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The Member of Parliament for Adenta constituency, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, has said the National Identification Act is explicitly clear that, bearers of the Voter’s ID card cannot use same for the registration of Ghana card. The legislator said the Voter’s ID card system is fraught with irregularities and challenges and so it would be impossible for holders of such cards, to register onto the national identification System. Mr Asamoah was reacting to claims by Tamale Central’s MP, Inusah Fuseini that, the Act passed by parliament did not exclude the Voter’s ID card and Section 3 (e) of Act 950, allows the NIA to permit individuals to use the card as a document for registration. ‘’If you don’t have birth certificate, passport and resident permit, your SSNIT card can serve as your proof of citizenship because when you fill you card, it shows where you come from. And so, you can accept the Voter’s ID card on the basis of Section 3 (1) (e) of the law. But the NIA is saying no. If you read Article 42, it is the only occasion that the constitution says a citizen of Ghana of 18 years and above and of sound mind is entitled to register to vote. So Article 42 already sets the criteria which clearly interpreted will mean, anybody holding a Voter’s ID is prima facie is citizen of Ghana, Inusah Fuseini said. But reacting to the explanation, Yaw Buabeng Asamaoh stressed the Voter’s ID card cannot be used as proof for the national card registration. ‘’The Voter’s ID was initiated for a purpose and currently, there are challenges and irregularities associated with the system and so we cannot allow people to use the card to register and be issued with the Ghana card. The criteria are passport and birth certificate.’’ He has advised the Minority to use the appropriate processes to address the challenges they have raised and stop being petty. ‘’This not the registration for Voter’s ID. This is the registration for Ghana card and we have to have a clean and new system. There are criteria for the registration and so we have to use and accept the criteria. They can go to court if they want to. They are entitled to that,’’ he said.
The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, says the National Identification Act does not exclude Voter’s ID card as criteria for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card. Act 950, otherwise known as the National Identification Amendment Law 2017, is what empowers the issuance of new identity cards to Ghanaians by the National Identification Authority (NIA). Only birth certificates and passports would be accepted for the registration as per the National Identification Law. Concerns have been raised over the criteria and the Minority in Parliament, has boycotted the exercise demanding for the consideration of the Voter’s ID. But the legislator told Rainbow Radio that, ‘’parliament did not pass a law to exclude the Voter’s ID card. Parliament never did that. Whoever is telling you that is misleading you.’’ The NIA he noted requested to exclude the use of the National Health Insurance Card because the Supreme Court had ruled that, it could not be used as proof of citizenship when they appeared before parliament’s legal committee. ‘’The NIA led by Ken Attefuah made a request and the request was to exclude NHIS card. We accepted the request because it was a Supreme Court decision.’’ In explaining further he said, the error appears at the proof of citizenship because they said, Voter’s ID, Baptismal Certificate and the rest cannot be used as proof of citizenship consistent with the Abu Ramadan’s case. But Abu Ramadan cannot decide that Voter’s ID cannot be used. When he [Attafuah] came to parliament, I showed him the error. I explained to him that, the Amended Act (Section 3) requires that, to proof your citizenship you have to present your passport, birth certificate, resident permit, evidence of naturalization and any other documents. So for me, reading it on, the E gives you an omnibus clause because there could be other documents to establish your citizenship. ‘’If you don’t have birth certificate, passport and a resident permit, your SSNIT card can serve as your proof of citizenship because when you fill you card, it shows where you come from. And so, you can accept the Voter’s ID card on the basis of Section 3 (1) (e) of the law. But the NIA is saying no. If you read Article 42, it is the only occasion that the constitution says a citizen of Ghana of 18 years and above and of sound mind, is entitled to register to vote. So Article 42 already sets the criteria which clearly interpreted will mean, anybody holding a Voter’s ID is prima facie a citizen of Ghana.’’ He described as scandalous the attempt by the NIA boss to misinterpret the law because the law made provisions for the Voter's ID to be accepted. ''We never said NIA should exclude the Voter's ID card. The omnibus clause can allow them to allow people to use the Voter's ID to register... It is a deliberate conscious effort by the NIA to make it difficult for Ghanaians to register.''
Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has hinted of demonstrations against the criteria for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card. The maverick politician said the law which allows the National Identification Authority (NIA), to request for only passport and birth certificate for the registration is a bad law. The NIA registration recognises only passports and birth certificates for identification. The government’s presentation to Parliament on Tuesday indicated that the only alternative to this will remain the swearing of affidavits. Over 2700 personnel are being trained by the Judiciary to administer oaths and certify Ghanaians without the required identification. But Koku Anyidoho says the law is a bad one and accused the NIA boss, Professor Attafuah, of hiding behind the law to have his way. The party he told Kwame Tutu is in full support of the boycott staged by the Minority over the registration of legislators which started this week. The request for digital address system he lamented is not only frustrating but an attempt to deprive Ghanaians to register and be issued with the Ghana card. He believes only 7 million Ghanaians will have the opportunity to register per the current requirement hence the need for the NIA, to make provision for people to use the Voter’s ID because it is a valid ID that makes one a Ghanaian. ‘’If they [NPP] are questioning the legitimacy of the Voter’s ID card then we should also question the legitimacy of the current government. That is their logic,’’ he posited. The Coalition for Sovereignty of Ghana he announced will hold a press conference next week Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 to stress the need for the NIA to address the concerns raised. ‘’On Tuesday we shall put our deep thoughts and position on the matter and follow up with actions beyond the press conference. We shall keep the agitation alive and the whole idea is that, we shall resist oppressors rule with all our will and might forevermore. Any attempt to make some Ghanaians more Ghanaians than others, shall be resisted. All Ghanaians are equal. We are not going to have any animal farm type of Ghana; four legs good, two legs bad…This attempt by the Akufo-Addo administration to create an animal farm; four legs good, two legs bad-some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others; an elitist society. No it will not happen. It shall be resisted with all our will and might forevermore.’’ ‘’We shall keep the agitation alive and make sure that, we build bigger and better consensus going forward to resist this thing- That only passport and birth certificate; it is not that we are against the principle of the Ghana card. All we are saying is that, let us broaden the space for greater inclusion and stop creating confusion,’’ he said.
Former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur has described the claims raised against her by husband, Tony Lithur, as untrue. The lawyer in a statement wondered why the petition to file for divorce by the husband leaked to the public. Lawyer Tony Lithur has filed a case at the Divorce and Matrimonial court seeking a divorce. The lawyer among other allegations is accusing the wife of being abusive and engaging in acts of infidelity. But Oye Lithur in her statement debunked the allegations and called on Ghanaians to pray for her and the family. ‘’It is unfortunate that a private family matter should now become a subject of public discussion,’’ the statement read. The statement added, ‘’everyone who knows me, and everything I stand for will know that the unfortunate allegations against me cannot be true. ‘’There is no doubt that these are trying times for my family; and I would like to count on your prayers, especially for our children.’’ ‘’As a lawyer of 25 years standing, I have a firm belief in the legal system and in God Almighty to vindicate the truth.’’
The Objective Media Forum has issued a statement slamming what it terms as unsubstantiated allegations against Sammy Awuku and his wife. The statement issued by the Forum which is aimed at protecting individuals working hard for the country said, ‘’ We are strongly opposed to the growing trend of unsubstantiated allegations against, hard working young politicians who have worked so hard to build a strong reputation for themselves and the country.’’ According to the statement, the allegations of his wife grabbing contracts at the Ghana Free Zones Authority and the accompanying facts were distorted. They called on Sammy Awuku to disregard the claims and focus on delivering on his core mandate. ‘’…we believe Sammy Awuku is a strong and young brilliant politician whose exploits can be compared to globally celebrated politicians like Julius Malema, of South Africa.’’ Read below the full statement: The objective media forum wishes to express our utmost disgust at the frivolous allegations leveled against Sammy Awuku over claims that, his wife has grabbed juicy contracts. We are strongly opposed to the growing trend of unsubstantiated allegations against, hard working young politicians who have worked so hard to build a strong reputation for themselves and the country. In the case of Sammy Awuku, we were deeply scandalized at the allegations and wish to call on Ghanaians to desist from attacking the integrity of individuals for their own parochial interest. We have read and believe the story published by Ghana Palaver, was written with distorted facts in order to paint the young politician in a bad light. This is an attempt to also cast a slur on the Executive Secretary of the GFZA and mischievously discredit his manner of steering the affairs of the GFZA. We wish to also refer to the statement issued by the GFZA and state that, we are in support of the facts outlined in the statement. What is wrong if Sammy Awuku's wife won a contract? Did she not go through laid down procedures and was lawfully selected to offer her professional services? As stated by GFZA, management decision was taken to provide lunch for staff of the GFZA. Accordingly, a number of caterers were sourced who bid to provide the service and due process was followed in determining the four most competitive of caterers to provide the service on rotational bi-weekly basis. A Food Committee was constituted, made up of representatives of GFZA Staff Welfare Association who drew up a criteria for evaluating proposals received from the caterers and handled the entire process. JAESM Catering Services, of which Mrs. Mary Awuku is associated, did indeed put in a bid and ranked third after evaluation. Contracts were consequently signed in April, 2017 between the GFZA and the four catering services who ranked tops in the evaluation process. Suffice it to say that from April 2017 when the provision of lunch was instituted, JAESM Catering provided the said services for a total of four weeks based on the rotational timetable and served notice on the GFZA withdrawing their service beginning August, 2017. With that period, JAESM was paid a total amount of GHS15,764.00. The second fact as posited by the state agency said: Upon assumption of duty of the new management, the re-structuring and re-alignment of the GFZA was carried to fit the new strategic direction of the Authority. This included expansion and opening of regional offices in the Western and Ashanti Regions of the Country to cater for free zone enterprises in the western, middle and northern zones of the country. To this end, staff had to be recruited to taking care of staffing needs of the regional offices. Due process was followed and the bases of all appointments were the qualifications that were fit for purpose. We hereby request that the Palaver newspaper retracts the publication and renders an unqualified apology for the misleading publication. In conclusion, we believe Sammy Awuku is a strong and young brilliant politician whose exploits can be compared to globally celebrated politicians like Julius Malema, of South Africa. We call on him to focus on his core duty and ignore the distractions.
Policy think tank, Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa (STRANEK-Africa), has sued the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the Attorney-General on the removal of the Voter ID card as an identity document required before a person can obtain Ghana citizenship card. The think tank is invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Ghana and seeking five reliefs. STRANEK-Africa in its writ is seeking a declaration that, upon a proper interpretation of Articles 6 and 42, of the 1992 constitution, a person with a Voter’s ID card has passed the citizen requirement. The think tank is also seeking a declaration that upon a proper interpretation of Article 42, the ‘’purported removal from the National Identity Register (Amendment) Act 2017, Act 950, the Ghana voter’s from the identity documents required before a person can obtain the Ghana citizenship card is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.’’ STRANEK-Africa is also seeking a ‘’declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the constitution specifically Article 6 of the 1992 constitution, proof of citizenship should not be limited by the provisions of the National Identity Register (Amendment) Act, 2017, Act 950.’’ According to STRANEK-Africa, the court will settle the matter by interpreting who qualifies to be a citizen of Ghana. The think tank is also seeking ‘’an order directed at the 2nd Defendant to included the Ghana Voter’s card as one of the identity document for the purposes of acquiring the Ghana Citizenship card,’’ and ‘’any other order or others as the,’’ the apex court will deem fit in the circumstances.’’ The Defendants are the Attorney General and National Identification Authority (NIA).
The Minority caucus in parliament is heading to court over what its members have termed as exclusion in the ongoing registration and instant issuance of the Ghana card. The Minority has boycotted the registration being organized by the National Identification Authority (NIA) on grounds that, the criteria for the registration will denationalize Ghanaians. Ghanaians are required to present a passport or birth certificate as documents for the registration. But the Minority has called on the NIA to accept Voter ID cards as part of the criteria for registration. Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, described said their position is to represent the interest of the public. The Minority he announced will continue to boycott the exercise until their concerns raised are duly addressed. The legislator lamented only 7 million Ghanaians are being considered in the ongoing exercise and the Minority is of the view that, the Voters ID is a legitimate document that has been excluded. ‘’We are of the strong belief that, this exercise must be all inclusive. Therefore, our boycott is to ensure that there is no denial of legitimate Ghanaian citizens having their due to be part of the National Identification System. We find the reference document of only the passport and birth certificate inadequate and insufficient,’’ he noted.
The Minister in charge of Special Development Initiatives, Madam Hawa Koomson, has informed Parliament that the projected $1 million for per constituency for the 275 constituencies will be disbursed this year. She made the disclosure when she appeared before the House yesterday [Tuesday]. According to the minister, projects had already started in terms of the provision of water and toilet facilities in some constituencies under the One-constituency, $1-million policy. "Let me take this opportunity to assure members of this House that the cedi equivalent of $1 million per constituency annually has been provided for in the 2018 budget… The money would be duly used to finance the needed basic socioeconomic infrastructure in the constituencies "to better the quality of life and improve the living conditions of the populace". She was in Parliament to answer a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mion, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, on when the government would release the cedi equivalent of $1 million to each constituency, as captured in the 2017 budget statement. The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016, promised to give each of the 275 constituencies a million dollar each for development projects. This will be part of a proposed US$275 million allocation per year to tackle issues relating to infrastructural development and poverty alleviation in rural and deprived communities across the country. Dr. Bawumia, the Vice President in 2016 said the money for this programme will be drawn out of the capital budget of the country, which, according to the 2016 budget, stands at US$1.6 billion. With each of the 275 constituencies benefiting from this programme, Dr. Bawumia noted that “we are going to put resources at the disposal of the rural communities and the poorest communities in every constituency.”
Investigative journalist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tiger Eye PI, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has petitioned the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), The Attorney General’s office, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Financial and Intelligence Centre to investigate Kwesi Nyantakyi, the former Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss for money laundering. The award winning journalist, whose latest Number 12 expose has led to the resignation of the GFA boss and planned dissolution of the FA, believes the lawyer has breached the criminal laws of Ghana including offenses as money laundering. The investigative journalist wants Mr. Nyantakyi to be investigated over some money laundering claims he made in his latest investigative documentary titled #Number12. The investigative journalist in his bases of complaint said: ‘’we have found Mr Nyantakyi abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties, engaging in acts of egregious conflict of interest demanding and receiving gifts and other benefits, and engaging in bribery and corruption, and money laundering. These were uncovered by way of hard facts, captured on audio/visual recording, electronic mail correspondent, and a memorandum of understanding drafted by Mr Nyantakyi his handwriting, and subsequently type-printed and signed by him.’’ ‘’By his conduct, as detailed in paragraph two above and evidenced by the attached documentary evidence, it is our firm belief that Mr Nyantakyi breached the criminal laws of Ghana including offences as money laundering, corruption, bribery, and fraud by false pretenses, by abusing his office.’’
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged Chief Executive Officers of leading Ghanaian and multinational business operating in the country to help in the realization and implementation of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As co-Chair of the Advocates Group of Eminent Personalities on the SDGs, President Akufo-Addo explained that his role is to mobilise political support on the continent, and described the CEOs “as the primary promoters of social and economic transformation”, who are key to the success of the SDGs. At a breakfast meeting with CEOs on Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, at the Banquet Hall of Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo stated, unequivocally, that “I am going to bring you on board the process of making sure that these goals are implemented, and brought to a successful end.” The President stated that the SDGs must not remain within the public consciousness as “some abstract remote phenomenon that is debated amongst a few political leaders and bureaucrats in the floors of the General Assembly of the United Nations”, but rather must “become an active set of goals within the public consciousness, because people can recognise that they do affect all of us.” As AU Gender Champion, he stated that the goal of gender equity is one of the goals of the SDGs that should have moved from the area of rhetoric into reality. “That statement is a statement that affects more than majority of people in Ghana. We know that 52% of our population are women. When we are talking about gender equity, we are talking about what affects all women, young and old,” he said. He continued, “We are talking about access to education. We know the importance of education in our country. We have made a huge commitment to ensuring that every Ghanaian child is able to go to school, at least within the present context to secondary school level, and it is an extremely important tool for the future development of our country.” With the SDGs presenting the world with a unique opportunity to fight inequality on all fronts, wipe out extreme poverty, tackle the issues of climate change, and reverse the degradation and unsustainable use of our environmental resources, the President indicated that the attainment of these goals should be something that matters in their daily lives. “These are some of the broad goals that I am hoping to realise... We have a relatively short period to be together, but I am hoping that, in this relatively short period, and, in subsequent engagements that we are going to have, we would be able to address these goals of this meeting that we have set up,” he added.
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