Wednesday, May 27, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

OccupyGhana (OG), a fast-growing pressure group has condemned the killing of Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Alhaji Adams Mahama and has added its voice to the numerous calls to fish out the killers and punish them.

On Wednesday, May 20, Ghanaians were hit with the shocking news of the pouring of acid on the dynamic NPP regional chairman in Bolgatanga leading to his death a few hours later on Thursday.

Two people who are suspected to have been involved in the pouring of the acid have been identified and one is currently detained by the police.

Countless institutions and powerful individuals as well as security experts have all condemned the ‘dastardly act’ and asked the law enforcement agencies to conduct thorough investigations and bring the perpetrators to book without fear or favour.

OccupyGhana said in a statement yesterday that “no person deserves to die in the manner Mr. Adams Mahama did and no person has the right to take another's life in the circumstances Mr. Adams Mahama's life was taken.”

“For the rest of us, the death of Mr. Adams Mahama if indeed truly occurred because of political instigation, should not be seen as just another ‘partisan’ occurrence but rather a signal that our politics is at the cusp of a trajectory of self-destruction. It is a criminal act that should be abhorred without reservation.”

Fault lines
According to the pressure group the origin of the fault line of physical violence in Ghana's politics, could be traced to British colonialist policies and practices, under which those who demanded independence were hounded, imprisoned and sometimes, killed.”

“Unfortunately, with the advent of independence a more vicious form of political violence was to be introduced: the phenomenon of ‘machoism,’ feeding on the unfortunate mentality that the only way to handle political differences is to visit physical violence on one's opponents.”

“It is unfortunate that nearly six decades after independence, we are yet to fully rid our politics of machoism. Political parties have nurtured and fed this 'beast' and given it room to transmogrify and mutate into a clear and present national danger, the latest form of which is the unjustified attack that has resulted in the assassination of Mr. Adams Mahama.”

Indiscipline and machoism
They said indiscipline and machoism has increasingly taken “the spearhead of political activism in the country” adding “our airwaves and newspapers are replete with vitriolic language and unacceptably unpalatable reportage.”

“People in office who are paid by tax payers money find nothing wrong with engaging in mudslinging and very often rather insulting diatribes,” they added.

The group said the situation had affected social cohesion and reinforced what it called “the fast increasing view that public office is being reduced to the preserve of incivilities; all in the name of what may seem as irrational partisan endorsements.”

“Occupy Ghana is fully convinced that our political parties, their members and followers have no justification nor is there the need to continue along a path of violence.”

Volunteer information
Occupy Ghana called on all persons who may have any knowledge of the circumstances surrounding and leading to the killing, to step forward and pass on any such information to the appropriate authorities.

“In urging calm, we also wish to express our firm belief and conviction that the Ghana Police Service is doing everything possible to bring the perpetrators of that dastardly act to justice, to vindicate the nation and get justice for Mr. Adams Mahama. We support the relevant authorities in their quest to identify all persons who are complicit in this crime and to bring them to book.”

Call to order
Occupy Ghana asked the leadership, members and supporters of all political parties, to work hard to eliminate and eschew all forms of violence and indiscipline in their intra- and inter-party engagements.

“Politics is nothing more than a contest of ideas and tolerance of divergent views in spite of vigorous contests for control and leadership at various levels,” they said adding,” Occupy Ghana commits to engaging with and working with the leadership of all political parties and groupings to develop and sustain workable programs aimed at stamping out violence in the activities of all such groups.”

Monday, May 25, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, May 25, 2015

In what can pass as a rare occurrence in the political history of the country, there appear to be a public consensus that the killers of Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Alhaji Adams Mahama should be fished out and punished without delay.

Last week, Ghanaians were hit with the shocking news of the pouring of acid on the dynamic NPP regional chairman in Bolgatanga leading to his death a few hours later.

Two people who are suspected to have been involved in the pouring of the acid have been identified and one is currently detained by the police.

Countless institutions and powerful individuals as well as security experts have all condemned the ‘dastardly act’ and asked the law enforcement agencies to conduct thorough investigations and bring the perpetrators to book without fear or favour.

CDD Response
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) issued a statement calling on the police to treat everyone arrested in connection with the murder of the NPP Chairman as a criminal.

The statement issued in Accra and signed by Mina Okuru, Communications Officer of the CDD said they are “concerned that in the past, perpetrators of election-related violence have gone unpunished, and in many instances are condoned (and not reprimanded) by political party leadership.”

It said it was gratifying to note that the leadership of both the NPP and NDC had condemned this latest incident. CDD-Ghana hoped that those who perpetrated the heinous crime were apprehended, treated as criminals, prosecuted and punished to serve as a deterrent to future perpetrators of similar acts.

“The Centre is thus encouraged by the fact that the Ghana Police Service is investigating what appears to be a politically motivated crime, and is confident the criminals will be apprehended.”

“CDD-Ghana condemns without reservation all acts of political violence, be it intra or inter party. Acts such as these, which may have resulted in the death of the NPP Upper East Regional Chairman, have no place in a democracy,” they said.

According to the CDD, past election observation/monitoring reports, including those by CDD-Ghana and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), since 1992, was replete with conflicts and violence in the political and electioneering environment saying “CDD-Ghana holds the view that such acts undermine current efforts to promote peace, stability, good governance and the consolidation of democracy in Ghana.”

The statement urged leaderships of political parties to denounce members who carry out criminal activities, treat all such persons as criminals, and allow the law to take its course.

NPP Council of Elders
The NPP Council of Elders, the highest advisory body within the opposition party also condemned the gruesome killing of Alhaji Adams.

A statement signed by C.K. Tedam, Chairman, Council of Elders said “the loss of Alhaji Adams Mahama is a kind of gruesome incident that has never been known in the NPP tradition and the Council condemns this act of unbelievable cruelty and criminality without reservation.”

“The Council considers it the duty of all Party officials and members as well as the general public to lend full cooperation and support to law enforcement agencies in the search for the criminals responsible and for the dispensation of justice,” it said.

“In this hour of grief and bewilderment, some may find opportunity to make conjectures and pass innuendos that are aimed at individuals and groups within and without the party. The council strongly advises that all true party members should desist from using the airwaves and the print media to generate diversions which could not contribute to the fact finding efforts of the investigators in the case nor to the peace and calm that is necessary at this time in the Party and the country at large.”

The council said what the NPP needed now was “the sober atmosphere that allows for contemplation designed to enhance our search to salvage the harm that has been done by the murder of Alhaji Adams Mahama.”

It further said it was emphasizing the fact that the NPP “has given a pledge to the people of this country to take over the reins of administration after the 2016 election in order to stave off this Republic from the current slide into socio-economic doom.”

They eulogized the late Alhaji Adams Mahama as “an example of the new breed in the party – reasonably young, energetic, committed and hard working,” saying “he was an inspiration to all those young people who see or have found the NPP to be the avenue to genuinely serve their country.”

“The Council of Elders would want all of us to use the death of this wonderful countryman as the NPP’s obelisk of unity and peace and the staff for the march towards victory in the 2016 election.”

The council stressed its concern for the maintenance of peace, responsibility and discipline in the party and said it will “avail itself of all existing avenues to ensure that all members act with discipline and in the best interest of the party and nation,” adding “this is the fitting memorial to the comrade we have tragically lost and for the respect of our party’s traditions and objectives.”


Dr. Mai Ahmad Fatty of the Gambian Moral Congress

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, May 25, 2015

The Gambian opposition is rallying international support to force President Yahya Jammeh not to stand for elections for a fifth term in office.

One of the leaders, Dr. Mai Ahmad Fatty who stood as Presidential Candidate of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) in 2011 appealed passionately to world leaders especially those in the West African sub-region to persuade President Jammeh to abandon his fifth term ambition.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday Dr Fatty who is the Chairman of ECOWAS Technical Committee on Internal Democracy, criticized President Jammeh for being a ‘dictator’ and said he appears to have established himself as life president.

He said without pressure to ensure electoral reforms, the President and his gang will rule the Gambia forever saying “the Gambia is the only country in the world that is using stones instead of ballot papers for elections in the 21st Century.”

The opposition leader further said that President Jammeh’s continuous abuse of human rights, constitutional violations, stifling of the opposition and muzzling the media has brought the Gambia on its knees.

“We want the ECOWAS community and the whole of Africa to know about what is going on in the Gambia. There is widespread abuse of human rights, torture corruption and nepotism and there is widespread economic hardship which has forced a lot of the youth to embark on perilous journeys on the Mediterranean.”

“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.

He said since the December 30, 2014 abortive coup, there had been mass arrests and many people had been in detention without trial for many months.

Dr. Fatty said that key reforms such as limiting the president’s term of office to two as well as ensuring that elections are held for a second time if there is not declared winner in the first were the best options to get the Gambia out of the current dictatorship.

“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.”

Dr. Fatty said his party will not get involved in the next election if President Jammeh contests for a fifth term since it would be a mere formality.
He appealed to ECOWAS leaders to “bring their experience to bear on the Gambia by pressing Mr. Jammeh to enforce ECOWAS Protocols.”

“We are not asking for subversion but we believe it is their legal right to ask our President to enforce the protocols which he continues to ignore.


By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has expressed concern about what it calls the continuous neglect of the judiciary by the government.

According to the powerful association the lack of attention given to the judiciary especially in the area of funding is crippling the administration of justice and must be checked without delay.

A statement issued in Accra and jointly signed by Nene Abayateye Amegatcher and Justin Agbeli Amenuvor, National President and National Secretary respectively said “the GBA notes with great concern the persistent neglect of the third arm of State leading to the crippling strike action embarked upon by the members of the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG).”

“This is a very unfortunate development which adversely affects the administration of justice as well as the fundamental rights of the citizens to access justice considering the fact that adjudication of individual rights is rendered impossible,” they said.

The GBA said it has noted with regret that the current stalemate between the JUSAG and the authorities had arisen “as a result of failure by the government to release subvention approved by Parliament to the third arm of State.”

“The GBA would like to use this opportunity to remind His Excellency the President to quicken the pace of honouring his promise made during the GBA’s visit to the Presidency last year of increasing the 15% of the internally generated funds substantially to enable clear expression to be made of the financial independence of the judiciary as envisioned by the 1992 Constitution.”

They advised that under the implementation of the financial autonomy guaranteed under the constitution, the judiciary in the interim,  should be authorized to retain the 85% of its internally generated fund (IGF) paid to the government and offset it against outstanding subvention due it for the 2015 Fiscal Year which is yet to be released.

“The GBA is of the firm conviction that the JUSAG members would heed to its humble plea as members of both associations have a very strong relationship; both being major stakeholders in the justice delivery system.”

They called on the government and in particular the Minister of Finance “as a matter of priority to address the concerns of the Judicial Service staff who already are underpaid and struggling to make earns meet by releasing their outstanding allowances due them for the normalization of justice delivery.”

“Equally so the GBA would wish to appeal strongly to the members of JUSAG to resume work immediately whiles the Judicial Council takes up the matter with the government.” 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A.B.A Fusieni has been cited for contempt of court in the ongoing chieftaincy dispute in Bimbila.

Also cited in the suit are the Nanumba North District Chief Executive, DCE, Alhaji Mohammed Ibn Abass five chiefs and a regent who were all allegedly enskinned by a kingmaker called Azumah Nantogmah who is also cited.

Alhaji Wumbei Abudu, Adam Natogmah, Abukari Ziblim, Adam Musah and Fuseini Abdulai were purportedly enskined to occupy Gbungbaliga, Sakpe, Nasamba, Boggu and Bakpaba respectively while Yakubu Andani Dasana was also enskined as Regent in place his late father Andani Dasana, all by the kingmaker.

The contempt application had been filed by the Jou Regent Osman Mahama and another and they are all due to appear before a Tamale High Court judge on May 26.

According to the applicants, Azumah Nantogmah and Yakubu Andani Dasana are the 1st and 2nd respondents in the whole Bimbila chieftaicy dispute.

The applicants claimed that the Bimbilla paramount skin affairs was determined by the judicial committee of the Northern Region House of Chiefs in 2013 to favour the late Andani Dasana but an appeal was filed at the National House of Chiefs and a stay of execution enforced per section 34 of the chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759).

According to the applicants, a letter of March 10, 2014, copied to key institutions including the National House of Chiefs reminded the Northern Region House of Chiefs, the Northern Regional Minister, the Northern Regional Police Command, among others that per the Act, the Bimbilla paramount skin was vacant until the judicial committee of the National House of Chiefs decided otherwise.

However, just before the adjudication process started in 2014, 1st Appellant, Naa Salifu Dawuni passed on and till date  his mortal remains is yet to be released for burial since its seizure by the government in March last year, the applicants claimed.

“Until his death on June 19, 2014, the late Andani Dasana allegedly had the buy-in of some government official to refuse the late Naa Salifu, his fundamental human right to dignity by resisting (using violence) the rather legitimate decision to bury him in his personal house in Bimbilla,” they claimed further.

The applicants said 1st Respondent Andani Dasana, who died about 4 months later was on June 26, 2014 given a state burial amid public pronouncement of him as overlord of Nanung by some  government officials adding “consequently, his first male born was purportedly enskined as Nyelinboligu Naa as a condition precedence for his installation as a Regent as though Late Andani Dasana died as a Bimbila Naa.”

Meanwhile both contenders, now deceased, had long been substituted by their respective blood relations in accordance with the law to continue with the case until its determination on the 8th of October 2014 and beyond.

According to the applicants, the appellants had filed a motion on notice for leave October 20, 2014 to appeal against the judgment under Act 759 and it was granted February 26, 2015 saying “in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ghana, appeals operate as stay of execution in chieftaincy matters.”

“Unfortunately, the Respondents have in gross violation of this legal provision, proceeded to enskin quite a reasonable number of chiefs in the area merely on the strength of the last year, October judgment of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi. These actions are not only pre-judicial but also a recipe for chaos especially if left un-managed,” the claimed.

“The security are even the ones who often provides escort services for the enskined persons to their respective localities or jurisdictions, an act that constitutes a serious slap on the face of the country’s effort at promoting rule of law, good governance  and respect for human rights.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A journalist with Citi FM, an Accra-based private radio station has sued the government over the appointment of Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman.
Current EC Chairman Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan is due for retirement next month and the mode of appointment of his replacement is generating heated political debate.

Citing the Attorney General as the respondent, the journalist, Richard Sky filed a writ at the Supreme Court asking for a clear interpretation of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution on the appointment of an Electoral Commissioner.

The applicant who is represented by his solicitors Dehyena Chambers with Alexander Afenyo-Markin as the lead counsel, wants the court to determine the way and manner the President should do the selection of the next EC Boss.

Applicant’s Reliefs
He wants a declaration that “upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, the provisions of Article 91(3) of the 1992 Constitution have no bearing and inapplicable to the special role of the Council of State in the appointment of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, his Deputies and other Commissioners.”

The applicant also want declaration that “upon true and proper interpretation of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution together with Article 91 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, it is the Council of State that has the constitutional mandate to initiate the process of appointment of the Chairman, the Deputies and other Commissioners of the Electoral Commission; and such advice on a suitable candidates(s) to be appointed constitutionally is binding on the President.”

He is asking for an order “directing the exact procedures to be followed by the Council of State either suo motto or by prompting by the President in such appointments in the light of Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution,” as well as “any other order or orders as this Honourable Court may seem meet.”

Emerging Issues
According to the applicant, Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution says, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission,” while Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”

The writ is praying the highest court of the land “to give judicial definition of the process for appointing a replacement for incumbent EC Chief, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan,” who is set to retire on June 18, 2015.

“Where there are divergent views on how the Chairman, a Deputy Chairman or a Commissioner is to be appointed, one need not wait for one to be appointed unconstitutionally before running to the Supreme Court for an interpretation and a declaration to that effect.”

The applicant said that any directive given by the court on the mode of appointment of the EC Chairman shall be binding on all stakeholders and become a guiding precedent, saying “it would also put to rest the unending political debate on how the successor of Dr. Afari-Gyan is to be appointed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There was three days of uninterrupted power supply in most parts of Accra, leaving many residents to wonder whether the ongoing power crisis was not deliberate.

The ‘improved’ power supply coincided with the weekend dumsor vigil spearheaded by actress, Yvonne Nelson and attended by other celebrities as well as university teachers and other concerned Ghanaians.

Some critics of the government are claiming the weekend’s uninterrupted power supply was deliberately done to spite the celebrity-inspired demonstration that sought to put pressure on President John Mahama and his NDC government to act swiftly to end the power crisis.

The situation over the weekend left some critics of the government to suggest that the crisis known in local parlance as Dumsor could be a deliberate programme of the government as vote catching measure so that if by the end of the year the crisis was resolved the president can make claim of it.

President Mahama had previously said Ghanaians have short memories in the event that the problem is resolved they would have forgotten the hardships they had gone through.

Critics are saying it is unusual for Accra residents to experience uninterrupted power supply for three days running because power supplier, ECG has not announced any new timetable for power rationing.

They insisted the fact that the government is able to continuously provide uninterrupted power supply during festive occasions as well as during football tournaments showed that President Mahama and his government were capable of solving the problem in no time instead of waiting for the end of year when most companies would have collapsed because of the energy crisis.

The country’s power crisis has worsened with the government struggling in vain to remedy the situation amidst several failed promises.

Currently, industries and major businesses are collapsing as a result of the dumsor, whilst many workers continue to lose their jobs.

Deadlines set by the government to end the crisis have elapsed and Ghanaians continue to remain in the dark as to when the problem would finally be solved.

Even, the emergency power barges promised by the government to mitigate the effects of the crisis are still not ready and there appears to be no end insight for the crisis.

Many Ghanaians, including celebrities, have expressed disgust at the government’s handling of the crisis but a number of NDC appointees have sought to disparage those who want the government to sit up over the dumsor.

The anger and frustration set in with Ghana’s famous entertainment stars led by popular actress Yvonne Nelson voicing their feelings ‘openly’ about the perennial lights off that is crippling the economy.

Ms Nelson said the assurances given by the John Mahama-led NDC government to fix the perennial electricity crisis were all ‘lies’ and went on to start what she termed #DumsorMustStop campaign on social media which has gained enough public attention culminating in a vigil last Saturday.

Friday, May 15, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, May 15, 2015

Former Energy Minister, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei, has justified the use of a luxurious vehicle he allegedly kept even after his exit from government for several months.

He is therefore daring OccupyGhana who are suing him for keeping a Lexus Vehicle with registration GC 5958-11 after being reshuffled from office as Minister.

The pressure group together with one of its leaders Sydney Casely-Hayford, want the court to order Dr. Oteng-Adjei to pay to the state a whopping GH¢355,812 for keeping the car unlawfully for a period of 222 days (16th July 2014 to 23rd February 2015).

Audit Report
The former minister after exiting from government, allegedly kept the project car, Lexus LX 570 purchased under rural electrification project. 

An Auditor General's report on the Energy Ministry on the special rural electrification had between 2010 and 2012 expended close to $2 million on 38 luxury vehicles and other office equipment which were to be used to monitor and inspect a rural electrification project.

AG’s Defence
OccupyGhana filed the suit on March 12, against Dr. Oteng-Adjei and joined the Attorney General in the action.

The AG filed her defence on April 27, 2015 denying most of the claims but admitting that the said vehicle was one of the fleet of vehicles purchased under a project for the electrification of some communities in the Western, Central and Brong Ahafo regions known as the Weldy Lamont project.

In an attempt to shrug off the plaintiff’s claim of negligence, the AG appears to have exposed Dr. Oteng-Adjei when she averred that “following a circular from the Chief of Staff, former ministers were allowed to use their official vehicles for a period of three months after leaving office.”

Oteng-Adjei’s Defence
Dr. Oteng-Adjei in his defence filed on April 28, said he would contend that “in so far as his letter of appointment contained express provision on the cessation of his appointment, he did not cease to hold public office after the reshuffle.”

“The defendant states that after the reshuffle, he continued to render public service including attending meetings particularly in the energy sector, including meetings at the seat of government with relevant  high level state officials in the Integrated  Aluminuim project as part of preparations towards the recent  visit to Qatar by the President of Ghana.”

Interesting Argument
“Defendant states that other ministers who were initially reshuffled and ceased to hold any ministerial positions were later reassigned to ministries and therefore 1st defendant just like the said persons had no doubt that he would be reassigned. This is moreso when his appointment contained express and clear terms on the rights of both contracting parties,” he averred.

Dr. Oteng-Adjei further argued that it was only after his appointment as Chairman of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on March 4, 2015 that by implication, he ceased to act as public servant adding “even though he had not been expressly terminated as Minister of State as required by his letter of appointment.”

Political Sanctuary
He accused OccupyGhana of having political agenda to embarrass him and the NDC and said he had not caused any financial loss to the country.

“1st defendant would contend that the action is a pretext by his political enemies to punish him for what they perceived to be his action which led to the state saving $46 million which otherwise would have benefited some interested parties,” he claimed.

He said he had never refused to return the vehicle and at all material times had no intention to unlawfully keep same saying, “the present action is without any basis and is not justiciable.”

OccupyGhana Reliefs
OccupyGhana want a declaration that 1st Defendant’s (Dr. Oteng-Adjei) keeping and use of Lexus Vehicle from 16th July 2014 to 23rd February 2015 “amounts to conversion and detinue”; and a further declaration that the government was negligent in not ensuring that Dr. Oteng-Adjei returned the vehicle upon leaving office as Minister on 16th July 2014.

The plaintiffs said they want the court to declare that the state and people of Ghana are entitled to surcharge or otherwise be paid or compensated by Dr. Oteng-Adjei “for his wrongful and illegal use” of the vehicle.

They further want the court to order the AG (2nd defendant) to recover from Dr. Oteng-Adjei “GH¢355,812 at the rate of 25% per annum, calculated on calendar month basis from 16th July 2014 to 23rd February 2015,” as well as “general damages against 1st Defendant in conversion and detinue,” and costs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Human Rights Court in Accra has refused to decide on whether or not the processes that would lead to the setting up of Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) for the telecoms industry should be halted in the interim.

MP for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng and two others have filed a suit at an Accra High Court seeking a determination on whether or not it was constitutional for the government to set up the ICH in the first place.

In the process, the plaintiffs filed an application for an interlocutory injunction on the whole ICH programme pending the final determination on the substantive case.

However, the court presided over by Justice Kofi Essel Mensah held that some of the issues raised in the interlocutory application had a bearing on the substantive matter and said giving a ruling might prejudice the entire case.

He therefore deferred the ruling for full trial to commence and adjourned proceedings until May 28 for the parties to come to court for directions.

There have been a number of agitations following the National Communications Authority (NCA’s) alleged hurriedly-arranged ICH programme which critics say had little stakeholder input and the fact that the NCA has decided to contract Afriwave Telecom Ghana Ltd as a mandatory ICH for all telecoms service subscribers in Ghana effective May, 2015, raised eyebrows.

The government, through the NCA, is claiming that some telecommunication companies (Telcos) are involved in scams and also underpaying revenue due the government and as a result, said it was in the process of establishing an ICH that would require Telcos and International Carriers to connect their gateways via a clearing house.

Some have argued that the ICH is a means to tap into people’s privacy by listening to calls.

Court Action
The MPs suit which had one Elijah Adansi-Bonah, a subscriber to the telecommunications services and Development Data, a policy research and advocacy institution as part of the plaintiffs cites the NCA and Afriwave Telecom Ghana Ltd as well as all telecoms service (mobile phone service) providers as the defendants.

The suit filed on March 5, 2015 by their solicitors Sory @ Law, also invites the Attorney-General as an interested party.

The plaintiffs want a declaration that the NCA’s decision to constitute Afriwave Telecom Ghana Ltd as all the telecoms companies for the ICH programme is “unlawful, unreasonable and in breach” of the authority’s “constitutional obligation” to the plaintiffs “to act fairly, reasonably and in accordance with law.”

They want another declaration that the NCA’s decision to constitute Afriwave Telecom Ghana Ltd as all the telecoms companies for the ICH programme “unjustifiably interferes with Plaintiffs' fundamental human right to freedom from interference with their communication and correspondence,” or in the alternative,  a declaration that the action of the regulator “has the likelihood of interfering unjustifiably with Plaintiff s fundamental human right and freedom from interference with their communication and correspondence.”

The plaintiffs therefore are seeking an “order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from implementing and or executing” the NCA’s decision to constitute Afriwave Telecom Ghana Ltd “as a mandatory Interconnect Clearing House for all telecommunications service subscribers in Ghana.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has exposed the government over the payment overlaps in the disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DISCAF) last year.

According to the centre, two quarters of 2014 DACF is still outstanding to be paid to the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MMDAs), yet the 2015 first quarter disbursement has been released to MMDAs.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, Ag. Executive Director of CLGA said apart from having the potential of creating developmental challenges, the non-release of funds can also create complications in the Fund management process of the DACF at both national and local levels.

The statement said the CLGA is not happy about how the administrator and government is managing the release of the DACF saying “if such practices continue it is likely to compel the MMDAs to use the DACF  in a manner not prescribed by law and also incur extra cost on projects and contracts.”

According to CLGA, the MMDAs in 2014 prepared annual plans and budgets to be funded by the DACF, however, two quarters of the 2014 fund were not received by MMDAs.

“Instead of releasing these two quarters of 2014 DACF due to MMDAs, the administrator of the Fund chose to rather release the 1st quarter of 2015. This raises a number of questions which begs for answers if decentralized governance can be used to promote development.”

The centre queried whether national tax revenue collected in the last two quarters of 2014 based on which 7.5% was to be transferred to the MMDASs as required by Article 252 of the 1992 constitution, asking “since the last two quarters of 2014 of DACF has not been paid but 1st quarter of 2015 has been paid, when will this 2014 arrears be paid to MMDAs?”

“On issues of accountability and transparency how does the Administrator of the DACF expect the MMDAs to account for the 1st quarter 2015 release ie. Whether to use it to pay for 2014 debt and account for it as such or abandon  2014 projects and start new projects with the 2015 release?”

“How does the Administrator of the DACF expect the MMDAs to account for price level changes on account of inflation between July 2014 and May 2015, adding “which is likely to lead to upward variations in the values of various projects earmarked to be completed in 2014?”

The CLGA called on the government and the Administrator of the Fund “in the interest of true accountability and transparency to come out and explain to Ghanaians why there is  overlap in the payment of DACF between 2014 and 2015 and indicate  a payment plan to enable the MMDAs explain themselves to contractors and citizens.”

“The CLGA encourages government and the Administrator of the Fund to especially explain to Ghanaians why the last two quarters of 2014 was skipped but 1st quarter of 2015 has been released.”

The CLGA advised that in order to get the financial management systems of the MMDAs back on track, “the government should pay the last two quarters 2014 DACF in arrears and the 2nd quarter of 2015 by 1st July 2015.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

OccupyGhana (OG), a fast-growing pressure group has urged Ghanaians to come out in their numbers to support the Dumsor vigil being organized by some celebrities to protest the current worsening power crisis.

There have been clandestine attempt by elements in the government together with some ruling NDC leading members to stop the vigil which organizers have promised it is going to be peaceful.

While the Ga Traditional Council is trying to use the police to stop the well-publicised vigil on Saturday, May 16, Total Petroleum Ghana Limited who owns On-The-Run fuel station at Legon where popular actress Yvonne Nelson and her colleagues intend to converge for the demonstration has said they would not allow them to use their space for the peaceful exercise.

The University of Ghana whose premises the celebrities have decided to use as converging grounds for the vigil has also said it would not allow them.

However, OccupyGhana issued a release yesterday declaring their unflinching support for the celebrity-inspired vigil and calling on Ghanaians to throw their weight behind them.

“In line with OccupyGhana's support for citizens to voice out their concerns as part of their civil rights, we are calling on all Ghanaians to throw their weight behind these concerned Ghanaians in the creative industry who have decided to add their voices to speak out against the current Dumsor crisis and stage a vigil called #dumsormuststop.”

“We urge all committed Ghanaians to join the vigil and express their voices in what has become a never-ending embarrassment to our country.  We applaud these celebrities for coming out boldly to demand that ‘dumsor’ must be stopped immediately.

“We also condemn those of our body politic who have decided to attack the personalities of these celebrities and tried to spin a political twist to what they are demanding to be fixed, in the interest of the country.”

“We are observing the barrier being placed in the way of the organisers and we urge them never to give up. We urge all Ghanaians to stand up and fight against bad leadership which is the bane of all we are going through as a nation,” the group said.

The vigil which is part of the #DumsorMustStop campaign is being organised by award-winning movie actress Yvonne Nelson and colleagues such as Sarkodie, Lydia Forson, Ama K. Abebrese, DKB, Van Vicker, EL, Kwaw Kese, Efya, D-Black, Confident Haugen, Nicky Sammona and many others.