Friday, July 31, 2015

TARZAN SUES GBC OVER TV LICENSE

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, July 31, 2015

Energy expert Dr. Yves Charles Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan has sued the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation over the controversial TV License initiative.

He wants the Fast Track High Court to restrain the state broadcaster  from collecting TV Licence fees from August 1, 2015, which he deems as “illegally”.

In processing the court document, the former Chief Executive of the defunct Ghana@50 Secretariat joined media regulator the National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Attorney-General to the suit.

According to Egbert Faibille Jnr. of Faibille & Faibille law firm, who is representing the plaintiff, GBC “cannot share any moneys received by it with any other entity whether private or state-owned as same ought to be deposited in its bank accounts.”

The plaintiff is contending, among other things that the “2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants have not been appointed by the Minister of Finance by any legislative instrument to be a licensing authority(s) as provided for by NLCD 89; particularly when 3rd Defendant as an association and/or its individual members are not statutory corporations.”

Dr Wereko-Brobby is praying the court to declare that it is illegal for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents to be beneficiaries of any TV licence fee collected.

The plaintiff is also praying the court for an “order of perpetual injunction restraining 1st Defendant, its official, assigns, hirelings, privies, servants, agents and/or any person claiming under or through it; and howsoever described from commencing and/or resuming the collection of the newly introduced TV Licence Fees from the 1st day of August, 2015 or any date thereafter as the formula for sharing same as announced and/or any other formula for sharing same among Defendants is unlawful and a violation of LI 226, NRCD 89 as well as NLCD 226.”




Thursday, July 30, 2015

HACKMAN SUES 3 OVER ‘SECRET’ MEETING

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the erstwhile NPP government has sued three individuals including a pro-NDC newspaper editor for libel over the recent leaked tape at former President John Kufuor’s residence.

The no-nonsense former Minister is seeking GH¢5 million as aggravated damages from Haruna Mahama, an NPP activist; Michael Dokosi, Managing Editor of Daily Post; and Giraffe Publications Limited, publishers of Daily Post weekly newspaper.

According to the plaintiff, who are led by Kulendi @ Law as his counsel, the defendants had published that “Hackman Owusu-Agyemang leaks audio of meeting at Kufour’s residence,” and he deemed it defamatory.

The plaintiff said the whole defamatory story started from Haruna Mahama who allegedly posted on his Facebook page (a social media platform) and the same story was subsequently widely circulated by Daily Post through its Managing Editor and publishers.

Hackman’s Reliefs
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang is seeking a declaration that the statement posted on Haruna Mahama’s Facebook Timeline on July 23, 2015 that he (Hackman) leaked the tape and subsequently published by Daily Post the next day is defamatory.

He wants damages for libel in the sum of GH¢5,000,000, an order for perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further publishing similar statements about him.

Additionally, the plaintiff is also asking for an order of Mandatory Injunction compelling the defendants to retract the said ‘defamatory statements’ and render unqualified apology to him in three consecutive editions in the various platforms used by the defendants as well as cost and any order the court might deem fit.

Statement of claim
In his the statement of claim, Mr. Owusu-Agyemang said outlined his professional carear and political journey including working for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UN/FAO) as well as being MP for New Juaben North from 1997 to 2013.

He also averred that he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001 - 2003), Minister of the Interior (2003 - 2004) and subsequently Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing from 2005 – 2007 and also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sikelele Company Limited and East Legon Pharmacy Limited in his private capacity.

According to the plaintiff, on July 23, Harumna Mahama “falsely and with intent to cast a slur on the plaintiff and damage his hard earned reputation” wrote and published and caused to be circulated on his Facebook timeline statements he deemed defamatory.

The plaintiff said that the defendant had said to the effect that the meeting organized by former President Kufuor inviting some leading clergies to broker peace in the NPP was leaked by Mr. Owusu-Agyemang.

He said the said defamatory story by Haruna Mahama “was further published and given more disparaging  wording” by Michael Dokosi on the Daily Post of July 24 with the banner headline “Leaked Tape of secret meeting in Kufuor’s house Haruna fingers Hackman…as Otabil, Palmer Buckle & Nyansafueeeiii disgrace themselves.”

Electronic Media
According to the plaintiff, the publication was discussed extensively on all major radio stations and Haruna Mahama “bent on destroying  the plaintiff’s reputation was called on his statements and there again scandalously  repeated his malicious statements,” and further dared Mr. Owusu-Agyemang to go to court.

The plaintiff said on July 25, Haruna Mahama “with a malicious motive to further spitefully malign the plaintiff and in desperate attempt to injure and tarnish the enviable reputation of the plaintiff,” further published on his Facebook timeline, defending his statements.

Mr. Owusu-Agyemang said “the publication and the statements contained were calculated to cause hatred and to disparage, ridicule and injure the plaintiff’s reputation in Ghana and internationally ; his work and/or business and that of his family in the minds of the right thinking members of the society.”

He said per the publication, his role as a senior member of the NPP as well as his relationship with former President Kufuor and that of the current flagbearer “has been seriously undermined.”

He said unless restrained, the defendants especially Haruna Mahama will continue to write, publish similar words defamatory of the plaintiff.





ABUGA PELE APPEAL ADJOURNED INDEFINITELY

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 30, 2015

The appeal processes filed by NDC MP Abuga Pele and another to set aside the decision by an Accra Financial Court asking them to open their defence has been halted.

This is due to the unending strike action being embarked upon by some lawyers at the Attorney General’s Department who were expected to defend the state in the infamous GYEEDA scandal.

The Chiana/Paga MP’s co-accused Philip Akpeena Assibit who is the CEO of Goodwill International Ghana (GIG) was due to move his motion on notice challenging the dismissal of his application for Submission of No Case but the Court of Appeal could not proceed due to the strike.

When the case was called, there was no state prosecutor present and Raymond Bagnabu, representing Assibit told Court of Appeal judge Justice Barbara Ackah-Ayensu that he could not move the motion behind the back of the prosecution.

The judge agreed with counsel that the motion to set aside the trial court’s decision could not be moved due to the absence of the prosecution even though there was proof of service at the AG’s Department.

She then adjourned the proceedings sine die.

On Friday June 19, the Financial Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe ordered the MP and Assibit to open their defence after the court held that the prosecution had been able to establish prima facie case against the two.

The two had filed ‘Submission of no case to answer’ applications separately but the court dismissed them and said they had a case to answer at the close of the prosecution’s case in April.

In a long ruling which took about one-and-half hours to read, Justice Afia Asare-Botwe had held that some of the matters raised by Abuga Pele and Assibit in their applications were issues that would require testimonies on oath to enable the court to come to a conclusion.

The judge however, conceded that the ‘standard of the law’ at that stage of the trial was not as high compared to when the accused had been able to complete their testimonies and the entire case had closed.

The court said the prosecution led evidence to the effect that Abuga Pele (NYEP) through MDPI and Assibit (GIG) signed MoU to offer consultancy services among other at the blind side of then sector Minister Akua Sena Dansoa and needed to explain his action.

Trial Judge erred?
However, Assibit is averring that the trial judge erred in holding that he should proceed to open his defence because the ruling did not support the evidence adduced at the close of the prosecution’s case.

“The trial judge erred in law when she applied wrong particulars of fact in coming to her conclusion as regard to count seven,” he averred, adding “the trial judge erred in law when she made certain definite findings of fact even before I had opened my defence.”

He said the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses had been “so discredited” in cross examination that he could not be asked to open his defence.
Abuga Pele who is the former National Coordinator of National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) now GYEEDA is also said to have filed for a stay of proceedings but it was not clear if his notice of appeal was ready.

Specific Charges
On the charge sheet presented by the Attorney General’s Department, the two men are facing a total of 19 counts ranging from defrauding by false pretences to willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Assibit alone is charged with six counts of defrauding by false pretences to the tune of $2.028,605.20 and another five counts of dishonestly causing loss to public property to the tune of GH¢3.305,568.53.

Abuga Pele, the second accused on the other hand, is charged with two counts of abetment, one count of intentionally misapplying public property and five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state all to the tune of GH¢3.305,568.53.




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

POLICE FRUSTRATE PETITIONER IN GH¢150,000 CASE

Joe Bawa

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A man whose GH¢150,000 (¢1.5 billion) consignment of goods was intercepted and disposed of by nine suspected criminals in Kumasi is accusing the Police Administration of virtually aiding the suspects to escape justice.

The petitioner, Jonathan Bawa, who used to operate Joebawa Transport Services, singled out an investigator called Inspector Ben Soglo of the Greater Accra Regional Command as the officer who had allegedly allowed the suspects to continuously skip court sittings, saying, “He has frustrated me since this case was handed over to him.”

Narrating his ordeal to DAILY GUIDE last Friday, Mr Bawa said the case involved nine persons who stole his DAF truck load of goods he was carrying on behalf of Olam Ghana Limited for distribution in Kumasi, Tamale and Bolgatanga on November 29, 2011 but never got justice due to the attitude of the police.

He said the suspects included Isaac Acquah, student; Jonathan Gidisu, driver; David Abbey, aka Abiola, businessman; Dan Kofi Micko and one Alidu both at large as well as Winston Agyena-Karikari, Sampson Darko, businessman, Abena Serwaa and Milicent Duku, both traders.

He said initially when the suspects were arrested, the investigator allegedly demanded GH¢5,000 from him but because he could not afford that amount, it took about six months for the case to go to court and it was even after PIPS had intervened.

“When they were arrested, Inspector Soglo called me and said the suspects were saying the cost of the goods was high and that they were ready to pay the money it the cost was scaled down but I could not take it,” he said.

He disclosed that after the suspects were granted bail, they attended court sittings the way they ‘liked’ and it continued for about a year, adding, “Anytime I enquired from the investigator, he threw tantrums and told me I could not teach him how to do his job but clearly I saw that I was being shortchanged.”

“The accused persons were granted bail; a whole year elapsed without the case being called in court. When the court finally issued a bench warrant for the arrests of the accused persons, the investigator refused to enforce the order.”

Mr Bawa said in spite of petitions to the IGP as well as the CID, the investigator has put the case in limbo and the suspects are walking free.


“I have lost everything as a result of this case and all my kids have stopped going to school because I cannot even pay their fees. I really need help.”

ADDISON FIGHTS BACK

Philip Addison

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, 29 July 2015

An NPP aspirant for Korley Klottey, Osu, Lawyer Philip Addison, says he did not create the perception that the party’s national chairman and general secretary are working against the presidential bid of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

According to him, he was only pointing out the fact that it was time for the two national officers—Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyei Agyepong—to take steps to assure the rank and file of the party that they stood for the NPP’s victory in the 2016 general election.

Mr Addison was quoted by Joy FM on Monday as saying that “There is a perception out there that they are working against the presidential candidate and it is a very strong perception. The burden is on them to discharge that perception. The ball is in their court to prove otherwise.”

He went further to disagree with those calling on the leadership of the party to sideline Messrs Afoko and Agyepong in the 2016 campaign and said the party needed a united front for the battle ahead.

His comment appeared to have generated heated debate in the party, with those sympathetic to the two national officers accusing the lead counsel for the petitioners in the landmark presidential election petition of joining those who are bent on sidelining Messrs Afoko and Agyepong.

Mr Addison, however, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that his statement was innocuous and could not be interpreted as undermining the authority of the national officers.

“I would have wished those criticising me could get the full tape so that they can make their own conclusions,” he said.

“It was an interview I had with the reporter and he said that the perception in our party is that Afoko (Paul) and Kwabena (Agyepong) are working against Nana Akufo-Addo and I said yes that perception is there. That was all I said and people are trying to attack me for this,” he added.

He stated: “I believe that this is not the first time somebody has made such a statement. The perception has always been there. I did not create that perception like they are now trying to do. It has always been there. I did not go overboard. I just said it like it is. I have said nothing that is new.”






Thursday, July 23, 2015

CHINA BARKS OVER ROAD FUNDING

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 23, 2015

It is emerging that the refusal of the Chinese government to grant loan application put in by Ghana for the financing of road projects is going to hurt many ongoing road projects in the long run.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that apart from the three projects the Chinese have declined to finance, they are also refusing to re-finance the construction of four other projects.

The letter declining Ghana’s loan application had been signed on June 26, 2015 by Ji Chun, Regional Director of the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China and addressed to the Finance Minister, Seth Terpker referred the government to an earlier letter of April 3, 2015 in which the issue of re-financing was discussed.

“In addition, regarding to the four re-financing road projects, please refer to our letter dated April 3, 2013. We still suggest that your ministry take other financing resource into consideration.”

The three major roads that were outrightly denied financing included Accra Ring Road Outer project, Mankessim/Agona-Swedru/Nsawam and the Dodowa/Kpong and Somanya/Akuse Junction road re-construction projects.

According to the Chinese, it was “not appropriate to utilize a Chinese concessionary loan to implement these projects,” adding “otherwise it may increase burden of your country.”

Ghana is already struggling with how to finance is mounting debt portfolio currently pegged at GHC90 million as at May, 2015.

The government is borrowing money at high interest rate to service interest on debt, a development that keeps the debt profile rising at an alarming rate.

The Asian giant suggested Ghana to “take financing resource into consideration,” in order to qualify for such a facility.

They said that per the Chinese government’s guidelines, Concessional Loan and Preferential Buyer Credit were “mainly directed towards projects with good financial benefits and repayment abilities,” adding that the road projects for which Ghana was seeking for funds “lack financial abilities.”

A lot of Chinese road projects in the capital appear to have been stalled of late and classic example is the almost-completed 37-Burma Camp-La Palm Junction highway.
The contractor on the site has not been seen working in recent weeks.

President John Mahama has said despite the large number of road projects underway, there still remained a lot to be done in the sector and added that “there is however, considerable evidence to show that no effort is being spared to fix the country’s roads.”

In his 2015 State-of-the-nation address delivered on February 26, President John Mahama had said “This year we are beginning what would be the single largest intervention in the road sector in this country.

“The project would see investments of about GH¢1 billion in roads commencing this year and ending in 2019 during my second term in office. These projects will be funded with a mix of Cocoa infrastructure fund financing and Government of Ghana budgetary support.”

He said in the same address that “this year, we will commence work on the redevelopment of the Accra-Tema Motorway into a six-lane highway with interchanges,” however, the year is fast coming to an end without any visible attempt to commence the project.

“Resurfacing works will also take place on roads in North and South Kanda, James Town, Adabraka, Mamprobi, Chorkor, Adenta and Madina,” he added.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MORE QUERIES FOR APAU

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE indicate that the Commission of Enquiry tasked to investigate the payment of various judgment debts did not request for record of proceedings in the Woyome GH¢ 51.2 million scandal.

In spite of the developments, the commission chaired by the recently-appointed Supreme Court Justice Yaw Apau made adverse findings against then Attorney General Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her Deputy Ebo Barton-Oduro as well as Justice I.O. Tanko Amadu, the trial judge who caused the payment of GH¢51.2million judgment debt to the supposed National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

Results of an application for search in the ‘Woyome versus AG,’ case obtained by DAILY GUIDE showed that all the directives of Justice Tanko Amadu were not adhered to by the then AG in settling Woyome’s supposed controversial judgment debt.

On whether there was any request by or on behalf of the commission for the certified true copies of the processes filed and the ruling in the suit, the registry replied that there was no such request.

The search result also showed that there was no application for search by or on behalf of the commission.

Furthermore, the search revealed that the Sole-Commissioner did not request the attendance of the Registrar of the High Court (Commercial Division) to testify on matters relating to the Woyome suit as well as the court processes filed and the various rulings.

Commission’s Proceedings
It will be recalled that the Judgement Debt Commission ended its proceedings last year without the appearance of some powerful people tagged by critics as ‘architects’ of modern day judgment debt payments.

Former ministers under whose tenure most of the ‘dubious’ and ‘frivolous’ judgment debts were paid were not called to give testimonies about how the ‘monster’ called judgement debt suddenly gained root in Ghana’s politico lexicon but the leaked report indicated that the commission had relied on documents made available.

The two ministers who were on the lips of the public as having supervised some of the alleged payments that somewhat triggered the setting up of the commission by President John Mahama were Mrs. Mould Iddrisu and Barton-Oduro, now deputy Speaker of Parliament.

More queries
An earlier search on the matter had revealed how the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department flagrantly abused the due diligence processes in spite of the trial judge’s orders.

All the directives of Justice Tanko Amadu were not adhered to by then AG in settling Woyome’s supposed controversial judgment debt.

On whether or not a Certificate of Judgement was issued in compliance with Section 15 of the State Proceedings Act (1998) Act 555 for service on the defendant in respect of the amount of GH¢17,094,493.53 as ordered by the trial judge, the registry replied “No”.

The results showed that the order for an undertaking to be extracted from Mr. Woyome and filed in the court as ordered was never done and the order for a stay of execution of the payment of GH¢34,188,987.06 as ordered by Justice Tanko Amadu on September 2010 was also never varied by the trial court or any other court.

Furthermore, the search result showed that there was no order by a pre-trial judge for the payment of any other sum to Mr. Woyome apart from the order for the payment of GH¢17,094,493.53 which was done conditionally.

It said there was no certificate of judgement issued for the payment of the balance of GH¢34,188,987.06 to Mr. Woyome and there was also no payment of money in the suit made to the court for tax purposes.

The search finally said Mr. Woyome did not pay tax on the judgement debt.

Leaked report
The Sole-Commissioner’s leaked report had raised serious issues about the basis and propriety to award and order the payment of judgment debt to Woyome.

Mr. Woyome claimed that the state owed him for job done in the stadia refurbishment for CAN 2008 tournament. The Sole Commissioner rubbished the claim indicting the trial judge as well as Mrs Mould Iddrisu for doing a shoddy job.

Notorious Case
It said “this Commission finds as a fact that there was no basis for the payment of the sum of over GH¢51million to the plaintiff, Alfred Agbesi Woyome”, describing the case as “the most notorious of all judgment debt cases that this commission was tasked to look into.”

This, the report said was because “he was not entitled to any such payment as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) rightly found and stated in its interim report dated February 1, 2012.”

“The fact is that, Alfred Agbesi Woyome did not demonstrate in any way in his statement of claim that he ever brought into the country, through his alleged financial engineering expertise, the sum of (€1,106, 470,587) for the construction of stadia and medical facilities in the country as he claimed in his action”, it stated.


NANA VOWS TO CRUSH CORRUPTION

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his resolve to strictly ensure that none of his appointees indulge in corruption should he become President.

The experienced politician continues to demonstrate his incorruptible pedigree and record and wants his officers to follow suit.

Addressing NPP members at Manchester, United Kingdom, Nana Akufo-Addo repeated that “If your goal in coming into government is to enrich yourself, then don’t come. Go to the private sector. Public service is going to be exactly that; public service!”

He said that would-be public appointees who intended to amass wealth at the expense of the poor taxpayer should look elsewhere in the private sector because an NPP government will jealously guard public funds.

According to him, he is not against any individual who wants to make money but “if that is your goal, stick to the private sector; don’t come into the public service.”

Nana Akufo-Addo hinted the creation of an office of Special Prosecutor in Ghana’s public space to check corruption as well as ensure accountability saying “the Special Prosecutor will be charged to fight against corruption.”

Throwing more light on the Special Prosecutor, the NPP flagbearer said that “Persons who will serve in this special office will not be chosen by the President but by a formula that will ensure their independence and the capacity to do their work.”

He said for instance that as President he will cause the detachment of the anti-corruption function from Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and give that responsibility to the Office of Special Prosecutor saying that the duties of the commission are too broad for one institution to undertake effectively.

He said that the as presently the CHRAJ as constituted is not strong enough to be the “fulcrum for the anti-corruption drive in our country,” adding “it is an ombudsman, a human rights watchdog and it is also an anti-corruption agency,” he added.

The Communications Director of NPP in Manchester and a Public Health Practitioner, Dr Da Costa Aboagye said the pervasiveness of corruption in recent times is worrying.

“It appears the President and his team are happy with the widespread corruption,” he said.

He questioned why it took government and the security services more than three weeks to respond to a continuous broadcast and publication of an alleged corruption of a professor’s involvement in a $40 million scandalous diabetes money meant for Ghana saying “this shows that the political will to fighting corruption is so low. 

We cannot continue on this lackadaisical path. Yes, it is a difficult task but the lack of political will makes it more difficult. Other speakers at the function included; Mr. Nii Adjiri Blankson, former Mayor of Accra, Wiafe Pepera, MP for Abetifi, Dr. Samiu Nuamah, a former Financial Secretary of the NPP UK and Parliamentary candidate for Kwadaso, Ms Veronica Heming, former Women's Organiser of the Branch and parliamentary candidate for Bole Bamboi and former Chairman of the Branch, Hayford Attah Kruffi.

Nana was accompanied by Captain Edmund Koda (Personal Aide) and Saratu Atta (Executive Secretary). Also present at the meeting were; Richard Dombo (1st Vice Chairman) David Owusu Yianoma (2nd Vice Chairman), Dr. John Kissi ( Secretary), Saeed Duah (Branch Organiser), Kweku Nkansah (Deputy Organiser) Kofi Korsah (Deputy Youth Organiser), Paulina Koranteng (Women Organiser), Nana Yaw Sarpong (Communication Director), Arafat Sulemana (Nasara Coordinator) and other senior members of the branch.

Eid
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had on Friday July 17, 2015 joined Ghanaian Muslims in London for the year 2015 Eid-Ul-Fitr prayers.

Nana Addo prayed with the Muslims at the Broadwater Farms Community Centre Park, North London. Led by the Nasara Team of NPP UK, Nana Addo was introduced to the Muslim leaders. He was warmly welcomed by Alhaji Baba Yaara Haidari (Sarkin faada of London).

He received a special prayer from Imam Abdul-Razak, followed by another prayer from Alhaji Kamil Muktar.

In an address to the huge gathering cutting across various political and religious divides, Nana stated that the purpose of his visit was to extend his ‘Eid Mubarak’ wish to the Ghanaian Muslim Community in the UK.

He expressed his gratitude for the special prayers and the warm welcome that he was accorded.



WE NEED NEW VOTERS REGISTER SAYS NANA

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, July 20, 2015

New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has added his voice to the numerous calls on the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile fresh voters register for the 2016 general election.

He said the newly-appointed EC chairperson, Charlotte Kesson-Mith Osei had an opportunity to start her tenure on a sound footing with the preparation of a fresh register for the country.

Many of Ghanaians including civil society organizations and think tanks strongly believe that the first-ever biometric voters register which was used for the controversial 2012 general elections in which the Presidential results landed in the Supreme Court is bloated but the EC appears adamant to prepare a new register.

The commission is emboldened to parry requests for a new register because the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government seemed satisfied with the current register.

Nana Akufo-Addo threw the challenge to the new EC boss when he addressed large crowd of Ghanaians living in the northern part of the United Kingdom at the weekend.

Ghanaians in areas like Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, and Birmingham and others attended the programme organized by the NPP branch in the UK.


The NPP flagbearer noted that 56% of the 25 million Ghanaians registered as voters in the current register was an anomaly that needed to be addressed without further delay.


He then asked Ghanaians in the diaspora and those back home to join in the crusade for a new voters’ register.

Economic Conditions 
Nana Akufo-Addo also turned his attention to the current economic conditions in the country which he described as ‘harsh’ and said it had left many young people desperate and in despair.

He pledged that should the NPP win and form the next government, he will ensure the creation of  a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to thrive since the sector holds the key to economic transformation.

He said the economy cannot continue to rely on the export of raw materials saying, “there is a need for a paradigm shift to a value added economy.”

He said an NPP government under his leadership will expand agriculture and restructure the financial sector to boost growth.

Nana Akufo-Addo recalled the progress the country made in 8 years of President Kufour’s government and said “this is what a country under good leadership can achieve” to a loud applause of approval from the crowd.

Corruption
He condemned the rampant corruption in the country especially among public officials saying “there is an urgent need for competitive bidding for all government contracts to ensure value for money.”

Other speakers at the function included; Mr. Nii Adjiri Blankson, former Mayor of Accra, Wiafe Pepera, MP for Abetifi, Dr. Samiu Nuamah, a former Financial Secretary of the NPP UK and Parliamentary candidate for Kwadaso, Ms Veronica Heming, former Women's Organiser of the Branch and parliamentary candidate for Bole Bamboi and former Chairman of the Branch, Hayford Attah Kruffi.

Nana was accompanied by Captain Edmund Koda (Personal Aide) and Saratu Atta (Executive Secretary). Also present at the meeting were; Richard Dombo (1st Vice Chairman) David Owusu Yianoma (2nd Vice Chairman), Dr. John Kissi ( Secretary), Saeed Duah (Branch Organiser), Kweku Nkansah (Deputy Organiser) Kofi Korsah (Deputy Youth Organiser), Paulina Koranteng (Women Organiser), Nana Yaw Sarpong (Communication Director), Arafat Sulemana (Nasara Coordinator) and other senior members of the branch.









TERKPER DOWNPLAYS CHINESE LOAN DEBACLE

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, July 20, 2015

Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Seth Terkper says the rejection of Ghana’s Chinese loan application is not the end of the road for the government.

The roads involved Accra Ring Road Outer project, Mankessim/Agona-Swedru/Nsawam and the Dodowa/Kpong and Somanya/Akuse Junction road reconstruction projects.

According to the Chinese, they are rejecting the loan application on the grounds that the road projects are not ‘financially beneficial’ and therefore not capable of repaying the loan by themselves.

Some critics of the government have also attributed the rejection of the loan application to the cancelation of a contract earlier awarded Chinese firm StarTimes and later given to K-NET Limited Ghana in the digital migration project which would see Ghana move from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

StarTimes is reportedly lacing its boots to initiate arbitration proceedings at the London Court of Arbitration against the government over the abrogation of the contract.

“Having studied the documents for the above projects, we would like to advise you that, according to the current guidelines by Chinese government, the Chinese government concessional loan and preferential buyer credit are mainly directed towards projects with good financial benefits and repayment abilities,” Ji Chun Regional Director of the Chinese government said in the rejection letter.

However, in the ensuing confusion, the Finance Minister remains adamant and said the rejection cannot be a major setback.

He told Joy FM yesterday that “I just want to assure Ghanaians that the rejection of a loan is not new. It happens often times either through feasibility studies or for some other reasons.

“If they say the projects are not commercially viable, then it could be by their assessment and that is one of the reasons why I am meeting the Chinese Ambassador. I am hoping to travel to China to meet the executives of Exim Bank so we could understand their reasons,” he noted.

“The Chinese don’t give us one type of loan. The Chinese give us loans which are concessional; the Chinese give us loans which we take preferential credit and there are commercial loans and the Exim expects that when you apply for a loan for a commercial project the project should be able to pay for itself,” the minister explained.

He said although there were plans to toll the roads to make it commercial, it was possible the Chinese did not find them viable enough.

“Probably their [Chinese] analysis is showing that…the tolls may not be viable yet. This is where you go for mixed credit…or branded credit”, he said to explain that perhaps the type of loan Ghana applied for did not conform to the ‘Gang of Four’ project.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

AKUFO-ADDO BEGINS CAMPAIGN IN AUGUST

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 16, 2015

The NPP flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will embark on a nationwide tour to reinvigorate the party’s grassroots, starting from August.

Nana Akufo-Addo will particularly use the tour to reconcile all factions in the just-ended parliamentary primaries of the party

The experienced NPP stalwart is currently in the United Kingdom holding meetings with members of the NPP-UK branch, including a meeting of branch and chapter executives as well as the inauguration of the Northampton chapter of the party.

He is also expected to visit some educational institutions in England, and interact with members of the Ghanaian community in the UK before returning to Ghana on July 31.

Party Unity
He told a delegation from the Volta Region, comprising 24 newly-elected parliamentary candidates and their respective constituency chairmen, regional NPP executives led by 1st Vice Regional Chairman, Dr. Archibald Letsa before emplaning to London that the party needed to unite to be able to win the 2016 general election.

“I intend to travel across the country to meet candidates and their competitors to help promote healthy relations amongst them,” adding “the first task towards victory is unity amongst the rank and file of the party.”

Talensi Model
He told the Volta delegation that it was time for all parliamentary candidates to adopt the ‘Talensi model’ for their campaigns where all persons that contested but lost the primary teamed up with the candidate to campaign in the just-ended by-election.

“The bond that existed between the three candidates in Talensi was something really wonderful to see,” adding “the two losing candidates were the main campaigners for the winner, Thomas Duanab, in their areas of strength and throughout the constituency.”

Nana Akufo-Addo said “that’s what I call the Talensi model which, despite the loss, is a good model. We want to replicate this model in all the 275 constituencies across the country. I want to see this in the Volta Region.”

Volta Still Critical
He said that building the confidence of the electorate of the Volta Region in the NPP was vital if the party was to wrestle political power from the ruling National Democratic Congress in the December 2016 general elections. 

Key to building this confidence, according to the 2016 presidential candidate of the NPP, is curing the false perception that has been foisted on the NPP by its political opponents that it has a tribal agenda against the people of the region.

“We must make it clear to the Chiefs and people of the Volta Region that all the stories about ‘tribal this and that’ are not true. We must send a message to the people, and they must have it clearly in their minds that we do not have any negative agenda towards the Volta Region,” Nana Akufo-Addo had said.

On the contrary, he said “it is rather Akufo-Addo and the NPP that are coming to power to promote the development of the region as an integral part of the development of Ghana. In this regard, I am determined to extend a sincere hand of friendship and co-operation to the Chiefs and People of the Volta Region.”

 “On the several occasions that I have been there recently, I have had experiences and receptions I have never had before. It is telling me that, perhaps, this is the moment to reach out effectively for that hand of co-operation and of friendship. I want to assure all of you gathered here that I am going to do my best to reach out and do whatever I can to support the party in the region,” he emphasised.




LAW TEACHER SHREDS APAU REPORT

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, July 16, 2015

A United States-based law Professor S. Kwaku Asare has shredded the Justice Yaw Apau’s Judgement Debt Commission leaked report that NPP leader Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo caused financial loss to the state.

Reacting to another lawyer’s declaration that the legal effect of adverse findings in the Apau might bar Nana Akufo-Addo from contesting in the 2016 presidential elections, Prof. Asare said “in fact, nothing in this finding, even accepted at face value, will disqualify Akufo-Addo or anyone from any elective office.”

The judgement Debt Commission report, yet to be released officially, is mired in controversy, with accusations that the Sole-Commissioner did a shoddy job but subsequently received promotion to the Supreme Court.

“For starters, Justice Apau's contention that ‘it was as a result of this failure to bring to the attention of the London High Court the settlement attempts that led to the entry of judgment ex-parte in the sum of US$47 million against GNPC’ is factually barren, legally incompetent and logically bankrupt,” Prof Asare said.

“By Justice Apau's own account, attempts were being made to settle the claim at all material times, initially by the GNPC and later by the Attorney-General (AG),” adding “parties must bring a final settlement, not settlement attempts, to the notice of the court. Thus, it is wrong, as a matter of law, for Justice Apau to have made such a finding.”

Judgement decree
The erudite professor said that “to worsen matters, Justice Apau does not, as he is required to, support this finding with any statement from the judgment decree. In fact, there is no evidence that he sought or obtained the judgment decree.”

“For if he had done so, the judgment decree would have indicated the basis for the default judgment, and saved him from making the embarrassing finding that assigns absence of notice of settlement attempts as the proximate cause of a default judgment.”

Ex-parte judgment
He said that in effect, the contention that it was the failure to bring this settlement attempt to the court’s notice that led to the entry of judgment in the sum of $47 million “is speculative, at best, and puerile, in reality, because the ex-parte judgment was set aside, as most default judgments are, when the parties reached a settlement.”

“Justice Apau notes in the report that that he cannot question the AG's decision to settle the litigated claim. He is essentially correct but incoherent when he acknowledges the AG’s decision to settle the litigated claim and his theory of the default judgment,” he added.

He said the very fact that the claim was settled undermined Justice Apau’s theory of the ex-parte default judgment.

Preposterous conclusion
“Moreover, as it turns out, he ends up not just questioning this decision but, worse, by reaching the preposterous conclusion that settling a claim of $47M for $19.5M is causing financial loss to the State.”

“For reasons that are not indicated in the report, Justice Apau failed to examine the underlying speculative activities that triggered the cause of action. Yet, the analysis of these troubled transactions, which ultimately led to the cause of action and the ensuing settlement, represent the nation’s best hope of understanding this particular judgment debt and the lessons to be drawn therefrom.”

He said that while the Justice was quick to find fault with the AG, he failed to credit to the AG for dispensing with the services of Bindman, the UK legal firm that was representing GNPC.

“Nor does the Justice tell us how much had been paid to Bindman and how much the Republic saved from the dismissal. The bottom line is that the AG settled a $47 million claim for $19.5M. The default judgment entered by the Court is of no moment, as evidenced by the stark fact of the settled amount.”

Disqualification
On whether the findings could disqualify Nana Akufo-Addo or anyone from running for office, Prof Asare said “assuming they are accepted at face value, the answer is absolutely not!”

“This is because the Commission does not make a specific finding of incompetence, assets acquisition, fraud, misuse/abuse of office, or willful action, as set out by the Constitution. “

“The Commission does not even tell us why the AG failed to make appearance on the day the ex parte judgment was given. It makes no attempt to communicate with anyone in the AG’s office or to even get the court decree.”

He said “in fact, the finding does not even name a person. It names the Attorney General, who happens to be the nominal party in all suits in which the government is involved.”

“ Nana Addo, who was Attorney General, at the time, was not even invited to the Commission. Nor does the commission give any evidence of the extent of his involvement or knowledge in the events leading to the ex parte judgment, which, as has been explained, had little legal significance.”

“To hold a particular Attorney General, here Nana Addo, personally accountable for any lapse that occurs on any suit in which he is named a nominal party is to abandon logical and legal reasoning.

“Such a general finding is not the type of specific finding that the Constitution contemplates will disqualify people from holding elective office. The threshold for disqualification is high and rightly so!



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

APAU REPORT TAINTED

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A search at High Court Registry in Accra has revealed that the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department flagrantly abused the due diligence processes leading to the award of GH¢51.2 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the supposed NDC financier.

Mr. Woyome’s case appears to have resurrected because a leaked report by the just-ended Judgement Debt Commission headed by the newly-appointed Supreme Court justice, Justice Yaw Apau indicted the trial judge I.O. Tanko Amadu of awarding the whooping sum without due care.

The judgement Debt Commission report, yet to be released officially, is mired in controversy, with accusations that the Sole-Commissioner did a shoddy job but subsequently received promotion to the Supreme Court.

Results of an application for search in the ‘Woyome versus AG,’ case obtained by DAILY GUIDE showed that all the directives of Justice Tanko Amadu were not adhered to by the AG in settling Woyome’s supposed controversial judgment debt.

Search Results
On whether or not a Certificate of Judgement was issued in compliance with Section 15 of the State Proceedings Act (1998) Act 555 for service on the defendant in respect of the amount of GH¢17,094,493.53 as ordered by the trial judge, the registry replied “No”.

The results showed that the order for an undertaking to be extracted from Mr. Woyome and filed in the court as ordered was never done and the order for a stay of execution of the payment of GH¢34,188,987.06 as ordered by Justice Tanko Amadu on September 2010 was also never varied by the trial court or any other court.

Furthermore, the search result showed that there was no order by a pre-trial judge for the payment of any other sum to Mr. Woyome apart from the order for the payment of GH¢17,094,493.53 which was done conditionally.

It said there was no certificate of judgement issued for the payment of the balance of GH¢34,188,987.06 to Mr. Woyome and there was also no payment of money in the suit made to the court for tax purposes.

The search finally said Mr. Woyome did not pay tax on the judgement debt.

Disrespect for court order
The AG’s Department led by then Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her deputy Ebo Barton-Odro acted contrary to all the specific orders of the trial judge.

In spite of the judge’s effort, the leaked Sole-Commissioner’s Report appears to have indicted him in the whole Woyome matter.

A copy of the report of the Sole-Commissioner tasked to look into the payment of various judgment debts by the state reportedly raised serious issues about the basis and propriety to award and order the payment of judgment debt to Woyome, who thumps his chest as NDC bankroller.

Woyome claimed that the state owed him for job done in the stadia refurbishment for CAN 2008 tournament, the Sole Commissioner rubbished the claim indicting the trial judge for doing a shoddy job as well as Mrs Mould-Iddrisu.

Notorious Case
It said “this Commission finds as a fact that there was no basis for the payment of the sum of over GH¢51million to the plaintiff, Alfred Agbesi Woyome”, describing the case as “the most notorious of all judgment debt cases that this commission was tasked to look into.”

This, the report said was because “he was not entitled to any such payment as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) rightly found and stated in its interim report dated February 1, 2012.”

“The fact is that, Alfred Agbesi Woyome did not demonstrate in any way in his statement of claim that he ever brought into the country, through his alleged financial engineering expertise, the sum of (€1,106, 470,587) for the construction of stadia and medical facilities in the country as he claimed in his action”, it stated.

AG’s Application
According to the document, in granting a stay of execution September 6, 2010 which the Attorney-General applied for, Justice Tanko Amadu had ordered that only GH¢17,094,493.53 out of the total sum of GH¢51,283,480.59 be paid to Woyome.

The trial judge went further to direct that an undertaking be extracted from Woyome as a condition precedent to the partial payment, so that shall he lose the final case, he will refund the sum together with all accumulated interests and costs following any future judicial event.

The trial judge unequivocally ordered a stay of execution of the balance of GH¢34,188,987.06 which Betty was not obliged to pay until the fresh case filed by the same Attorney - General was concluded.

“It is therefore obviously inaccurate as the Commission’s leaked report is suggesting that it was the trial judge who ordered the payment of the whopping total sum of GH¢51,283,480.59,” a court document claimed.

Commission’s Proceedings
It will be recalled that the Judgement Debt Commission ended its proceedings last year without the appearance of some powerful people tagged by critics as ‘architects’ of modern day judgment debt payments.

Former ministers under whose tenure most of the ‘dubious’ and ‘frivolous’ judgment debts were paid were not called to give testimonies about how the ‘monster’ called judgement debt suddenly gained root in Ghana’s politico lexicon but the leaked report indicated that the commission had relied on documents made available.

The two ministers who were on the lips of the public as having supervised some of the alleged payments that somewhat triggered the setting up of the commission by President John Mahama were Mrs. Mould Iddrisu and Barton-Oduro, now deputy Speaker of Parliament.