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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI) has outlined a week-long activities to mark the 54th African Union (AU) Day, on the theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth”.     Activities to mark the Day, which falls on Thursday, May 25, include a Health Walk from the premises of MoFARI, on Saturday 20, through the Liberation Road to the Flagstaff House and back to the MoFARI through the Switchback Road, Civil Aviation Social Centre and the Airport Round About.     There would also be a What Do You Know Quiz Programme in the studios of Ghana Television on Sunday, May 21, and sustained Media Engagement on the celebration through radio and television talk-show from Monday, 22 to Wednesday, 24 May.    The events would culminate in a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Fore Court of the State House on the morning of May 25, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.     The curtain would be drawn on the celebration with a cocktail reception in the evening of Thursday, May 25, at the Accra International Conference Centre, where the Africa Diplomatic Corps is invited to come along with their country dishes to share with all participants.     The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the AU, was founded on May 25, 1960, in Addis Baba, Ethiopia.     Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was  a pillar as one of the Founding Fathers of the OAU, which was formed in the week of the collective quest by African leaders, at the time, to work together in seeking the political emancipation of the African continent from the shackles of colonialism and the ills of imperialism.     Mr Mohammed Habibu Tijani, Deputy Minister, MoFARI, speaking at a media launch of the event, said the celebration of the AU’s 54th Anniversary would afford member countries the opportunity to take stock of the achievements and failures of the Organisation.     He said the OAU was a very bold and successful initiative by African leaders in response to the aspirations of the African people to achieve their quest for self-self governance.   “In championing the cause to totally liberate the Continent from the shackles of colonialism, the Body has encountered huge challenges to state formation and nation building that found expression in various conflicts on the Continent,” he stated.   “Africa has also had its fair share of the ills of dictatorships and bad governance that have not augured well for the attainment of the progress desired by the Continent.     “Subsequently, the African Union was formed in July 2001, with a shift in focus from political to socio-economic emancipation of the African Continent.   “In all this, it has always been underscored that the conditions of peace, security, democracy, and good governance are the fundamental requirements for successfully pursuing the new vision for the socio-economic renewal of the African Continent.”      Mr Tijani explained that these reflections towards achieving the Pan-African vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing dynamic force in the global arena”, culminated in the adoption of the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and its flagship programme the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the early 2000.   He said these initiatives were meant to foster democracy and good governance as well as deepen regional cooperation and integration on the African Continent.     “Subsequently and during the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU in 2013, African leaders adopted a solemn declaration in agenda 2063, which is a set priority areas for the development of the Continent over a 50 year-horizon”.     He urged Ghanaians to be conscious of this fact in order to avail themselves of the mindset and interventions necessary to actualise the collective vision of the OAU/AU in their lives.     Mr Francis Albert Yankey, the Chief Director, MoFARI, said over the past 54 years, the AU, despite its shortcomings, had chalked some successes such as the promotion of continental integration , peace and security.   Source: GNA
Some motorists (tipper truck drivers) at Ashalaja in the Ga South Municipality are up in arms against the chief in the area. They have accused the  said chief Nii Solomon Obendey, whose stool name was Nii Akwanor IV,  of scheming some youth in the area to extort monies from them. According to the drivers, they are charged between GHc 30 and GHc 50 before they are allowed to use the metal bridge and when they wind sand in the locality. One of the affected drivers speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem’s Nhyiraba Kwabena Asirifi said, the boys burst their tires, crash their windscreens when they decline to pay the charges. He told the reporter that, although they have reported the incident to the police and district assembly, nothing has been about it. Meanwhile, the chief has refuted the claims stressing that he only charge GHc10 which he revealed goes into developing the locality. In a related develop the poor network in the area is affecting residents in the area. Poor drainage system is also part of their concerns as the area floods when it rains.        
The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul has ordered an immediate investigation into the cost of a new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp valued at $6 million. The Minister after a tour of some military installations in Accra described the figure as outrageous hence the need to investigate and review the cost.   According to him, government will review most of the Public-Private Partnerships, such as the cemetery, put in place by the previous administration. “I am also reviewing some of the PPP [Public-Private Partnerships] projects undertaken by the previous government because clearly, there were problems with them. I am not satisfied with some of them. I have asked them to redo it, like the cemetery,” the Minister said. “I think the cost [of the cemetary] is too much. It is $6 million. It is outrageous and I will look critically into it. I have already asked them to start an immediate investigation into it. At least we can save something to put into the accommodation for our troops.”  The cemetery is being constructed as an alternative to the Osu Military Cemetery, due to  its  limited graveyard space.      
Award winning investigate journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas says his latest piece which he has described as the most challenging will expose some 60 bad people in the country. According to him, these individuals are going to be jailed for their actions. The journalist gave the hint while speaking at the Third Lecture Series of the 60th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana on the theme; “Vandalism and Democracy”. Anas Aremeyaw Anas who was retained as the Most Influential Young Ghanaian for 2016 in a ranking poll organised by the reputed rating establishment Avance Media, said, “And now about the most challenging work that I’ve done, as I speak to you now I’ve some 60 people and I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do but it is there. It is coming and none of the 60 people have done anything good for Ghana.’’ He was responding to a question posed to him about the most challenging work he has ever done.   But Anas did not state categorically when the video will be released and the crime the 60 people have committed.   Anas has won critical acclaim for his work advocating for basic human rights such as the right to not be held in human slavery or servitude and for his work exposing corruption. His investigative works have won him worldwide acclaim, including President Barack Obama highlighting his virtues in a speech during a 2009 visit to Ghana: "An independent press. In September 2015, the CEO of Tiger Eye PI exposed corruption in the judiciary where some lower and higher court judges were dismissed.   About twenty of the Magistrate and Circuit Court judges implicated in the judicial scandal were removed from office following the expose by Anas.    
Popular radio and television relationship counsellor, Reverend George Lutterodt, says there is a lot of bad sexual lifestyle in marriages now.   Mr Lutterodt in an interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the level of bad sexual intercourse encountered in marriages today is due to the lack of sex education. Christians he noted are the majority of people suffering from bad sexual life in their marriages. The Church he added, lacks understanding of marriage and takes people through their own biblical understanding of marriage and that has affected a lot of marriages today. ‘’Marriage is not a Church affair, but a family affair,’’ he said. He was responding to an advocacy by a man of God that, would be couple should have sex before marriage.   Apostle Dr. Owusu Kwakye, who is the founder and General Overseer of Christ Powerful Church in Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region, said the high rate of divorce that has rocked Christian marriages was due to the inability of either the man or woman to satisfy their partners in bed. According to the Today’s Newspaper, the man of God said: “Having sex before marriage is no big deal but some pastors have made it sinful. I see all of them as hypocrites.’’ But responding to the colleague man of God, Counsellor Lutterodt, disagreed with him insisting, sex before marriage is not biblical. He was however quick to add, the rate of divorce in Christian marriages could also be blamed on bad sexual life in marriages today. According to him, the mind-set of men and women in marriage varies and the man usually marry because of sex. ‘’Making of babies is not part of the reasons why men marry but women are the ones who are so keen with making babies in marriages.’’ He said, in the sexual psychology of a man, we know that no woman is the same when it comes to the act of sexual intercourse especially when it comes to the sexual reproductive organ, but in the sexual orientation of women, all men are the same.’’ ‘’And so when a man meets a woman sexually, he knows that Adjoa and Veronica are different but the woman would want to experience the same sexual encounter he had with Kojo when she meets Kwame,’’ he added.        
Controversial relationship coach, Reverend George Lutterodt has asserted that majority of Christians are Masturbating virgins. The counsellor who generates controversy with his position on relationship and marital issues classified virginity under categories when he granted an interview to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm. Under the categories, the man of God gave three types of virgins namely: infant virgins, remedial virgins (Christians who usually have sex occasionally due to their Christian teachings) and masturbating virgins. ‘’We have masturbating virgins and per a research I conducted last year, Christians are in that range more than anyone else in the sense that, they do not want to have sex with anyone but masturbate to satisfy their sexual desire. These people cannot describe themselves as virgins because they derive the same pleasure like people who have sex.’’ Mr. Lutterodt posited,  it will be like a curse when you marry such people. This is because nothing can pleasure them like the items they inserted into their parts. He further slammed people who buy sex toys for their wives describing them as fools. ‘’If you are a woman married to a man abroad and he has purchased a sex toy for you so you satisfy your sex desires with the aim of preventing you from committing adultery, he is a fool. Any man who ask you to engage in Skype sex is a fool and does not respect you. We need to respect women and it doesn’t take you anything to spend your last dime to come and visit your wife than to put her in the context of a sex machine.’’ He stressed that, women becomes addicted to sex toys and are not satisfied with men and so, masturbating virgins  enjoys marrying men abroad so they can gratify themselves with the sex toys. ''People are really suffering in bed. This is because they have engaged in bad sexual life like this.''        
The Ashanti Regional State Attorney did not err in her decision to drop charges against members of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) group, Delta Force, without consulting the Attorney General, Martin Amidu, a former Attorney General Martin Amidu has said.   In an article, Martin Amidu argued that the State Attorney was not bound to refer the decision to the Attorney General before coming to any conclusions.         Find below Mr. Amidu’s article THE LEGAL ADVICE ON THE 8 ALLEGED DELTA FORCE MEMBERS IS UNASSAILABLE: BY MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU I have had the privilege of reading the legal advice tendered by the Ashanti Regional Office of the Attorney General to the Ghana Police Service, Kumasi, in the case of R v Mensah Azer & 7 Others, popularly known as the 8 Delta Members Case. The advice is exceptional in the manner it states the facts of the case, and the evidence as disclosed upon the perusal of the police docket, and the legal opinion based on the facts and evidence on the docket. The Ashanti Regional Office of the Attorney General did an excellent job expected of professional prosecuting attorneys in setting forth the legal advice in such a way that anybody wishing to replicate the methodology to find out whether or not the conclusions are valid may do so. As professional lawyers representing the Attorney General they were perfectly within their delegated authority under the constitution and the laws of Ghana to have arrived at the conclusions they did based, as it were, on the docket presented to them by the Ghana Police Service/CID. Accordingly the conclusion that: “I therefore advise that the charges of DISTURBANCE OF COURT AND RESISTING ARREST & RESCUE against the suspects must be dropped for lack of evidence to prosecute” is unassailable on the facts and the evidence. The offences with which the suspects were charged are not one of those cases in which standing instructions have been given to the regional offices of the Attorney-General to refer dockets to the Head Office for concurrence before the issuance of legal advice to the police. The Ashanti Regional Office was therefore perfectly within the exercise of its prosecutorial discretion to deal with the case without further reference to the Attorney General in Accra. I have been the only Deputy Attorney General under the PNDC Government, and also the only Deputy Attorney General under the eight year term of the NDC1 & 2 Governments that terminated on 7th January 2001. I was also an Attorney General under the NDC 3 Government for some time. My experience and learning is that the regional offices of the Attorney General’s Department are by convention to be headed by Chief State Attorneys (or such other senior Attorneys as are available having regard to the manpower situation of the department) who exercise and supervise the exercise of the powers of the Attorney General in the region. The prosecutorial powers of the Attorney General are of quasi-judicial nature exercisable in accordance with strict legal principles. While the Attorney General may persuade a professional attorney in her department to change his or her view of the law and the evidence based on superior legal reasoning and persuasion, it is professional misconduct on the part of any Attorney General to compel an attorney to doctor his legal opinion to concur with that of the Attorney General. What any Attorney General can do when he or she disagrees with the opinion of her professional staff is to recall the docket from the attorney and assign it to another lawyer willing to agree with her or to take over the docket herself and prosecute it. Consequently, the impression that the regional office of the Attorney General’s Department had to have recourse to the Attorney General simply because the suspects were alleged to be members of the New Patriotic Party is dangerous for our democracy, the rule of law and the prosecutorial discretion delegated by the Attorney General to each of her prosecuting attorneys and particularly her regional representatives. The Chief State Attorney heading the Ashanti Regional office has been the most senior prosecuting attorney in the Attorney General’s office since the retirement of the late Ms. Aikins as the Director of Public Prosecutions during my tenure in 2011 and must have approved the legal advice which is unassailable professionally. The contention that because a suspected crime involves members of a political party in power the Attorney General must for that reason alone personally see the docket before professional attorneys advise on it is discriminatory against other citizens. This is because political and other considerations may ultimately substitute themselves for legal considerations. National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party members must be subject to the same standards of prosecutorial decision making as any ordinary person suspected of the commission of crime. What the advice proffered by the Ashanti Regional office of the Attorney General demonstrates is the importance of the presumption of innocence. Six of the eight alleged Delta Force members have stated that they are not members of the NPP and did not take part in the alleged crime. Two of the eight admitted that they are NPP members but they were not part of the group that committed the offences for which they were charged. The Complainant was a police officer who was not even present at the scene of the offence. The two police witnesses who made written statements could not identify any of the suspects as a participant in the crime. Is it the fault of the suspects that the police could not produce a better docket implicating them? Not at all! But the party of national democracy (the NDC) nonetheless wanted the attorneys to have presumed the suspects guilty and charged them for court without any evidence. This is the very attitude of political interference in the constitutional duties of the Attorney General’s office which I fought against during my tenure as the Attorney General under NDC 3. Professional attorneys in the Attorney General’s Department do not manufacture evidence; they act upon the facts and evidence on the police docket. Re-arresting suspects who have contested their arrest and submitted themselves to the Republic to prove their guilt and against each of whom the Republic lacks evidence to prosecute will be inconsistent with and in contravention of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizen and accordingly unconstitutional. What the NDC should be doing is to furnish the police with the evidence, including the video they have to enable the police to build a better docket for prosecution instead of the unconstitutional instruction to re-arrest citizens who have been discharged by a court of law. The invitation to the President, a former Attorney General, to interfere in criminal prosecutions is capricious and unbecoming of the ideals of a national democratic congress. I am informed that the Attorney General was and is out of the jurisdiction which may explain the hurry to blame the professional attorneys performing their prosecutorial functions in the Ashanti Region. The suspects have only been discharged. Should the Attorney General be of the view that because the suspects are alleged to be NPP members she can find the evidence to prosecute them in spite of the available docket, she has a right to call for the docket and give further directives on them. But let me say for the purpose of the integrity of the office of the Attorney General that it is professional misconduct on the part of an Attorney General to question the professional judgment and integrity of professional officers simply because they choose to act as lawyers and not politicians. The minority NDC in parliament is acting politically and unconstitutionally in its complaints on this matter. The judiciary understands the presumption of innocence and the fact that only suspects against whom evidence is available may be prosecuted. I hope the Attorney General will act professionally as quasi-judicial officer in exercising the constitutional prosecutorial powers of the Republic by respecting the delegated powers given by her to her professional regional representatives before she finds herself overwhelmed by all the criminal dockets from all the regions seeking for her approval before finalization. Martin A. B. K. Amidu Citizens Vigilance for Justice 18th May 2017 
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that there can be no future prosperity for the countries of West Africa and its peoples, in the short, medium or long term, if they continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials.   According to him “we must add value to these resources, we must industrialise and we must enhance agricultural productivity”, if West Africa is to ensure the progress and prosperity of its peoples.   President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, May 18, 2017, when he delivered his remarks at a State Dinner held in his honour by the President of Guinea, His Excellency Prof. Alpha Conde, on day 2 of his 3-day tour of Guinea.   The reason for his visit to Guinea, President Akufo-Addo told President Conde, is to build on the existing relations between the two countries, as well explore, further, other areas of co-operation for the mutual benefit of the two peoples, and was, thus, excited that the two countries, in May 2013, had reactivated the Permanent Joint Commission on Co-operation (PJCC).   “Co-operation in the development of our agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure, health, energy and culture, and the co-ordination of the exploitation of our mutual natural resources, such as bauxite, iron ore, gold and petroleum, would be of immense benefit to our two countries,” he added.   It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo proposed that the two countries hold the next session of the PJCC in Accra before the end of the year, adding that “we must intensify the links between Ghanaian and Guinean enterprises, and, thereby, also hasten the process of regional integration”.   With the population of West Africa set to hit 500 million people in 20 years time, up from its current population of 350 million, President Akufo-Addo added that the integration of the ECOWAS community is now, explaining that the integration of the region will offer “immense opportunities to bring prosperity to our region with hard work, enterprise and creativity.”   This ambitious programme of economic transformation and integration of the ECOWAS countries, the President stressed, must be hinged on the peace and stability of all parts of West Africa.   To this end, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I am, thus, relieved, and I am sure I speak for all of us here, that the disturbing events of the last few days in our common neighbouring state of Cote d’Ivoire have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and that good sense has prevailed and enabled the crisis to abate peacefully,” he said.   Stressing the long standing bilateral relations that exist between Ghana and Guinea, President Akufo-Addo was expectant that “our two peoples will continue to march side-by-side in solidarity in the search for progress and dignity for the African peoples.”   President Akufo-Addo applauded President Conde for the ongoing efforts he is making to entrench democracy and the rule of law in the body politic of Guinea, as well to maintain her unity and integrity devoid of narrow partisan, ethnic considerations.   “It is a historic task, but one in which your life-long struggle and sacrifices for Guinean democracy have prepared you adequately to undertake. We wish you well and Godspeed,” he added.   President Akufo-Addo was also thankful for the presence of his Guinean counterpart at his inauguration on 7th January, 2017, and also for the presence of the Guinean Prime Minister, M. Mamady Youla, at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary celebrations, on 6th March, 2017.   Source: Flagstaff House
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has expressed its ‘’disquiet the discharge of eight persons by the circuit court Kumasi on 17th May 2017 supposedly on the advice of the Attorney General's Department.’’ In a statement signed by THE National President, GBA said, ‘’it is the view of the GBA that justice will not be served if the discharge of the accused persons ends the matter.’’ The GBA has also called on the police ‘’to thoroughly investigate the matter in its entirety. We call upon the police to interview the court officials, lawyers and litigants who were in court on the day in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.’’     GHANA BAR ASSOCIATION'S STATEMENT ON THE DISCHARGE OF EIGHT ACCUSED PERSONS (DELTA FORCE) BY THE CIRCUIT COURT KUMASI The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has noted with disquiet the discharge of eight persons by the circuit court Kumasi on 17th May 2017 supposedly on the advice of the Attorney General's Department The GBA is disturbed by the turn of events and hopes that the discharge of the said accused persons would not signify an end of the matter. It is the view of the GBA that justice will not be served if the discharge of the accused persons ends the matter. The Bar calls upon the Ghana Police Service to thoroughly investigate the matter in its entirety. We call upon the police to interview the court officials, lawyers and litigants who were in court on the day in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The GBA reiterates its call in the statement it issued on 6th April 2017 to ensure that all persons who played any role whatsoever in the attack on the court are arrested, duly charged and prosecuted. Finally we wish to state that it is a threat to the Rule of Law if the impression is created that persons who engage in lawless acts can escape the arm of the law. ISSUED IN ACCRA, THIS 18TH DAY OF MAY 2017 …………………………………. …………………………………… BENSON NUTSUKPUI JUSTIN A. AMENUVOR   NATIONAL PRESIDENT NATIONAL SECRETARY
Checks by Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm indicates that some unknown persons are using the Mallam Overhead to burn scrap tires and coconut husk. Although studies have shown that burning of tires releases a toxic soup of pollutants, these unknown individuals have ignored the warning signs and engaging in their unhealthy activity. Hundreds of different toxic pollutants are created by burning tires as well as a tremendous number of small particles that settle deep in the lungs. Our reporter, Nhyiraba Kwabena Asirifi who visited the scene reported that, some of the left over from the burning activity has been left unattended to. According to him, the situation has also damaged the Mallam Overhead and portions of the bridge will soon collapse. Studies have also shown that tires  are not designed to be burned as a fuel and contain hazardous ingredients (the rubber in tires contains 25% extender oils derived from benzene, 25% styrene, a derivative of benzene, and 25% 1,3 butadiene. - both benzene and 1,3 butadiene are suspected human carcinogens). Tire-derived fuel (TDF) also contains remnants of wire that is difficult to totally remove when tires are processed for fuel.   The area is also turning into a refuse dump where trash is thrown. The situation has no environmental protection and Rainbow Radio will like to use the opportunity to alert officials to take up the change and resolve the situation.
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