Wednesday, January 28, 2015


 Nayele Ametefe is serving eight years in a UK jail

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that the case of the six persons arrested in Ghana in connection with the 12 kilos cocaine that found its way into the United Kingdom, leading to the arrest of Nayele Ametefe aka Angel, will be discontinued very soon.

Angel, aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi aka Irene Tawiah, aka Ruby Appiah, is currently serving eight years and eight months jail term in the UK.

The six suspects on trial are Abiel Ashitey Armah, Foreign Service Officer in-charge of the VVIP Lounge at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA); Ahmed Abubakar, Protocol Officer and Theophilius Kissi, a civil servant. They have all been charged for allegedly abetting Nayele Ametefe in the first case by allowing her to use the VVIP lounge.

The rest are Sadala Nuhu, Nana Akua Amponsah and Alhaji Dawood Mohammed.

Sources said investigations into the matter - that dominated the political discourse in recent times - had long been concluded but because a powerful National Democratic Congress (NDC) government official has allegedly been implicated, the Attorney General’s Department cannot push for full trial.

Thirteen persons had earlier been arrested with their photographs widely published in the state newspapers.

Ruby ‘Girls’
Sadala Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah - both businesswomen - who the prosecution says had travelled with Nayele Ametefeh but managed to escape from London back to Accra when she (Ametefeh) was arrested at the Heathrow Airport, are facing a charge of conspiracy.

Alhaji Dawood Mohammed is also being charged with abetment.
He allegedly made telephone calls to the boss of the VVIP section, Abiel Ashitey Armah, to facilitate the processing and embarkation of Ruby and her ‘girls,’ Sadala and Nana Akua, on the BA flight through the VVIP.

Pandora’s Box
Some of the accused persons are said to be ready to open the ‘Pandora’s box’ by dropping the name of the senior government official involved, should the state proceed to prosecute the case. It is being alleged that some of the suspects are peeved that their assets have been frozen by the state - a claim that is yet to be verified by DAILY GUIDE.

Sources say indeed, it was the said NDC guru who personally dropped Ruby and her girls at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on the evening of November 9, 2014.

It is alleged the convicted Ruby and the said NDC chieftain were in such furious argument that the drug baroness left her travelling passport at her East Legon residence and one of the two girls on trial had to rush back and retrieve the document.

Frantic Calls
Furthermore, a British intelligence source also said when Ruby was arrested, the said NDC top official’s telephone number was found on the baroness’ mobile handset as one of the last persons she had called before the BA078 flight left Accra.

Additionally, the same NDC top official was the first person Ruby had called frantically on arrival at London Heathrow when the plane touched down on November 10 and she was intercepted by the British law enforcers.

End Of Matter
“If they go ahead with the prosecution, the NDC top man’s name is likely to pop up during the trial and that is going to embarrass the government so they are ending the matter,” a credible source told DAILY GUIDE.

“They are just using the legal route of adjournment to delay the trial so that court would technically endorse it by discharging them upon persistent demand by the suspects’ lawyers. The investigation has long been concluded but they cannot do anything to the suspects,” the source claimed.

Frank Davies consel for Abiel Ashitey said his client was only “a poor officer caught in the web of circumstances.”

“He got a call and one Alhaji Dawood requested that he had visitors who are accessing the VVIP lounge and that he should grant them the necessary courtesy. Stretching the argument, one will say that he might have exercised some little bit of wrong discretion because those persons are not people who should access the VVIP lounge,” he said adding that does not make him a criminal.

Mr Davies is convinced his client and others “are being held for a crime they have not committed” because Nayele never mentioned the names of persons undergoing trial in Ghana as her accomplices.
According to Mr. Davies, his client has been “caught in a web of rather irritating circumstances”.

Prior Warning
The trial judge Francis Obiri has already on January 21, made it clear to the prosecution led by Penelope Ann Mamattah, a Chief State Attorney that if the state continues  with their “we are still investigating” or “we need more time” attitude, the court will have no option than to strike out the case for want of prosecution.

Feet Dragging
The body language of both the prosecution and the defence since the commencement of the case showed clearly that the prosecution case was going to collapse in the long run.

Chief State Attorney Penelope Mamattah prosecuting has persistently told the court that investigations into the matter had still not been completed and needed more time even though the Ruby, the lady at the centre of the drug business had been jailed for eight years, eight months with no mentioning of any suspected accomplices except her lawyer’s closing remarks that she was connected with influential people in government.

In all the previous sittings the prosecution had asked for more time from the court to do further investigations into the matter.

She once said “The impression is being given that we are already on trial and it is because of what some of the defence counsel have been saying,” she said.

She insisted that the case was still under investigation, adding “we have not yet taken decision to go to full trial.”

High Court Case
The Chief State Attorney had said that under normal circumstance it was the police that was required to lead the prosecution of the case at the preliminary stage but because of the high profile nature of the case, the Attorney General’s Department had to come in.

She had also said the Circuit Court was not the appropriate forum for full trial to commence saying “in the event the case is going to full trial, it will go to the High Court and that will be determined whether after all the investigations are completed.”

NDC Propaganda
There are serious indications by reliable sources that the government wanted to ‘appease’ the public by rounding up a number of suspects and ‘mounting’ a prosecution, to appease the public over the frenzy that erupted when the story first broke.

The ruling party’s communication team members have been hopping from one radio station to another  trying to tout the government’s effort to fight the narcotic drugs menace which their critics have described as a sham.

The issue took the usual political twist with recent remarks by the party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah’s that the opposition NPP were involved in the Ruby cocaine scandal.

The NPP had earlier queried the NDC ability to fight the cocaine menace and replied in a similar measure to the General secretary’s pronouncements  describing the NDC as ‘dazed’ by the Ruby cocaine scandal.

VVIP Change
DAILY GUIDE gathered that a certain Colonel Boamponsem has now been appointed to oversee activities at the VVIP section of the airport.

Ruby and her alleged gang of drug smugglers indeed used the highly restricted Very Very Important Personality (VVIP) section of the KIA reserved for the President and his top ministers to board flight BA078 to London on November 9.

Sources say the NACOB officials did not let Ruby place her handbag on the detectors due to ‘order from above’ and that was how come the machines could not track the cocaine weighing 12.5kg.

Simulation exercise
However, to avoid political backlash and international embarrassment, the NDC government hurriedly organized a simulation exercise taking the suspects to the crime scene in an attempt to make it appear as if the suspects had used the VIP instead.

During the November 27, 2014 so-called simulation exercise, drama unfolded when a BNI official took the ladies to the exit of the VIP section of Ghana’s only international airport known as the staff gate.

In the process, one of the ladies protested that was not the place they used while embarking on that abortive journey to London on November 9, but an airport staff immediately came in and claimed it was the same place and that the place had changed due to renovation works ongoing over there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Daily Guide has uncovered a scheme whereby some teachers who went for further studies without pay are still kept on government payroll even though they do not receive their monthly salaries directly.

One of such examples is the case of Isaac Mensah whose particulars was used to divert a total of GH¢12,731.89 between January 2010 and June 2012 after being told he was not entitled to salary for opting for further studies.

He told DAILY GUIDE that it was after he decided to rejoin the Ghana Education Service (GES) upon completion from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) that the anomaly was detected at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD).

In what can be reminiscent of the ghost names syndrome, Isaac’s account was diverted from the Western Region where he drew his salary at the Ellembelle District and placed at Union Rural Bank, Winneba in the Central Region in an unmarked account.

When he tried to register biometrically at the CAGD after school, he was told he needed to pay arrears of GH¢12,731.89 as the total of monthly salaries he had  drawn from January 2010 to June 2012.

He said he challenged the registering officials at the CAGD about the situation and it was then confirmed that he indeed, never took the amount in question over the period.

The CAGD on August 29, 2014 with reference PPD/30/100/8 wrote to the Union Rural Bank instructing the bank to pay the accumulated amount back to government chest.

“The salary of Isaac Mensah, staff of the Ghana Education Service for the months of January 2010 to June, 2012 have been sent to your bank without any account number. The said employee is not a customer of your bank,” Eugene A. Agyekum, Deputy Head – Payroll Processing Division wrote on behalf of the Controller.

“We hereby advise that you pay all the salaries for the period stated above to the CAGD and Wages Suspense Account, Central Region Number 0123063014002 at the Bank of Ghana Takoradi,” the letter which was copied to the Regional Director of CAGD said.

The Effutu Municipal Assembly in a letter of October 7, 2014 signed by Richard Anokye, Municipal Finance Officer with reference EMA/F 15/VOL. V33 said it also submitted a payment order which it said was to be paid into CAGD’s Suspense Account in the name of Isaac Mensah.

On September 29, the Union Rural Bank in a letter signed by Joshua Odoom, Deputy General Manager of the bank wrote the CAGD confirming that “we have the sum of GH¢10,528.11 outstanding in our books as unclaimed salaries in the name of Mr. Isaac Mensah.”

“We are arranging to pay the unclaimed salaries into the CAGD’s Salaries and Suspense Account, Central Region account number 0123063014002, Bank of Ghana, Takoradi under advice to you,” the letter with reference URB/CAG/14/1 said further.

On January 19, 2015 the Regional Director of CAGD Samuel Q. Duedu in a letter with reference CCT.231/2 to the CAGD confirmed  that Isaac Mensah’s salaries for the period January 2010 to June 2012 amounted to GH¢10,528.11 was transferred to the CAGD Suspense Account at the Bank of Ghana, Takoradi.

The Regional Director however, said “further steps are being taken to retrieve the outstanding balance of GH¢2,203.78 from the rural bank.”

According to Isaac, the CAGD has refused to pay him since he rejoined the GES in May 2012 and said he has even been appointed a substantive head of the school he is currently working from in the Western Region.

“I hear similar stories about my colleagues and I did not know that this will ever happen to me.”

Sunday, January 25, 2015


 'We will get to the bottom of this and we will not spare anybody. Enough is enough. They want to destroy our country. We will destroy them.' President Jammeh after the abortive coup.

President Jammeh arriving at the Presidential Palace after the military crashed coup plotters

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, January 24, 2015

American citizens charged after failed attempt to overthrow Gambian dictator Yahaya Jammeh in a coup are facing trial in the United States.

Jammeh came to power in The Gambia in a coup 20 years ago and has a tight grip on the tiny nation, a slither of land on the Atlantic coast surrounded by Senegal.

Cherno Njie, 57, and Papa Faal, 46, were arrested upon their return to the US from the tiny West African nation following a thwarted late December coup last year.

According to Federal prosecutors, Njie would have replaced President Jammeh as interim leader if the coup had succeeded.

The men, both of Gambian descent, conspired to help overthrow longtime President  Jammeh who himself came to power in a similar coup in 1994 and has been ruling with iron fist ever since.

The men have since appeared in American courts as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder condemned 'such conspiracies'.

'The United States strongly condemns such conspiracies. With these serious charges, the United States is committed to holding them fully responsible for their actions,' Mr. Holder said in the statement.

Both men were in custody and were expected to make court appearances in Baltimore and Minneapolis.
Suspected coup plotters! Faal and Njie

The charges stem from the December 30 2014 coup attempt in the former British colony, which came as the longtime dictator was away in France.

Gambian President Yahaya Jammeh blamed 'terrorist groups' for the coup attempt and alleged that plotters had received backing from foreign countries.

Federal Prosecutors said the two men, Njie and Faal, traveled separately from the United States to Gambia to participate in the unrest there and when unsuccessful, later returned to the US.

Overall, about 10 to 12 people were in Gambia to try to overthrow the government 'with the expectation that others in the country would join and assist them,' the US State Department said.
President Jammeh was at the White House as guest of President Obama

Human rights activists have long criticized the Gambian government for targeting political opponents, journalists and gays and lesbians.

The US government recently removed Gambia from a trade agreement in response to human rights abuses, including a law signed in October that imposes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.

According to prosecutors, Faal, holds dual citizenship of the US and Gambia and lives in Minnesota.

He reportedly told investigators that in August he joined a movement in the United States bent on overthrowing the government.

He reportedly said he was motivated to be part of the group, which prosecutors said planned to ambush the president's convoy, by concerns that elections were being rigged and over 'the plight of the Gambian people,' according to court papers.

Federal Prosecutors said he purchased semi-automatic rifles in Minnesota that were then shipped by cargo ship to the Gambia and after members of the group were defeated at the Gambian State House, Faal escaped by ferry to neighbouring Senegal, where he walked into the U.S. Embassy, spoke to U.S. officials and gave the FBI permission to search his home in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
President Jammeh grants interview to journalists

Court papers indicated that Njie, 57, is a U.S. citizen of Gambian descent lives in Austin, Texas. He was arrested after flying into Dulles International Airport from Senegal.

Family Arrests
Gunmen attacked the capital, Banjul, in the early hours of December 30, when President Yahya Jammeh was out of the country. Diplomats said at least four attackers were killed. On the run were several others.

Since returning, President Jammeh reportedly has warned he would not spare anyone involved in the attempted coup, which local media said was led by former presidential guard chief Lamin Sanneh.

Sanneh's mother and brother were amongst those arrested so far, family members said, asking not to be named.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe is a leading opposition leader
Amnesty International
In a related development Amnesty International says Gambian authorities should either charge or release family members of people suspected to be involved in December’s alleged failed coup, and grant them immediate access to lawyers.
According to Amnesty International’s information, Gambian law enforcement agencies including the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Presidential guard have arrested at least 30 people, including a 16-year-old boy, since the beginning of January. They are being detained without charge. Security forces have threatened to arrest anyone demanding the release or whereabouts of those arbitrarily detained.
“The arrest and prolonged detention of family members of the alleged coup plotters, who have had no opportunity to challenge their detention, violates the basic legal protections provided for by the country’s constitution, as well as regional and international human rights law,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.
“If the Gambian authorities want justice, they should either charge those arrested with recognizable criminal offences, if there are legitimate reasons for doing so, or release them. Keeping so many people detained arbitrarily would be more about instilling fear in the country than pursuing justice.”
Dr. Mai Amad Fatty is  opposition leader

Family members of Bai Lowe, a man suspected of having taken part in the attack against the State House, have been in detention without any charge since 1 January. Five NIA officers raided their compound in a village south of Banjul with a list of people to arrest. They arrested Lowe’s 16-year-old son, his ex-wife and his brother. There is still no information about their whereabouts.  According to the Gambian constitution, anyone arrested should be brought before a court within 72 hours.
The NIA also arrested Omar Malleh Jagne, the brother of another suspected coup plotter, Njaga Jagne, who was killed by the security forces on 30 December. Omar Malleh Jagne, a father of nine children, was taken to an unknown location and has not been heard of since.
Several other family members of suspected coup plotters have fled the country in fear of reprisals. According to Amnesty International’s information, soldiers suspected of being involved in the attempted coup will be tried before a military court soon. They face the death penalty if convicted.   
Amnesty International is calling on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to stop using the alleged coup as excuse for a clampdown on peaceful dissenters.
On 14 January, President Jammeh announced that the authorities were willing to work closely with the UN to investigate the events of 30 December.  
“This investigation must include the arrests and detentions that took place following the attempted coup. The Gambian authorities should provide unfettered access to detention centres, including those run by the military,” said Steve Cockburn.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Gambia is a state party provides in Article 6 that “every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.”

Opposition Cry Foul 
 Gambian opposition leader Dr. Mai Ahmad Fatty says President Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship is getting ‘out of hand’ and has urged the international community to pressurize him to bring ‘reforms’ into the tiny West African country.

Lawyer Fatty who stood as Presidential Candidate of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) in 2011 told journalists in Accra last week that President Jammeh continuous abuse of human rights, constitutional violations, stifling of the opposition and muzzling the media has brought the Gambia on its knees.
President Jammeh in a pensive mood

“If you close the door to official opposition, you open the same door to unofficial opposition and things could explode if the situation persists,” the leader of the GMC said.

“The good people of the Gambia are living in a state of fear. President Jammeh and his men have put terror in the people and they are doing things with impunity,” he said.

He said “rule of law is dead in the Gambia. Judges are dismissed at will and people are detained without trial while others are tortured and killed for fighting for freedom. He does not respect international protocols and conventions that ensure a just society.”

Lawyer Fatty said that the Gambia with a population of about 800,000 is in the state of anarchy and said “the peace we enjoy is false peace. We are under the thumb of dictatorship.”

He said with the current electoral rules, there is no way anybody can unseat Mr. Jammeh, saying “he has abolished the second round voting system and established a first past the post system. The electoral system is fundamentally flawed.”
Banjul is the capital of the Gambia

Friday, January 23, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, January 23, 2015

New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag-bearer for 2016 election Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said an NPP government he will lead will avoid reckless borrowing.

He said in London yesterday that if elected his government will do well to move away from the high fiscal deficits and reckless borrowing that has characterized the John Mahama NDC-led NDC government currently.

Trades and Industry Minister, Ekow Spio-Gabrah on Wednesday noted that reckless borrowing by the government had pushed Ghana to seek financial bailout from the International Monitory Fund.

“One of the challenges we’ve had as a country and one of the reasons why we are in discussions with the IMF is that for many years, we just chose to borrow and borrow just because there are many banks in the world which were ready to give you loans if you are credit worthy,” Spio told a conference in Accra.

The current NDC administration had pushed Ghana’s debt to about GHC69.9billion as at September 2014 from GHC9.5billion in 2009 an increase of over 600%.

Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing one of Britain’s leading think tanks Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs at a roundtable discussion on the theme, “Developing Ghana – Policies for Prosperity”.

Ghana’s former Attorney-General and later Foreign Minister was one of the few experienced African politicians who were invited to discuss democracy and governance as part of the UK’s 750th anniversary of first Westminster parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta and Chatham House also invited him to discuss Ghana’s development.

Fiscal Discipline
Nana Akufo-Addo said his government would ensure fiscal discipline and macro-economic stability, strive to curb inflation and bring down interest rates.

Additionally, an NPP government, he said, would introduce a ‘deliberate’ policy measure to achieve financial inclusion by moving the majority of citizens from cash to electronic payments (debit cards) for transactions.

"We need a national database that identifies every citizen with an address," the experienced politician said.

Nana Akufo-Addo further said an NPP government will assist in what he called the formalization of the economy, spread the tax burden and use up-to-date statistics for planning as well as increase savings in the financial system in a dramatic fashion.

Ghanaians’ Trust
He said he strongly believes Ghanaians are reposing their trust in him to lead Ghana into prosperity as President.

"My own sense is that the Ghanaian people have come to trust me. Contrary to the propaganda, they know that I will not put my ambition and selfish interest before the well-being of the country,” he said.

“They (Ghanaians) know I have been sincere and consistent with what I believe we must do to bring about prosperity for everyone,” he said in response to a question by Dr. Alex Vines OBE, Head of the Africa Programme at the think tank.

Explaining why he believed Ghanaians had reposed trust in him, Nana Akufo-Addo said “When I go around the country, I sense this and it is like, after all let us give him a chance for him to show what he can do."

NPP/ NDC Records
He said that Ghanaians now have a clearer scale to measure the 8 years of NDC administration to the NPP's and was optimistic the people were becoming convinced that “we in the NPP can be trusted to better manage the economy and create the opportunities for prosperity.”

He reassured the invited gathering, composed of high-level business executives, diplomats and policy analysts, that his vision of ensuring “education for all” school-going children was going to be vigorously pursued when elected, saying "value of having an educated population is more than the cost."

The NPP flag-bearer said his administration will pay what he called ‘critical attention’ to technical education “in this critical phase of our development” with a "major emphasis on science and technology, which will feature heavily."

Executive vs legislature
He also lamented the current “governance arrangement” in Ghana where Parliament, he said, is seemingly subservient to the Executive, calling for a greater oversight control over the Executive in the use of public funds.

He said it was the duty of everyone in the position of authority to seek to help “raise rapidly the quality of life of the mass of our people.”

He also said there was a national consensus to enhance the integrity of the electoral system for 2016 and beyond and said the party he is leading will do it part to get better and fairer election process.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Patriotic Party branch in the United States (NPP-USA) has been compiling statistical data of what it claims is the proof that Ghana's current voters register is bloated.

They have therefore urged all stakeholders to mount pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) to reform the electoral system using the preparation of a new register as a major step in the process.

The NPP electoral reforms committee headed by party running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia recently also submitted its report to the party  Steering Committee at it recent meeting in Accra.

Accurate Register
According to the NPP USA, “an accurate voters’ register cannot capture more than 46.4% or roughly 12.673 million voters of the projected population of just over 27 million,” as Ghana is currently witnessing.

Stats for 2016
The NPP-USA claimed that per its projections, the Ghana’s population is expected to hit 27.315 million by the end of 2015 emphasizing “in post-oil production Ghana, the foreigner presence in Ghana is even higher than pre-oil production Ghana of 2010.”

“Consistent with typical population growth, notice that Ghana is aging a little compared to the 2010 population distribution. Notice that the 15 to 19 category has now been split into two with one being the 15 to 17 group and the other being the 18 and 19 group.”

The NPP group said, “this was done by taking the 15 to 19 year category and splitting it into five with three portions being the 15 to 17, and the remaining two portions representing the 18 and 19 year olds.”

It said Ghana had 43.6% of the population below the voting age of 18 years and another 5 percent or so  were foreign adults not eligible to register to vote.

“Another 5 percent or thereabouts represent a large group including those too sick to register, who simply don’t care, who could not make time to register, prisoners, etc.” they insisted.

Age distribution
According to the NPP-USA, “this is the Age Distribution of Ghana’s 2010 population of 24.391 million; this number includes all persons domiciled in Ghana as at 2010 regardless of citizenship.”

They added “although the elections were held in 2012, the voter register was compiled at a time when these were the population distribution.”

“Take the 15 to 19 year category and split it into five with three portions being the 15 to 17, and the remaining two portions representing the 18 and 19 year olds. Add the 15 to 17 year olds to the category below the voting age. That gives you 44.8 percent of the population under the voting age. The remaining 55.2 percent still includes all foreign adults in the country who obviously cannot register to vote.”

“Typically this segment represents roughly 5 percent in most countries but should be higher in Ghana considering the volume of refugees and a higher than average diplomatic corps due to Ghana’s stability,” they submitted and queried “So how did the EC manage to have a voter register comprising 56.2 percent of the population?”

Heated Debate
The issue of whether or not the voters register used in the 2012 general election was bloated has generated heated debate.

Addressing party supporters in the United Kingdom recently, NPP flag-bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the party has set up an electoral reform committee to work with the EC to avert anomalies that marred the 2012 elections.

He said “the present voters register that we have in Ghana is bloated and anomalous and there is an urgent need to make sure we get a new voters register before the next election.”

However, the EC through its Director of Public Affairs Christian Owusu-Parry has variously insisted the register is not bloated.

“No, we disagree with any assertion that the register as we have at the moment is bloated. The register is not in any way bloated,” Owusu Parry told an Accra-based radio station on December 29, last year.

He added that: “If anybody suggests that the register as we have it is bloated, then I am surprised because it is not supported by the statistical figures that we have”.


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, January 22, 2015

The official government website - - where information on Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other government business can be obtained via the internet has been hacked.

Hackers in the internet world are people who have proficiency in using programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file and post unwanted stuff, sometimes including pornography.

As at press time yesterday, Government says its IT experts have regained control of almost all the websites hacked. A Deputy Communications Minister, Ato Sarpong said on Citi Fm that they are 90 percent through to restoring the various websites.

 “I can confirm that yes, we have regained control of our sites. We had to pull the web server down ourselves and as a result of that, all sites that are linked to the web server will be down,” he said.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu, also deputy Minister of Communications had confirmed to various media that the website indeed was hacked but said they were working hard to clean the system. He said the hackers who took control of government official website, are from Turkey.

The Alsancak Tim hackers took down the website in the early hours of Wednesday January 21, 2015 after hacking the sites of some state institutions including the Communication Ministry
and Scholarship Secretariat.

The incident can be interpreted to mean that the government portal is currently controlled by unknown person(s) and as a result, Ghana’s partners both local and international might not be able to not have any means of accessing official information about the country. 

“It is true…our attention was drawn to it earlier this morning,” the Deputy Minister confirmed, adding “It is not a desirable development at all… because on a daily basis, people go to that website for information on developments in the country.”

“The challenge for us as government is to make sure we tighten the security protocols to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.

MDAs most affected included Ministries of Communication, Local Government, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Water Resources Works and Housing.

The rest are the Ghana Navy, the Scholarship Secretariat, Restored Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA).

The government’s electronic portal is reportedly managed by the Information Services Department (ISD) with assistance from the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).

Controllers have been battling internet hacking for many years. Just last week social network platforms Twitter and You Tube accounts of the United States Military were hacked by Islamic fundamentalists who are fighting to form an Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East.

They posted what looked like Jihadist messages but US Central Command (CENTCOM), one of nine unified commands in the United States military later issued a statement saying it was "cyber-vandalism".

A  cyber analyst, Albert Antwi Bosiako proposed on Citi FM it was time for the government to develops a cyber security culture to avert future attacks.

He advised that in order for the nation to guarantee security, “we need to be proactive in our security thinking. We don’t have to sit down for hacking to take place before we even think of putting any mechanism in place.”

According to him, security is a continuous process therefore; vulnerability assessments must be periodically undertaken. “These guys exploit the vulnerability of the technology which has been used to develop the website so we have to be constantly, proactively protect the website,” be “We must look at it from the perspective of the criminal or the hackers for us to identify whatever issues and resolve them because issue will always come up that is why one cannot prevent hacking,” he added.