospitals in the districts without hospitals….Each of them will be a quality, standard design 100-bed hospital with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers and the intention is to complete them within a year… and the construction of six new regional hospitals in the six new regions and the rehabilitation of the Efia Nkwanta Hospital in Sekondi…”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com