Friday, June 27, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, June 27, 2014

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka Chairman Wontumi has entered conditional appearance in the case in which Ibrahim Mahama, junior brother of President John Dramani Mahama is suing him for defamation.

Mr. Mahama had to file a substituted service in order to locate Chairman Wontumi because the plaintiff claimed the NPP guru could not be traced.

The ‘Notice of entry of conditional appearance’ was filed yesterday by Chairman Wontumi’s solicitors Faibille & Faibille, Constance Chambers at Asylum Down in Accra.

Mr. Mahama through his solicitors Gaisie Zwennes Hughes & Co wants GH¢2million damages to be awarded against Chairman Wontumi for defamatory statements he allegedly made against the President’s brother.

According to the plaintiff, Chairman Wontumi had allegedly said among other things that “President Mahama and his brother Ibrahim have loaded all the money into their pockets.  Each and everyday they increase petrol prices and then you and I, the downtrodden, suffer to pay for the increases – they keep the monies in their pockets, and use it to buy planes – aeroplanes – in which they fly.”

The plaintiff further claimed “Each week, President Mahama and his brother, Ibrahim, travel to South Africa. You, my brother, the monies President Mahama has given to his brother, - have you got any? Does someone pay your children’s school fees?”

As a result, the plaintiff wants further declaration that “the statements made by the defendant  complained  of are false, malicious and defamatory of the plaintiff.”

He also wants an order directed at Chairman Wontumi to publish a full unqualified apology to him and a retraction of the statements made in all the newspapers and tabloids in which the statements were repeated by their publications.

In his statement of claim, the plaintiff averred that the words spoken of by the defendant are understood to mean that he (Ibrahim) is a thief and a dishonest man with criminal tendencies.

“That the plaintiff has taken into his possession monies not belonging to him has treated same with as his own property for his own personal use.”

“That the plaintiff is somehow engaged in a secretly orchestrated enterprise of stealing those monies which happened to be public funds, having been realized from the citizenry of Ghana by the Head of the government of Ghana under a false pretext.”

The plaintiff further averred that the defamatory statements were made in a manner that was calculated  to cause “maximum damage and hurt to the plaintiff’s reputation by causing him to be  unanimously held in contempt and disdain throughout the nation.”

“Indeed, the defendant concluded his defamatory statement by letting out a clarion call for a people’s uprising to ‘replicate what happened in Tunisia’.”

He said, “the defamatory statements were made maliciously by the defendant, who made the statements recklessly and/or not caring whether they were true or false; The defamatory statement were made in a manner that damaged the plaintiff’s reputation in the manner of his trade and business as an honest businessman who has achieved success by dint of his own hard work.”

“Despite being given a fair and more than ample opportunity to retract and apologize to the plaintiff for the defamatory statements made, as requested in the plaintiff’s lawyer’s letter dated 11th April 2014, the Defendant refused to so do, and treated the request with contempt.”


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, June 27, 2014

Payment of judgement debts is choking the Ministry of Health, the Commission of Enquiry investigating such payments has heard.

The situation forced the ministry to even use donor funds to pay judgement debts after its account was garnisheed through a court order.

The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).

Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.

Messrs Taylor & Taylor
According to Hamidu Adakurugu, the Ministry’s Director of Administration who also handles legal issues, a company called Messrs Taylor & Taylor signed a contract with the ministry in July, 2011 to supply laboratory reagents and maintenance services which were done.

He said the ministry failed in the payment and that compelled the company to file a suit claiming $878,000 and 7million Euros all being the outstanding balance for the cost of supply and services rendered.

Evidence available to the commission showed that the Attorney General filed a defence but did not pursue the case and in November 2013, the company obtained summary judgement since the ministry had admitted they owed the plaintiff.

Mr. Adakurugu told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau that when the company refused to accept the ministry’s proposal to pay the debt bi-monthly, the plaintiff garnisheed the ministry’s account at the Bank of Ghana.

“So GH¢22.2 million donor funds put into our account at the central bank was used to settle the debt,” he testified, adding “I guess we are going to have problems with our donor partners because donor funds are tied to specific programmes.”

The commission later heard that some aspects of the case was pending in court and the Sole-Commissioner said the commission was declining to investigate further.

Five Companies
He also said that five companies signed a 5-year contract with the government in September 2008 to do preventive maintenance works in 52 health training institutions at GH¢1.4million per year but in 2009, the SFO now EOCO stepped in to investigate the deal.

He said after the investigation, the ministry and the companies settled the issue out of court and added that they were in the process of filing the terms of settlement and added that the contract stopped in 2009.

Mr. Adakurugu also told the commission that a family from Ada since 2011has been pursing the ministry of compensation over a land which was taken by the government in 1965 to build a health post which is now a multipurpose facility.

Unilateral decisions
Justice Apau then expressed concern about the rate at which some of the ministries signed contracts without recourse to the AG.

Mr. Adakurugu admitted that indeed some of the contracts had been signed without the AG’s input.

“We, at the legal departments don’t even see some of the contracts. In some cases, the contractors bring their own contract and the minister signs.

EOCO’s Input
Earlier, Executive Secretary of Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO) Kwaku B. Mortey Akpadzi flanked by Edward Dudjoe, Acting Head of Legal at EOCO testified in the GH¢340,000 Adaklu/Abutia compensation claims.

He said initially, the EOCO wrote to the BoG to suspend the payment to one Richard Noel Diaba of Abutia, to enable them to conduct investigations into the claim but the banks wrote back to say order was belated since the payment had been done.

He said they followed up to the Lands Commission with a letter in June 2010 but the commission said there was nothing irregular in recommending to amount to the claimant and therefore EOCO had to truncate the investigation.
“They are the technical people and we are only investigators so when they told us about it, we suspended the investigation and closed the docket on the case.”

Stool Lands
The Administrator of Stool Lands Christiana Esi Bobobue flanked by her deputy Patrick Amoah also testified in the Volta Lake compensation claims.
She said they only got to know about the claim when the subpoena was served on them and said the investigative report on the compensations released by the commission was “quiet comprehensive.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014


By William Yaw Owusu & Rita Oduro
Thursday, June 26, 2014

It has emerged that a claimant who did not deserve compensation from the government following the construction of a footbridge on the Asafo Interchange in Kumasi, succeeded in taking home about GH¢2.3 million (¢20.3bn) from the state.

The claimant, Henry Osei Darkwa had gone to court to obtain judgment debt under the claim that his property was demolished when the footbridge was constructed.

However, evidence before the commission indicated that the land on which the property was demolished belonged to the Ghana Railways Authority (GRA) and the claimant did not even have permit for development from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

At the judgement debt commission’s sitting yesterday, it emerged that the claimant, Mr. Osei Darkwa had sued Godfried Amoo who was the Regional Engineer for the Department of Urban Roads together with the Attorney General but the AG only entered appearance in court and never defended the case leading to the award of the huge sum.

Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau said evidence available to the commission indicated that the land was leased to Mr. Osei Darkwa’s company by Ghana Railways but when he sued he did it in his personal capacity instead of his company.

The judge also said that the claimant sued Mr. Amoo in his capacity as the Regional Engineer instead of the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) and the AG failed to defend the matter.

“In the first place, records show that the land did not belong to the claimant. He also sued in his personal capacity not in the name of the company and if the AG had gone to court to explain all these, the judge would not have such a judgement.”

Mrs Joyce Afukaar, Metro Director of Town & Country Planning assisted by Metro Engineer Felix Abaka-Quansah and Anthony Osei Poku a solicitor for the KMA testified in the case and said the assembly is not even aware that Mr. Osei Darkwa had taken huge sums from the government.

“It was the subpoena that drew our attention to the issue,” Mrs. Afukaar said adding “Mr. Osei Darkwa attempted acquiring the permit but it was not granted.”

She said the then Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways in 2003 froze the issuance of permits for railway lands and Mr. Osei Darkwa’s application was disqualified as a result.

Mr. Abaka-Quansah pointed that in August 2007 the claimant was ordered to stop building and at a point the KMA demolished the property.

Although Mr. Osei Darkwa did not have title to the land or permit to develop the property, he the Land Valuation Board and the Department of Uban Roads to value the property.

According to Justice Apau, documents available showed that the value of the property in 2007 was GH¢120,000 and revalued in 2009 at GH¢40,000 but the claimant got far in excess what was valued.

Theodore Quaye, the current Ashanti Regional Director of Department of Urban Roads also confirmed the payments in his testimony.

Prof. Thomas Mba Akabzaa, Chief Director at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum also testified in the Volta Lake Flooded Area compensation case and said the investigative committee’s report did not relate directly to the ministry.

Enoch Larbi Aboagye, General Counsel for Ghana Gas, assisted by Rene Nelson also testified and said the compulsory acquisition of land for the gas project are covered by Executive Instrument 48 to 53.

He said the government with the exception of a few had paid compensation all claimants whose property including crops, structures and fishery were affected by the project.

He however, said those whose lands were affected by the project will soon be paid compensation when the acquisition process is completed since it was factored into the CDB loan agreement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu & Rita Oduro
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Bank of Ghana has provided the Commission investigating the payment of judgement debts with a detailed account of how huge sums were paid to Messrs Construction Pioneers (CP) as judgement debt, running into several millions of Euros.

The company received €85.2million in addition to £7million during the tenure of Betty Mould-Iddrisu when she was Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Yesterday, a Chief Manager at the Banking Department of BoG, Eric Kweku Hammond assisted by Saviour Kudze of the Legal Department presented documents showing how the funds were transferred into CP’s offshore account.

He said upon instructions from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the first payment of £7.3million was transferred to the account of the Ghana High Commission for the payment of CP debt in June 2008.

He said on March 21, 2009 another £6.9million was paid and on October 30, 2009, about €7million was paid to CP.

On April 15, 2010, the government paid €9.4million and another €9.2million was paid on July 2, 2010.

Mr. Hammond said on October 20, 2010, there was a payment of €9.1million and on February 2, 2011, another €8.9million was paid to CP.

He said that €8.8million was paid on April 1, 2011, another €8.7million on July 5, 2011 before making a final payment of €16.98million Euros on November 1, 2011.

He said a total of €85.2million and a pound component of £7.3 million were released by the BoG for the settlement agreement between the government and CP.

The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) has already confirmed that CP was paid millions for road project contracts some of which the construction giant did not even execute.

An instance was the Akim Oda-Kade/New Abirem – Nkawkaw road in the Eastern Region which CP never executed but managed to claim loss of profit with interest from the Government of Ghana.

Appearing before Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal recently, the Executive Director of GHA, Michael Abieteh Abbey confirmed that indeed CP never lifted single sand and stone but got payment through international arbitration.

The GHA boss said the initial contract sum for Akim Oda - Kade/New Abirem – Nkawkaw was GH¢10.6million (¢106billion) with a foreign component of 155million Deutsche Marks.

He also confirmed that the Assin Praso – Yamoransa road was shoddily done by CP but got payment saying the initial contract sum was GH¢1.5million (¢15.2billion) with a foreign component of 28.3million Deutsche Marks. 
He said the Biriwa - Takoradi road was executed at initial contract sum of GH¢2.9million (¢29.5billion) with a foreign component of 49.4million Deutsche Marks. However, evidence already before the commission was that CP was overpaid by 44million Deutsche Marks for that project.

Mr. Hammond also testified on Delta Foods, a Ghanaian corporation that was in contract with the government of Ghana to sell corn that would be purchased in the United States and delivered. 

Delta sued Ghana in the High Court after the corn was delivered and Ghana refused to pay for it and an agreement was settled for the reimbursement of money.
The reimbursement would include post judgment cost of storage and post judgment interest; in addition to the cost of the corn, which totaled GH¢20.3 billion but when the payment delayed, Delta Foods sued Ghana in the United States as well.

Mr. Hammond told the Sole-Commissioner that on November 24, 1999, the BoG received payment instruction from the Controller to transfer GH¢20.3 billion into the Judicial Service’s deposit account for onward payment to Delta Foods.

“In addition we received two payment instructions to transfer a total of $4.9million to an offshore account,” he said adding that the transfer was done in two tranches.

He said the $2.5million and $2.4million were paid respectively to Delta Foods after which Justice Apau said that documents available to the commission showed that the amount shot up due to the delay in the payment following the cedi depreciation.

The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).

Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed to prevent Council of State member Opanin Abraham Kwaku Adusei and four others from using the name of the Saviour Church of Ghana for their church activities.

A faction in the protracted Saviour Church of Ghana dispute stated that it has exclusive right to the use of the name ‘Saviour Church of Ghana’ when it comes to the running of the church but a three-member panel, presided over by Justice (Mrs.) Henrietta Abban, dismissed the suit and awarded GH¢10,000 against the appellant.

The appellant Elias Asante Asirifi and two others in a statement of claim insisted that the church since 2007 has been incorporated as Saviour Church of Ghana but the court said there was evidence that the church had been in existence since 1924.

Appellant’s argument
The plaintiff/appellants indicated that the Opanin Adusei’s group is not a religious body and cannot function in that capacity because it is the only legal entity recognized by the laws of Ghana to run churches.

The appellants insisted that the respondents exceeded their legal mandate and had used the name of the church for activities contrary to the law.

Counsel for the appellants argued among other things that the trial court (High Court) should have considered the registration of the appellant to run churches and do religious activities as compared with the respondent that had not been registered for that purpose.

Reply from respondents
However, Opanin Adusei’s group countered the action with conditional appearance and an application to strike out the action on the grounds that Saviour Church of Ghana was established in 1924 as a church and that there had been a spate of suits over the leadership of the church involving Elias Asirifi Asante and others, which had been settled by a High Court judgement in 2003.

The respondents said the appellants seceded from the church and were restrained from worshiping in all places belonging to the church.

They further said that all appeals against the judgement in question had been dismissed and therefore, the appellants were stopped from re-litigating the issue, saying “it was fraudulent for the appellants to register the church since those who did the registration had been convicted for contempt.”

The respondents argued that the ruling of the trial court was supported by the law, facts and evidence and drew the court’s attention to the fact that the appellants ‘surreptitiously’ registered the name Saviour Church of Ghana after losing the original cases at the High Court and Court of Appeal.

In the judgement, the Court of Appeal Panel, which also had Justices J.A. Acquaye and Gertrude Torkornoo made it clear that there were “a plethora of previous actions and judgements” from the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on contentions in the case and that the High Court had refused to strike out the action on the grounds that the application had been made prematurely and before the filing of a defence.

The court said “because of state of the law and the history of the parties as stated, we agree with the learned trial judge for refusing to grant the application appeal against. The appeal is dismissed wholly.”

 “The appellants’ fundamental premise for pursuing a perceived right to the exclusive use of the name ‘Saviour Church of Ghana’ is the registration of the name as a guarantee company authorized to run churches. It is in this registration and its legal import of statutory authorization, which it urges that the trial court disregarded.”

The court said the right to use a name is not protected simply because it is adopted for a particular object of activity and it is registered first. They are protected only if it has protectable interest in the identity associated with the name.

Monday, June 23, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 23, 2014

Followers of President John Dramani Mahama on Twitter, a social networking site, had ‘harsh’ words for him when he tweeted to encourage the senior national team Black Stars in their match against Germany last Saturday.

Hours before Ghana drew 2-2 with Germany at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the President posted on his account: John Dramani Mahama - @JD Mahama “Spoke #BlackStars via telephone just before this #GHAvsGER match. ‘You can win. You can do it. You can defeat Germany’, I told them.”

The President tweeted at exactly 19:20 (7:20pm) but followers appeared incensed by the post and used harsh language, some of which were unprintable.

Neymar Jr’s Jr. @evans_dench replied: Shut up! While Panda Sedinam@PandaSedinam used the ‘F’ word to greet the President’s tweet.
Nothing Subliminal @bees_bryan said ‘Hmm joker’ where Rafatu Braimah @rafatash replied “Massa with all due respect shut the f**k up.”

Tut@jst_ET asked “Why did you do that?” while Skul_boy @geradgleen asked the President to “say this to ECG please H.E”

Papa Kofi @KofiMontana said “you can provide water, you can provide electricity…you can do it” while Akwasi Amoah @akonkoliwa replied: “Same to you. You can fix the economy. You can defeat dumsor dumsor.”


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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 23, 2014

Parliament has summoned the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to justify the payment of $63,000 per month as rent for its new office at East Legon, Accra.

Minority in Parliament blew the NPA’s cover at a news conference last week when they accused the government of profligate expenditure at a time when there is almost a government shutdown.

As a result, the Mines and Energy committee of parliament chaired by Dr. Kwabena Donkor confirmed the invitation on Joy FM and said the NPA should be made accountable if the rent did not give what he called ‘value for money.’

He was however quick to tell critics that they should also be curious about “the floor space, as well as price per square meter”.

He said after 10 years of existence, the NPA should be in position to have its own office building.

“I am all for accountability, I am all for value for money. That is what we should be asking for; that we don’t think there is value for money to continue renting”.

Ministry’s ‘Anger’
The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has issued a statement, ‘agreeing’ with concerns raised by the public on the high cost of the NPA’s rent.

The statement signed by Ras Liberty Amewode, Deputy Head, Communications at the ministry quoted sector minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah as saying “If the NPA’s office was rented at $63,000 per month as has been reported, then that hardly represents prudent use of state resources, no matter how conducive or appropriate the facility is for their operations.”

“The Minister would be demanding from the Board and management of the NPA an explanation for such a decision, “especially the consideration that went into a decision that runs at variance with the philosophy and preferences of His Excellency the President as far as the use of public funds are concerned,” the statement further quoted the minister.

The statement assured the public that the ministry was doing ‘everything possible’ to get to the bottom of the matter.

NPA Justification

The NPA has been justifying its actions since the NPP broke the news.

A Spokesperson for the NPA, Yaro Kasambata justified the amount, describing it as “necessary and urgent,” on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News last Friday.
He said the NPA relocated from Cantonments, Accra to East Legon because it had the safety of its employees at heart.

“If you had friends who have worked at the NPA, they would tell you that they could see that the former NPA building was developing cracks,” he said, adding that the former office building was originally designed to accommodate a maximum number of 16 people.

“After a period of time it overburdened to accommodate over 200 employees of the Authority, thus contributing to the problem.”

He revealed that the Authority, as a means of cutting cost, intends to sublet a section of its present facility to another tenant in order to recoup its money.

Asked whether the amount of money spent on the NPA’s accommodation was a prudent use of resources, Mr. Kasambata responded that “it was a reasonable decision.”


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By William Yaw Owusu 
Monday, June 23, 2014

Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Air-Commodore (Rtd.) Victor Kwame Mamphey, has resigned from the authority.

He reportedly handed-in his resignation to the GCAA board chaired by Air Vice-Marshal Christian Edem Dovlo.

A source at the GCAA to Daily Guide that the experienced pilot did not assign ‘much reasons’ for his resignation, except to say “he wanted to take a rest.”

The board has subsequently approved the resignation, which is expected to take effect from Monday, June 30, 2014.

The source said he is likely to hand over to Abdulai Alhassan, GCAA’s Deputy Director-General in charge of Finance and Administration who is said to be President John Mahama’s classmate.

Air-Commodore (Rtd.) Mamphey who has been in the aviation industry for about four decades, was appointed Director-General of the GCAA in 2009 and has been credited for overseeing what many believe is the transformation and growth of the aviation industry.

Under his tenure, the domestic airline industry grew rapidly and international carriers flying to Ghana consolidated their positions.

Currently, about 42 scheduled flights ply their services at the Kotoka International Airport and led GCAA to host the 23rd African Civil Aviation Commission Plenary Session in Accra in April, 2013.

He is also credited with leading the GCAA to generate revenue for construction of a multi-purpose training facility at the KIA enclave to train aviation professionals in Ghana and the sub-region. The seven-storey training academy and office complex is to be completed by August at a cost of US$10million.

The GCAA, under his stewardship, was named the 2013 African Airlines Association Service Provider of the Year at the 45th Annual General Meeting and Summit held in Mombasa, Kenya.

On the issue of safety he has ensured that Ghana’s airspace is safe and secure, winning the confidence of international carriers.

Ghana is considered one of the safest places to fly to in the West African sub-region. Airline accidents under Air Commodore Mamphey’s tenure have been limited, except for the Allied Air Crash in June 2012 — which investigations blamed on the laxity of the pilot — and the recent helicopter crash in the Western Region.

The GCAA during Cmdr. Mamphey’s tenure of office has acquired and installed a new Instrument Landing System (ILS) for KIA – after the Allied Air aircraft over-shot the KIA runway and damaged the existing one.

He also oversaw the acquisition and installation of and a brand-new Instrument Landing System (ILS) for the Kumasi Airport at a cost of €800,000 from internally generated funds.

The acquisition and installation of Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Range (DVOR) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) at a cost of US$1.5million and Installation of Aeronutical Terminal Information System (ATIS) – with the ability to broadcast aeronautical information such as weatherdirectly to pilots without depending on air traffic controllers – was also done during his tenure.
Ghana is one of the few countries in Africa operating the ATIS system.

One critical and very important decision that he took during his tenure was that to suspend all flights to Kumasi as a precautionary measure to protect lives as result of defects found of the Kumasi runway.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 19, 2014 

The immediate-past National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lapmtey is worried about the sudden flurry of people who want to lead the party in the 2016 elections, saying the “party is walking on tight rope” due to their activities.

“What I am concerned about is that the people of Ghana are looking to the NPP to rescue them from all the terrible things that are happening. However, the NPP is now also showing it does not recognize that the nation is facing a crisis. We are much more concerned about our own petty grievances and personal agendas instead of the national agenda.”

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, in an exclusive interview since leaving office as NPP Chairman, expressed his opinion on many issues from petty squabbles in the party to the current economic crunch in the country.

“I know as I speak, I am going to receive a lot of backlash, but I will maintain that not everything should come down to an election. Inside the NPP itself, when we go to national executive committee, national council meetings and so on, we do not always rely on elections. We build consensus. We negotiate so that there is no need for an election.”

Early Congress
He said that the leadership of the party should first let everybody feel that their views were important and that those who have serious talent will be given an opportunity to serve in the government that will come from an NPP victory.
He also said that consensus-building had become a concern “because now we have people who all want us to know that their ambition can best be realized when they lead.”

He said it was time for NPP leaders to “sit in conclave and hammer out among ourselves about who should lead us.”

He said Ghanaians were keenly monitoring the situation and added that “they will listen to all the nastiness that will come out and they could say if you cannot manage your own affairs how can you manage the country? It is unnecessary. We do not have to put the country through it.”

Things fall apart
“I am very much concerned at the moment about what the NPP is doing because we have a government that is giving us probably the worse time we have had in Ghana’s political history.”

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said he would like the NPP to show “at this time that we recognize that there is a crisis in front of Ghana and asked the party to “behave like Britain when they faced the threat of Nazis Germany.”

“They recognized that there was a war that they had to fight and so girded resources for that war. The NPP should be girding itself for the fight against the NDC to rescue Ghana and be sending a message to the people that it recognizes how serious the position is.”

“We should recognize that 2016 is really special. It is an election that we must by all means win and we must be seen to be doing everything to win it. I am afraid that what I am seeing is not helping to feel that. When I talk to people they also feel that the NPP is not serious about the fight ahead of us.”

He said, “We should send a signal to Ghanaians that we recognize the seriousness of the problem facing the country. The economy is in complete shambles, education is a disaster, health is getting even worse and every single thing is beginning to crumble and fall. Everything in this country is now a priority. This is really not the time for us to be quibbling and quarrelling about who should lead us.”


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By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 19, 2014

It has emerged that part of the land for which GH¢3.2 million and GH¢530,628.44 were paid as compensation to the Carmichael Company in the Aveyime Livestock Project has been leased to another company for banana plantation.

Kwesi Kobea Bentsi-Enchil, Chief Valuer in charge of compensations at the Land Commission disclosed this at the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payments of judgement debts in Accra yesterday.

On Tuesday, Seth Mensah Dumoga, Head of Legal at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) appeared before the commission presided over by Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau and said the ministry did not even know about the Carmichael Family or Christopher Michel who were said to have been paid the amounts.

However, Kwadwo Awua-Peasah, the Director in charge of External Resource Mobilization (Bilateral) at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had already confirmed the payment and said done in two tranches totaling about GH¢2.6million.

It is on record that the government acquired the cattle ranch through an Executive Instrument and evidence before the commission indicated a whopping $2.4million and additional $240,000 were paid to the claimants for the acquisition.

According to Mr. Bentsi-Enchil, a grant of the lease covering 1,104.127 acres was given to an investor called Musah Hamat Farms for a banana plantation and per the documents the lessor is the Volta Regional Lands Commission and it is part of the Aveyime acquisition.

“The lease to Musah Hamat Farms is a for a 1,715.59 hectors which is 4,239.32 acres. Now, 1,104.127 of the lease land to Musah Hamat Farms overlaps the Bator claim site,” he revealed.

“I do know that some funds have been voted towards the payment of compensation for the Musah Hamad Farms but with all these revelations, if it turns out that the area of Messrs Bator Agricultural Industries Limited where D. Carmichael is recorded as the Managing Director, was paid then compensation cannot be paid a second time.”

The Chief Valuer said the only thing that will be left to pay will be what he called “the freehold interest” adding, “but the entire land of Messrs Bator Agricultural Industries Limited is in conflict with all the other claims and the AG in a memo to Justice D.F. Anan back in the days highlighted all these so if they have gone ahead and paid to Carmichael Family or Messrs Bator Agricultural Industries Limited then there could be issues to resolve.”

He said there are other claimants to the land adding “what I will plead with the commission is to order all relevant institutions who worked on the payment of the Carmichael Family compensation to furnish the Lands Commission with all the documents on the transaction so we can update our records for the good of the state.”

Earlier, the Volta River Authority (VRA) Acting Corporate Estate Manager Emmanuel Tetteh Martey assisted by Konrad Asiedu, the Supervising Counsel for VRA testified on the VRA acquisition and said when the dam was constructed, the government created 52 resettlement sites for the communities displayed.

He said cash compensation was paid for the farms and also said that they followed the VRA Act as well as State Land Act to execute their mandate.
Mr. Martey said there was no valuation for lands in the flooded areas and E.I. 98 of 1974 was used to acquire the lakebed.

“By 1971, the VRA had been requested to wash its hands off the acquisition issue. We do not have records to show any stool submitted a claim in those days.”

National Chairman of the Lands Commission Alhaji Bakari Saddique Nyare also testified in the VRA case and said the then Lands Valuation Board followed due process in ascertaining the quantum of the compensation claims.

Mr. Bensti-Enchil who had accompanied the National Chairman also added that the commission does not recommend compensation for individuals who had no title before acquisition but try to put in a claim.

Andrews Kingsley Kufe of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department also testified in the Gh¢20.3 billion paid by the government to Delta Foods Limited when they had an issue with the Judicial Service in 1999.

He confirmed the payment and said it was the payment instruction letter from the Ministry of Finance that they were yet to retrieve from the archives.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A private financial institution, International Commercial Bank (ICB), which allowed non-customers to withdraw huge sums of money from a customer’s account, has been punished by an Accra Fast Track High Court for negligence.

Between October 25, 2011 and November 16, 2011, the bank was said to have allowed seven separate withdrawals totaling GH¢55,500.00 from the account of a company called Tabbi Enterprise Limited without the permission of the account holder.

As a result, the court, presided over by Justice L.L. Mensah after full trial, ordered International Commercial Bank Limited to forthwith pay GH¢55,500.00 to Tabbi Enterprise, which “it unlawfully, wrongfully and negligently paid to persons unknown to the plaintiff.” 

The court said the bank should pay the amount with interest from October 25, 2011 till date of final payment and also awarded GH¢5,000 cost against the bank.

The Managing Director Thomas Amponsah Ababio, the plaintiff sought reliefs including a declaration that the defendant was “negligent in honouring impugned cheques which bore signatures of the plaintiff’s Managing Director as captured on the defendant’s mandate card for plaintiff’s Managing Director.”

The plaintiff, led by Prof. Ken Attafuah of Law Place, averred that they opened a current account at the International Commercial Bank Makola Branch in Accra and the sole signatory to the account was Mr. Ababio.

Between October and November 2011, several withdrawals were made from the said account at several branches of the bank in Accra and the withdrawals had been made with cheques that did not emanate from the plaintiff since he did not sign those cheques.

When the plaintiff detected the anomaly, he reported to the Makola Branch and was informed that CCTV captured images of two young men Obeng Aning and Nyaho Shepherd, who made the various withdrawals.

The bank, represented by Simon Okyere of Fugar & Co as counsel had admitted that GH¢55,500.00 was fraudulently withdrawn from the account of the plaintiff but insisted that the bank had exercised due diligence before the payments.

According to the court, when the parties were ordered to file their addresses, the defendant refused and therefore, Justice Mensah said “the instant judgment is without any input from the defendant.”

“I don’t think this issue is in controversy. I said so because both parties are in agreement that GH¢ 55,500.00 was fraudulently withdrawn from the account of the plaintiff. The only problem is that each part is disclaiming responsibility as to whose negligence caused that huge sum of money to be lost to the plaintiff.”

The court held that under both common law and statute, the bank had breached the duty of care it owed the plaintiff by failing to ensure that monies could only be legally paid from its account upon his signature.

The judge further said that the rapidity with which the huge sums were paid out from the plaintiff’s account should have put the bank on its toes, adding “sadly the defendant failed to be alive to its responsibility to the plaintiff.”

“I think the work of a bank is not only to receive and pay back to customers their money. The bank is also enjoined to put its professional expertise and technical competence in detecting and beating fraudsters.”

“As far as the duty and responsibility of the defendant bank are concerned, the bank was to pay the plaintiff on its demand for payment of money duly authorized from its account. Any unauthorized mandate from a third party is the problem of the defendant.”