High Court Judge, Justice Ajet Nasam has for the third time this week failed to appear before the Judicial Committee probing the latest Anas judicial scandal video which he and some other six judges were allegedly captured on camera taking bribes to influence their decision on some cases they were presiding over.
The seven member committee could not proceed with their sitting because Justice Ajet Nasam failed to appear before it.
All attempt to reach him have proven futile after the committee through the mass media to notify him to re-appear before it today to commence sitting.
Currently the National Security is conducting a serious search for the implicated judge.
The implicated judges will be given five days to defend themselves, they are also expected to call in witnesses and be represented by a counsel.
The seven suspended High Court judges are Justices Ajet-Nasam, F. Opoku, Ernest Obimpeh, Ohene Essel, Ayisi Addo, K. Essel Mensah and Ivy Heward-Mills (Mrs).
Two other retired Justices, Yaw Ansu Gyeabour and Mohammed Ahmed Mustapha, are being investigated by the police after they were captured on camera for allegedly taking bribes in the Anas videos.
Anas and his Tiger P.I Team in the last two years conducted a painstaking investigations for perceived corruption in the judicial service, they captured some 34 judges, magistrates and 146 members of staff of the Judicial Service, police officers and state attorneys.
The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the most effective way the Electoral Commission can regain the confidence of Ghanaians will be the through the compilation of a new voters’ register ahead of the 2016 elections.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians are no longer interested in resorting to the courts to settle electoral disputes, but, rather, prefer a reformation of the country’s electoral process.
The NPP flagbearer made this known in separate meetings in Washington DC, with the Centre for Global Development and the National Endowment for Democracy, all leading think tanks, on Wednesday.
Quoting from the CDD’s Afrobarometer report in 2014 which reported that public trust in EC has gone down from 80%, before the 2012 elections, to 42% in 2014, Nana Akufo-Addo explained this shows that public confidence in the EC is at an all-time low.
Additionally, the NPP flagbearer read from the damning report by the UNDP on Ghana’s Electoral Commission (“Conduct of an Institutional Assessment and the Development a Strategic Plan for the Electoral Commission of Ghana”), issued 2 months ago (16 August 2015) which stressed that: “the EC used to be the most trusted institution in the country; but not anymore.”
The UNDP report, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, concludes by categorically stating that “substantial amount has been invested on the biometric registration and verification; however, there is still no reliable voter register.”
Don’t be blinded by flaws
Kofi Annan, the NPP flagbearer indicated, had also, in the aftermath of the 2012 election petition, urged the EC “not to be blinded to the flaws in Ghana’s electoral system,” and that “all concerned need to work energetically to ensure that these flaws are addressed through the necessary institutional reform.”
To this end, three of the five main political parties in Ghana, who accounted for nearly 50% of the presidential votes in 2012, have called for a new register and proposed measures to tackle the flaws encountered in compiling the 2012 register.
We’re awaiting the response of the Electoral Commission to the mounting pressure, which seeks to address these critical problems. We have presented comprehensive proposals on electoral reforms. A consensus has been built on many of them. But, the one issue that is threatening confidence in the 2016 race is the stubborn refusal of the ruling party to the compilation of a new, credible register,” he said.
Advise to EC Boss
Nana Akufo-Addo, however, urged the new EC boss, Mrs Charlotte Osei, “to know that she can call on such renowned organisations like The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to support Ghana resolve this matter early for the budgetary considerations to be also looked at, hand in hand, timeously.”
He continued, “Other countries in the region, such as Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Kenya, have all ditched their similarly young but defective registers for new, credible ones. Why can’t Ghana do the same?”
The NPP flagbearer was convinced that the simple explanation why the NDC government and President Mahama want the flawed register of 2012 maintained for 2016 is because “the government believes a suspect register is the only way to guarantee victory. After all, if the administration of President John Mahama was to compete based on its record alone, its re-election would be almost unconceivable.”
The National Youth Organiser of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mr. Divine Nkrumah has accused the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo of creating fear and panic ahead of the 2016 elections in his recent speech read at the Heritage Conference in the Netherlands.
It would be recalled that Nana Addo in his speech to a gathering called on the International community to intervene in the call for a new voters’ register because he [Nana Addo] suspect that there were attempts to rig the elections.
However the national organiser of the PPP has described Nana Addo as a confused person who is on a double standard trail.
How can you at one point call for the independence of the Electoral Commission and at another point call on the International community to intervene in our electoral process, he quizzed.
Divine Nkrumah said, Is Ghana for somebody? I can see Nana Addo, is confused, Nana Addo who wants want to become president is creating fear and panic’’ by telling the International community to Intervene in Ghana’s electoral process, so we don’t experience turmoil in 2016 like other African countries. How can you claim or make such ridiculous statements, how can you Nana who seeks the mandate to be president, say such a bad thing?
‘’I am telling Nana Addo that Ghana will not die for him and his cronies all because he wants to become president,’’ I am telling Nana Addo today, Ghana will not die for him to achieve his political ambition, Ghana will not die for President Mahama and any other person who wants Ghana to be destabilised because they want to become president. If because of your political ambition Ghana should be unstable, ‘’fire burn you,’’ I say it again if anyone wants Ghana to be unstable because of their political ambition ‘’fire burn them,’’ Divine Nkrumah stated.
Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, he indicated that there will be no blood shed in 2016 because Ghana is not for anyone and nobody from any political party can hold the nation to ransom.
He admonished Ghanaians to resist any attempt by NPP and NDC to cause mayhem in the country.
Nana is unfit to manage Ghana
Divine Nkrumah described Nana Addo as unfit to manage Ghana because he has failed, to manage the internal wrangling in his own party.
The NPP is currently going through very serious challenges and their presidential candidate has failed to manage the crisis in his party, he said.
'‘’Managing a small party like the NPP he can’t, not to talk of the whole Ghana, he cannot simply manage the internal wrangling, and internal fighting and he wants to mange Ghana, this is impossible he stressed.
Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo Addo has revealed that his decision to accept the 2012 Supreme Court verdict on the landmark election petition was for the sake of peace and stability.
He indicated that, the interest of the nation was paramount and so he his supporters accepted the disputed verdict to avert any turmoil in the country.
‘’In 2012 as you may recall, Ghana was on the misiege as a result of the Supreme Court Ruling of 5-4 rejecting the opposition challenge of the presidential election results. As a leader of the opposition I decided that the peace, that the interest of peace and stability requires that my supporters and I accepted the disputed verdict to prevent any possible turmoil,’’ he said.
Nana Addo was speaking to a gathering at the Heritage Conference as part of his European Tour in the Netherlands.
The presidential candidate has therefore admonished the International community to intervene in Ghana’s current debate over the call for a new voters’ register to avert any violence in the future.
‘’The hope is that the global community takes notice and urge its change before the elections, rather than looking back at the 2016 elections shaking their heads saying how did this happen? We are telling you exactly how it’s going to happen, all the pieces are in place for a rigged elections,’’ he stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that some election related violence has tear some African nations apart and therefore Ghana should not join that fray of such countries.
‘’As Africans we’ve witnessed election related violence tear countries apart, we know what we risk should this problem not be addressed,’’ he stressed.
Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party has said Ghana’s democracy is currently under serious threat because of the current fraudulent voters’ register.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was addressing a gathering at the Heritage Conference in Netherlands explained that, the voter register we have today is bloated and therefore cannot be used to conduct a credible election.
He said, Ghana will experience a crooked election if we fail to compile a new credible register.
Ghana’s democracy is under threat, with “our fraudulent voter register” constituting the biggest issue facing the country’s young democracy, he stated.
The voters’ register is bloated, as it contains millions of extra names, adding that “it is estimated that upwards of 10% of the registered voters are bogus. It is packed with ineligible underage voters, and foreign and fake identities.”
According to the flagbearer the situation is unacceptable, for a country where a margin of 40,000 votes can determine who wins an election.
“This is a real problem, the kind that cannot be brushed under the carpet,” he stressed.
Nana Addo revealed further that the 2012 compilation and biometric process was flawed, with over 13 million Ghanaians captured on the register which the EC promised Ghanaians that they will clean the register but unfortunately the number shot up to 14 million.
Additionally, with Ghana’s median age being 20 years and 8 months, and with over 2 million of population being foreigners, it is shocking that the country has over 55% of the population registered to vote, explaining that “this is by far the highest in the whole of Africa and its young population,” Nana explained.
The flagbearer told the audience, that he has presented evidence of tens of thousands of cross-border registration of non-nationals on the register to the EC, and with its case further strengthened by three of the big five political parties, who have also called for a new register.
“Our two living former heads of state, religious leaders, Imams, Christian Council, Catholic Bishop Conference, etc, also want a changed register,” he added.
He continued, “Ghana has worked incredibly hard to preserve her democratic character, one administration shouldn't be allowed to undermine it. The hope is that the global community takes notice and urges change before the election. Rather than looking back at the 2016 election, shaking their heads saying ‘how did this happen’? We're telling you exactly how it's going to happen. All the pieces are in place for a crooked election.”
The gathering was attended by former senior White House officials, US ambassadors, CEOs of major corporations, and Steve Forbes of Forbes publications, Nana Addo concluded by stressing that “as Africans, we have witnessed election-related violence tear countries apart. We know what we risk should the government refuse to address these problems.”
Political Scientist and Senior Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Richard Amoako Baah says although the Electoral Commission has the final decision on the debate for the compilation for a new register, their decision should be ‘’right’’ to prevent trouble.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, the political scientist said, In the end the EC has to make a final decision on this matter, but their decision must not be a wrong one otherwise it will not augur well for us as a nation, and it will foment trouble, by saying wrong decision what I mean is that, the evidence presented by Dr. Bawumia is overwhelming and clear for the EC to compile a new register and any attempt to resist compiling a new register will undermine the democracy of our country, he said.
Dr. Baah indicated that the NPP’s evidence presented to the EC cannot be swept under the carpet because the existence of foreigners and minors in the register cast doubt on the credibility of the current register and to resolve the issue, the best will be to compile a new register.
He could not understand why the NDC still remains adamant with their position on the register, and resisting all attempts to get a new register compiled.
Dr. Amoako Baah stressed, auditing the register will not be the best option because it may not resolve the challenge we face.
He advised the Electoral Commission to consider the interest of Ghana first in coming up with their final decision.
Founder and Presiding Bishop of the Perez Chapel, Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare has said the position of the NPP and NDC on the voters’ register is not what matters to him because the position of the Electoral Commission is what matters most.
‘’NDC, NPP they don’t manage our elections and either of them, if they are in opposition have what they say and when they are in power have what they say and so for me what they are saying is not what matters to me but what the Electoral Commission is saying is what for me is very important,’’ he said.
Bishop Agyin Asare explained that Ghana needs to look into the call for the compilation of a new register very well since it will be expensive to do but was quick to add that it could be done if we go into it very well.
‘’There is so much about the voters’ register, I don’t want it to be looked at with political lenses, In Ghana we have a way of interpreting everything politically, I think that we should we should go into it very well and think through it. For me it is a very expensive exercise however am not saying that it shouldn’t be done but we should weigh the options,’’ he explained.
Bishop Charles Agyin Asare believes strongly that, it will be important for the EC to be given the opportunity to come out with their position before we think of anything else.
According to the deputy chief scribe of the NDC, the former presidents, JJ Rawlings and John A. Kuffour and other institutions including the Catholic Bishops Conference would bow their heads in shame because of their statements they made over the voters’ register.
It would be recalled that the two former leaders called for a more credible register ahead of 2016 elections when the LMVCA paid a courtesy call on them to add their voice to the call for a new voter register.
Koku Anyidoho explained to Kwame Tutu host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio that the statements by the two former presidents, some religious leaders was unfortunate and by the time the NDC argues their case on the 29th October, 2015, all these leaders will be badly ashamed and will have nowhere to hide their embarrassment.
‘’We NDC are afraid of nothing, we are waiting for the EC and come 29 and 30 and we will put out our case and Ghanaians will understand why the NPP have no case, but my fear is that all these people you have mentioned that they are commenting on the register, they will be badly embarrassed and will not know where they will hide their embarrassment, he said..
The deputy chief scribe of the NDC could not understand why the NPP continues to move around petitioning leaders and institutions for their comments on the register when they have already petitioned the Electoral Commission.
Koku Anyidoho accused the NPP of taking an entrenched position on the discussion surrounding the voters’ register.
He reiterated that the presidential candidate of the NPP will loose the 2016 elections because ‘’Nana is shrinking’’ the numbers of the party because of his tribal agenda and surrounding ‘’himself with ''tribal bigots.’’
According to him Nana Addo is consistently loosing in their strongholds because Ghanaians are fed with their tribal politics.
We have not said our position is non-negotiable, it is the NPP that has taken an entrenched position.
NPP cannot hold the nation to ransom
Koku Anyidoho warned the NPP and the presidential candidate to resend their decision of any violent attacks in 2016 because the law will deal with them including Nana Addo himself since he is not above the law.
You cannot hold the entire nation to ransom because of your ill motives and selfish interest.
‘’If they make a mistake, the law will deal with them drastically including Nana Addo himself, he is nobody, he is an ordinary Ghanaian like you and I, he cannot hold the nation to ransom.’’
You claim to be Let My vote Count and EC is saying let me hear the voices of other people and you do not want to understand, he quizzed.
As far as am concerned he [Nana Ado] will never be president of Ghana, because he is a bad leader and a bad choice for the positon of president in this country.
Deputy General Secretary for ruling National Democratic Congress, Koku Anyidoho has described as shameful and disgraceful statements made by the former deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye at the IEA forum held yesterday over the call for the compilation of a new voters’ register.
The former legislator in the forum said that, the EC lacks the credibility of auditing the voters’ register, he also called on Interpool to intervene in the on-going debate for the compilation of a new register.
According to Prof. Mike Ocquaye, the existence of foreigners in Ghana’s register which he described as bloated needed to be interrogated by Iinterpool because of the ‘’criminality’’ involved.
However, speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, Koku Anyidoho lambasted the former legislator for his ‘’ridiculous, and shameful statements.''
‘’Today a whole Prof. Mike Ocquaye is making these shameful and disgraceful statements, a senior like himself, Prof. Mike must be ashamed of himself. Interpool should stop chasing international drug barons, Interpol should stop chasing International pedophile rings, Interpol should stop chasing International criminal gangs and come and concentrate on Ghana’s register, he must be ashamed of himself. If it was his son saying that, we would have understood that it is junior ajasco but he [Prof. Ocquaye] a senior ajasco to make these ridiculous statements is unfortunate. A senior Professor who have taught at the University Of Ghana for so many years should not have made these statements.’’
Koku Anyidoho explained further that Interpool cannot neglect their duties because of Ghana’s register, ‘’is he not ashamed to make these statements, he should bow his head in shame,’’ he added.
A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana and a senior researcher with IEA, Dr. Ransford Gyanpoh has questioned the allegations by the New Patriotic Party over the credibility of the register.
In his opinion, the allegations should be thoroughly investigated by the Electoral Commission.
‘’How reliable and how truthful are these allegations coming from a party seeking to capture political power, In Ghana the history of our 4th Republic shows that any time political parties are seeking to amass power , all manner of things, and so shouldn’t these allegations first be thoroughly investigated by the EC,’’ he quizzed.
Dr. Gyanpoh raised concerns over the limitations by the NPP, in the Volta region with their alleged foreigners in the voters’ register.
‘’Why have the allegation of foreign voters be limited to only areas close to the NDC strongholds particularly Togo?, where are the other compelling border town evidence?,’’ he questioned.
The senior research fellow and lecturer indicated that, Ghana compiled its voters’ register before Togo did theirs and therefore there could be a possibility that some Ghanaians who doubles as citizens of Togo, registered in Togo and not the other way around as been alleged by the NPP.
Commenting on the existence of voters who used the National Insurance Card to register, he advised that such people should be made to register again because the fact that they used the ID to register does not make them non-Ghanaians.
He also refuted claims that the Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that the register was flawed because of the existence of voters through the National Insurance Card.
He admonished stakeholders with any superior technology to assist the EC to delete those alleged voters.
Dr. Ransford Gyanpoh disagreed with the suggestions that the compilation of a new register is the only way forward, he insisted that, the call for the new register is not the only thing that ensures credibility of the elections.
‘’As a nation the other issue we must ask is, do we have the resources to conduct a new voters’ register and must we only focus on the register to the neglect of the countless proposals for electoral reforms that have been submitted to the Electoral Commission by the Electoral Reforms Committee that are yet to be attended to?
Again must we always call for a new voters’ register in every election year, let us remember in 1996 we had one, in 2008 we had one, in 2012 we had one and now we are looking for another one. Is that all that matters? Must the Electoral Commission again tender to entrench to demands that sacrifice its independence,’’ he asked further.
Dr. Gyanpoh accused the political parties for busing what has become the so-called foreigners and minors in the register.
He asked: ‘’who undermined the credibility of the voters register, is it not the political parties themselves who bused aliens and minors to the registration centres and when they were challenged, they protested, Will a call for a new voter register suddenly make the political parties be repentant of their corrupt practices that blows the register, If you call for a new voters’ register today, does it mean the NPP will not buss people there?’’