Thursday, June 30, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Convention People’s Party (CPP) flagbearer, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, says he intends to make almond cultivation that produces what is known in local parlance as ‘Abrofo Nkate’ the mainstay of the economy, if he wins the November presidential election.

He said the commercial cultivation and production of almond, which is mainly grown in tropical Africa, will immensely benefit the country economically through the production of consumable oil; and estimated it roughly around $300 billion.

“The price on the international market for almond oil is as much as US$10,000 a tone; and I am understating the price. Cocoa has never gone above US$3,600 a tonne. Oil palm is currently US$800 a tonne,” he said Tuesday night when he took his turn at the Institute of Economic Affair (IEA) ‘Encounter,’ which gives presidential candidates the platform to sell their visions to the public.

Mr. Greenstreet, a lawyer, who is going to try his luck of becoming president in the November general election for the first time, said a CPP government intends to “mobilize two million youth to plant 32 trees per person in an eight-hour work a day at 175 trees per hectare, meaning that a total area equivalent to 7,314,285.7 hectares, will be planted, giving us almost 26 million tonnes for the whole area.”

The CPP standard bearer articulated, “A rough estimate based on the above could potentially produce 30 million tonnes of oil, multiplied by 10 per litre and Ghana could potentially generate US$300 billion.”

Financing Arrangement
He said the “financing of this programme, will be made available from different local and international sources; and it will be an incentive-based scheme based on out-grower system,” adding, “we won’t beg for money like the NDC.

“Why become shameful and disgraceful like the NDC, chasing the Chinese around in circles for US$3 billion when God has given us fertile lands that with a little effort, we could aim to generate US$300 billion. Cut that target in half, even more than half and earning a US$100 billion alone will clear the country’s debts.”

According to Mr. Greenstreet, a CPP government would engage two million youth in the agric sector to reduce the ever soaring unemployment rate and ensure that the government engages the private sector in the ambitious programme.

Energy Sector
He said that a CPP government would invest heavily in wind turbines in addition to the current combination of hydro and thermal saying, “standard wind turbines with an average height of 120 meters and a diameter of 85 meters will generate 3 megawatts of energy per unit.”

He asked rhetorically, “Are we not a creative country? Do we not have a creative leadership? Why do we always have to think that the only ways of providing employment are white-collar jobs? Kwame Nkrumah was creative. In his time, even prisoners were put to work. Not like today where they’re packed in inhuman conditions like sardines.”

Mr. Greenstreet tackled other national issues - from health, infrastructure and to governance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It is turning out that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s promise to complete 200 day senior high schools cannot be fulfilled before the general election in November.

A DAILY GUIDE source said yesterday that President John Dramani Mahama himself knows that the ambitious projects could not be completed and has said it could only be done beyond 2020.

“The president is aware that the construction of 200 SHSs in this present time is not feasible. The government is looking beyond 2020 when the projects could be completed,” the source said.

200 SHSs Pledge
Currently, the government has completed and commissioned less than 25 out of the 200 Community Day SHSs it promised.

The World Bank is sponsoring 23 of the 200 school projects with the rest to be financed by the Government of Ghana.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that most of the commissioned schools were the World Bank-funded ones, while the Ghana government ones are struggling to come into limelight since there is no cash to complete them.

This is the more reason why the president cannot fulfill his campaign promise of 200 schools - now reduced to 70 by November.

Interestingly, the NDC government has not been able to tell Ghanaians the actual cost of the entire 200 SHS projects.

Currently, all those Day schools being fully financed by the government are either at various stages of completion or are even yet to be started due to lack of funds.

Another source has said that many contractors were awarded contracts but there is no money for them to even go to the sites as securing loans from the banks to even pre-finance the projects had been impossible.

Shifting Figures
The figure shifted from 200 to 70 when President Mahama honoured hardworking NDC founding members in Accra recently.

Speaking at the 24th anniversary of the formation of the party in Accra, President Mahama said, “The on-going Community Day SHS programme is also a major addition. I have had the privilege in Chinderi, Nkwanta, Abease, Otuam, Nyanoa, among others, to open new Community Day Schools and students are benefitting from these projects and there are many more of these schools nearing completion.

“We expect that by November 7th we will be able to put at least 70 of these schools into operation. And as I have said, we are currently working on 123 of them.”

NDC Antics
Former propaganda secretary and now Communications Officer of the NDC, Solomon Nkansah, recently told Atinka FM that the 2012 presidential election petition which lasted for eight months, frustrated the early completion of the 200 Community Day Senior High Schools promised by President Mahama in 2012.

He claimed that the petition, brought by Nana Akufo-Addo and two others, affected the sources of funding for the projects because international donors who wanted to help were not sure about the president’s legitimacy.

Solomon Nkansah then claimed that between 85 to 100 schools would be completed and handed over to the communities by November this year; and boasted that 11 of the schools in the Volta Region alone were to be commissioned in April when the president toured that region, but that was never the case. But this turned out to be a mere propaganda piece as the president only managed to commission two during the visit.

Limited Facilities
Statistics show that only about 40% of JHS graduates gain admission into Senior High Schools, because of limited facilities.

The NDC has said the construction of SHSs is part of government’s commitment to fulfill its electoral promise of making secondary education progressively free and said about 313,301 senior high school day students are to benefit from the free SHS policy this academic year.

Subvention Hoax
Initially, the Mahama-led government promised that all day students were exempt from the payment of school fees starting from September this 2015/16 academic year, since they are covered by their ‘progressively free scholarship’ policy, but when it turned out that the same students were supposed to pay over GH¢300, the government made a u-turn to say that it was doing a subvention programme.

The promised subvention turned out to be only GH¢38 per student and even that, the government is currently in arrears over two terms in its first year of implementation.

Free Boarding
As if that was not enough, President Mahama, at the 70th anniversary Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the Aburi Girls’ Senior High School in the Eastern Region at the weekend, promised to expand the free SHS policy to cover boarding students in deprived communities.

He announced that the programme would start in August this year.

Monday, June 27, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 27, 2016

Former United Nations Secretary General Busumuru Kofi Annan says it is not necessary for the government to shut down social media on election day as threatened by the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor.

“What you shut down here is available elsewhere; and today’s world is interconnected that you may think you are keeping information from them but they get it and I don’t think it is worth the effort,” he said on Thursday evening in Accra.

UN Warning
Already, the UN has said it is against the ban of social media on election day and that sentiment was expressed through Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who is currently the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWA).

Kronti ne Akwamu Lecture
Mr Annan gave the advice when he delivered the 12th Kronti ne Akwamu Lecture on the topic, “Credible and Peaceful Elections: A Prerequisite for Africa’s Progress,” annually organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana.

The lecture, which was massively attended by very important dignitaries including former President J.A. Kufuor and diplomats, was chaired by Justice Professor Akua Kuenyehia who retired from the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in March 2015.

Mr Annan, in his short lecture, said instead of shutting down social media, the public rather should be educated on how to use the tool responsibly.

“Social media is a tool. Sometimes I hear people talk about social media revolution. Social media can bring people together. It can get them to go to a stadium. 

You can get them to go to a square,” he said and told a story of how a similar channel was used in China in 1989.

Tiananmen Square Revolution
“In 1989, during the Tiananmen Square Revolution in Beijing, China, I was in New York and we had several staff members but two in Beijing at their offices overlooking the Tiananmen Square. Radio stations and all communications were closed down but the students were using faxes, which was the technology of the day; so one would say it was a fax revolution. In the Arab Spring, we say it was a social media revolution because it was the technology or the tool.

“What tool we will have tomorrow, I don’t know but we should not look at these means as a source of power in itself,” he said.

Election Tension
The former UN boss, who is also the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, acknowledged that Ghana had “earned a reputation as something of a democratic role model in Africa” in a relatively short space of time by organising six credible elections and two peaceful transitions of power but said “despite this glowing international reputation, we Ghanaians know that each election has generated a worrying degree of violence and uncertainty.”

He said the country should not approach the November 7 elections “with the sort of tensions we are noticing today and any step that reduces tension and brings the parties together, I think, will be essential.”

Strong Institutions
He said for democracy to thrive, there was the need to strengthen the rule of law and to empower professional and independent national bodies tasked with the responsibility to manage elections.

Dr Annan said Ghana must make greater effort towards building the institutions which manage the processes for multi-party democracy, saying, “Only this will ensure the legitimacy for winners in election and provide security for losers.”

Political Equality
The former UN Secretary General called for political equality and the need to fight the incidence of unregulated money in politics which led to vote-buying and bribery by candidates.

He challenged Ghanaians to work towards deepening and sustaining democratic ideals in Ghana, adding that with a credible election, it didn't matter which party won the election as long as the country won.

He affirmed the importance of democracy as a system of government and called on Ghanaians not to let the streets take over the ballot box, saying, “Democracy is not only conducive for economic growth but a prerequisite for Africa's progress and development.”

Civil Society
He added that democracy depended on what he called the lively participation of organised civil society in political life. According to him, “Politics is too important to be left only to the politicians.”

He said democracy was freedom and that that alone was development. He however added that the concept of democracy was work in progress, noting that any criticism would only lead to making the concept of democracy better.


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 27, 2016

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has commenced a defence in the decision it took to suspend Paul Afoko as its National Chairman.

Mr. Afoko has sued the NPP and its acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay (who is also the First National Vice Chairman), following his indefinite suspension in October last year by the party.

The party’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) had recommended his suspension from the NPP after a petition by two members of the party; and Mr. Afoko wants the court to order his re-instatement as the national chairman because he claims that the party’s action was unconstitutional.
Mr. Afoko, among other things, is contesting the issue of whether Gifty Eugenia Kusi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsuaem, was validly appointed to the National Disciplinary Committee which recommended his suspension to the National Executive Council (NEC).
A similar case instituted by the suspended 2nd vice chairman of the party was thrown out by another court recently for lack of merit.
Yesterday, at the Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah, it was Most Reverend Samuel Asante Antwi, a former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana -   currently Chairman of the NPP Disciplinary Committee – who mounted the witness box to testify for the party, led in evidence by Godfred Yeboah Dame.
He confirmed to the court during cross-examination by Osafo Buaben, counsel for Mr. Afoko, that membership of the Disciplinary Committee is made up of the various groups of the party and mentioned some of them as the Legal Committee, Parliamentary Caucus, National Executive and Chairman of the party, among others. 
Lawyer Vrs Bishop
Counsel (Osafo Buaben): How did you become the Chairman of the National Disciplinary Committee?
Witness (Most Rev Asante Antwi): I was appointed by the suspended chairman of the NPP
Counsel: Was the appointment by way of a letter or verbal?
Witness: It was by a letter from the General Secretary based on the constitution of the NPP.
Counsel: It was on the official letterhead of the NPP.
Witness: Yes.
Counsel: In that appointment letter it was clearly stated that the National Council at a meeting had approved and appointed you to be the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.
Witness: That is correct.
Counsel: Similar letters were written to Dr. Addo Kufuor, J. Ayikoi Otoo, Prof. Mike Oquaye, Ama Busia, Nana Yaw Osei, Alhaji Rahman and W.O. Boafo. Is that not so?
Witness: That is correct.
Counsel: As you sit in the box, have you sighted a similar letter from the National Council for Gifty Kusi?
Witness: Membership to the Disciplinary Committee is appointed by the various groups of the party. For example, the Legal Committee, Parliamentary Group, National Executive, Chairman of the NPP, etc. 
Replacement Letter
The witness told the packed court that he sighted a letter replacing WO Boafo with Gifty Kusi due to the fact that he (WO Boafo) had written to the parliamentary group that he was undertaking a post-operation treatment home and abroad and could not continue to sit on the committee.
 Most Rev. Asante-Antwi averred, “We sit as members of the Disciplinary Committee. We do not remove Chairmen. We are a Disciplinary Committee under Article 4 of the NPP Constitution.”
He said Ms Gifty Kusi was appointed by the Parliamentary Group on October 1, 2015 to replace WO Boafo, who had not been attending meetings, and added that the Tarkwa Nsuaem MP was part of the committee on October 6, 2015.
 “She was appointed onto the committee by the parliamentary caucus on October 1, 2015 to be a member to replace Mr WO Boafo who was not attending meetings,” he told the court.

The witness said he never sighted a similar letter written to Madam Gifty Kusi, but sighted a letter replacing Lawyer WO Boafo with her.

“It came from the office of the minority caucus, and was in response to a letter sent to the caucus by Mr Boafo entitled, ‘My membership of the NDC, application for my replacement,’ addressed to the minority leader in parliament, which had to do with his medical post-operation treatment home and abroad,” Most Rev. Asante-Antwi disclosed.

He noted that it was based on this that Madam Kusi became a member of the committee, and sat on the proceedings held on October 6, 2015. The case was later adjourned to July 4 for a continuation of the cross-examination.

Friday, June 24, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, June 24, 2016

President John Mahama has responded cheekily to those accusing him of taking a car gift which many have said is tantamount to corruption saying, “I don’t like American cars.”

In 2010 a contractor from Burkina Faso,  Djibril Kanazoe, sent a Ford Expedition car gift believed to be worth $100,000 to his friend, President Mahama, through the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.

Curiously, Djibril Kanazoe has since been awarded juicy government contracts and was behind the construction of the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso, apart from other multimillion-dollar contracts since his encounter with the president in 2010, according to journalist Manasseh Awuni Azure who broke the news.

Prior to meeting Ghana’s president, Kanazoe said he had tried winning contracts in Ghana from 2003 unsuccessfully until Mahama opened his doors for him.

President Mahama has since been under pressure from sections of the public about his conduct and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has asked him to return the controversial $100,000 car gift because, according to the anti-graft body, his action “breaches the state’s anti-corruption code.”

The president said in Ashaiman on Wednesday during his ‘accounting to the people’ tour that the allegations were ‘baseless’ and politically motivated.
He parried the allegation of possible conflict of interest once again yesterday when he held a breakfast meeting at the Flagstaff House with some selected clergy.

“I don’t use Ford, I don’t like American cars. I use Japanese cars. Toyota is my car,” he told the clergy and went on to say that the vehicle was not even for his personal use.

He explained that since he received the vehicle, he had always been under the impression that it was presented to the state, adding, “It has never been used for my personal comfort.”

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called for a bipartisan investigation into the matter while the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has threatened to drag the president to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) if he (Mr Mahama) does not come clean on the scandal.

However, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and a private citizen have already petitioned CHRAJ to probe the matter and the commission is currently assessing the petitions to establish if there is a prima facie case against the president.

With the latest development, President Mahama said his responses to the matter were ready and promised to make them public at the right time, saying, “We will respond to it.”

Mahama Is Unrepentant!

Reacting to the president’s comments, the Progressive People’s party of Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom said Mr Mahama has taken Ghanaians for granted.

“Mr John Dramani Mahama has attempted to respond to allegations of bribe-taking by accepting the Ford Expedition from his Burkinabe contractor friend. The president has said, ‘I don’t use Ford; I don’t like American cars. I use Japanese cars. Toyota is my car.’  He also said yesterday that If you believe I have involved myself in corruption, you have the constitutional means to do whatever you want to do.

“We believe that the president’s comment is a blow to the fight against corruption. He adopted his usual attitude of passing of the buck in matters that needed his direct intervention. His Excellency has demonstrated a lack of commitment to the principle of accepting responsibility for his own actions and that of his government. President Mahama has no remorse and is unrepentant,” a statement issued in Accra and signed by Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, Policy Advisor, said.

The PPP believes that the president was emboldened by the absence of strong state institutions with the capacity and willingness to deal with infractions occasioned by members of the executive.

“In this instance, the Parliament of Ghana or some Members of Parliament are refusing to undertake their constitutional duty to initiate or support the call for impeachment proceedings against the president for gross misconduct and a violation of Article 284. The Parliament of Ghana is empowered under Article 69 of the Constitution to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.

“We expect Members of Parliament to live up to their responsibilities and establish timeless principles in our governance processes. The PPP will organise a demonstration to Parliament House if the impeachment process is not activated shortly,” the statement said.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Attorney General (AG) to produce the agreement signed between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and the United States of America to bring to Ghana the two hardcore terrorists that were held at Guantanamo Bay.

The inspection of the agreement by the court presided over by Justice William Atuguba will be done in camera on July 6, 2016 and that will determine whether by its nature and scope, details of the agreement should be disclosed to the public.

Parent Suit
Two Ghanaians—Magaret Bamfo, an 86-year-old  retired conference officer of the ministry of foreign affairs and Henry Nana Boakye, a student of Ghana School of Law—filed the suit against the government asking the Supreme Court to declare that President John Mahama acted unconstitutionally by accepting the former Al-Qaeda terrorists in Ghana.

The case took a new twist on April 12 this year when the defendants, made up of the Attorney General and the Minister of the Interior, filed a process averring that Ghana actually has an existing agreement with the United States government regarding the two detainees whose presence continues to generate public uproar.

The revelation by the AG was a sharp departure from the government’s widely-held position that the acceptance of the two Al-Qaeda foot soldiers—Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, 36 and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, 34—was purely a “diplomatic arrangement exercised through an executive power by the president.”

Interlocutory Action
Instead of filing their statement of case to contest the issue, the AG rather filed an interlocutory application seeking to set aside the whole action by the plaintiffs on the grounds that the agreement the government has with the US government to bring the detainees enjoys privileges and protections under the 1992 Constitution.

Interestingly, the AG on Monday failed to appear before the court and the five-member panel, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, threatened to go ahead and determine the case if the defendants did not come to court for the case.

Court Probe
Yesterday, when sitting resumed, Solicitor General Helen Awo Ziwu led a team of lawyers for the defence and the judges took turns to probe the defendant’s request that the Note Verbale (which is a diplomatic communication prepared in the third person and unsigned) should not be disclosed.

The Solicitor General asserted that the agreement Ghana has with the US government enjoys various privileges and protections available under the law, including the protection under the State Secret Act and the protection under the Evidence Decree.

She said the agreement the plaintiffs were requesting to be made public is not the kind which is contemplated in Article 75, saying, “It is the confidential nature.”

She said the Note Verbale could only be looked at in camera, adding, “We are inviting the court to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 135 (1) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution to determine whether the diplomatic notes exchanged between the government and the United States is of confidential nature.”

The Solicitor General said the details, terms and conditions of the Gitmo 2 stay in Ghana were contained in the notes exchanged between the government and the United States, saying, “It does not become an agreement under Article 75.”

Plaintiff‘s Position
Nana Agyei Barfuor Awuah, who represented the plaintiffs, said after the court proceedings, “After contending in our statement of case that the agreement is of the kind that requires parliamentary approval in accordance with Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution, the AG in their response stated that it is not the kind which is contemplated in Article 75.

“By virtue of that disputation by the AG, it was essential for the agreement to be produced otherwise it may seem the court was going to determine the case without having looked at the said agreement which is the subject matter of the suit. We want them to produce the agreement for the court to determine the nature and scope of it as to whether it is the kind contemplated by Article 75.”

Nana Barfuor Awuah said, “It was our case that Section 1 of the State Secret Act they were asserting did not avail them because that borders on the leakage of state information for the use of foreign powers. In this particular case, we require that information for the enforcement of the Constitution and the recipients of that information was not a foreign power. It was the Supreme Court and then a Ghanaian citizen exercising his right under Article 2 (1).”

Proper Interpretation
The plaintiffs are  seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby (both profiled terrorists and former detainees of Guantanamo Bay) to the Republic of Ghana without the ratification by an Act of Parliament or a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament.

They are further seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 58(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana, who is under an obligation to execute and maintain the laws of Ghana, breached the Anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573) - both being laws passed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

Other justices on the panel were Sophia Akufo, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin Yeboah and Paul Baffoe Bonney.


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama, flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), does not think he can ban people from practising homosexuality if he gets the mandate as the President of Ghana in the November general election saying, “I love them.”

As a medical doctor, Dr. Mahama considers the practice of lesbianism or gayism unhealthy but wants the public to accept their sexual preferences.

“I tell lesbians and gays who come to me that it is not a very healthy sexual practice. If you enjoy it, do it, but you are taking the risk,” he said Tuesday night when he took his turn at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) ‘Encounter’ programme, which gives presidential candidates the platform to sell their visions to the public.

Dr. Mahama, who is going to try his luck to become president in the November general election after five unsuccessful attempts from 1996, could not give a definite yes or no answer when he was asked about his views on the practice - which is largely considered as a taboo in many parts of the country.

Apostle Samuel Yaw Antwi, General Secretary for the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, asked Dr. Mahama about his views on the rights of homosexuals in the country.

“As a Christian, I think homosexuality is condemned by the Bible; but I think also as a Christian, Christ said we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves so I love them,” Dr. Mahama, who endeared himself creditably to the audience on the night, replied.

He said, “I may disagree with them and their lifestyle. I have a very close friend whose son was a homosexual and I always looked at him and loved him inside me; but the fact that he was doing the wrong thing for himself,” adding, “As you know, being a pastor, Paul says that when we commit sexual sin, it’s against our own body first. There are scientific basis which others may disagree to. So basically, it is not a very healthy sexual practice.

“What I am saying is that, it’s their right to do what they like with their body but I don’t endorse; it and I think it’s wrong which is why I educate them. And that’s all I can do because I am not going to think for somebody.”

Outlining his vision on the PNC’s campaign theme of “New Beginning, New Deal and New Force,” Dr. Mahama said that he would take personal responsibility for any shortcomings of his government.

“We have a system where those who loot are held in high esteem. A former Prime Minister of Latvia resigned when the roof of a supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people. He said he took political and moral responsibility for the disaster. In Germany, Christian Wulf resigned from high office of president in 2009, put on trial for corruption because his friend was alleged to have paid for his hotel room and his food valued at 700 euros. In the United States of America, President Nixon stepped aside from high office of US President after the Watergate scandal. It is this kind of taking personal responsibility and abhorring wrongdoing that I am offering myself as President of Ghana,” he promised.

He touched on all the critical sectors of the economy, particularly energy, where he said he would disable the influences of Bulk Distribution Companies who are operating in the petroleum downstream sector.

He described the measures put in place by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to solve the protracted power crisis as ‘kneejerk’ solutions claiming, “The power barges were expensive and dubiously acquired.”

Dr. Mahama also said that it was unwise for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to fund the senior national soccer team - the Black Stars - when there were other critical areas the corporation could invest.

On the issue of corruption, Dr. Mahama said he did not need any report to determine that Ghana has become worse, saying “Ghana is one of the most corrupt and wasteful nation.”

He said as part of the measures to fight corruption, a PNC government would seperate the office of the Attorney General from the Minister of Justice and make the AG the Head of Public Prosecutions, resource all anti-corruption bodies to fight the menace.

“PNC will mandate all public service officers to fully declare and publish their assets. We’ll also ensure that directors of State Owned Enterprises will be criminally prosecuted for financial malfeasance,” he assured.

He said a PNC government would restructure the public sector to ensure that it becomes results-based.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pressure is mounting on President John Mahama to clear himself following the stunning revelation that he received a brand new 2010 model Ford Expedition vehicle as gift from a Burkinabe contractor.

The contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, sent the car gift, worth $100,000, to his friend - President Mahama - through the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has waded into the debate and asked President Mahama to return the controversial gift because according to the anti-graft body, the President’s action “breaches the state’s anti-corruption code.”

Pressure Intensified
The pressure appears to have intensified after a comment by Communications Minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, that President Mahama cannot be bribed and  the minister’s ‘incorruptible’ comment has been described as an attempt to whitewash the president in the face of obvious inducement by his contractor friend.

Curiously, Djibril Kanazoe has since been awarded juicy government contracts and was behind the construction of the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso, apart from other multi-million dollar contracts since his encounter with the president in 2010.

Two Options
The GII Executive Director, Linda Ofori Kwafo, has been speaking on the issue and said the guidelines of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), gives President Mahama two options in the matter.

“Either he gives back the 2010 Ford Expedition he received or pays the market value of the luxury vehicle,” she said on Joy FM yesterday.

Conflict Of Interest
She said that the acceptance of the gift by President Mahama is a clear case of conflict of interest, explaining that conflict of interest might be ‘potential,’ ‘apparent’ or ‘actual.’

“President John Mahama has put himself in two of these scenarios – potential and apparent,” she claimed, adding that the president, who launched a code of ethics for government officials in 2013, is fully abreast with issues of gift-taking, conflict of interest and corruption.

“President Mahama knows what gift to accept and not to accept,” she insisted. She condemned the government spokespersons and cronies who have tried to rationalize the president’s action.

Mrs Kwafo said that anti-corruption campaigners “get very worried when public officials try to explain it - depending on whom we are talking about.”

PPP Fights On
Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP), which has been leading a campaign since the journalist, Manasseh Awuni Azure of Joy FM, broke the news, to get President Mahama to come clean of the matter, has chided the Communications Minister for holding that the president is “incorruptible.”

A statement issued in Accra and signed by the party's Policy Advisor, Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, said considering that a Ford Expedition vehicle was given to President Mahama by the Burkinabe contractor, there is no way anyone will absolve him (the president) of bribery.

The PPP said the minister’s claim about the incorruptibility of President Mahama is “unsustainable,” saying “Perhaps, Dr. Omane Boamah does not appreciate the actual meaning of incorruptibility.”

Inaccurate Statement
“The purpose of this statement is to make it clear to the Minister of Communications that the circumstances of the           gift-giving and acceptance of same by President Mahama render the minister’s statement on the president’s incorruptibility inaccurate.

“The president accepted a gift that influenced the decision to award the Burkinabe native the two contracts in 2012. The President of the Republic of Ghana has taken a gift from a Burkinabe contractor under bizarre circumstances and the Minister of Communications wants Ghanaians to believe that the president is incorruptible?” the statement underscored.

Article 284
“Ghana has not commissioned our president to go around the globe accepting gifts from private individuals, contractors and friends to shore up the presidential fleet. What we have told our president is to avoid conflict of interest situations as contained in Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.

“Dr. Omane Boamah should appreciate that all bribes come in the form of a gift. Moreover, two items of the same kind and same value can be a gift or bribe, depending on the circumstances of the giver, the taker and the relationship between the giver and the taker.

“In this particular case, the relationship between the president and his Burkinabe friend constitutes a conflict of interest situation, and therefore the Ford Expedition gift is considered a bribe,” the PPP statement emphasized.

Suffering Penalty
According to the PPP, “This matter of national and international embarrassment cannot be resolved with the usual propagandist approach without the culprit suffering the penalty for it. We expect parliament to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president for this act of gross misconduct.”

The party said it had instructed its lawyers to file a complaint with the CHRAJ in accordance with Article 287 of the 1992 Constitution.

Monday, June 20, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 20, 2016

A comment by Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah that President John Mahama is ‘incorruptible’ has incensed some people who believe the president cannot be elevated to that status through propaganda.

There has been a stunning revelation that President Mahama received a brand new 2010 model Ford Expedition vehicle as a gift from a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe who had since been awarded juicy government contracts.  

As a result, many people see the minister’s ‘incorruptible’ comment as an attempt to whitewash the president in the face of obvious inducement by his contractor friend.

The Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, sent the vehicle, worth $100,000, to his friend, Mr Mahama, through the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou. 

Mr Kanazoe was behind the construction of the controversial $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso and also had other multi-million dollar contracts.

‘Incorruptible’ President
The Communications Minister, on Joy FM’s ‘Newsfile’ programme last Saturday, said that President Mahama is not a man who takes gifts meant to bribe him.

He claimed that the president had exhibited his abhorrence for any form of corruption on several occasions in the country and insisted that the Ford Expedition given to Mr. Mahama in 2012 was merely a gift, adding that “car as a gift has no way to influence” the contracts awarded the Burkinabe by the NDC government.

 “I am here this morning not to attack the work of Manasseh, the journalist who broke the news but I am here this morning to indicate that my president, your president, our president, is incorruptible and not corrupt and this mud will not stick on President John Mahama.”

Harsh Words
Law Professor, H. Kwasi Prempeh, who was on the show, was not enthused about the minister’s adulation of the president and seemed to have harsh words for the government spokesman.

He posted on social media platform - Facebook - that “A little education is dangerous, especially mixed in with pompous, undeserved power,” adding “that upstart of a trained physician-turned-petty-propagandist should stick with the issue. Making me the issue won't change the issue.

"’My president is incorruptible!, such nonsense! Wasted education!”

The law lecturer was incensed by the fact that Dr. Omane Boamah, in his submission on the explosive issue, appeared to have targeted him (Prof. Prempeh) for insisting that President Mahama might have ‘walked’ himself into a conflict of interest situation when he accepted the car gift and subsequently lined up government contracts for the Burkinabe businessman.

Prof. Prempeh had said that putting the vehicle into the presidential pool of cars as claimed by the minister is not enough to absolve the president of a potential conflict of interest and insisted that what the proceeds of a gift were used for had nothing to do with conflict of interest.

“We do not want to countenance a Robin Hood situation where you could say, 'well I took the gift but I gave it to the needy or to the poor or I donated it to Korle-Bu Hospital; we really don’t want to enter into those kinds of after-the-fact rationalizations or excuses,” he said.

“Conflict of interest rules are really rules of avoidance; you do not get yourself in that situation; the moment you walk yourself into it, it has occurred already.”

Gift Or Bribe
Prof. Prempeh said, “Conflict of interest happens when you place yourself in that position where your duty to your principal is likely to be compromised; so it has already occurred, what happens after the fact – after you have received whether you call it a gift or bribe, what you choose to do with it after the fact is really a secondary matter completely and it does not cleanse the conflict of interest.”

He said it was also immaterial whether or not the giver of the car intended to influence decisions of the president, saying “Conflict of interest does not arise on the basis of intention; we do not want to end up in mind reading games, we look at the situation.”

The law lecturer said a person in the president’s position has a duty flowing from being in that office not “to put yourself in a position where you are likely to serve the interest of somebody else above the interest of your master (Ghanaians).”

Receiving The ‘Gift’
“The fact that the president did not himself go to the border to receive the vehicle doesn’t mean anything. “Of course, the president is not going to go to the border and receive the car; he can only do this through his functionaries, his agents. So the fact that somebody else received it, the fact that it went through the Embassy, it went to through third parties or functionaries doesn't change anything, of course, that is to be expected,” he continued.

The most important thing, the law professor argued, “is that this is a person who is a contractor, on a contract with the state. The state’s interest when it engages contractors is to get the best deal possible for the country; to get the best price possible; to get the best contractor possible. So when you are placed in a situation where you have dealings with that person with whom we are negotiating on price, on terms, on quality, then our interest is adverse to that contractor. That is where the conflict of interest arises.”

International Exposure
The president’s ‘gift’ saga has been captured by international media, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) where President Mahama told journalist Peter Okwoche at a recent anti-corruption summit in London that he had never taken a bribe whether as ‘President’ or ‘human being.’

BBC Africa featured the explosive issue prominently last week when it sought to relate its interview on corruption with the president and the fact that it had been confirmed that Mr. Mahama accepted a gift which many believed amounted to conflict of interest since contracts were given to the donor.

Nduom’s PPP
Many anti-corruption campaigners, as well as some civil society organizations, have slammed President Mahama for blatantly disregarding anti-corruption guidelines in the country.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has taken on the president, asking him to step down over the $100,000 Ford Expedition gift he received from a Burkinabe contractor.
Also, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is mounting pressure on the president to come clean or face it in parliament.