Monday, September 28, 2015

NPP EXPOSES MORE EC SKELETONS

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, September 26, 2015

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has officially submitted its case to the Electoral Commission (EC) to press home its demand for an entirely new voter register.

The party says it presented what it calls ‘mind-blowing’ evidence to the EC to prove that the register is indeed bloated beyond comprehension.

Sources at the party’s headquarters in Accra said it presented fresh cases in addition to the already known one to back its claim that the existing register is flawed and so cannot be used for the 2016 general elections. 

The General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyepong, appended his signature to the document after the party’s IT team had ‘unravelled’ the existence of thousands of separate cases of ‘double’ and in some cases, ‘multiple’ registrations in the current electoral roll.

The NPP is said to have submitted to the EC samples of 2,096 separate cases of double and multiple registrations throughout the country.

“These separate cases can be grouped under three main forms. The first involves the cases of double and multiple registrations with multiple photographs, the second involves double and multiple registrations with multiple voter ID numbers and the third involves same registration details and photographs in different Polling Stations,” a statement from the party said.

“The pile of additional evidence was presented to the Electoral Commission, accompanied by a cover letter signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, detailing the extent of inaccuracies within the current register, aside the evidence of foreign voters and scanned pictures in the register which the party has already made a comprehensive presentation to the Electoral Commission on.

“The latest evidence presented to the Commission calls into question the whole credibility of the biometric register and whether the EC actually carried out de-duplication of the register as it should have done and claims to have done, since de-duplicating a biometric register will automatically eliminate all such double and multiple registrations, no matter the form in which they come,” the party underscored.

The NPP said if indeed the EC had conducted a de-duplication process on the register, “then the revelation is a further indication of how the whole database of the Electoral Commission and its IT set-up have been compromised to allow for such multiple entries as they appear on the register, similar to the case on the scanned pictures in the Register."

It will be recalled that on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 the party submitted to the EC and the Ghanaian public unchallenged evidence of the existence of over 76,000 Togolese nationals on the Ghanaian register after a review of less than 10% of the registers of the two countries.

“Perhaps more damning was the evidence of the existence of various scanned pictures in the current register, an issue the EC has not been able to respond to as yet,” the party added.

1.5m Ghost Names
It’s believed that over 1.5 million names were illegally inserted into the register through the scanning of pictures.

However, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a very suspicious manner, is strongly against a new register, saying that the existing register can be cleaned up, with its chairman Kofi Portuphy saying that the State has no money to undertake such an exercise.

Meanwhile, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the recent annual Ghana Bar Association (GBA) conference in Kumasi, said cost should not be an obstacle to the compilation of a new register.

I know how concerned our friends in the international community are about the sustenance of democracy through elections that are credible; and I have no doubt that they will find it of greater value to help fund a credible process that delivers a fair and just result than to pay for the unpredictable consequences of flawed elections. So we should ask ourselves now: Is our electoral register tainted? If it is, how best can we clean it to give the register credibility? If we are seeking the ultimate fairness, we must seek first the ultimate credibility,” Otumfuo told the lawyers.




NDC TAKES OVER DANSOMAN POLICE

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Dansoman Divisional Police Command is in a fix as to whether or not to remove posters displayed on its walls by an aspiring parliamentary candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Prince Derick Adjei, who is contesting in the party’s parliamentary primaries in the Ablekuma West constituency of the Greater Accra Region, has displayed two huge banners on the walls of the police station to announce his candidacy to NDC delegates, to the chagrin of residents of the area, particularly the ruling party’s opponents.

He deliberately added President John Mahama’s banner in order to ‘tie’ the hands of the police from taking any action.

Some residents are questioning why the law enforcement agents could allow Prince Derick Adjei, then spokesperson for the Ga-Dangme Youth Association, to use the walls of the station for his campaign.

Interestingly, DAILY GUIDE’s checks revealed that there appeared not to be any clear-cut law preventing the public from placing advertisements on police or other security facilities.

When the paper visited the police station at Dansoman Control, the banners were still intact; and Derick remains the only aspirant who has taken that step.

Lack Of Respect
However, when contacted, ACP Antwi Tabi, the Divisional Commander, claimed he had taken notice of the banners but said he was yet to come across any law that prevents people from indulging in such an activity.

“As you can see, there is no notice of ‘Post No Bill’ on the walls. Being a public building, I think that people have a right to do some of these things when they are not infringing the law.”

He said his only worry was that Prince Derick Adjei did not even have the courtesy and respect to “approach me as the officer-in-charge to ask for the space” when displaying the banners.

He also said that some of the ruling party’s rivals had approached him and asked for space to place their banners, saying, “Last week one elderly man who said he was from the NPP came to us and expressed interest in placing a banner on our walls.”

Prince Derick Adjei is noted for his controversial statements and ethnocentric posture.

Ga Land Issue
As spokesperson for a shadowy group called the Ga-Dangme Youth Association, Prince Derick Adjei - who had just crossed carpet from the now defunct Dr Obed Asamoah’s Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) to join the NDC - led a group of youth to demand that then out-going President John Agyekum Kufuor should not be given any office on Ga land - a move the then incoming National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo Lartey (now out of office), gleefully endorsed.

For his reward, Derick Adjei was appointed a Deputy Coordinator of the National Youth Authority by the Mills administration.

Public Uproar
He again caused public uproar in 2010 when he claimed that he had a list of NPP parliamentarians who were engaging in homosexual activities, and even threatened to publish the list.

The controversial NDC chap, who was a member of the government’s communication team, was guest of Asempa FM’sEkosii Sen’ programme on Wednesday, September 15, 2010. He said on the programme, “There is a list that I’m going to put out and I hope (that) the NPP will be intact after that because if they want to play a certain game, we will all play by their rules and even by their rules they will lose because they only pride themselves in lies.”

But it later turned out to be a hoax.

Call For Dismissal

As a result, then Deputy Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, George Kuntu Blankson, called for  the immediate dismissal of Derrick Adjei as the coordinator of the youth in the country, insisting that his (Adjei’s) public utterances did not make him a positive role model for the youth.

“If such a person is handling the affairs of the youth of this country, then you can attest to the kind of doctrine, the kind of ideas that he will propagate. It will be against the ‘Better Ghana Agenda,’" Mr Blankson, then NDC MP for Mfantseman East, had stated.

I WAS TRAPPED – JUSTICE AJET-NASAM

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Justice John Ajet-Nasam, one of the high-profile judges said to be involved in the bribery and corruption scandal that has rocked the judiciary, says he fears he might never get a fair hearing.

He said his fears are borne out of the fact that the judicial authorities had already handed him and his colleagues captured in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas investigative reports to the public for hanging.

He claimed that the letter from the Judicial Service dated September 9, 2015 asking for his side of the story was delivered through a watchman at his residence on September 14. 

Justice Ajet-Nasam’s lawyer, Somuah Asamoah of Appiade Chambers, Accra, expressed the judge’s worry in a letter dated September 18, 2015 and addressed to the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council as part of his response to the allegations currently being investigated by a committee in the imminent impeachment process.

The embattled judge and 33 others were captured on audio-visuals allegedly taking bribes to scuttle cases before them. The video finally went public against agitations that it should not be given public screening.

The numerous patrons that thronged the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) - where Anas’ Tiger Eye PI held public screening of the investigative piece - kept grumbling at how the judges were taking bribes in broad daylight to throw away cases or let criminals off the hook in the almost three-hour video.

Perhaps the judge who attracted sarcastic applause from the audience was Justice Ajet-Nasam of the infamous Woyome GH¢51.2 million fraudulent judgement debt saga. He even remarked at a point that “I don’t take sopi (small), sopi (small) money,” when he allegedly collected bribe from undercover journalist Anas to free an accused person at Zongo Junction, Accra.

In Justice Ajet-Nasam’s letter, it was clear that he indeed tendered in his resignation to the Chief Justice immediately news about the scandal broke, but it was reportedly rejected.

Leaked Letter
The judge was worried that his resignation letter of September 8, 2015 was leaked to the media barely 24 hours after tendering it and that he had even not received any acknowledgement or response.

According to the lawyer, Justice Ajet-Nasam is insisting that the intensity of the prejudicial nature of media reportage against him had rendered it “highly impossible to fight back the gnawing feeling that certain media practitioners are making out of the unfortunate situation.”

The lawyer said the splashing of his client’s name and photographs in the media before he is heard was “borne out of a scheme deliberately conceived by the petitioner (Anas) and his agents to entrap and damage him.”

He said he had already been crucified in both the traditional and social media before being heard.

The lawyer raised a question, “If not for the purpose of deliberate vilification to tarnish his reputation, then why would an ordinary activity of a video of him celebrating the birthday of a religious leader, Prophet T.B. Joshua, whom he draws inspiration and spiritual support from, be circulating in the social media before he was asked to respond to the allegation of bribery?”

The judge said for the past 15 or so years, he had been a staunch member of Prophet T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Nigeria, and that the donations he made publicly were from the Prophet’s resources.

On behalf of the judge, his lawyer denied categorically that the justice demanded bribe in order to exercise his discretionary powers in favour of an accused person, Benard Sallah, and said his judgement was based purely on the evidence adduced at the trial.

The lawyer insisted that the judge did not have any case to answer and urged the Judicial Council to dismiss Anas’ video against him since it was calculated to damage his reputation.

According to a statement issued by the judiciary, the judges who had been exposed by Anas’ undercover operations for allegedly taking bribes - apart from Justice Ajet-Nasam - include Justices Paul Uuter Dery, Kofi Essel Mensah, Charles Quist and Ernest Obimpeh.

The rest are Justices Mustapha Habib Logoh, Gilbert Ayisi-Addo popularly called Saddam, Frank Opoku, Ivy Heward Mills and Kwame Ohene Essel.

However, two out of the twelve justices - Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour and Mohammed Iddrisu - are said to have already retired before Anas made the investigative report available.

Lower Courts
The names of some of the suspended 22 lower court judges have been given as Florence K. Ninepence Otoo, Alex Obeng Asante, Emmanuel K. Sunu, Benjamin Y. Osei, Baptiste Kodwo Filson, Issac Akwetey, Albert Zoogah, Courage Ofori Afriyie and Seyram Tsatsu Yao Azumah, all of the Circuit Court.

The Magistrates are William Baffoe, Michael Boamah Gyamfi, Paul K. Alhassan, Stephen Asuure, Kaakyire Atta Owusu, Alfred K.A Mensah, Frank Kingsley Oppong, Samuel Ahaibor, Isaac K. Amoah and Jacob Amponsah.





Friday, September 25, 2015

SEX FOR JUSTICE: COURT CLERK BUSTED IN ANAS VIDEO

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, 25 September 2015

A   raunchy sex scene involving a court clerk and a woman in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas investigative piece captured the wild imagination of patrons who watched the video of their ‘revered’ judges being given cash amounts, sheep, goats, guinea fowl and yam in order to pervert the course of justice at the premiering last Tuesday.

A clerk who asked for the service of a woman as part-payment for introducing the Tiger Eye (A   nas’ company) team to a judge was seen in the video removing his clothes and romping in bed with the woman for a sexual affair.

There were gasps and horrified screams from audience at the Accra International Conference Centre – venue of the screening - as all burst into laughter to end the two-day show of the video that has scandalised the judiciary.

Don’t Tell Your Father
Meanwhile, a judge in the mind-blowing corruption scandal had told undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas not to disclose their meeting to anybody, especially his (Anas’) father.

Justice Ivy Heward Mills of the Cape Coast high court allegedly took GH¢800 as bribe; first through her driver, in a land dispute at the Kasoa Millennium City and later went personally to collect more from Anas and his Tiger Eye team.

Unknown to her, Tiger Eye’s secret cameras were secretly recording all her movements.

Their meeting was held under the Aggrey Memorial SHS overpass on the Accra-Takoradi Highway at Cape Coast where the judge, sitting in the comfort of her official car, was heard in the video telling Anas (who was posing as one of the parties in the case) not to let his father know that she met him and took money from him.

The money was handed to her at the rear seat and she quickly put it in her handbag before she was chauffeured away.

Shocking Scenes
Viewers were gripped with awe and disappointment at how some judges allegedly took bribes in broad daylight to throw away cases or let criminals off the hook in the almost three-hour video. They were offered monies between GH¢100 and GH¢15,000 - some in red cedi notes.

Sarcastic Applause
Perhaps the judge who attracted sarcastic applause from the audience was Justice John Ajet-Nasam of the infamous Woyome GH¢51.2 million fraudulent judgement debt saga. He even remarked at a point, “I don’t take sopi (small) sopi (small) money,” when he allegedly collected the balance of GH¢1,000 from Anas at Zongo Junction, Accra, to free an accused person.

‘Angel’ Gabriel
In almost all the cases, it was some court clerks and a few others who were used as ‘middlemen’ between the judges and the supposed litigants. One person who played an instrumental role in three of the judges’ cases was called Gabriel Achana, who works in the high court in Accra.

The judges’ official residences were mostly the meeting points and some also took the ‘bribes’ by the wayside in their official cars or other joints like shopping malls.

Judge Contractor
One particular judge at Adidome in the Volta Region turned himself into a contractor for a litigant and was directing the litigant to report a particular matter to the police so that the same case would be brought to him for ‘adjudication.’

The judge charged in advance before the case was even reported to the police and eventually brought to him, while his clerk had a soft spot for GH¢20 notes and would not hesitate to demand them, according to the video.

Another judge at a circuit court at Odumase Krobo in the Eastern Region was captured by the Tiger Eye team being persuaded by a defendant to deny interest accrued to the plaintiff in a debt case and also to re-arrange flexible terms of the payment for the defendant, which the judge did.

Mandatory Payment
A court clerk named Cynthia at the Kasoa circuit court acted as if it was mandatory for the supposed litigants to pay bribe before seeing the judge and boasted, “You can only see the judge through me,” like the biblical injunction of seeing the God through Jesus.

She eventually succeeded in taking GH¢20 before taking them to the judge in a land dispute, but the judge apparently did not want to take the bribe in the presence of  Anas and his team and asked them to leave.

They were later captured on video counting the cash.

A judge at the Agona district magistrate court, Paul K. Alhassan, took cash at his official residence in a land dispute case after a clerk had taken the Tiger Eye team to him.

A district court judge at Cape Coast was able to set free a driver who had knocked down a girl and made her almost paralyzed.

Daniel K. Obeng, the circuit court judge at Techiman, took GH¢700 together with a goat to free an accused person. He even drove to pick up the goat given by Anas as a ‘thank you’ gift.

He was recently appointed to the high court and was to commence sitting as a superior court judge after the current legal vacation.

At the Kintampo magistrate court, the judge, Stephen Asure, allegedly took a bribe to free a suspect.

The situation at the Somanya district court appeared sordid. It was a complete network, starting with the clerks through the prosecutors and ending with the judge.

As a result, the judge, investigator and court clerks were all ‘sorted out’ to influence a defilement case. They suggested changing the defiled victim’s age from 13 to 20.

At one point the investigator could not even find the way to his pocket to keep his cash when Anas approached him in his vehicle at the court’s premises and handed the cash to him.

A judge at the Bibiani circuit court, Baptiste K. Forson’s clerk negotiated for him and later took GH¢300 to enable a plaintiff win a land case.

Jacob Amponsah, a magistrate at Ejisu, also took money from the Tiger Eye team on a highway to free an accused person who even jumped bail.

At the Offinso circuit court, a clerk was seen making the sign of the cross after taking bribe from Anas and his team.

A judge at the Somanya district court was seen coughing continuously while negotiating for his money and eventually taking it and hurriedly placing it under court files on his desk to pervert the course of justice.

A catalogue of scenes like these and sordid ones were captured on video by Anas and his team.

The premiering was attended by high profile personalities including the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Father Campbell of Christ The King Catholic Church in Accra and members of the diplomatic corps.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

JUDGES BRIBE VIDEO SHOCKS

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Viewers were gripped with awe and disappointment at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) yesterday when Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist, screened the video recordings of how some judges stooped so low to take bribes.

The numerous patrons who thronged the centre kept grumbling at how the judges were taking bribes in broad daylight to throw away cases or leave criminals off the hook in the almost three-hour video.

Perhaps the judge who attracted sarcastic applauds from the audience was Justice John Ajet-Nasam of the infamous Woyome GH¢51.2 million fraudulent judgement debt saga. He even remarked at a point, “I don’t take sopi (small) sopi (small) money,” when he allegedly collected bribe from undercover journalist, Anas, at Zongo Junction, Accra, to free an accused person.

There was also a raunchy sex scene involving a court clerk and a lady in the investigative piece, and some of the judges were also given sheep, goats and yam in order to pervert the course of justice.

In almost all the cases, it was some court clerks and a few others who were used as ‘middlemen’ between the judges and the supposed litigants. One person who played an instrumental role in three of the judges’ cases was called Gabriel Achana, who works in the high courts in Accra.

The judges’ official residences were mostly the meeting points and some also took the ‘bribes’ by the wayside in their official cars or other joints like shopping malls.

A lady court clerk for instance, could be seen doing the sign of the cross to signify the collection of the money in order to facilitate influencing the judge while others remarked that “you can only see the judge through me.”

The investigations by Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team spanned over two years and in all the cases, Anas made sure the moneys he and his team used as bribes were not wrapped.

Justice Ernest Obimpeh’s alleged bribery and corruption was the first to show and through his middleman Gabriel, he collected GH¢5,000 plus two goats to rule for one party in a land case.

Surprisingly, the judge drove to the Accra Mall near   the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, and ordered his police escort to stand aside while he took the cash.

Justice Paul Uuter Dery, who tried unsuccessfully to stop the entire public screening in court, was connected to Anas by his clerk who initially charged GH¢25,000 but finally settled on GH¢15,000 with the supposed accused person in a narcotic drug case.

When he was even given sheep as a gift, Justice Dery allegedly said he preferred a goat which was eventually delivered as a ‘thank you’ to his official residence.

Justice Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour, who has since retired, also used his driver as a middleman.

After collecting the money, he even took yam and hilariously called one of his house helps at his residence to come and pack the stuff.

The judge called Ahmed Mustapha, who was always bare-chested relaxing in his residence in Wa, was initially hesitant but Anas was able to break his resistance with money and at one point, he gave details of the judgement he was to deliver to the Tiger Eye Team.

In the Juaben Circuit Court the case involving an accused person charged with possessing firearms without lawful authority, a court official after collecting the bribe for the judge - Alex Oben Asante - even collected his ‘share’ and another for his absent colleague.

The judge’s ‘cut’ was then wrapped in a case docket and handed over to him.

A court clerk called Peace was given GH¢1,000 by Anas to sustain her interest in convincing Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh and later huge sums of money in bundles were seen on the desk of the judge in a murder case.

Gabriel was once again the middleman for Justice Kofi Essel Mensah. He took GH¢5,000 for the judge.

In the video, Gabriel appeared to be collecting a lot of money for leading litigants to ‘see’ judges.

In Tarkwa, in a burglary case the judge, Kwame Ohene Essel, took GH¢1,000 and his clerk Ezekiel, pocketed GH¢300 and the alacrity with which they counted the money looked like they worked in the bank.

The Tiger Eye Team also tracked the activities of a circuit court judge, Florence K. Ninepence Otoo, from Cape Coast to Tema where she was transferred to, and per the video she appears to be a serial bribe-taker.

Her clerk even told Anas and his team that “if you want something you have to pour libation,” and when he was given some money, he went to the toilet to count and package it.

Justice Charles Quist took bribe to release a hardened armed robber who was part of the gang that robbed a filling station at Taifa, Accra, and at a point threatened not to deliver the judgement if Anas did not ‘bring the balance.’

The judge’s clerk negotiated and got GH¢5,000 for himself.
There was mad rush for the public screening. It attracted people from all walks of life.

To be continued tomorrow.





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ANAS SHOWS VIDEO TODAY

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The issue of an individual’s right to privacy vis-√†-vis the public’s right to information is expected to be put to strenuous test today.

This is because Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the popular undercover journalist, is determined to screen the mind-blowing audio-visuals detailing bribery and corruption within the judiciary this evening.

The premiering of the video is slated for 4pm at the Accra International Conference Centre (AIIC), with invitations already dispatched to prospective patrons.

‘Ghana in the Eyes of God,’ according to Anas, is an investigative documentary of judicial corruption which Tiger Eye PI undertook for about two years.

However, legal suits are hanging on the necks of the investigators and the venue for the public screening – AIIC – cautioning them to desist from today’s premiering of the expos√© else they would face contempt charges.

Injunction Application
Justice Paul Uuter Dery, one of the judges mentioned, has already filed an application for interlocutory injunction to stop Tiger Eye PI, owned by Anas, together with his assigns, from going ahead to show the audio-visuals to the public.

Justice Dery, apart from suing Anas, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General, has also sued to restrain the Director of Estates and General Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Manager of the Accra International Conference Centre from the public screening.

Contempt Of Court
As if that was not enough, the embattled judge has also cited Anas together with Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), for contempt of court, asking for committal sentence.

Two others who had incurred the wrath of the high court judge are Kwabena Anokye Adisi, popularly called Bola Ray, Chief Executive of EIB Network - owners of Starr Fm - and Samuel Frimpong, a senior editor of The New Crusading Guide.

Coincidentally, the judge is expected to move the motion for an interlocutory injunction restraining the parties from the public screening today.

Tickets Out
Anas has already sent out tickets to a good number of personalities, media houses and organisations that are collaborating with Tiger Eye for the public event. The organisers are still running advertisements for the show.

Some legal experts are of the view that in the event that Anas is restrained in Ghana from going ahead with the public event, nothing could stop him from premiering the controversial video outside the country.

Al-Jazeera Connection
Anas is reported to have strong ties with international broadcaster Al-Jazeera, which some claim had commissioned him to investigate the rot in the judiciary as part of the broadcaster’s global fight against corruption.

Baako Explodes
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr., editor in-chief of The New Crusading Guide, who mentored Anas, appears to favour the public screening of the ‘bribery and corruption’ audio-visuals when he said on Joy FM at the weekend that they were prepared to go to jail for it.

According to the editor in-chief, some lawyers of the suspected bribe-taking judges who had resorted to the law courts for redress had approached him and Anas to manipulate evidence in favour of their clients.

Mr Baako accused the lawyers who had gone to the court to sue Anas in the ongoing judicial scandal of acting in bad faith.

"You don't go out there pleading for four of your clients, pleading for mercy and asking for evidence to be manipulated and then you file a writ seeking to imprison those who are working for the good of the country," he said.

"It makes me explode and I’ve decided that I’ll show that thing (video) and face the consequences," he stated but noted that he was constrained by the rule of law.

Currently, 22 circuit court judges and magistrates have been suspended while 12 superior court judges, mostly at the high courts, are facing possible impeachment for corruption.

Over 100 people working in the various courts have also been indicted.

 Bad Nuts
According to a statement issued by the judiciary, the judges who have been exposed by Anas’ undercover operations for allegedly taking bribes include Justices Dery, Kofi Essel Mensah, Charles Quist, John Ajet-Nassam and Ernest Obimpeh.

The rest are Justices Mustapha Habib Logoh, Gilbert Ayisi-Addo popularly called Saddam, Frank Opoku, Ivy Heward Mills and Kwame Ohene Essel.

However, two out of the twelve justices - Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour and Mohammed Iddrisu - are said to have already retired before Anas made the investigative report ready.

Lower Courts
The names of some of the suspended lower court judges have been given as Florence K. Ninepence Otoo, Alex Obeng Asante, Emmanuel K. Sunu, Benjamin Y. Osei, Baptist Kodwo Filson, Issac Akwetey, Albert Zoogah, Courage Ofori Afriyie and Seyram T.Y. Azumah, all of the circuit court.

The magistrates are William Baffoe, Michael Boamah Gyamfi, Paul K. Alhassan, Stephen Asuure, Kaakyire Atta Owusu, Alfred K.A Mensah, Frank Kingsley Oppong, Samuel Ahaibor, Isaac K. Amoah and Jacob Amponsah.


Court Sitting

The high court assigned to adjudicate all cases filed in respect of the bribery scandal will begin sitting today.

A justice of the Court of Appeal has been assigned as an additional high court judge to handle the cases.

A statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku Acheampong, said Chief Justice Georgina Wood was in the process of establishing whether there was a prima facie case against the high court judges alleged to have misconducted themselves and added that the sitting of the court was part of the process.

It said out of the 12 judges who were in active service, eight had up to today, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, to furnish the Chief Justice with their responses.

Appellate Panel
The statement said an appellate panel had also been constituted to hear all appeals and applications that might arise from the decisions of the high court.

In respect of the court staff who were alleged to have been involved in the acts of bribery and corruption, it said management had, with the aid of the available audio-visuals and still pictures provided by Tiger Eye, been able to identify 80 of them.

“As the disciplinary authority for junior staff, the Judicial Secretary has constituted two committees to investigate the various acts of misconduct,” it added.

One of the committees, it said, would begin sitting on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.

The statement also said that 15 people in the list submitted to the Judicial Service by Tiger Eye PI were not staff of the Judicial Service, adding that the report indicated that they were staff of the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Prisons Service and the Attorney General’s Department.

According to the statement, their names and photographs were being forwarded to the relevant institutions for the necessary action.

It added that two individuals had been identified as “private bail contractors.”

Disciplinary Committee
Additionally, the statement said the five-member disciplinary committee of the Judicial Council investigating the circuit court judges and magistrates mentioned in the scandal had suspended its sitting in respect of the 14 who had filed a motion in court, until the final determination of the suit.





WOMAN DIVORCED FOR CONTESTING ASSEMBLY ELECTION

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, 22 September, 2015

A middle-aged woman who contested the recently held District Assembly and Unit Committee Elections has reportedly been sacked from her matrimonial home. 

Memunatu Mahama was said to have been divorced by her husband because she defied him and went into the contest. 

She contested but lost in the Mandari Electoral Area, which is about 12km west of Bole, President Mahama’s hometown. 

To make matters worse, her husband who resides in Sawla, also near Bole, allegedly married another woman just a week after she lost the contest.

 Memunatu told Mahama Haruna, the Public Relations Officer of Gonjaland Youth Association, that her husband was allegedly pressured by some opinion leaders to get her to step down for the men in the contest and when she refused, she was divorced. 

According to the PRO, the lady said that her husband had complained that women who contested elections and worked in the midst of men were taken advantage of by men and so she should step down to avoid harassment.

However, she insisted that her decision to contest should not be interpreted as challenging or standing up to men in the community and that there was no way anyone could take advantage of her when she eventually won.

The PRO quoted Madam Memunatu as saying that she was contesting because she felt that as a woman she was capable of bringing development to her people and serving them better.

According to her, she also wanted to be the first woman to contest an election in the Mandari community where decision-making is dominated by men and perhaps to draw the attention of people in the community to gender inequality and affirmative action, which is an effort to include every aspect of the society in decision-making. 

The husband had reportedly insisted that she had the option to withdraw her candidature or risk losing her marriage. Memunatu said she initially did not take her husband’s threat seriously, since it would be absurd for her husband to divorce her just for contesting a district assembly election. 

She said her husband appeared to have carried out his threat when he stopped giving her money for her upkeep and, without informing her, went ahead to marry another woman a week after she lost the assembly election.

“I am jobless for now and I largely depended on my husband. I am praying to get a job and take care of myself and give the rest to God,” she was quoted by the PRO as saying in a choking voice.


Friday, September 18, 2015

NDC FREE SHS IS GH¢38 PER STUDENT

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, September 18, 2015

The promise by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government that it was going to implement free senior high school (SHS), starting from the 2015/2016 academic year, appears to be a hoax.

It has emerged that the policy is going to be at a cost of only GH¢38 per day student, even though the Ghana Education Service (GES)-approved fees for day students is GH¢405.50, while their counterparts in the boarding house will pay GH¢724.50. Parents and guardians are therefore going to be saddled with about GH¢370 to support their day students’ education.

The government said it had released GH¢12 million for the implementation of the free SHS, starting with day students in the 2015/2016 academic year and it is expected to cover over 313,000 students.

Apart from the GES-approved fees, all other contingency costs are to be borne by parents and guardians and therefore the GH¢38 per student being offered by the government cannot be said to be free, according to an educationist.

“With the paltry amount set aside for the free SHS, it could only be concluded that the promise is only to score political points.  “Because the New Patriotic Party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, told Ghanaians during the 2008 and the 2012 electioneering campaigns that when given the mandate his government was going to make education free up to the SHS level for both day and boarding students, President Mahama, who said the policy was not feasible, wants the people to find favour with his administration by claiming that he would make SHS free for day students,” the educationist, who pleaded anonymity, observed.

Conflicting Statements
It will be recalled that President Mahama, in his State of the Nation address in February 2014, said emphatically that beginning from the 2015/2016 academic year, the payment of fees by day students in senior high schools would be abolished.

He had said the programme, which was going to cost the government about GH¢71 million in the first year of implementation, was in line with the government’s move to progressively make SHS education wholly free.

During the presentation of the 2015 supplementary budget on the floor of Parliament, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, said categorically that only three of the Community Day SHSs nationwide would be ready for take-off for the 2015/2016 academic year.

Strangely, President John Mahama recently said 125 of the schools were ready for a take-off but could not specifically mention where the schools had been cited.

According to Joy FM, its checks in the Volta and the Northern Regions showed that work was progressing on the schools in these regions steadily.

It said schools were yet to be built in the Northern Region at places like Kpandai, Bunkpurugu, Namong in Yunyoo, Bamboi in Bole, Saboba, Nanumba North and Nanumba South.

Others are to be built at Malshegu in Sanerigu, Mion, Daboya in North Gonja and Mpaha in Central Gonja.

In the Volta Region, Joy FM said the building at Nkwanta South was 60% complete and would be ready in 10 months’ time as promised by the contractor. Other schools are to be built at Avenorkpeme in Akatsi South, Damanko in Nkwanta North, Volo in North Tongu and Krachi Ntsumuru in Krachi Ntsumuru.

In line with the NDC government’s manifesto to expand equitable access to secondary education, the president made two key campaign promises in the run-up to the 2012 elections which included building 200 community day senior high schools and implementing the constitutional obligation to make secondary education progressively free.

The NDC said at the time that it was determined to expand “physical access, with a focus on under-served areas and provide demand-side incentives for people to enrol in secondary education.”

The concept of the 200 schools commenced in March 2014 with sod-cutting by President Mahama at Nyanoa in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region for the construction of the first 50 schools.

World Bank Funding
In November 2014, he launched the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) in Kintampo - the second phase of the community day schools project - to commence the construction of 23 additional schools with ancillary facilities, supported with funding from the World Bank.

Under this phase of the project, facilities in 50 existing schools are being upgraded and 125 low performing schools are receiving investment in the form of science laboratories, libraries, additional classrooms, teachers’/staff flats, programme blocks (vocational, technical, business) and canteens.