Friday, April 30, 2010

Fierce Battle Over Girl





By William Yaw Owusu

Friday April 30, 2010
A protracted legal battle has ensued over a 16-year old girl following efforts by the biological mother of the child to take custody of the child.

The mother, Elizabeth Naana Nketsiah, an Educationist in her bid to secure custody of her daughter (name withheld) is meeting fierce resistance from Sarah Chinebuah, the girl’s paternal aunt with whom the girl has stayed for more than 10 years.
Currently, the young girl is believed to be attending Faith Montessori School in Gbawe in Accra.

The girl is said to have lived with the paternal aunt Sarah, since the age of three at Osu, Accra but the alleged persistent attempt by the aunty to prevent the girl’s biological mother from seeing her daughter broke the camel’s back, sparking the legal tussle.

It all started when on June 26, 2009 a panel at the Juvenile Court in Accra presided over by Mrs. Cynthia Wiredu with G.Y.Z. Domelonoo and Ms. Gifty Lamptey as members ordered the girl’s mother to have custody of her biological daughter in a suit filed by Madam Nkestiah against Madam Chinebuah.

The plaintiff had sought to enforce the Children’s Act 1998 (ACT 560) to secure full custody of the girl.

The court had ruled that “the applicant should have custody of her biological daughter since the respondent an auntie of the child has refused access to the extent that she has defied the court order to even produce the child in court for the applicant to be assured that she is alive.”

The court further ordered that the rights and obligation of a maternal parent under custom and custody, maintenance and education of the child be given to Madam Nketsiah as the father is deceased.

The girl’s aunty then filed for stay of execution at the same Juvenile Court and on October 14, 2009, the court presided over by Mrs. Cynthia Wiredu with Mr. N.O. Kwei and Ms. Beatrice Obeng as panel members dismissed the application and awarded GH¢ 200 cost against Madam Chinebuah.

Dismissing the application for stay of execution, he court said “Counsel for defendant/applicant says she thinks the application has a chance of success, but I think that the appeal has no chance of success. The Children’s Act is very clear on the matter when one spouse is not around the maintenance and care of the child falls on the surviving spouse.”

Not satisfied with the Juvenile Court’s decision, Madam Chinebuah on October 14, 2009 the same day she lost the application filed another stay of execution pending appeal at an Accra High Court presided over by Justice K. Amissah-Koomson averring that the Juvenile Court did not follow proper procedure in arriving at its decision to give custody of the child to Madam Nketsiah.

She had also averred that she stands to suffer greater loss if the application was not stayed for the substantive appeal to go on.

The judge dismissed the application by Madam Chinebuah on November 19, 2009, saying “the respondent, the biological mother of the child stands to suffer greater hardship should the instant application be granted”.

“To continue to deny the respondent, the parent of the child access to and custody of her own daughter in favour of applicant is in the absence of proof that she is irresponsible, careless and unloving more painful and harmful to the welfare and best interests of the child.”

Ms. Chinbuah again filed a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction to restrain the Headmaster of Faith Montessori School from releasing the child to anybody other than the applicant (Ms. Chinebuah) at the same court and relied on affidavit filed earlier on to stay the proceedings.

She sought additional order to restrain the Deputy Sheriff from carrying out an execution process on behalf of Madam Nkestiah to whom the court had granted custody of her daughter but was still in the custody of Madam Chinebuah.

On December 22, 2009, Justice Amissah-Koomson in refusing the application for interlocutory injunction said “I have carefully considered the affidavit for and against the application. I have also considered the statement of case of the parties and I am of the view that the application is without merit and same is refused.”
The court then awarded GH ¢ 300 against Madam Chinbuah.

Madam Chinbuah then appealed against the dismissal of the motion for interlocutory injunction by the High Court at the Court of Appeal and on January 26, 2010 a three member panel presided over by Justice S.E. Kanyoke refused the appeal and did not award cost against Madam Chinbuah.

The panel which also included Justices P.K. Gyaesayor and E.K. Ayebi held “we think no proper and plausible reason have been adduced by the applicant to warrant the court granting him an interlocutory order restraining the biological mother the respondent herein from taking custody of the child”.

Madam Nketsiah then completed the execution process and sent the daughter to live with her at Takoradi where the child attended Takoradi International School.
However, on April 10, 2010 when the school kids took a trip to the British Council in Accra for an examination, the girl was allegedly abducted from the Accra Shopping Mall where the kids had gone to have lunch thereby starting another legal battle between the two parties.

Today Friday a court in Accra is expected to hear another round of suits filed in the case over custody of the young girl.

WACAM SALUTES WORKERS




Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng is the Executive Director of WACAM

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday April 30, 2010
Wassa Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has congratulated organised labour and the working people of Ghana on this year’s May Day, which is under the theme, “Consolidating workers’ solidarity and the legacy of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.”

A news release issued in Accra and signed by Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of WACAM said “WACAM’s May Day solidarity message is premised on the need to consolidate solidarity among all sections of working people and for the nation to rethink development based on control of our natural resources for true economic and political independence.”

It added, “WACAM recognises that the nation rides on the back of its working people and the protection of the interests and rights of the productive forces of Ghana should be regarded as national priority in our governance system. The nation and its people continue to survive on the sacrifices of the working people who do not receive equitable share of the national wealth."
"
The working people of Ghana which includes farmers, fishermen and a host of people in the informal sector of Ghana’s economy make tremendous sacrifices in the creation of social and economic wealth of the nation, but their standard of living do not reflect the national wealth created by their efforts.”

“The celebration of May Day is a reminder of the fact that it is only through solidarity and common actions that the working people of Ghana could protect their interest and rights. Ghana is endowed with abundance of natural wealth including gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese, timber, forests, salt, kaolin, oil and gas, which if well managed, would improve the standard of living of Ghanaians, especially working people.

“Unfortunately, the extraction of our natural wealth which has benefitted foreign multinational companies has brought minimal benefits to Ghana and created untold hardships for host communities. The natural wealth belongs to all Ghanaians and the working people of Ghana should be interested in knowing how the extraction of our natural wealth would benefit all Ghanaians.

“As we celebrate the worker’s day of solidarity, it would be necessary to remind organised labour of the need to solidarise with their compatriots in mining communities who bear the brunt of the operations of mining companies. The poor farmers in mining companies are unorganised and faced with the challenge of engaging with large multinational mining companies on many technical issues.

“WACAM implores organised labour to reflect on the social and economic issues relating to natural resource extraction. The Ghana National Land Policy (1999) is against mining in forest reserves and organised labour should take a principled stand against mining in forest reserves. In the midst of all these challenges, the working people, including rural workers have sustained the economy of Ghana.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

NPP UK/Ireland admonishes party members





By William Yaw Owusu

Friday April 30, 2010
THE NEW Patriotic Party’s (NPP) branch in UK and Ireland has expressed concern about recent comments from Messrs Kennedy Kankam, Kennedy Agyepong, Nana Adu Asabre, P.C. Appiah Ofori, Appiah Stadium and other party members in the media describing their outbursts as “ridiculous, unacceptable and must stop.”

A statement issued from London and signed by Nana Yaw Sarpong, Communications Officer of NPP UK and Ireland said “Instead of campaigning and telling the rank and file what steps they would take to improve and strengthen our party in our constituencies and polling stations they are engaging in a fruitless war of insults on radio stations which does not do us any good.”

The statement noted, “NPP UK and Ireland wishes to appeal to the National Executive to read the riot act and remind all party members to be mindful of the party’s disciplinary code of conduct enshrined in our party’s constitution.”

“Our National Executive must enforce discipline on all members. It is a mistake for anyone to think because of their financial, physical, spiritual or mental capabilities, they are bigger than the party. People come and go but the party will live on. We appeal to our Council of Elders to do more to support the National Executive in mediating and finding lasting solutions.”

“We call on presidential aspirants, Kwame Kodua, Professor Frimpong Boateng, Alan Kyerematen, Nana Akufo-Addo, Isaac Osei and their respective campaign teams to be civil and disciplined in their campaigns and concentrate on telling our party members and potential delegates their vision and direction for the party and why they should be elected as flag bearer to lead the party to victory over the failing NDC government in 2012.”

“Our party must present a message and an image that will resonate with the Ghanaian people and that means our leaders, our members of parliament especially those in marginal seats must interact with the people and apply decorum in all their activities. NPP or any political party in Ghana cannot expect to do well in any local or general election without a united and focused front.”


Also see : www.dailyguidegahan.com

Thursday, April 29, 2010

NCC laments culture neglect





By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday April 29, 2010
THE VOLTA Regional Director of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), William Addo says the only way to harness the potential of culture for economic development is to carefully follow national policy guidelines on it.

“We have comprehensive policies on how we can use our rich culture to develop this country but the institutions that should oversee such initiatives have not received the needed attention for the sector to grow.”

Mr. Addo was speaking at a workshop on culture and development planning organized by NCC in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) at Ho, the Volta Regional capital on Wednesday.

He said the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies could lead the effort to make culture an integral component of the development agenda by ensuring national policies on culture are pursued.

He said it should be possible for assemblies to create cultural villages and specialized markets to help generate more revenue for development.

“All the countries that we easily cite as our role models in development got there through proper laid down commitment to culture and development.”

He urged the Ho Municipal Assembly to actively support this year’s NAFAC and use it to set the country’s cultural agenda. Isaac Kontobisa, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive admitted that issues pertaining to the neglect of culture are stumbling blocks towards national development.

“We always fail to identify the potentials of our culture and give less attention to it when planning for various budget estimates. The time has come for us to realize the developmental aspects of culture and tap into them for the overall development of the nation.”

Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programmes Manager of KAS said “there is an urgent need to indigenize our lifestyles as Ghanaian so as to develop a craving for made-in Ghana goods and services and make conscious effort to document national heritage assets.”

He said KAS would collaborate with the NCC to promote the country’s culture and lead the effort to improve the socio-economic development of the country.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Policy Fair opens





By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday April 28, 2010
Vice President John Dramani Mahama says the first ever Ghana Policy Fair currently underway at the Accra International Conference Center is a platform to bring the public aboard the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s ‘Better Ghana’ agenda.

The fair according to the Vice President is the NDC government’s commitment to get the public to participate in national development.

The one-week event organized by the Ministry of Information and is being participated by all ministries, departments, agencies, government institutions as well as metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.

Photo exhibition on the achievements of the NDC government has also been mounted.
Opening the well-attended fair, Vice President Mahama said “by doing this, we help to demystify the art of governance by narrowing the interface between public institutions, the private sector and civil society organisations with the citizenry thereby making government more interactive and relevant to every Ghanaian.”

“This initiative is underscored by the conviction that, the enterprise of nation-building is the collective effort of its entire population. We must ensure that at all material moments, the national interest is paramount in the policies we formulate and implement”.

He said the government would use the fair to provide a platform for the various ministries, departments and agencies to account for their stewardship, push for investment and public/private partnership in the implementation of some policies.

Vice President Mahama said the NDC government administration’s quest to build a ‘Better Ghana’ is a collective effort adding “we are happy to engage in this process with you all.”

John Akologu Tia, Minister of Information said there are plans to replicate the fair in all regions, adding “it would help us to collate data of the government’s policies and programmes.”

“We are committed to working towards getting government information to the public to ensure accelerated development.”

P.V. Obeng, a Presidential Advisor who chaired the opening of the fair said “the journey to a better Ghana begins with good policy initiatives.”
“This is a first step towards the attainment of the agenda for a better Ghana.”

Also see www.dailyguideghana.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Not Going Well ...Lucky Mensah Cries





By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday April 27, 2010
Alex Mensah aka Lucky Mensah, the highlife musician who sung on the platforms for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the 2008 campaign is complaining bitterly about neglect by the NDC government.

He said in Fante, “Enko Yie”, literary meaning “It is not well”, adding “I have totally been neglected by the NDC. They have deserted me completely,” Lucky told Daily Guide in a telephone interview from his Pokuase residence near Accra.

He said ever since he stood on the campaign platform to sing for the NDC’s change for a ‘Better Ghana’ agenda, he had been shunned by majority of Ghanaians, making his music unattractive.

Lucky Mensah who composed and sung the popular hit “Come back to me” and even converted this same song in to an NDC campaign song said “My CDs are still stuck in the shops. Nobody is buying them. Since they came to power I have received the lowest sales in my career.”

He said “anytime I go to top NDC officials they do not even want to look at me. Can you imagine one of the Ministers recently was bold enough to tell me that I am not the only musician who sung for the NDC?”

“I chose to sing for the NDC because I loved the party. More so, all the musicians had joined the New Patriotic Party (NPP) campaign trail and I wanted the NDC and their sympathizers to remember that not all the musicians were against them.”

He said recently the government selected some musicians to sing for the senior national team, the Black Stars but when he sent his work for consideration it was rejected.

“I spent a lot of money on this work but they turned their backs at me. They rather accepted the works of those who turned their backs to them during the campaign. At least some of the bigwigs within the party should remember me”.

“I am struggling to cater for my three kids and a wife. I want to leave the country and seek greener pastures abroad,” he lamented.

He however said that he will remain an NDC sympathizer adding “I want to travel to re-strategise. I will come back to campaign for them. I am not an ungrateful person.”

Later in an interview, a certain Bediako, who claimed to be Lucky Mensah’s manager confirmed the musician’s predicament and said “sales has grounded ever since he stared in the NDC campaign”.

“He has been to the Castle many times but nobody would bother to talk to him. They treat him with contempt.”

“He is not a beggar. He owns a 14 bedroom storey building here in Accra. He only wants recognition from them. He risked his life to support their campaign but they have forgotten about him so soon,” Bediako charged.

Mr. Bediako however praised Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, Minister of Tourism, for her support but declined to mention other NDC officials who had recognized the musician.

“I have decided to send him abroad to start life but he would have to rethink.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

NPP WARNS PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS





By William Yaw Owusu

Monday April 26, 2010
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has set ground rules for all members particularly those aspiring to become the party’s flagbearer in the 2010 crunch general elections

A document titled ‘New Patriotic Party rules and regulations for aspiring presidential candidates - 2010 elections’ explained “the party's upcoming flag bearer-ship race has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among would be aspirants and in order not to create unnecessary tension, anxiety and disquiet in the body politic of our dear party, there is the need for a code of ethics to guide the activities of all would be aspirants.”

The process for the election of the party's presidential candidate shall be conducted by the National Council of the party or by authorities mandated by the National Council with the support as and when necessary of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

The document said “these rules and regulations are to be supported by the laws, rules and regulations governing National Election where they apply unless specifically denied by the party's own rules. The rules and regulations may be clarified or added to by the Elections Committee of the party when such additions are deemed helpful to a free, fair, transparent and acceptable process.”

The document cautioned aspirants, their agents and supporters and accredited officers to desist from statements and acts of omission and commission that overtly undermine the NPP, and the unity and integrity of the party at every level.”

“Aspirants and their agents must desist from vilification of other contestants as it has the tendency to set Party leaders in conflict with each other.

It said any aspirant or anybody on behalf of the aspirant who calls for a party constituency meeting “must necessarily seek clearance from the Regional leadership and copy of such programme be sent to the National Secretariat of the party.”

Furthermore, “Aspirants must desist from making any policy statement in the name of the party except where policy statements are already adopted by the party.”

On violence and acts of intimidation the party said “it shall have no place in the on-going campaign and all aspirants and their agents shall respect this rule.”

It said aspirants must not present themselves nationally and internationally as representative of the party until elected, adding “National, Regional, Constituency, Polling station officials, Overseas Branch (International) as well as Members of Parliament, ought to refrain from openly declaring their support of any branch, constituency, or organ for any individual candidate or campaigning for them.”

It added that no National, Constituency, Regional office, Polling Station Officials, Overseas Branch shall issue a press statement in support of any candidate.

“Aspirants, party executives or their agents and delegates should refrain from what has become known as 'CAMPING' i.e. depriving other contestants access to delegates so camped. Sanctions shall be applied appropriately.”

It said beyond declaration of interest to run as candidates, aspirants must desist from holding themselves out as though they had been nominated or elected as party's representative for the presidential race, adding “aspirants must be conscious of the fact that unduly influencing the party's democratic institutions with money has the potential to undermine the democratic credentials of the party.”

Any breach of the above guidelines shall constitute misconduct under the Party's Constitution and shall attract the appropriate sanctions.

Nomination forms may be collected from the office of the General Secretary at the party's Headquarters by an aspirant or his/her agent, when authorized by signed letter so to do, during working hours from March 31, 2010 on Payment of a non-refundable fee of GH¢1 ,000.00. Completed nomination forms shall be submitted to the General Secretary at the Party's Headquarters by close of work Friday May 14, 2010.

It said “the selection or election of a flagbearer is an important element in the process of wining power. It is therefore incumbent on all parties to ensure that the process strengthens the party and helps to make it more competitive electorally.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tarzan, Mpiani in the dock over Ghana @ 50 … Kufuor gives them moral support



Former President Kufuor of Ghana was in court in Accra to show solidarity with Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani





By William Yaw Owusu

Friday April 23, 2010
The much talked about Ghana @ 50 celebrations and the subsequent enquiry into the alleged misappropriation of funds took a new twist yesterday with the arraignment of two former New Patriotic Party (NPP) government appointees before an Accra Fast Track High Court.

The two, Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan, a former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana @50 Secretariat and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, a former Chief of Staff in the John Agyekum Kufuor regime and chairman of the National Planning Committee (NPC) for the celebration, stand accused for willfully causing financial loss to the state for their various roles during the celebration.

For the second time in three weeks, former President Kufuor together with some NPP bigwigs stormed the court to show solidarity with the suspects who are together facing four counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state.

President Kufuor was in court on April 2, to lend support for Mr. Mpiani and other former ministers who are standing trial in the Ghana International Airline case.

Yesterday at the Chief Justice’s Court in the Supreme Court building, the trial judge, Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal granted the two accused men to GH¢ 35 million each in their own recognizance and adjourned the case until May 26, 2010 to enable defense counsel to obtain a copy of the final report of the Commission of Enquiry set up by President Jonhn Evans Atta Mills to investigate misappropriation of funds during the Ghana @ 50 celebrations.

Granting the bail, the judge said “I have taken judicial notice of issues surrounding this matter and I am satisfied that the accused persons would not abscond”, thus refusing a request by Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to place “additional security” in addition to the self recognizance bail request by defense counsel.

The court sat at exactly 1:19 pm and it was packed with about 40 baton wielding police officers surrounding the area.

The judge then told the waiting audience “I have been mandated by the Chief Justice to take preliminary proceedings of this case”

This prompted Akoto Ampaw, representing Dr. Wereko-Brobby to ask “My Lord does it mean that the prosecution are not ready with the facts?”

Justice Marful-Sau responded “for now my mandate is to take preliminary proceeding. I only want to disclose to you my mandate. The decision is with the Chief Justice.”
The court then proceeded to take the plea of the accused persons who pleaded not guilty to all the four counts.

Requesting for bail, Mr. Akoto Ampaw told the court that it was impossible for Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani to put up a solid defense without vital documents such as the report of the Ghana @ 50 Commission of Enquiry.

“We have not seen a copy of the report from which the prosecution is basing its facts on. We are placed in a very unenviable position to know the actual basis of the findings. We want to have all facilities that will enable us to defend ourselves”

Yonni Kulendi, counsel for Mr. Mpiani said “we have fundamental preliminary objections in terms of the substantive and procedural propriety of the arraignment of the accused. We will contend in due course that these charges are to say the least totally politically motivated. These charges have been mounted in clear breach of the fundamental laws of the land which the prosecution purports to uphold.”

“The elementary premise prescribed by the constitution has been ignored and at a historic pace of less than 24 hours the accused persons are being charged.”

In the first count, the prosecution maintained that the two former NPP officials between May 2006 and December 2007 willfully caused financial loss of GH¢ 499, 995.63 by spending in excess of the amount of $31.8 million approved by Parliament.

The second charge says that the accused between February 2007 and January 2009 willfully caused financial loss of GH¢ 2 .116, 906.91in the form of interest paid as a loan from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority.

In the third count, the two men stand accused for causing financial loss of GH¢ 966, 048.52 being bank overdraft from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority in or about September 2006.

Finally, the fourth count says the two men between May 2006 and December 2008 willfully caused financial loss by expending GH¢ 935, 249.8 being income of the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat without authority.

The fact of the case as presented by the DPP are that prior to the Ghana @50 anniversary a Cabinet sub-Committee called the National Planning Committee (NPC) was set by the then President Kufuor and the judge cut in to say “who is here with us today”, drawing some laughter from the audience.

The prosecution continued that the NPC was to see to the organization and implementation of the celebration where Mr. Mpiani was appointed as the Chairman and Dr. Wereko-Brobby as the Chief Executive of the Secretariat which was subsequently established in May 2006.

She said the celebration which was to last for a year started in January 2007 and ended in December 2007.

The prosecution said the Secretariat was later given additional responsibility to implement the NPC’s decision on both the celebration and the African Union Summit hosted by Ghana in 2007.

“A number of projects and activities were planned for the celebrations and in view of this Parliament approved a total of $31.80 million equivalent to ¢293.1 million and GH¢ 29.31 for the celebration.”

“This was made up of ¢182.90 billion (GH¢18.29) which was approved by Parliament on July 20, 2010.”

The prosecution said a second trench which was a loan of $11.80million equivalent of ¢110.2 billion (GH¢ 11.02) contracted from Fidelity Bank and approved by Parliament.

“Aside these sums approved by Parliament, huge sums of money appeared to have been spent on the celebrations. More than a year after the celebrations a number of the projects remain uncompleted and the government is saddled with huge debts.”

She told the court that it was against this background that the Ghana @50 Commission of Enquiry was set up by President JEA Mills to enquire into the activities of the Secretariat and the entire celebration.

She said the prosecution will lead evidence to prove that even though Parliament approved a total of GH¢29.31 million for the celebration, a total amount of GH¢37. 776,388.44 had been spent on the celebrations out of which an amounts of GH¢ 75. 569, 563.34 were directly spent by the Secretariat and the NPC.

“The Secretariat and the NPC therefore spent an amount of GH¢ 46. 999, 563.00 in excess of the amount of money approved by Parliament for the celebrations.

“We will also lead evidence to prove that contrary to Article 176 and 178 of the Constitution, the NPC and the Secretariat utilized all the internally generated funds totaling GH¢ 19,352, 498 without any approval from Parliament,” she said.

She said the NPC and the Secretariat also procured a bridge finance facility of GH¢ 10,438, 036 and another loan facility of GH¢ 10million from Prudential Bank without Parliamentary approval contrary to Article 181 of the Constitution and the facilities had attracted a total interest of GH¢ 308, 295.52, thereby increasing the government’s expenditure.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Anxiety, fear grips Sakaman residents





By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday April 22, 2010
FEAR AND anxiety has gripped some residents of Sakaman, a suburb of Accra following the commencement of a demolition exercise by the City Engineers department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

Over the past weeks, the AMA has been in the news regarding demolition exercises in various parts of Accra but Sakaman residents suspect their area is being used to target perceived political opponents of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The City Engineers Department of the AMA had already indicated that it was bent on demolishing all unauthorized structures particularly those situated on waterways and other swampy areas as part of efforts to re-plan the city and prevent perennial flooding.

Coincidentally, the south west parts of Sakaman experiences perennial flooding and the AMA on April 13, 2010 moved in with bulldozers to demolish a number of houses and structures in the area.

The extent of the demolition exercise which was supported by bus loads of policemen was massive but residents claim they were only given two days’ notice.
They said the AMA claimed it was constructing a massive drain in a lagoon nearby and needed create space to do so.

Areas targeted for demolition include Hyde, 3rd Boundary, Nii Okai and Nii Yartey Streets with warning inscription that read “Waterway remove” all over the buildings.

When DAILY GUIDE visited Sakaman on Tuesday to assess the extent of damage, many families had been displaced while others whose properties had been marked for demolition were living in fear.

Some wept for the loss of their property while other stood reflecting on what was going to happen next. The mood at the place resembled a funeral.
Briefing the media, the residents blamed the NDC government and AMA of embarking on a “selective” exercise in the area.

They said they received a two-paragraphed notice which appeared hurriedly prepared without any reference number on Sunday April 11 and signed without any name and date. “It was titled “Local Government ACT 462 Final Removal Notice” and within two days they were there with bulldozers razing down property.”

Kofi Badu Boakye, a victim claimed the AMA boss Alfred Vanderpuije had met residents to assure them the assembly was not interested in demolishing any house but were only interested in constructing drains.

“Within days the AMA reneged on its promise and started doing a selective demolition exercise which has affected about 20 houses.”

He said on the Town and Country Planning map, Sakaman had been marked as a plush residential area and was enjoying public utility service.

Mr. Boakye further admitted that even though parts of Sakaman experienced perennial flooding, residents can support city authorities to improve upon the situation with the construction of more drains.

“Sakaman is not a slum. It is a very clean area and well planned. Nobody has built on a waterway. The letter purporting to notify us to relocate criminalizes the demolition exercise.”

“We have been inflicted with hardships as a result of this exercise and we have nobody to run to. We are appealing to the President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills to look into this issue for us because we have not broken any rules of city authorities.”

Also see :www.dailyguideghana.com

Slum Dwellers Support Economy - Architect





By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday April 22, 2010
Steve Akuffo, a leading member of the Ghana Institute of Architects says city authorities should not see slums and its dwellers as nuisance but rather confront the issue as “a failed housing and urban development policies.”

“Those living in the various slums form integral part of the country’s economy. We must change the perceptions about them that they are nuisance. Slums represent the physical manifestations of failed housing and urban development policies,” he explained.

Mr. Akuffo was speaking at a colloquium themed, “Urban Housing and Slum Upgrading” organized by the institute to sensitize members on how to support the government to come up with an effective housing policy document to address the housing problems confronting the country.

Mr. Akuffo said, “We need to go back to the basics as we attempt to plan our cities and address the huge housing deficit. We have a chaotic situation on our hands because we have approached urban development and housing in a haphazard manner.”

“The demolition exercise embarked upon by city authorities will be an exercise in futility. Clearing slums and relocating the people will not solve the problem because the affected people are going to create a similar problem in their new place of abode".

"The country is witnessing an explosion in development but unfortunately the authorities have not been able to match these developments with the necessary infrastructure".

“More people live in urban centers than in the rural areas and we have to make the housing policies work. Once the country is growing there is no way we can fashion out a better housing and development policies. The actual implications of housing deficits is far reaching and we seem to have forgotten about the seriousness of the problem.”

He also criticized the way developers have invested heavily into projects without making provisions for parking spaces, saying that “this is why we are having chaotic situations on our hands.”

“Architects can do things that would encourage the people living in slums to embrace government initiatives for slums and other less developed areas,” he added.
He charged architects to come up with ideas and innovations that would help the authorities to regenerate the cities.

Another leading architect, Daniel Ntim-Addae, who spoke on the topic, “Real estate development in Ghana,” said the time has come for insurance companies to venture into real estate to boost interest in the sector.

He stated that the haphazard planning in the system was making real estate business very difficult for players in the sector.


Alsos see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NPP Sends Strong Warning To Govt




Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey is the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday April 21, 2010
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the country is witnessing an unprecedented violence in a democratic dispensation under the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“The surge in violence in Bawku and its surroundings since the NDC came into government is not coincidence. Indeed, we are seeing this pattern in several parts of the country”, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, National Chairman of the NPP said in a press statement.

The statement titled “Murder of Amadu Danladi, the Misiga polling station chairman of the new patriotic party in the Bawku Central Constituency” issued in Accra and signed by Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said “this attitude of government has emboldened thugs and trouble makers to attack innocent citizens at will and with impunity.”

It condemned what it calls “the blatant display of one-sidedness by the government of our Republic and the escalating violence in Bawku. There is both moral and constitutional burden on government to retract from this unhealthy support for criminals and trouble makers, arrest and prosecute suspects, and signal to all residents of Bawku that government can be a mediating mother in the conflicts of that area.”

The statement explained that in the specific case of Bawku, the area saw relative peace over the period preceding January 2009 when the NDC took over the reins of power saying “It was not through any extraordinary skill of the then NPP government at peace keeping that made this possible. It was simply the result of the even-handed and sincere manner in which the then government related to the issues of the area.”

“Since January 2009, the NDC government has abandoned the policy of even-handedness and provided tacit support for Kusasis acting under the umbrella of the NDC government to visit violence on not just Mamprusis, but anybody perceived to be a leading member or supporter of the NPP in that neighbourhood.”
It said the perpetrators continue to “roam the streets with their chests out. The government has chosen to look the other way while the situation deteriorates alarmingly.”

The party also protested the death of Amadu Danladi, its Misiga polling station chairman who was shot dead by unknown assailants on the eve of April 15, 2010.

“On the night of Thursday, 15th April 2010, at approximately 8.00 pm, supposedly under curfew hours, the late Amadu Danladi, the Misiga polling station chairman of the NPP was attacked in his home and shot to death. His wife was also shot several times and is seriously wounded. We continue to pray for her as she battles to hold on to life.”

“It is important to state that this attack on our brother’s life was not the first. He has been the victim of several attacks by his political opponents in recent times. In February 2010, his cattle was invaded and destroyed. Not satisfied with the difficult life into which this unprovoked attack brought upon him, his opponents decided this time to take his life altogether.”

There have been countless of attacks in Bawku, some of them resulting in the deaths of the victims. Many of them have been publicly discussed. But the sad attack on the late Amadu Danladi, the NPP polling station chairman of Misiga is very similar to the attack on the NPP constituency vice chairman Alhaji Bukari Kiri last year.

Alhaji Kiri’s house and farm premises were attacked and burnt to ashes. He lost 54 cows and 200 sheep, and his award-wining grain barn was razed to the ground. The once Best Farmer for the municipality now has to struggle to feed himself and his family.

“We all saw the video footages and still pictures of unauthorised armies being trained in guerrilla camps in the Upper East Region. When their cover was blown and the matter came into the open, only one person was arrested. His name was Sulemana Yusif Assanna. It is of immense interest that Mr. Assanna is the son of the NDC Constituency Chairman of the area. He was immediately transported to Accra.”

“Was he brought to Accra to be investigated? That was what everybody thought. But it turned out that he was actually brought to Accra to be freed quietly. And he was freed quietly without a statement from him. All of this happened under the full watch of Honourable Cletus Avoka, the then NDC Minister of the Interior.”

“As a signal to the violent elements in the NDC across the country that they could always count on the protection of the NDC government in whatever they do, Mr. Assanna has now been employed as a national security personnel at the Castle, the seat of government.”


The NPP warned that “if government maintains its unhealthy support for thugs and bloodthirsty criminals, those who have been at the receiving end of the violence in Bawku and elsewhere but have been denied state protection may rise to protect themselves. The consequence would be unpleasant for the Bawku area, unpleasant for the adjoining neighbours, and ultimately, unpleasant for the country as a whole.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Women strategies for conflict prevention in Savelugu/Nanton





By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday April 21, 2010
Women groups, religious bodies, civil society and leadership of political parties have met in Savelugu in the Savelugu/Nanton District of the Northern Region to discuss ways to prevent conflicts in the area.

The two-day workshop, which is under the theme, “Conflict management: Role of the Northern Woman,” was used to sensitise participants, particularly women on peace building mechanisms.

It was organized by Community Development and Youth Advisory Centre (CODETAC) with sponsorship from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

Opening the workshop, which had the District Chief Executive for Savelugu/Nanton, Prince Askia Mohammed bemoaned the numerous conflicts that have hit the northern parts of the country, describing the situation as “impeding the efforts towards the development of the area and the country at large.”

He said, “In the face of endemic poverty, illiteracy and diseases in the region we use our scarce resources to arm ourselves against each other.”

The DCE stressed the need for women to be equipped with conflict prevention skills to ensure lasting peace for development to take place in the north.

Alhaji Dr. Alhussein Zakaria, Executive Director of CODETAC, said the role of women in peace building should be encouraged, adding, “Women were created by God to do good things for society. They are good peace brokers and may be able to do better if they are encouraged particularly by their male counterparts.”

He said naturally, women were created for this role through their linkage system. Women have a lot of links but men tend to be more individualistic. Every woman has a friend and that friend has many other friends. In times of difficulty or joy, this linkage system is normally activated for peace to prevail.”

Alhaji Zakaria said conflicts in the northern part of the country had thwarted efforts to speed up development in the area, saying it had helped to bring widespread and endemic poverty among the people.

He said for instance the protracted conflict in Yendi, which is a modern day issue, has been perpetuated by the educated elite among them.
“Abudus and Andanis have lived and coexisted for over a century without many problems. Why is it happening in modern times?” he asked.

Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programmes Manager of KAS, noted that the foundation was committed to engaging the civil society to find lasting peace to conflicts in the country.

“We are building the capacity of institutions and other civil society organizations to help bring reforms that will ensure accelerated development of the country,” he added.

Mr. Donald Amuah, who chaired the workshop, urged the people to work towards peace since it would bring hope for the future.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abudus Sue AG, Andanis




The assassination of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II (pictured), overlord of Dagbon sparked unending conflict in Yendi since 2002

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Two traditional office holders and members of the Abudu Royal Family in the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute have filed a suit against the Attorney General and two chiefs in Dagbon, seeking a Kumasi High Court order to compel them to follow the roadmap to peace in the area following the assassination of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon.

The plaintiffs are Kworli Gbang Lana Mahama Mahama and Banvum Lana, in the Northern Region.

They are jointly and severally suing the AG in her capacity as the legal representative of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Andani Royal Gate members, namely Kpan Naa Bawah Mahamadu, Chief of Kpano-Kpani and Kampa Kuya Naa Abdulai, Regent of Dagbon, Yendi.

A writ of summons filed on April 15, 2010 at a High Court in Kumasi by counsel for the plaintiffs, Nana Obiri Boahen of Enso Nyame Ye Chambers, Sunyani wants “a declaration that both the plaintiffs and the defendants are bound by the terms, tenor, provisions etc of the roadmap to peace issued /signed on March 30, 2006 by the committee of eminent kings at Kumasi and which said roadmap was approved, endorsed or accepted by representatives of both the Abudu and the Andani gates/royal families at Kumasi as well as the representative of the government of the Ministry of the Interior and the then Northern regional Minister.”

They want another declaration that “by virtue of the terms of agreement arrived at, or reached between the representatives of both the Abudu and the Andani gates/families in Kumasi on both March 29 and 30, 2006, neither the defendants nor their agents, servants, representatives can appoint any chief(s) or alienate, transfer, dispose off, etc any land or other resources belonging to the Dagbon state”.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs want an order “compelling the defendants to respect, obey, adhere to the contents and the provisions of the roadmap to peace entered into between both the Abudu and Andani gates on March 30, 2006 at Kumasi in the presence of three eminent kings/chiefs and representatives.”

They also sought a declaration that, “having benefited from the roadmap entered into between representatives of the Abudu and Andani gates, the defendants, their agents, assigns, successors, privies, etc are stopped in law resiling or reneging from the decisions arrived at or contained in the roadmap which was signed in the presence of credible witnesses at Kumasi”, further orders and an order of perpetual injunction.

Plaintiffs averred in their statement of claim that as a result of the unfortunate incident which shook the entire Dagbon Kingdom in 2002, resulting in the deaths of more than thirty people including the overlord of Dagbon, the then government set up a commission headed by the late Justice Wuaku to go into the matter.

The plaintiffs indicated that after the Wuaku Commission submitted its report to the government, a white paper was issued to that effect, saying “in furtherance of the then government’s determination to find a lasting solution to the Dagbon crisis, a committee of eminent kings was set up to reconcile both the Abudus and the Andanis under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior.”

The plaintiffs indicated that the committee of eminent kings consisted of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Yagbonwura Bawa Doshie and Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Naa Bohugu.

The plaintiffs stressed that among the decision arrived at/agreed/concurred upon by the two gates was that, the powers of the regent shall be limited because of ‘the peculiar circumstances in Dagbon, adding “in that context, the regent shall have no powers to appoint any chiefs or alienate any lands or other resources belonging to Dagbon without consultation”.

“Notwithstanding the contents of the roadmap, 2nd defendant has been alienating, selling or disposing off lands without due regard to the content of the roadmap.

“The 2nd defendant has unilaterally been appointing chiefs to vacant skins without due regard to the tenor and provisions of the roadmap. In addition thereto, the 2nd defendant has also evinced the intention to perform funerals and enskin more chiefs (Kuga, Ylzoli, Tolon, Diyeli and Gushegu). He has already enskinned Nyankpala - Lana and Kpendu-Lana much against the decision capture in the roadmap”.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendants have evinced every intention to set aside, derail all the efforts being made or already made by the eminent kings, adding “the plaintiffs contend that the defendants are stopped from their conduct by resiling, or reneging from the contents of the roadmap.”

Also see :www.gailyguideghana.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

GJA launches Media Awards Competition

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday April 17, 2010
The 15th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Media Awards competition to hounour practitioners who distinguished themselves in the practice of journalism in 2009 was launched in Accra on Thursday.

This time around, nine new awards have been instituted and old awards modified to make it more competitive while the awards committee will receive entries in all categories with the exception of the Journalist of the Year which will be decided by the public including media professionals.

Launching it, Ransford Tetteh, President of the GJA and Editor of Daily Graphic said the tradition had been to announce the competition via a news release. “However due to some changes that have been made to the competition, we thought it prudent, to for the first time ever, to launch it with a press briefing. We believe that it will enable us to clarify things.”

He said “the competition has not only been growing in size and stature. We are convinced that it has been helping to motivate journalists in Ghana and indeed the Ghanaian media to aspire to high standards and professionalism.”

Mr. Tetteh mentioned the nine new awards as best reports on Small and Micro Scale Enterprises, Anti-corruption, Best Cartoonist, Democracy and Peace-building, Hygiene and Sanitation, Education, HIV/AIDS, Crime and Court reporting as well as Development Journalism to further the Millennium Development Goals.

He said “all the new awards except that of democracy and peace-building will go to an individual contestant. The democracy and peace-building award will go to a media house, either print or electronic identified to be a promoter of democracy and peace based on nominations received and entries submitted.”

“Again, the award for Best programme in local languages, namely: Akan, Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, Hausa and Nzema, will now be contested for by both radio and television and not by radio alone.”

Mr. Tetteh called for public participation and support of the awards saying “the public we believe deserve to participate in a way because they are those that the media serve.”

He said in line with encouraging public participation, the GJA will soon engage the public in a ‘Predict-and-Win’ competition for some of the selected categories.

Bright Blewu, GJA General Secretary said the awards ceremony is getting bigger and more interesting - “we are determined to lead the effort towards the promotion of high journalistic standards in the country.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

GHANAIAN DIES IN LIBYA

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday April 16, 2010
The alleged inhumane treatment meted out to Africans including Ghanaians in Libya has reared its ugly head once more with the alleged torturing to death of a 37-year old man from Cape Coast in the Central Region by that country’s security agents.

Daily Guide investigations gathered that the man, Kaizer Steven Hemman was picked up on February 15, 2010 and was allegedly tortured to death by blood-thirsty secret agents of the Libyan government.

The deceased’s crime was that he was a close associate of another Ghanaian, Babs Kassim Abdullah (real name Joseph Narh), 56, from La Accra, who had been picked up by the same agents earlier on in January 2, 2010 and is still in detention but also allegedly heavily tortured.

Both are believed to be permanent residents in Libya and worked for Bilfinger and Berger Company which is a subsidiary of Mediterranean Sea Engineering Construction (MSEC) based in Benghazi.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Guide in Accra yesterday, a pastor who spoke on anonymity because he owns a church in Libya said both Kassim and the deceased are members of his church.

He said Kassim worked as Personnel Officer and Camp Manager with badge number 04511in MSEC while the deceased worked in the same company as a Coffee boy who served workers there with coffee.

He said on December 31, 2009, a German called Wilfred Beermann, Commercial Manager and a Libyan called Mahammed Emjawer, Personnel Manager who is also believed to be a secret agent but work with MSEC jointly signed a letter terminating the appointment of Kassim.

The pastor said the letter had indicated that Kassim’s appointment would be terminated on March 31, and added that the two officers were the masterminds of the arrests of the two Ghanaians.

“I made frantic efforts to get my compatriots released but to no avail. I sought the services of a Libyan lawyer but he was afraid to pursue the matter further because he said to me the matter is political.”

“On February 10, 2010, these security agents brought Kassim to his residence to search the whole place after which they placed secret cameras in the house and used it to pick up two more Ghanaians and sent to a deportation camp in Tripoli. When Kassim was brought he looked heavily tortured by these agents”.

“I contacted the Ghana Embassy in Tripoli but they shockingly asked me to go to the Libyan police to report the matter which is a very dangerous thing to do there.”

“Even the Libya police I asked to help me get my compatriots out were afraid to go forward for fear of being tagged anti-Libyan and arrested.”

He said Kassim and the deceased were taken to a dreaded detention facility called Ahmshebi Ahroba in Tripoli.

He also said the deceased was picked up because the agents claimed he had kept a document they were looking for from Kassim but he believes that was a ploy to get Ghanaians and other Africans rounded up in Libya.

“These are people doing genuine work in Tripoli. They have valid permits to live in Libya and have both been there for more than 10 years each.”

“As I speak to you, Kassim is terribly sick and dying slowly but our embassy in Tripoli has not been helpful.”

He said even though he had already contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra over the matter he had not seen “any concrete action taken”, warning “ if the ministry does not act swiftly the Libyans will kill Kassim as they did to the 37-year old Kaizer Steven Hemman.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NYEP staff cry foul




Abuga Pele, a former MP is the National Co-ordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP)in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday April 15, 2010
Sixteen supporting staff of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) headquarters were yesterday relocated to other sub metros within the Accra Metropolis under bizarre circumstances.

While the affected staff suspect that it is an attempt by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to subtly dismiss them from the service, Abuga Pele, National Co-ordinator of the NYEP says “it forms part of a restructuring exercise currently underway”.

In a telephone interview with Daily Guide in Accra yesterday, Mr. Pele, a former MP for Chiana Paga said “we are working to strengthen the scheme. There are a lot of staff at our head office doing practically nothing.”

He said “the districts lack quality human resources to make the scheme effective and we want to distribute them to the various districts and sub-metros to get the scheme going.”

Asked whether the affected staff are not victims of the NDC government’s mantra of ‘proceed on leave’, Mr. Pele said “that is very wrong. We are only working to make the scheme effective and as I earlier on explained to you, there are a lot of staff at the headquarters doing nothing.”

“I do not know the affected staff as perceived opposition sympathizers and what we are doing is a restructuring exercise and not the termination of appointments.”

Some of the affected staff have told the Daily Guide that although the decision was clothed in a form of transfers to the districts and sub-metros the action was clearly a dismissal of staff ranging from secretaries to messengers.

Daily Guide learnt that the affected persons were verbally asked to go the district of their choice

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Uneasy Calm At GBC




Mr. William Ampem-Darko is sitting on time bomb as the Director-General of the Ghana Braodcasting Corporation.

By William Yaw Owusu


Tuesady April 13,2010
The woes of Director General (DG) of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the nation’s premier broadcaster William Ampem-Darko is deepening by the day.

The latest scandal to hit the embattled GBC DG is the allegations of financial impropriety which led the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to request his interdiction to pave the way for investigations into the matter.

Mr. Ampem-Darko is quoted in various media as saying he was on his way to Sierra Leone for an assignment and ‘would respond appropriately’ on arrival.

He was however quick to point fingers at Professor B.K Aheto, Board Chairman of GBC whom he accused of undermining his efforts to run an effective administration.
Daily Guide’s investigation at GBC indicates there is uneasy calm among staff following the SFO request to interdict Mr. Ampem-Darko.

While some including a number of management members support the move to interdict Mr. Ampem-Darko, others particularly the leadership of the union is strongly against any move to remove him ‘unconstitutionally’.

A section of the GBC staff held a press conference yesterday to appeal to those behind the call for the removal of Mr. Ampem-Darko to use laid down procedures to get him out, warning that they will resist any ‘unconstitutional’ attempt to get rid of their boss.

They said it is the National Media Commission (NMC) which has the constitutional mandate to terminate DG’s appointment if he is found to have abused his office.

The NMC chaired by Kabral Blay-Amihere has confirmed that the SFO has already sent to its outfit, a copy of the petitions asking Mr. Ampem-Darko to step aside for it to investigate allegations of financial impropriety leveled against Mr Ampem-Darko.

A document sighted by the Daily Guide which was purportedly signed by Prof. Aheto with the title “Issues concerning Mr. William Ampem-Darko, Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)”, is believed to be the basis for which the SFO has initiated its preliminary investigations against the DG.

Prof. Aheto in the statement accused Mr. Ampem-Darko of breaching the GBC board’s decisions, citing President Barack Obama’s visit as a case in point where he stated “Mr. Ampem-Darko did not attach any importance to a letter dated June 2, 2009, which Mr. Koku Anyidoho, Head of Communications at the Castle –Osu wrote to him giving Mr. Nat Lomo Mainoo his express authority to do business with GBC on behalf of the Presidency.”

Another issue raised by Prof. Aheto is the Ghana-Zambia football match television feed which he claimed Mr. Ampem-Darko “ignored a board resolution that was unanimously adopted on June 19, 2009 directing him to liaise with the board chairman where there is an emergency contract to be signed”, accusing him of signing a $40,000 contract with one Justin Addo of JV2iConsult for the match to be telecast live without any witness on August 3, 2009 but could only inform the board on August 12, 2009, when the match could not be telecast live.

Prof. Aheto in the write-up also accused Mr. Ampem-Darko during the Ghana Japan football match television feed which he said “GBC was responsible for the failure of the non-transmission of the match on September 12, 2009 as technicians and engineers of the satellite and microwave link section messed up with the JV2iConsult and his production team in Holland.”

On President JEA Mills’ address to the United Nations 64th Session, Prof. Aheto again claimed “The United Nations feed from the General Assembly was changed to another circuit prior to the speech of President Mills. By the time it was discovered the circuit was incorrect the president of Ghana had completed his remarks. Glocast North America has written to apologize to GBC but the damage had already been caused. GBC did not have the telephone numbers of the relevant personnel [i.e. Mr. Koku Anyidoho] traveling with the President who could have resolved the problem.”

Prof. Aheto further accused Mr. Ampem-Darko of payment of legal fees totaling GH¢35,000 on behalf of Louis Darko, Divisional Union Chairman of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) of Ghana, in respect of a case which was brought against Ms. Eva Lokko, a former Director General of GBC .

On the debt of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Ghana 2008, Mr. Ampem-Darko authorized the payment of 20 per cent commission instead of 3 per cent on an amount of GH¢876,000 the LOC of Ghana owed the GBC.

On the Optima Sports Management International, UK Limited versus GBC issue, Prof. Aheto claimed Mr. Ampem-Darko had told the board that he did not know anything about it but available documents indicated the substantive contract between Katamadara Concepts and GBC had been signed by the DG and witnessed by the DDG.

Prof. Aheto again claimed the decision to engage in parallel and duplicate employment of staff did not receive the prior approval of the then Board, adding “Most contract staffs are paid more than permanent staffs. This case is highly unacceptable to the Board.”

The Board Chairman accused the Director General of “shady deals” in respect of the release of Government of Ghana Subvention and closure of fuel dump at BH2 (Old Broadcasting House), saying, “In April 2008 Mr. Ampem-Darko closed down the fuel dump at BH2 where GBC procured and stored fuel at ex-factory (wholesale) prices from GOIL and the Corporation began purchasing petroleum products at ex-pump (retail) prices from GOIL Filling Station adjacent to Golden Tulip Hotel.

Prof. Aheto, among other things, accused Mr. Ampem-Darko of undertaking arbitrary human resource decisions with regards to transfers, appointments, and summary dismissals and further said there were weak controls, disregarded spending limits, and mismanagement of G2 Medical Laboratory (Medlab) Services, as well as preferential treatment of marketing (business), finance and audit staff.

Prof. Aheto accused Mr. Ampem-Darko of mismanagement or incompetence, gross misbehaviour which brings the Corporation into disrepute, did act that brought the employer into disrepute and undermined the integrity of the 1992 Republican Constitution.

“After working closely with the DG for the last five months, April 21 to September 30, 2009, the Board of Directors deems it imperative to recommend the termination of Mr. Ampem-Darko’s appointment after following the due process”.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Tertiary education needs re-positioning – Prez. Mills




Professor Johns Evans Atta Mills is the President of the Republic of Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday April 13, 2010
President John Evans Atta Mills says the time has come for tertiary education to be “carefully re-positioned by developing forward looking curricula and programmes to meet the development needs of the country.”

He noted that though tertiary institutions are contributing their quota towards the development of the country, there was still a huge developmental gap which needed to be filled, explaining that “the only way to go about this is to position such institutions to produce quality, effective and efficient human resource for this course.”

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the President by Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan, a Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education at the 3rd graduation of Regent University College of Science and Technology in Accra on Saturday.

In all, over 200 students graduated in various programmes at the ceremony, which was also used to cut the sod to start the development of a 5.827 acre land at McCarthy Hill for the university.

The university, which started five years ago, currently operates in four different satellite campuses in Accra and upon completion, the McCarthy project is expected to absorb all the campuses.

President Mills said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has recognized that for the country to achieve rapid growth there was the need to pursue science and technology and make studies in the field very attractive to students.

Touching on quality leadership, he said those entrusted with positions of authority must exhibit exemplary leadership to bring hope to the people, adding, “People always perceive that it is only those in politics who are leaders. Anybody entrusted with position of authority is a leader and we must strive to lead good and exemplary leadership.”

He reiterated the government’s commitment towards ensuring transparency saying that “politics does not only exist for elections and debates, but for the people. It is alive when the rights of citizens are upheld.

President Mills said the government appreciated the contributions and efforts of private tertiary institutions towards the development of education in the country and commended Regent University College for venturing into the field of science and technology.

Reverend Professor Kingsley Kwabena Larbi, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University added, “We are committed to helping in the fight against poverty, illiteracy, filth and disease in the country and on the continent. We want to find solutions to the developmental challenges of the country.

He called on the privileged in the society to complement the government’s efforts at improving the standard of living of the people.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Prof. Larbi further revealed that the university had adopted a model school at a village near Suhum in the Eastern Region as part of its social responsibility.

Prof. Nicholas N.N. Nsowah-Nuamah, chairman of the council of Regent University College, said the university was pursuing science and technology to develop the country.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CJ wants action on judicial reforms



Justice Georgina T. Wood, Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana addressing participants at the ILAC meeting in Accra.


By William Yaw Owusu


Chief Justice Georgina T. Wood says African governments must step up efforts to reform their judicial systems and harmonize laws on the continent to bring about improved human rights and security as well as ensure accelerated development.

“The tremendous benefit derived from cooperation and mutual consolidation of African judicial systems is not difficult to fathom because it will foster trade and ease legal barriers for the people to also explore.”

The Chief Justice was speaking at the 8th annual general meeting of the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) in Accra on Thursday.

ILAC which was started in 2002 is a consortium of NGOs providing technical legal assistance to post conflict countries and has more than 40 member organizations representing over three million judges, prosecutors, lawyers and the academia.

Justice Wood said legal challenges inhibiting accelerated development were not peculiar to any one country particularly when the world is developing into a global village saying “collaboration and mutual consolidation of Africa’s judicial system is not an impossibility.”

She said if that was done it would strengthen regional integration and bridge the gap between the regional block and make Africa a powerful force.

She said once government and the people were determined to make constitutional democracy work in Ghana there was the need for all institutions to complement efforts towards the realization of such goals.

Amarkai Amarteifio, Consul General of the Swedish Embassy in Ghana whose government funded the meeting said Ghana and Sweden had played commendable roles in international humanitarian and peace building efforts saying “the ILC’s noble activities needs the support of all governments.”

Paul Hoddinott, Chairman of ILAC said Ghana had been involved in activities of the consortium for many years and was hosting the meeting to recognize her contributions towards the development and enhancement of rule of law and the promotion of human rights.

“Ghana is a beacon and has the best justice system in West Africa. It is a peaceful and stable country. It has a vibrant and welcoming people and it is striving to improve its economy and better the lot of its people.”

Ebo Quarshie, former president of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and ILAC Local Chairman noted they were working towards the achievement of a strong legal system which will inspire the people.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

JB Danquah’s son lauds military

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday April 10, 2010
THE SON of the late Joseph Baokye (JB) Danquah, one of Ghana’s statesmen says the military is gradually living up to its professional standards but thinks the police have a long way to go in that pursuit.

J B Danquah Jnr., who is a retired civil servant said “people may have their own issues with the military but I think they are now living up to their constitutional mandate. My concern has been with the police who are still struggling to maintain their professional standards,”

In an exclusive interview with DAILY GUIDE in Accra on Sunday, Mr. Danquah said “the police are still not learning their lessons after over 50 years of independence. They are still in their old ways compared to the military. Political influence is not making them work effectively.”

He cited a recent incident where Kofi Adams, a spokesperson for Ex President Rawlings allegedly ordered the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, ACP Rose Bio Atinga to arrest a New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist from a radio station as some of the flashpoints that create negative public perceptions about the Ghana Police Service.

He also cited a situation where a police boss could decline to arrest or bring to order rampaging National Democratic Congress (NDC) youth because he/she thinks the issue is purely an internal party matter as some of the unprofessional ways by which the police is managing affairs of the country.

Mr. Danquah said “it the duty of every police officer to take instructions from the Inspector-General and not from politicians because the police hierarchy knows what is best for the nation. The politicians would always like to use them to fulfill their parochial interests and it is up to the police to stand firm and act professionally.”

He said the conduct of ACP Bio Atinga as the Regional Commander of the nation’s capital is woeful and believes she should be relieved of her position -“she has not satisfied me and a lot of people that she can deliver in such a sensitive position,” he added.

“Look at the military of today. They are in the news for their good performance but the police in most cases are in the news for the wrong reasons.”

Mr. Danquah was also not happy about the way the NDC government is managing security in the country saying “there are conflicts here and there and nobody seems to care.”
He criticized the way President Mills appointed the National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Gbevlo Lartey (Rtd) to lead his quest to seek re-election saying “the Security Coordinator says he has declined the appointment but I still do not believe this. It is just an attempt to divert public attention.”

He described the NDC government as ‘a disaster’; “they promised us a better Ghana but Ghanaians are still suffering.”

He also had a word for Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen who he says must be able to call their followers to order to ensure the NPP goes into the 2012 general elections with a united front saying “the NPP has a realistic chance of winning the election.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Friday, April 09, 2010

KONADU TO LEAD NDC ?




Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is a former First Lady of Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday April 8, 2010
With more than two years to go for the 2012 general elections the political barometer seems to have been triggered, waking everyone from slumber.

Yesterday while the president was inspecting the Tema harbour, the man of God who cut the Ofankor witch tree in November 2007 to pave way for the construction of the Accra-Nsawam hit the ground running with news about who leads Ghana in the next few years.

This time around he says God has revealed to him in a vision that President J.E.A. Mills will lose the National Democratic Congress (NDC) primary to Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings wife of Ex President J.J Rawlings in the race for the flagbearer of the NDC towards the 2012 general elections.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Guide in Accra yesterday, Apostle Williams Opoku, leader of Israel Pentecostal Church in Amasaman in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region claimed that he saw a revelation: “God has revealed to me that ultimately, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will win the 2012 presidential elections”.

He said he had a vision from God that the political context will be a straight fight between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mrs. Rawlings and warned “if the NPP continues to live in disunity, Mrs. Rawlings will make history by becoming the first female President in 2013.

“God has sent me to tell Ghanaians that it is Nana Akufo-Addo and the former First Lady who will be fighting for the presidency in 2012 but ultimately Nana Akufo-Addo will be sworn in as President on January 7, 2013”.

Asked why he was predicting victory for Mrs. Rawlings over President Mills, the man of God said “God became annoyed with President Mills and his people when at his swearing-in on January 7, 2009; they refused to allow religious people to pray at the ceremony.”

“God has predicted that President Mills is going to become a one-time President”.
On the issue of why he was predicting Mrs. Rawlings when the former First Lady had not declared her intentions to contest, Apostle Opoku said “she will join the race later and triumph over President Mills.”

Apostle Opoku when asked if he was not expressing his opinion cloaked as a ‘vision’ maintained that god had spoken to him.

“God has revealed to me and asked me to warn the NPP that the time is not ripe for Mr. Alan Kyerematen. He should not fight Nana Akufo-Addo in this race. He should allow Nana Akufo-Addo to go for the 2012 elections.”

“God says Mr. Kyerematen will definitely be the President of Ghana later, so he should not contest Nana Akufo-Addo now. If he does now Mrs. Rawlings will surprise all of them”.

“If the NPP fights among themselves, God will give victory to the NDC’.
He said “the 2012 general elections is going to be peaceful and the NPP will win it.”

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ex-Minister Detained




By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday April 7, 2010
The Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday interrogated former Deputy Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Professor George Gyan Baffuor, in connection with the Ghana International Airlines Limited (GIAL) saga.

The interrogation, which took place in Accra, lasted over 5 hours.

Prof Gyan-Baffour had earlier been declared missing by the prosecutor at last week’s hearing when in actual fact, he was in the country.

According to sources, Prof Gyan-Baffour was never part of the case and that his name only came up in court, with the acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Gertrude Aikins, allegedly using her pen to add his name to the charge sheet.

However, he was formally charged yesterday on three counts of ‘willfully causing financial loss to the state’ by approving monies to GIAL without authority. He is said to have denied the charges.
He is scheduled to appear in court on April 26, 2010.

This brings to five the number of New Patriotic Party (NPP) former government appointees and officials hauled before an Accra fast track High Court by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.

The five, together with four other foreigners namely Ralph Atkins, Kirk Heaton, Albert Vitilis, and Bram Bresbury, are being accused of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of about $56 million through the various roles they allegedly played, leading to the formation of the Ghana International Airline (GIA).

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE in Accra yesterday, Patrick Boamah, one of the lawyers of Prof. Gyan Baffuor, confirmed the invitation by the police and said his client was still going through interrogation at the CID Headquarters.

He also confirmed that the issue was in connection with the GIAL but declined to comment further.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that his statement was taken yesterday.

On March 31, when counsel for the accused persons wanted to know who the persons at large were, Ms. Aikins mentioned Ralph Atkins, Kirk Heaton, Albert Vitilis, Bram Bresbury and Prof. George Yaw Gyan Baffuor, a former deputy Minister of Finance.

However, Atta Akyea, counsel for Dr. Akoto-Osei, was quick on his feet to inform the court that Prof. Gyan Baffour was at his mother’s funeral only last week and could not be at large.

Apart from Prof. Gyan Baffuor, who is also the MP for Wenchi, the former Ministers charged are Dr. Richard Anane of Roads and Transport and MP for Nhyiaeso; former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Anthony Akoto-Osei who is also the MP for Old Tafo; former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani; and former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NPP Sammy Crabbe.

The four have already made an appearance before the court presided over by Justice Bright Mensah.

They faced 13 charges ranging from conspiracy to cause financial loss, causing financial loss and stealing.

Dr. Osei-Akoto was charged with seven counts of causing financial loss to the state and deceit of public officer, while Dr. Anane faced three counts of conspiracy to cause financial loss, willfully causing financial loss and defrauding the State of Ghana through Cabinet approval.

Mr. Crabbe, a minority shareholder in Ghana International Airlines Limited (GIAL), was also charged with causing financial loss to the state, conspiracy to steal and stealing, while Mr. Mpiani was charged with conspiracy to cause financial loss and causing financial loss to the state.

They pleaded not guilty to the offences and have been granted GH¢300,000 self-cognizance bail after their lawyers made bail applications and the case was subsequently adjourned to April 26, 2010.

Prof. Gyan Baffuor, at the time his colleagues were in court, was said to be delivering a lecture organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra.

Presenting the facts of the case on March 31, Ms. Gertrude Aikins, the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that in 2004, following the extremely poor performance of the now defunct Ghana Airways, the Government of Ghana wanted a strategy to turn its fortunes around and word went round about government’s intentions.

According to her, Mr. Crabbe, after some efforts, presented a proposal to government even though no open proposals were made for its reconstruction, and said that a certain Mr. Ashiagbor of PriceWaterHouse Coopers, who was then on the proposal board to seek organisations to resuscitate the ailing national carrier, observed that GIA did not meet the criteria they had set.

She said other competitors like Fidelity Group, KLM and Kenya Airways had sent their proposals as well.

The acting DPP said the mistakes that led to causing financial loss to the state would have been avoided if Dr. Anane and Mr. Crabbe had gone about their activities strictly under the shareholders’ agreement.

She therefore noted that no investor wants to do business with the airline again because it has become “a floating coffin”.

Also see: www.dailyguideghana.com

‘Better Ghana’ at Bank of Ghana




Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is an Economist and Governor of the Bank of Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday March 7, 2010
THE NDC came into office promising a ‘Better Ghana’ and although it may be struggling to fulfill this promise, DAILY GUIDE has learnt that, staff of Bank of Ghana (BoG) are already enjoying the ‘Better Ghana.’

This is because, contrary to President John Evans Atta Mills’ mantra of austerity measures in anticipation of better times ahead, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah- Arthur, has awarded himself a whopping 45percent salary increase.

His staff at the bank is also enjoying the same increment.

In addition, a one-month gross salary welcome bonus for the Governor has been put in place.

Furthermore, staffs are also enjoying a 20percent increase in rent allowance, whilst other public service workers were offered a paltry 17 percent.

DAILY GUIDE’s source at the bank says the decision took effect from this month.

At this difficult time, when most Ghanaians do not know where their next meal will come from, the Governor is paying his staff more than they are due, in an apparent attempt to gain the favour of his staff, who are already the highest paid public servants in the country.

Because they thought the decision would raise eyebrows, the BoG waited for the new minimum wage to be announced before implementing its decision.

Interestingly, the BoG took the decision to increase its conditions of service at a time when other workers in the public sector were being compelled by the government to accept a meager 17 percent increment ,thus raising questions about the motive of the high increment.


The new National Daily Minimum Wage announced by the National Tripartite Committee in January, is GH¢3.11 and it took effect from February 1, 2010.

The 17 per cent increment from GH¢2.65 was arrived at after fruitful deliberations between labour unions and employers.

The communiqué, issued at the end of a meeting in Accra, was jointly signed by Stephen Amoanor Kwao, former Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Rev Dr. Joyce Aryee, Vice President of Ghana Employers' Association and Kofi Asamoah, General Secretary, Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC).

"The tax-free threshold has now increased from GH¢240 to GH¢1,008 per annum," it further announced.

The NTC reiterated its commitment to the improvement of incomes and productivity in both the private and public sectors.

Also see : www.dailyguideghana.com

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Too much politics in the military – Nunoo-Mensah




Brig. Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (left) assisting Lieutenant General P.A. Blay, Chief of Defense Staff to unveil the GMA@50 logo. Behind them is Brig. Gen. J.S Nkrumah, president of the anniversary planning committee.

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday April 6, 2010
The National Security Advisor, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (rtd) has admitted that the military is engrossed in active partisan politics which he says is endangering the country’s security and stability.

This is the second time the two-time Chief of Defense Staff is expressing concern about the polarised nature of the country’s security agencies of which the military plays a key role.

“In the face of many challenges in the sixties up to the eighties, our country sailed through these political and military turbulent periods because the officer corps held together and did not allow parochial interests to divide us. Unfortunately today we have allowed politics and other negative tendencies to infiltrate our ranks,” he complained.

Brig. Gen. Nunoo-Mensah said this at the launch of the golden jubilee anniversary celebration of the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) in Accra on Thursday.

Themed, “Beyond 50 years of Excellence: Turning out elite leaders for national and international peace and security,” GMA has outlined series of activities including public lectures, book launch, fun games, panel discussion as well as a parade of all Military Academy Training Schools (MATS) to mark the celebration.

Since its establishment on April 1, 1960, the academy has produced over 3000 military officers both locally and internationally who are now serving in various capacities.

The National Security Advisor said “in the immediate years ahead we need to inculcate new values into the young officers that come out of the Military Academy so that they eschew politics, ethnicity and other divisive tendencies that may confront the military.”

He said the GMA had come a long way from its humble beginnings to attain its present status as a full-fledged academy and had held its own against other renowned academies in Africa and the rest of the world, adding “this celebration is a welcome opportunity for us to carry out an institutional self-introspection, and a performance audit, to chart the way forward into the future.”.

Brig. Gen. Nunoo-Mensah who is also a product of the academy said that the quality of officers produced by the academy had enabled the military to ‘surmount’ what he calls ‘major difficulties’ and ‘kept our profession intact’, adding “there are however new challenges of different nature, some of which pose serious threat to national security and stability.”

He also bemoaned the absence of adequate infrastructural and logistics at the disposal of the academy to enable it train more officers saying “the present infrastructure and logistics leaves much to be desired. The physical structures in the academy are virtually the same that were constructed some 50 years ago, in spite of the fact that intakes have almost doubled.”

He reiterated the need for the military high command to recruit people who are dedicated to the service of the country and also work towards the improvement of the condition of service of personnel in the military to sustain interest in the service.

Lt General Peter Augustine Blay, Chief of Defense Staff said the military was using the anniversary to “chart a new path for the future”, adding “the activities lined up for the celebration would interrogate the performance of the GMA and position it to respond better to the needs of society.”

He said he will continue to strive for a well motivated, cohesive and formidable joint force, with the capacity to effectively discharge its constitutional responsibilities.

Brig. Gen. J.S Nkrumah, president of the anniversary planning committee said the GNA needed a lot of infrastructural development and logistics inflow to maintain its envious reputation as one of the leading academies on the African continent.
He appealed to alumni, individuals, organizations to assist the GMA to make the anniversary a memorable one.

Also see: www.dailyguideghana.com

Short bows out




Justice Francis Emile Short is the Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday April 6, 2010
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has suspended indefinitely, its investigations into allegations of corruption in respect of the operations of the Marbey and Johnson in Ghana.

A terse news release titled ‘Suspension of investigations’ issued in Accra and signed for Akosua Edu, Head of Public Relations on behalf of the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Justice Francis Emile Short said “kindly be informed that the Commission has suspended the above-mentioned investigations indefinitely because of the application for Judicial Review pending in the High Court against the Commission.”

It will be recalled that on March 28, CHRAJ was expected to deliver a ruling on the preliminary objections raised by some lawyers representing the individuals alleged to have received huge sums of bribes from the UK based construction company, Marbey and Johnson (M & J) but could not do so.

The inability of the Commission chaired by Justice Short to deliver the ruling was because counsel for former Finance and Economic Planning Minister under the Jerry Rawlings regime, Kwame Peprah had managed to put a stopper on not just the ruling on the preliminary objection but CHRAJ’s ability to investigate the whole case.

The lawyer, Samuel Cudjoe sought to prohibit CHRAJ from ruling on the matter since he has filed an application at the High Court in which he is seeking to prohibit CHRAJ from investigating the M & J bribery scandal.

The application which was filed on March 26, 2010 bothered on comments the Commissioner was purported to have made on Metro TV which according to Mr. Peprah’s lawyer are prejudiced.

He quoted Article 212 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic which prohibits a Commission from sitting on a case pending before a court to support his claim and therefore prayed the Commission to suspend its ruling until the High Court finally determines the case.

Aside that Mr. Cudjoe still insisted that CHRAJ as a body has no mandate to investigate the M & J bribery scandal and therefore asked it to stay away from delving into the bribery scandal.

Though Justice Short was initially jittery about the lawyer’s concern, he eventually succumbed after Mr. Cudjoe offered reasons with references cases to buttress his point.

Counsel for the rest of the accused with the exception of Dr George Adja Sipa Yankey, Kwame Gyan associated themselves with Mr. Cudjoe’s objection, stressing the belief that a ruling on the subject matter would in one way or the other undermine the decision of the High Court.

The Commission was thus compelled by prevailing circumstance to adjourn sitting until April 7, 2010.

The M&J scandal involves six current and former government appointees including former Finance Minister, Kwame Peprah, now board chairman for Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Alhaji Baba Kamara, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, sacked Minister of state at the Office of the President, Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Dr Ato Quarshie, a former minister of Roads and Highways who received the largest chunk of the bribe money, former Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Alhaji Saddique Boniface in the NPP administration, former Minister of Health, Dr. George Adja-Sipa Yankey, and Edward Lord Attivor, currently Acting Managing Director of Intercity STC.

Mr. Attivor was Board chairman of STC at the time he allegedly took the M&J bribe.

The NDC officials who mostly served in Jerry Rawlings administration and carried over to the Atta Mills administration are accused of taking bribes totaling over £750,000, when M&J took up contracts to build bridges in Ghana in the 1990s.

From the mid 1980s until approximately 1996, M&J’s interests in Ghana were represented by one Kwame Ofori, also known as Danny Ofori-Atta who controlled a Ghanaian bridge-building company, and apparently had influence within the circles of the then ruling NDC government.

It is accepted by M&J that through the creation of the Ghana Development Fund (GDF), its executives facilitated corruption on behalf of the company and that they were in (or sought to create) a corrupt relationship with a variety of decision making Ghanaian public officials.

These funds were purportedly for the development of M&J business in Ghana but, in reality, were capable of and were understood to be capable of, being used for corrupt purposes.Mr. Peprah was at that time Minister of Finance.

The role of Baba Kamara and his value as an agent to M&J is made clear in a document authored by a M&J executive, probably prior to July 1996, and sent to its Directors.

Dr. Ato Quarshie, according to the report, received a cheque when he visited London in July 1995 in the sum of £55,000 for supposed ‘contract consultancy’ when he was the Minister of Roads and Highways.

This cheque was drawn on M&J’s Clydesdale Bank account at the Victoria branch in Buckingham Palace Road, and signed by two of the company’s Directors.

It was therefore the case of the prosecution that the payment to Dr. Quarshie and the following payments were but examples of a series of bribes to various ministers and officials.

Other relatively junior officials who were also alleged to have received some of the bribes included Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, then an ECGD desk officer at the Ministry of Finance.

On or about 29 October 1996 Amadu Seidu, the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Roads and Highways, received £5000 in his Woolwich account held in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Dr. George Yankey the Director of Legal and International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, received £10,000 in his Midland Bank account in Hill Street, London W1; and Edward Lord Attivor, also received £10,000 in his London bank account.

Interestingly it was the same branch of the Clydesdale Bank which was used by M&J.

Amadu Seidu received a further £5,000 on 7 March 1997, the same date on which Saddique Boniface received a further £2,500.

Although the amount was relatively small, the prosecution noted that it is indicative of the nature of the corruption M&J was then practicing.

M&J's payments to Dr. Yankey were not confined to the payment on or about 24th October 1996, since his Hill Street account received additional £5,000 on 26 August 1998 from M&J.

Following the revelations, Dr. Yankey resigned his position as Health Minister, ostensibly to clear his name in the matter. And in the heat of the brouhaha, Alhaji Amadu Seidu was dropped as Minister of state at the Office of President Mills, even though it was not clear why he was removed.

A potential appointee to the High Commission to Nigeria, Alhaji Baba Kamara, was however confirmed. Dr Ato Quarshie also resigned his position as a chairman of a team tasked to probe the Metro Mass Transit while Lord Attivor and Kwame Peprah have since held on to their positions as STC MD and SSNIT Board Chairman respectively.

Also see www.dailyguideghana.com