Thursday, March 29, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday March 29, 2018

Former President John Dramani Mahama has given tacit support for Koku Anyidoho’s comment that they (NDC) are going to stage a coup d’état to remove democratically elected President Akufo-Addo from office.

He took to social media platform - Facebook - yesterday to indict President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for sitting unconcerned while the police harass opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters who gathered in front of the Police Headquarters in Accra on Tuesday to show solidarity with Koku Anyidoho, the party’s deputy general secretary, who is in the cooler for his treasonable comment.

 “As a party that prides itself in the non-criminalization of speech, with a self-acclaimed human rights activist as President, the arrest of K. Anyidoho with armed men in the middle of a press event, is obviously disproportionate,” Mr. Mahama fired President Akufo-Addo in a sarcastic manner, adding, “Moreso, the high-handed police response to innocent citizens waiting at the CID HQ is condemnable.”

The ex-president, who failed to secure a second term in office on December 7, 2016, also supported yesterday’s demonstration which Koku Anyidoho said was going to be used to set the tone to topple President Akufo-Addo.

Former President Mahama posted, “I join in declaring #GhanaFirst as my compatriots and other democratic forces converge to demonstrate their opposition to the Ghana/US military agreement.”

His former vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, also attended the demonstration together with almost every NDC guru in Accra.

Although the demonstration was said to have been organized by a group calling itself Ghana First Patriotic Front and the All Progressive Forces, the caliber of people in attendance showed clearly that it was an NDC agenda, using the Joint Military Cooperation Agreement as a cover-up.

Double Standards 
Mr Mahama appears to have been caught in a classic case of double standards in his criticism of President Akufo-Addo over the alleged treatment of the NDC supporters by the police.

When the case involving Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, happened in 2012 and he was charged with treason - a case which was eventually thrown out by an Accra high court - Mr. Mahama, then vice president, had urged the security agencies to deal ruthlessly with the MP.

Even when former President J.A. Kufuor counseled the government to tread cautiously with the MP’s case by not using ‘sledge hammer to kill a fly,’ then Mr Mahama responded that the NDC government “will even use a bulldozer to kill the ant whose intention is to foment trouble.”

He said on April 23, 2012 at an NDC Tertiary Education Institutions Network programme in the Ashanti Region, “The MP’s comment should not be taken lightly. The whole nation must rise up and say what he said was absolutely unacceptable. It is the silence of those who should speak for the truth that makes evil triumph.”

 In another instance, when he was president and the police brutalized members of the ‘Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVC)’ who were pushing for the compilation of new voters’ register, Mr. Mahama was silent.

Civilian Coup d’état 
In what looked like a show of bravado, Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, on Monday declared on radio that he was leading a movement to overthrow President Akufo-Addo’s government and even went to the extent of saying that the ‘uprising’ would commence on Wednesday.

He was subsequently arrested and detained for the treasonable comment.

Koku Anyidoho declared on Happy FM, “Somebody should tell Nana Addo (President Akufo-Addo) that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself. On the 13th of January, 1972, a certain Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led an insurrection that removed the Progress Party from power. Busia was the Prime Minister and Akufo-Addo’s father was the ceremonial President.

 “There will be a civilian coup d’état. There will be a social revolution. We are starting it on Wednesday. The movement is starting on Wednesday. Nana Addo will have sleepless nights. He will suffer diarrhea. He said he wanted to be president, but we will make sure he will be fed up on the seat.”


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday March 29, 2018

The demonstration sponsored primarily by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) against the Ghana/United States Military Partnership Agreement was held in Accra yesterday.

Although the organizers - Ghana First Patriotic Front - claimed it was a coalition of opposition political parties that staged the protest, almost all the participants belonged to the NDC.

Bizarrely, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, a serial demonstrator who once announced his retirement from demonstrations when the NDC was in office, came out of his so-called retirement to join the protestors.

Many observers wondered what might have motivated him to suddenly change his mind.

Earlier, Koku Anyidoho, who is a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, revealed that they would use the protest to set the tone to remove President Akufo-Addo from office through a coup d’etat.

He declared on a private radio station Happy FM in Accra last Monday that he would lead a civilian movement to overthrow Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.

The statement has landed him in trouble, as he is currently in detention awaiting a court date.

He has been charged with treason.

The demonstration started from the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle through to Adabraka Farisco.

The protestors moved towards the TUC Traffic Intersection and used the right turn to hit the High Street where they converged on the Hearts of Oak Park to listen to speeches from their leaders.

Chief Superintendent Kwasi Ofori in-charge of Accra Region of the Ghana Police Service said “we witnessed an incident-free demonstration, very orderly and we expressed our appreciation to the leadership of the demonstrators even in times of challenges as we proceeded. They also intervened and they were on our side to talk to some of the demonstrators, especially at Farisco when some wanted to go through the COCOBOD/UTC area.

The cooperation was good and we need to thank them all for their support.”

He said “the police will not object to any persons or groups who desire to hold demonstrations provided they will not lead to violence, provided they will not lead to disturbing public peace and security.”

He said “anyone that decides to do something apart from what the organizers decided will be handled as and when necessary.”
Former President John Mahama supported the demonstration on social media.

He posted,“I join in declaring #GhanaFirst as my compatriots and other democratic forces converge to demonstrate their opposition to the Ghana/US military agreement.”

Some opponents of the NDC have argued that the party held the demonstration to protest against the arrest of Koku Anyidoho and not the military deal.

A former Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who intends to lead the NDC in the 2020 presidential election, denied the accusation.

He said in a post on Facebook that “the demonstration was announced long before Koku's arrest. So the demo was and is not about Koku's arrest but the general misgovernance of Ghana leading to the Military Agreement with the USA. Joining others to see to the welfare of Koku does not imply agreement with any statement.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday March 28, 2018

The police yesterday arrested foul-mouthed opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) deputy general secretary, Koku Anyidoho, for allegedly plotting to overthrow the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. 

On Monday Mr Anyidoho, in what looked like a show of bravado, declared on radio that he was leading a movement to overthrow President Akufo-Addo’s government and even went to the extent of saying that the ‘uprising’ is commencing today (Wednesday).

The deputy general secretary, who was subsequently arrested and detained, has been charged with treason.

“Somebody should tell Nana Addo (President Akufo-Addo) that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself,” he boasted on Happy FM, adding, “On the 13th of January, 1972, a certain Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led an insurrection that removed the Progress Party from power. Busia was the Prime Minister and Akufo-Addo’s father was the ceremonial President.”

Civilian Coup d’état 
He proclaimed, “There will be a civilian coup d’état. There will be a social revolution. We are starting it on Wednesday. The movement is starting on Wednesday. Nana Addo will have sleepless nights. He will suffer diarrhea. He said he wanted to be president, but we will make sure he will be fed up on the seat.”

When the host drew his attention to the fact that he was entering into a ‘dangerous arena’ with his comments, Koku Anyidoho insisted, “History has a way of repeating itself. There will be a civil revolt, there will be a people’s movement!”

Treasonable Act 
The comments sparked heated debate on radio and other social media platforms where some condemned him outright whilst others even called for his immediate arrest and prosecution.

Press Conference 
He appeared to have gone into hiding after the comment when it became apparent that the security agencies were on his heels.

In a dramatic fashion, he resurfaced at the International Press Centre in Accra - which is not too far from the Police Headquarters - to hold a press conference on the Ghana/United States Military Cooperation Agreement that was ratified by parliament last Friday.

The media announcement, which was signed by Koku Anyidoho on behalf of a group he called All Progressive Forces, read, “All Progressive Forces in Ghana shall gather at the International Press Center, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 11am, to engage the press in relation to the impending massive demonstration on Wednesday, as regards President Akufo-Addo and his NPP MPs’ despicable attempt to sell off Ghana’s independence and dignity to Donald Trump’s Shithole American interest. Come one; come all!”

Press Centre Drama 
The police was almost swerved on the whereabouts of Koku Anyidoho in the initial stages when some NDC sympathizers created the impression that the press conference being held to denounce the Military Cooperation Agreement was going to take place at the Freedom Centre at Kokomlemle, Accra, where the NDC elements often plan their demonstrations.

The police, some in plain clothes, then stormed the press centre but waited for Anyidoho and his gang to finish their address to the media and then pounced on him.

Initially, he sat in the police vehicle but changed his mind and said he was going to walk with the policemen to the CID headquarters.

The police obliged and followed him in the company of some opposition elements to the headquarters.

Notable among those who accompanied him were NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, who was wearing a green and white smock and the People’s National Convention (PNC) Chairman, Bernard Mornah - who was recently detained by the police for leading some Togolese opposition elements to demonstrate in Accra without permit.

Earlier Comments 
 DAILY GUIDE understands that Koku Anyidoho started his treasonable comments last Friday when parliament was considering the Joint Military Cooperation Agreement.

He had served notice on radio during recess that it would be in the interest of President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government not to ratify the agreement and added that if that happened, they were going to make Ghana ungovernable.

Mosquito’s Version 
Even the party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia (Gen Mosquito) appeared to have endorsed Koku Anyidoho’s comments last Friday when he tried to link it to the political situation in neighbouring Togo.

He had said specifically that when there were political disturbances in Togo that government brought in French troops, who he claimed are still in that country, and as a result of their presence, the opposition parties are not able to remove President Faure Gnassingbé and his government from office.

Gen Mosquito said the French troops were in Togo because of the military pact that country has with France and implied that if Ghana signs a similar thing with the US, it might make it difficult for adventurists to remove the government here.

NDC Gurus 
Later, NDC Chairman Kofi Portuphy stormed the police headquarters to show solidarity with Koku Anyidoho.

Betty Mould-Iddrisu, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice under whose tenure Alfred Agbesi Woyome was allowed to cash GH¢51.2 million for no work done per the declaration of the Supreme Court, as well as Felix Kwakye Ofosu, former deputy minister who is noted for his verbal attacks on President Akufo-Addo, were there to also lend their support.

Koku was later sent to his house by the police to search the place.

Scores of NDC supporters had partially blocked the Osu-Ring Road in front of the police headquarters, despite the presence of heavily armed police personnel.

As a result, there was heavy traffic on the route from Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Osu.

CID Boss
Later, CID Director General, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah, confirmed the arrest of Koku Anyidoho to DAILY GUIDE and said he was going to be “interrogated.”
She underscored, “We have to find out. Maybe, somebody is planning something evil. We will analyse and assess his statements and make sure that the citizens of this country are protected.”

Gov’t Reacts 
Meanwhile, the government has condemned Koku Anyidoho’s “treasonable” comments, saying it is worrying that the NDC is reluctant to condemn its member.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, Information Minister, said, “We find the NDC’s reluctance to condemn Anyidoho as particularly disturbing because Anyidoho alleged that ‘the coup’ is starting on Wednesday,’ and we know that the demonstration on Wednesday has the full endorsement of the NDC.

“It is, therefore, important that the NDC demonstrates its commitment to democratic governance by showing that the Wednesday demonstration is not a smokescreen for fomenting insurrection as Anyidoho claims.”

The statement assured the public that the government “will take appropriate steps within the bounds of the law to protect the security of the state.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday March 27, 2018

The Defence Cooperation Agreements between the governments of the United States and Ghana signed during the regime of the now opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 1998 and 2015 are to be tabled before parliament for ratification.

According to Information Minister, Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, the move has become necessary because the implementation of the new agreement approved by parliament only last Friday is going to delay somehow due to some paper works.

The whole US-Ghana Military partnership was introduced during the NDC administration in 1998 when Jerry John Rawlings was the president and enhanced in 2015 during the time of President John Dramani Mahama.

However, in opposition, the NDC gurus have been going against deals they signed with the same country on the same subject-matter, and in the process caused mayhem in parliament last Friday.
The deal has become a heated public debate because President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government decided to be transparent with the people of Ghana by sending the deal to parliament for ratification.

Illegal Operation 
Yesterday, the information minister told DAILY GUIDE that the ongoing Joint Military Cooperation between the governments of Ghana and the United States is illegal.

This, according to him, is because the 1998 and 2015 agreements were both done without recourse to parliament and therefore has no legal backing per the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the GITMO 2 saga.

Although the 2018 agreement ratified is supposed to supersede both the 1998 and 2015 NDC agreements, Dr. Hamid explained, “There are some steps to take before the agreement becomes functional.”

Interim Measure
In the interim, he said the government is sending the two previous agreements (1998 & 2015) to parliament for ratification so that the joint military activities will be bound by the laws of Ghana.

“Many people have raised concerns that until the 2018 agreement comes into effect, what it means basically is that we are operating under an arrangement that is illegal,” the minister said in Accra yesterday, adding, “In other words, the 2015 agreement was signed without recourse to parliament and of course, since it is an international agreement and per the GITMO 2 ruling by the Supreme Court, it will mean that we would have to take the 1998 and 2015 agreements to parliament for approval before they can become binding.”

Complex Process 
He posited, “Now that parliament has approved the draft agreement for our relationship with the US and its army, what is left basically are two steps towards making the agreement functional. In other words, there are two more steps that we need to take in order to trigger the agreement and bring it into effect.”

Dr Hamid said, “First of all, the two countries have to exchange what the diplomats call Note Verballes. These diplomatic correspondences that will give effect to the agreement.”

Implementation Committees 
He underscored, “Even beyond the Note Verballes, the two countries have to set up implementation committees that will guide the operation and implementation of the agreement.

“In the meantime, the current arrangement by which we are in a military relationship with the US is the 2015 Agreement that the previous government signed with the US. That is what guides the current joint military exercises and the military cooperation.

 “Everything that we are doing currently with the US army is under the auspices and the ambit of the 2015 and even the 1998 agreements. That is what we will continue to operate until we have completed the processes for triggering the 2018 agreement.”

Curing Defect 
The minister indicated, “We intend to cure that defect by taking the 1998 and 2015 agreements to parliament for them to give us ratification so that we will continue to operate under these current arrangements that we have until we have completed the processes for triggering the 2018 agreement parliament approved.”

Ongoing Exercises
According to the information minister, “The Minister for Defence has told me that there are currently ongoing military exercises. 

He calls it ‘Operation Obangbami,’ which Ghana Armed Forces is undertaking right now with the United States Army. It is being done under the 2015 agreement. He also tells me that in the next two or three months there will be another joint exercise between the armies of the two countries. That also is being done under the 2015 agreement.”

Exercises In Danger 
Dr Mustapha Hamid noted, “So we are actually really in danger of not having these exercises go on because really, if somebody was to go to the Supreme Court to say that we are operating under an arrangement that was not ratified by parliament, I guess that we would have fallen foul of the law.

“We are going to take the 1998 and the 2015 agreements to parliament immediately to get parliament to give us ratifications and then we can continue to operate those ones legally whilst we wait for the completion of the process that will trigger into effect the 2018 agreement we have just ratified before these ones would then lapse.”

Recalling Parliament
The minister said that “if it means doing that we would have to recall parliament because my understanding is that parliament is coming back in May/June thereof and so we have to recall the house so that whatever arrangements that we have with the US army are legalized.

“The minister for defence has already said that we are where we are because of having gone through the motions for over a year now so it will take quite a while for us to get the 2018 agreement into effect...”


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday March 27, 2018

The Tema District Council of Maritime Dockworkers Union (MDU) is on collision course with a private company that is operating at the Tema Port.

Members of the Union have accused MOL Ghana/One Group and its Managing Director Michael Cooper of violating the country’s labour laws with impunity.

A strongly worded letter issued in Tema and jointly signed by Sawla Abudu Nelso and Ebenezer Kwadwo Taylor, Tema Council MDU Chairperson and Secretary respectively with copies to the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Trades Union Congress, among others, claimed the private company was in the business of ‘unfair practices, intimidation and threats of workers.”

According to the union, the private company has instituted what it called “un-negotiated inhumane working conditions, in clear violation of the labour laws, saying “it has brought unfriendly working conditions, arbitrary dismissals which are recipe for industrial unrest.”

Making direct reference to Mr Cooper, the council alleged “when you took over as the MD of MOL, you started threatening, intimidating to cow workers and union executives so that you can have your own way in doing things contrary to the labour laws of Ghana.”

According to the union’s leadership, “When the MOL union executives intervened to bring you (Mr. Cooper) on track, the best you could do was to dismiss them arbitrarily without any apparent reason.”

They claimed without any recourse to ILO Convention 98, 87 and Ghana’s Constitution, the MD “arbitrarily threw away the already existing working conditions which had been negotiated and agreed upon by MDU and MOL Management and replaced them with your own inhumane worker-unfriendly conditions of service, which is not even negotiated.

“If you do not know, we are bringing it to your notice that the maritime industry is a very sensitive sector of the economy, and we have painstakingly ensured continuous industrial harmonious peaceful working atmosphere for the past decades. We would not sit down for anybody, whether inadvertently or intentionally- to try and distabilise this industrial peace the sector has been enjoying.”

As a result, the council called on the MD to respect the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MDU and MOL and reinstate four workers he arbitrarily dismissed or face their wrath.

“We reserve the right to converge for our general meeting to take the next line of action,” they said, adding that “any industrial unrest within the maritime industry would be the responsibility and liability of you should the otherwise happen.”

Monday, March 26, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday March 26, 2018

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been exposed over the Defence Cooperation Agreement between the governments of the United States and Ghana, which was finally ratified by Parliament last Friday amid tension in the house.

Two earlier defence agreements between the US and Ghana in 1998 and 2015 respectively have impugned the NDC’s integrity in the raging polemic over the subject.

The whole US-Ghana Military partnership was introduced during the same NDC administration in 1998 and enhanced in 2015.
But in opposition, they (NDC) have been going against deals they signed with the same country on the same subject-matter.

In all the two agreements the NDC signed with the Clinton and Obama administrations respectively, the Rawlings and Mahama administrations did not even send the agreements to Parliament for consideration.

However, it has become a heated public debate because the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government decided to be transparent with the people of Ghana by sending the deal to parliament for approval.

In the April 28, 2015 agreement, it was then Foreign Minister, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, who signed on behalf of the people of Ghana in faraway Stuttgart, Germany, but a careful perusal of the document does not look like the Ministry of Defense, under whose mandate the whole operation is supposed to run was even involved.

Expert’s View 
According to Prof Yaw Gyampo of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, “In all the three agreements (1998, 2015 and 2018), there are, to my mind, certain worrying provisions that allows US army to come to Ghana, occupy and control some places that they alone can access and control, bring in heavy military accoutrement that our own security agencies can’t inspect, grant the US tax free incentives to import their ammunitions to the country, permit the US to operate their equipment and drive them on our roads without license, and create a situation that places the US army in Ghana virtually above our laws.”

He said that “in the first two agreements, there were no independent means of knowing what the US were doing in Ghana. The current agreement doesn't depart from this challenge. So, regulating US activities under the agreement is difficult.”
He, however, commended Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul “for tabling the agreement before parliament,”
He urged him not to be dismissive of suggestions and overly defensive of the agreement.

NDC Denials
It was not surprising that James Agalga, NDC MP for Builsa North in the Upper East Region, who is also Minority Spokesperson on Defence and Interior reportedly said that they did not know such an agreement was signed in 2015.

The agreement, according to Mr. Nitiwul, will enable the two countries share intelligence, particularly in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crimes in order to protect their respective interests.

According to Mr Nitiwul, the United States was seeking an understanding of the status of their troops who come to the country to train Ghanaian soldiers and vice versa and through that the move was actualized.

Committee Level 
Two committees namely- Defence and Interior, as well as Constitutional and Legal Affairs, were asked to scrutinize the agreement before passing it to a vote on the floor of the house,
At the end of the joint committee sitting, DAILY GUIDE gathered that 13 opposition NDC MPs okayed the agreement while the ruling NPP had 10 MPs endorsing the deal.

Strangely, before the debate leading to the ratification of the agreement was held, almost every NDC national executive together with NDC political allies and some known activists fronting for other parties, had stormed the floor of Parliament to encourage their MPs to disrupt the whole process.

They were all clad in red armbands and tried to make things difficult for the Speaker of Parliament.

Weird Interpretations 
There have been all sorts of weird interpretation by the NDC since the agreement hit parliament.

NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, claims there is the possibility of terrorist attacks if Ghana accepts the American soldiers.

He said the NDC would abrogate the deal if it returns to power.
Mr Agalga, on the other hand, said the US could bring in nuclear weapons if the deal goes ahead.

Striking difference 
The striking difference in the NPP’s agreement and the two previous agreements signed by the NDC (1998 and 2015) with the Americans is that in the instant case, the agreement can be nullified at anytime without even giving reasons if the government thinks it is not in favour of the people of Ghana.

An expert said “once a letter is written to this effect, the agreement terminates within one year.”

The scope of the agreement does not also mandate the US to establish a military base, as claimed by the opposition NDC and its cheerleaders.


By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday March 24, 2018

Former President John Dramani Mahama has thrown a challenge to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to arrest and prosecute him, if indeed he (Mahama) amassed wealth and acquired property during his tenure as president.

A fired-up Mr Mahama said the government could go ahead to take over his alleged hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, if indeed, he owns such a facility.

The former president also said that he had been accused of owning ships in Tokyo, Japan and wondered what the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was waiting for before taking action against him.

The former president is said to have acquired several properties, especially in Dubai, as well as in Ghana, where cronies were said to have been used to acquire those properties.

One of such properties the former president has been linked to is the Homes Chain gated estate where he was residing lately. 

Addressing opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists in London, United Kingdom, Mr. Mahama put pressure on the NPP government to prove that he is corrupt, adding that all the allegations against him were baseless.

He also boasted that he ran an incorruptible government.
The ex-president asserted that the NPP government is in the business of manufacturing all kinds of allegations against him and the people who served under him.

Already, some of his appointees have been caught in the corruption web and facing prosecution in court.
Mr Mahama had advised NDC supporters to storm the court in solidarity with the accused appointees.

NDC’s Track Record
 “I've always told the NDC that we should hold our heads high; let's not be ashamed of our records like we did nothing,” he said, adding, “They say there was massive corruption, massive corruption where? They just kept manufacturing it and repeating it all the time.

“Go ahead and prosecute, we’ve told them. If I have done wrong prosecute me. They talk about hotels in Dubai, seize them, you’re in office. They talk about ships in Tokyo, go and take over them; I mean they talk about all kinds of lies and they kept on repeating them and people thought such things exist.”

Initial Challenge 
This is not the first time Mr Mahama is throwing a challenge to President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government to take him and his appointees on, if indeed, they stole from the public purse.

At one of the NDC’s so-called ‘unity walks’ held in Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region in January, the former president had dared the NPP government to arrest him and his wife, Lordina, if the government believes they were in any way involved in the DKM Microfinance Company scandal that rocked the region and other places.

Thousands of customers of DKM Microfinance lost their investments, running into millions of Ghana cedis, after the owners of the company had allegedly squandered the investments of customers.

The unfortunate incident forced a number of people out of business while some even reportedly committed suicide.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) subsequently stepped in and declared the company bankrupt before confiscating its assets and appointing the Registrar General to commence a liquidation process to refund the customers’ investments in 2016.

Political Topic 
It became a heated political topic in the run-up to the 2016 general elections, which Mr Mahama lost miserably, dashing his hope of securing a second term in office and thereby making him the first sitting president in Ghana’s political history to be defeated overwhelmingly by an opposition leader.

“When the DKM issue came up, the NPP accused my wife and me of owning that company. So they said when they come into power, they will retrieve the money from us and give it back to those it was taken from. By God’s grace today, they are now in power. I challenge them to investigate the ownership of DKM. If DKM is owned by my wife and me, arrest us; but they are now very quiet,” he had fired.

He added, “For lies, if you tell one, you have to keep telling lies to save yourself. It is said that you can lie to win power but you can’t govern a nation with lies,” he added.


A feature by William Yaw Owusu
Saturday March 24, 2018

The National Accreditation Board (NAB) was established in 1993 with the enactment of PNDCL 317, 1993. The legislation has since been replaced by the National Accreditation Board Act, 2007, Act 744. The board is mandated to accredit both public and private (tertiary) institutions with regard to the contents and standards of their programmes.

The NAB also determines, in consultation with the appropriate institution or body, the programme and requirements for the proper operation of that institution and the maintenance of acceptable levels of academic or professional standards; determine the equivalences of diplomas, certificates and other qualifications awarded by institutions in Ghana or elsewhere.

General Mandate
They also have the mandate to publish as it considers appropriate the list of accredited public and private institutions at the beginning of the calendar year and also advises the president on the grant of a charter to a private tertiary institution.

They perform any other functions determined by the minister.

Fake Degrees
Apart from having to perform these tasks albeit under financial constraints, the NAB is faced with the rising cases of academic fraud, which is fast putting a dent on the academic integrity of the nation.

Issues about academic fraud are complex in nature, admits the Executive Secretary of NAB, Kwame Dattey, and needs time and resources to fight the menace plaguing the academia of late.

 “We have come a long way. When you start an institution, you are not very strict in the initial stages. We encourage them to improve on standards and as the institutions increase you tend to tighten the regulations,” Mr Dattey says.

Through its executive secretary, the NAB has become alarmed that there is upsurge in the rate at which some Ghanaians are receiving degrees from questionable online institutions of higher learning, all within a short period.

Such cases, Mr Dattey tells DAILY GUIDE, are prevalent at the PhD level.

It is common knowledge that a PhD is a globally recognised postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities and higher education institutions to a candidate who has submitted a thesis or dissertation, based on extensive and original research in their chosen field and it normally takes a minimum two years with no maximum limit to complete.

Nicaragua Link
“It is not that we don’t have institutions that offer PhD programmes,” he says, “why are people suddenly doing online masters programmes? Why are they drifting to places like Nicaragua and others?”

This SMC thing that came into the papers sometime ago, people go there they say they do Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) then they say they have arrangement with Nicaragua so they do eight months and they award them a PhD so they have DBA, a PhD, so they are talking all over the place,” Mr Dattey mentions.

“If somebody is doing PhD in Cape Coast, he can even identify somebody in Legon (University of Ghana) who is also in the area and form a supervisory team. They can be supervised so why are they going to enroll online?”

He confirms, “I am doing my PhD in Groningen, the Netherlands. They know me and can identify my handwriting. I cannot get anybody to write for me but people sit here and say I am Dr this and I have got this and that,” adding, “There is too much academic fraud in the system.”

Mr Dattey adds that “I am sending a paper to the board. We should come out clearly and say that these institutions we don’t recognise them and let’s see what people will do. Why are they going there? Why online?”

Unaccredited Institutions
The executive secretary points out that a lot of people have acquired qualifications from unaccredited institutions and are holding ‘sensitive positions’ in the country.

“Sometime, some of them try to claim that in the United States, for instance, accreditation is not compulsory but what they do not say is that if your institution is not accredited by the recognised accrediting body, your students will never get federal or state funding of the government, when we are here, they think we don’t know what is happening there so they come here trying to push those things to us,” he cites.

Qualifications Board
He says he is in favour of what he called “a qualifications board” that will vet candidates, especially in the public sector with fraudulent academic credentials.

Mr Dattey mentions that the NAB has been assisting state institutions like the Public Services Commission (PSC) to investigate the academic backgrounds of people appointed to serve the public.

“The strength of South Africa over us is that any public officer who wants to work anywhere must have their credentials checked by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), which is equivalent to NAB’s evaluations in Ghana,” he points out.

Private Universities
There are many private tertiary institutions operating in the country at the moment and the NAB says it has indentified two major problems confronting them currently.

Mr Dattey hints that one of them problems is the over-reliance on school fees without any proper alternative sources of funding by these institutions.

“One of the problems that greatly affected the private tertiary institutions is that most of them relied heavily on funds from foreign students, especially the Nigerians. There are instabilities in the Nigerian tertiary education sector. The lecturers are constantly on strike. When you enroll you never know when you will complete. So most of them during the oil boom sent their children abroad and when Ghana liberalised, they said the Ghanaian system was better and cheaper and starting looking here,” he disclosed.

“I was at a congregation at Kumasi once and the hotel I booked was full of parents from Nigeria coming to support their children who were graduating. However, the Nigerians started facing economic problems when their current government started tightening the financial rules. There were foreign exchange problems so they stopped transfers for education and those things.

Instabilities are still there. Their people would wish to come here but how to transfer the money to come and pay in Ghana is the problem and that has greatly affected those who fell so much on the Nigerian students to support,” the NAB executive secretary states.

He says Ashesi University has built a model in the area of alternative funding that is worthy of emulation by other institutions.

Mr Dattey further says the private universities are struggling of late because their public counterparts are appearing to ‘relax’ in mentoring them and rather turning around to give them stiff competition.

“The state-funded tertiary institutions are opening distance learning centres so the same institutions they are supposed to mentor in the area of affiliation are now competing with the private sector.

The unbridled nature of opening distance learning centres by the public universities is affecting the private ones. They are doing it without reference to the owners of those institutions which is the state and it is affecting the growth and development of private institutions,” he says.

Billing Issues
There have been concerns about NAB’s high charges for services rendered but the executive secretary disagrees.
“For about three or four years now, apart from our salaries, NAB has been footing all the bills by itself through what we call cost-recovery. The institutions submit their programmes and then we give them a bill because the people going to do the assessment have to be paid. We have to put fuel in the vehicles which will go around, pay their hotel bills. All those things are paid by NAB,” Mr Dattey reveals.

“Let’s do a small analysis,” he says, “for a programme we charge GH¢6,000. The law says we should constitute a panel of between three and eight and these are experts who are supposed to charge higher and end up being paid something small. To me, they are doing national service,” the NAB executive secretary adds.

“Sometimes I even feel pity for them. It is like they are doing a national duty. One of them complain to me that he is driving a SUV vehicle, he comes to park his car and we put four of them in a land cruiser and they are going to say Tamale to do assessment. When they come, we pay a GH¢1,000 minus tax. It means if they are three we pay them GH¢3,000.

When we are sending experts to go out we send out the quality ones yet pay them less. If we compromise on quality we will be doing the country a great harm. In fact, if the experts we select consider what we give them, then they will go to do their private consultancy works. However, for the sake of the country they are helping use almost for free,” he points out.

NAB Improvisation
“If we say we want to raise the charge, the same stakeholders will be complaining but they don’t know how we suffer to make things happen. We are improvising to survive. We have a lot of constraints,” Mr Dattey discloses.

He says the law does not appear to be on the side of NAB when it comes to enforcement of the rules to the letter and wants the authorities “to have a second look at the law so that we can tighten the legal framework.”

“All that we can do for now is to revoke the accreditation of those we have already given accreditation to. If we tighten the legal framework, there won’t be mushrooming of unaccredited tertiary institutions. People don’t seem to appreciate what we are doing. Whenever it comes to blame, we are criticised but nobody comes to find out what do we do and how are we doing it?” Mr Dattey indicates.

As it is, there is huge responsibility on the shoulders of NAB to ensure the regulatory regime is tightened to preserve the country’s academic integrity but the regulator can do nothing if it continues to be frustrated through government funding and the absence of stringent laws recommending stiffer punishments.