A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has denied reports that, the Council of Elders will be meeting over the ongoing fracas between Martin Amidu, a former attorney general and Dr. Valerie Sawyyer, a former deputy chief staff.
Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the deputy scribe of the NDC said, the meeting tomorrow [Tuesday] has got nothing to do with Martin Amidu or any other individual.
The meeting has everything to do with the Kwesi Botchwey report, he stated. He said, the meeting will among other things, discuss the way forward for the party after its defeat in 2016.
The party he explained has recognized the defeat in 2016 and will do their best to restructure for victory 2020.
On the petition filed by some two members of the party calling for the suspension of Martin Amidu, due to his public utterances, he said, everybody will be given a fair hearing before a decision is reached.
Koku Anyidoho further rubbished assertions that the party was facing internal wrangling.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government is in the process of finalising Ghana’s new Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) export strategy and action plan, to boost the volumes of exports to the United States to $500 million by 2020.
With Ghana unable to sufficiently exploit the AGOA opportunity, and, thereby, not realising any significant gains, having only exported items worth only $29 million to the United States in 2016, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government is working to put in place measures to ensure that the country takes full advantage of the U.S. market through the AGOA initiative.
“We aim at increasing our export volumes under AGOA to $500 million in 2020, which will create in its wake hundreds of thousands of jobs. The target is ambitious, but certainly achievable,” he said.
The President made this known on Monday, August 14, 2017, when he launched the expansion project of Dignity-Do-The-Right-Thing Apparel, at the Adjabeng Free Zone enclave, in Accra.
Dignity DTRT is a Ghanaian-American joint venture initiative, which is currently employing some 1,600 people, and is set to export $30 million worth of clothing to the United States of America by 2018, under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Dignity DTRT, President Akufo-Addo noted, is a key part of the projection for increasing Ghana’s export volumes under AGOA to $500 million by 2020, with the company expected to contribute some $82 million out of this amount.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the “U.S. clothing market is worth $100 billion dollars a year. The countries of Eastern and Southern Africa are currently exporting to this market several billion dollars’ worth of clothing every year. We, in Ghana and West Africa, must match them. The opportunity is considerable, and we need to grab hold of it.”
He, thus, pledged the support of his government for textile and garment businesses and enterprises across Ghana, to create jobs that provide security for individuals, families and communities, explaining that it “falls squarely within our overall vision of making the development of the textile and garment industry a strategic anchor industry for Ghanaian industrialization.”
Describing the Dignity-DTRT project as being consistent with his government’s vision to make Ghana an industrial hub in West Africa, and, thus, drive the socio-economic development of our country, President Akufo-Addo noted, however, that Ghana’s industry has not done well in recent years.
“From a growth rate of 15.1% in 2008, the last year of the government of the outstanding Ghanaian statesman, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of the Republic, growth in industry slumped to 0.8% in 2014, -0.3% in 2015, and further down to -1.4% in 2016,” he said.
The President continued, “However, as a result of the relative normalisation of the power situation in the country, and the implementation of our business-friendly policies, industry, for the first quarter of 2017, recorded the impressive growth rate of 11.5 percent, the highest sectoral growth in the economy”.
He, thus, applauded the success of a Ghanaian-American company, Dignity-Do-The-Right-Thing Apparel (DTRT), which has majority Ghanaian ownership.
“It has built, within a short space of 3 years, a thriving, commercial-scale manufacturing operation that is achieving world-class levels of production efficiency. This has led it to become the largest clothing manufacturer in West Africa,” he added.
To spur on the creation of jobs in the country, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government has set out to build the most business friendly economy in Africa, and is moving quickly to create an environment that will unleash the innovative and entrepreneurial instincts of the Ghanaian people to drive rapid growth and job creation.
The President reiterated that the goal of his government is to “to unlock the full potential of the private sector and the Ghanaian sense of enterprise to create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians, and to position Ghana as a preferred investment destination.”
The Bank of Ghana has approved the Purchase and Assumption transaction with GCB Bank Limited that transfers all deposits and selected assets of UT Bank and Capital Bank Ltd, a statement has said.
The statement added: ‘’The Bank of Ghana has revoked the Licenses of UT Banl Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd.
According to the Centarl Bank, ‘’this action has become necessary due to severe impairment of their capital. The remaining assets and liabilities will be realized and settled respectively through a receivership process to be undertaken by Messers Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah of PricewaterCoopers (PwC).
‘’The main offices and branches of UT Bank and Capital Bank will be under the control of GCB Bank and will be opened at 1pm today [Monday] for normal business transactions,’’ the statement indicated.
‘’Customers of the UT Bank and Capital Bank are now customers of GCB Bank. All deposit customers will continue to have access to their funds.UT Bank and Capital Bank branches and ATMs will continue to operate as normal as GCB bank branches and ATMs. All staff in the interim will become staff of GCB Bank and GCB will negotiate the terms of their contract.
‘’GCB was selected amongst 3 others on the basis of purchase price, cost of funding, branches to be retained, staff to be employed and impact on the acquiring bank’s capital adequacy ratio.’’
The statement further assured the public that customers of the two banks will continue to be normal customers.
‘’The Bank of Ghana assures the public that all customers can continue normal banking business at all UT Bank and Capital Bank facilities which are now branches of GCB.
‘’The approval by the Bank of Ghana of this transaction is to strengthen Ghana’s banking sector, ensure financial stability and protect depositors’ funds. The Bank of Ghana reassures customers of UT Bank and Capital Bank that their money is safe and they can continue to do business at their respective branches which are now the branches of GCB Bank,’’ the statement concluded.
Operation Vangaurd, the anti-galamsey taskforce comprising the military and police personnel have denied killing four persons whose remains were retrieved an abandoned mining pit at Kwabeng in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region.
Reports had it that the four who were transporting an excavator to a mining site fled and abandoned their equipment upon seeing a team from Operation Vanguard.
But the anti-galamsey taskforce denied killing the four.
Commanding Officer of Operation Vanguard, Colonel William Agyapong said “I don’t know where the story is coming from.”
“Only last week there was another story that Operation Vanguard had killed somebody at Juaboso district. If its propaganda it will fail because the good people of Ghana will see through it. I have crosschecked with the patrol team that went to Akukuso yesterday and they had no activity in the town, it is falsehood, it has nothing to do with our operation,” he insisted.
According to the police, they received a report of the incident from one Isaac Annor.
A statement from the police said“One yaw with three others was in charge of a low loader vehicle which was carting an excavator machine to extra gold mining concession at Akukuso near Kwabeng. That on reaching a section of the road…they were reported to have encountered personnel of the operation vanguard taskforce, so the operator and other occupants all abandoned the vehicle with the engine running but found no one onboard and still could not be traced. Police proceeded to the scene of the incident, combed the area and found an abandoned mining pit filled with water. Divers dived into it and retrieved four bodies…all wearing T-shirts and pair of trousers. Police found blood and foam oozing from their mouth and nostrils.”
The statement added the bodies have been convened to the Police hospital for preservation and autopsy while investigations continue into the matter.
Former Attorney General Martin Amidu has rubbished allegations that he’s been paid by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NDC) to attack the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The anti-corruption campaigner in a lengthy write up said ‘’The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, and former Communication’s Director in the Mills/Mahama Government did what he has learnt to do excellently in and outside Government - to accuse me without a shred of facts or evidence on kasapafm and published on the internet networks on 8th August 2017 of being on the payroll of New Patriotic Party (NPP).’’
STOP THE LIES - AMIDU VOWED TO MILLS TO ENSURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT COMPLIED WITH THE 1992 CONSTITUTION: BY MARTIN A.B.K. AMIDU.
Any person casually acquainted with the theories of conflict studies and research knows that when individuals or groups in conflict do not have credible facts to defend their side of disagreement or conflict issues, they resort to odious personal attacks and/or the assassination of the character, honour and integrity of their opponents as a cover for their inability to rebut the objective issue in conflict.
Since 3rd January 2012, these tactics to avoid the objective issue in conflict have been the modus operandi of the Mills/Mahama Government, and the John Dramani Mahama Government, anytime I have raised issues concerning or relating to their unconstitutional actions or conduct (particularly relating to corruption and abuse of power).
Whenever such unconstitutional behavior has been raised, these two Governments and their surrogates have always sought to avoid addressing the objective and pertinent allegations. Instead, both Governments have always resorted to attacks on my person or the assassination of my character, honour and integrity.
It does not matter how many times one adduces cogent and credible facts and evidence to disprove the spurious personal attacks and character, honour and integrity assassinations. Regardless, the next round of conflict or disagreement with the policy actions and conduct of these two Governments always sees a repetition of the same sterile cowardly attacks and assassinations.
It should therefore not have come as a surprise to many that the reaction of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to my article title “NDC created the Electoral Commission Chaos that now portends a bad omen for the Congress” was to unleash the National Organizer and Deputy General Secretary of the NDC not to answer the pertinent issues raised in my article but to as usual attack my person and assassinate my character, honour and integrity.
The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, and former Communication’s Director in the Mills/Mahama Government did what he has learnt to do excellently in and outside Government - to accuse me without a shred of facts or evidence on kasapafm and published on the internet networks on 8th August 2017 of being on the payroll of New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He was reported on the Internet to have stated that “he has strong conviction that fellow party member and former Attorney General, Martin Amidu is being ‘remote controlled by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).” However, apart from the repetitious character assassination, his sweeping allegations without further proof are not and cannot be the answer to the contentions contained in my article, for whose sake I was being cowardly attacked personally instead of addressing the issues in conflict.
As though the NEC had apportioned the personal and character attacks between the Deputy General Secretary and the National Organizer, the latter, Kofi Adams, the next day 9th August 2017 took over the baton from the former to publish to the whole world that: “’The incessant attacks by Citizen Vigilante is borne out of envy, jealousy and hatred for Former President John Dramani Mahatma because he was not given another opportunity as running mate of the party, National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC),’ Mr Kofi Adams has said.”
These two attack dogs engaging in the monotonous acts of character assassination to avoid the real issue, deliberately repeated similar unfounded accusations against me that I had creditably refuted with supporting facts and evidence, which the very media carrying the recycled accusations had published in previous years. Political office holders like the National Organizer and Deputy Secretary General of political parties are mandated by the spirit of the 1992 Constitution to exhibit ethical actions and conduct in their relationship with the public and their party members.
This is why it is unconstitutional on the part of Koku Anyidoho and Kofi Adams to attack my person and assassinate my character without referencing the fact that I had previously refuted similar allegations in writing so that the public can make an informed assessment of their accusations against me. I also believe that the spirit of the 1992 Constitution requires the media not to allow themselves to be used for such coarse character attacks and assassination without the media telling the public that they had previously published similar unsupported allegations which have been refuted by the accused.
In the legal profession to which I belong (now as an unlicensed non practicing lawyer) it is punishable misconduct to tell untruths and half-truths as an officer of the court or in one’s private dealings with members of the public. Applying the spirit of our national Constitution, this ethical rule can be interpreted to include the situation where a political office holder under Article 55 or a public officer under Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution puts himself in a situation where his personal interest in telling untruths, half-truth and out-right lies is in conflict with the functions of his office to the party and the public to speak the truth at all times.
By analogical reasoning from the independence and freedoms guaranteed to the media, the spirit of the Constitution obligates them when they have published a rejoinder to a previous and similar false allegation, to at least call the readers’ attention to the previous rebuttal of the current falsehood being peddled against the accused. Such ethical behaviour will reduce spurious abuse of fellow citizens without just cause. It will also alleviate the suffering of the accused that may have to go over the whole process of filing another rebuttal as I am now writing.
I will begin from the beginning. “Accra, Jan. 19, GNA – President John Evans Atta Mills has relieved the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Martin A B K Amidu, of his post…..The letter cited Mr Amidu’s misconduct at a meeting presided over by President Mills last Friday, January 13.” The first lie in this press release is that under my contract of employment with the Government, the President could not dismiss me for misconduct. Both of us had the right to terminate the contract after giving three months’ notice or paying three months’ salary in lieu of notice.
Nonetheless, before the President could terminate my appointment the New Statesman had reported on Ghanaweb on 14th January 2012 that: “A senior source at the Castle has told the New Statesman that President, John Evans Atta-Mills, has demanded for the resignation of his Attorney-General, Martin Amidu with immediate effect…The development according to the source, happened after a crucial meeting with leading members of the party (NDC) and government which concluded that the press release by AG has made his position untenable. ‘We expect him to bring his resignation letter and the evidence that he claims to have about a cover up,’ the source said.” My investigations revealed the senior source to have been Koku Ayidoho, then the Communications Director at the Presidency.
On 18th January 2012 the untruths and contradictions deepened when Ghanaweb reported that Myjoyonline had stated that: “President Mills is reported to have asked Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Martin Amidu to provide evidence to back his claim of crimes against the state by hard core criminals holding party cards or leave office.”
Many young people appointed to political office in Government assume to know everything about propaganda, intelligence and security and indeed everything under the sun but inexperience exposes their lack of maturity. Thus on 20th January 2012 the source and master of all the leaks himself by inexperience showed his identity through a report on Ghanaweb, with Citi FM as the source.
He confirmed the New Statesman and Joy publications when it was reported that: “The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho, has said Martin Amidu would not have been fired as Attorney General if he had taken advantage of the enough room the President, John Evans Atta Mills, gave him to substantiate allegations he made against colleague ministers.” He told the lies in his own words as follows: ‘“You can’t just throw wild allegation out there..the President gave him sometime and after a while no answer. The President had no option and nobody undermines the authority of the leader and gets away. Let nobody take him for granted,” he said.’
On Monday, 23rd January 2012 my former sister and colleague, Betty Mould-Iddrisu sent me an email from her mobile device to tell me she had tendered in her resignation. Later in the day, Ghanaweb with the source as myjoyonline confirmed her email to me. The next day, 24th January 2012, Ghanaweb again reported the acceptance of Betty’s resignation in a press statement signed by Mr. Koku Anyidoho stating that the President had accepted her resignation. Both media reported that: “She became the second cabinet minister in the present administration to have lost her job over the Woyome judgment debt issue following closely on the heels of sacked Attorney General, Martin Amidu.”
The real truth is that the late Professor Mills had asked me in New York on 15th December 2011 to return to Ghana early to brief him about the Woyomegate Affair, which I was hearing from the President in New York for the first time. He did not want to work with the report that had been allegedly submitted to his office by Barton Odro, my deputy, in our absence and demanded my personal briefing and written report. The briefing took place in the office of the President on 23rd December 2011 in the presence of the then Chief of Staff, Mr. Newman, at which I produced a copy of the approval letter dated 9th December 2010 by the Attorney General addressed to the Minister of Finance.
The President could not believe the existence of that letter because the issue of the approval had become a contentious issue between the Minister of Finance and my predecessor. The President was leaving for New York for his final cancer treatment on 24th December 2011 and requested that I submit a written report to him on his return. After I had given the President and the Chief of Staff the update and was leaving his office on the 23rd December, 2011, the Minister of Finance who was going in to have a discussion with the President while I was leaving the President’s office, held my hands and pulled me back to the President’s office for the President to confirm to me that it was he who first reported to the President about his misgivings concerning paying the money to Woyome when the Attorney General first submitted her approval for payment.
The President had instructed the Attorney General that the money should not be paid. But when the subsequent approval was authorized by the Attorney General again with supporting documents from the High Court he assumed that it had been cleared with the Presidency. The President who had already narrated the same sequence of events to me in New York on 15th December 2011 confirmed the submission of the Minister of Finance.
It was after the briefing of 23rd December 2011 and the subsequent discussions between the President, the Minister for Finance and me on the same 23rd December 2011 that I made available file copies of the relevant documents to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Kofi Totobi Kwakyi and others in the office of the Secretary to the President to draft a press statement explaining the role of the President in directing non-payment of the GHC51million by the Government. However, Koku Anyidoho single handedly persuaded the President to veto the press statement to the annoyance of the others, particularly Mr. Newman who had kept me waiting in my office to speak to Koku whose call never came. For the avoidance of doubt, I kept the faxed copy of the report and still have access to the copy with all the comments on it.
That lengthy memorandum or interim report is letter, D45/SF.173/10 dated January 6, 2012, which I have always challenged the Government to publish to confirm the untruths that I refused to name the Ministers involved in the crimes. The letter was received at the Presidency on the 9th January 2012 and contained all the names of suspects in the saga, and I gave the President an oral briefing on the same day at the invitation of the President and in the presence of the Chief of Staff and the National Security Co-ordinator and repeated the names of the culprits identified in my said letter dated 6th January 2012.
The Chief of Staff expressed a strong objection to my inclusion of certain details in the interim report because it could create problems should it fall into the wrong hands. I explained what I perceived to be my duty as the Attorney General and the right of the President to be fully informed as he had demanded. The National Security Co-ordinator associated himself with the Chief of Staff but added that the letter had been written already and nothing could be done about the situation.
Of course nobody could have convinced me to change it as it would have been unethical of me as the Attorney General. Hopefully, the new Government may wish to publish this letter as a matter of transparency and accountability and the sovereign right of the voting public to know the truth whether their then Attorney General acted independently and impartially as demanded of his office by the Constitution in naming the names.
In spite of the facts, Koku Anyidoho continued to peddle the lies that I had refused to give the President the names of the suspected criminals knowing very well that I had the ethical challenge of publishing my said letter, and that the credibility of the Government would be destroyed if they published my letter. While the attacks on my character continued, I had to find a suitable way of putting this matter to rest as all the addressees of the letter refused to make it public. Consequently, when on 26th June 2015 Murtala Mohammed, the Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, repeated the Koku Anyidoho lies by telling the Ghanaian Times that I “was dismissed by late President John Atta Mills for failing to name the members of his cabinet, who were directly involved with judgment debt saga” I wrote a rejoinder to the Ghanaian Times. It was published on 27th June 2013 in which I gave the final warning that I will publish the letter of 6th January 2012 if the Government ever repeated the lies again. I drove my point home by getting Hon. Mahama Ayariga, who is my son in accordance with custom but who had also repeated the same lies earlier and was then the Minister for Information and Media Relations, to have access to and read the content of my letter of 6th January 2012 in Dr. Iddrisu Mutawakilu’s house at Abelenkpe. This is why the Government stopped spreading the false allegation that I did not name the Gargantuan criminals.
As for Koku Anyidoho’s recent timid insinuation that I may be in the payroll of the NPP, it is an old and tested lie taking its roots from the ganging up from the first publications of the NDC rented press starting from 3rd January 2012 accusing me of favouring the NPP and prosecuting NDC supporters and financiers. I had intelligence back then that Koku Anyidoho as the Communications Director at the Presidency was the conduit that was used to orchestrate the personal attacks and character assassinations because I was exposing those involved in Woyomegate.
In any case, what was and is wrong with the moral support almost all other political parties in Ghana, led by the NPP, gave me to successfully obtain judgment against the Government, Woyome and others in my constitutional action in the Supreme Court when the then Government and NDC strategically and tactically opposed and continue to oppose me and the 1992 Constitution till today?
Is the NPP not the Government now trying to retrieve the fruits of my labour, the judgment, from Woyome and all other beneficiaries that includes the NDC for the public purse? As the plaintiff in the case, I continue to have a constitutional duty to ensure that my judgment is executed against Woyome and all beneficiaries of the loot, and if that is interpreted as my being on the payroll of the NPP, so be it. But starting from 3rd January 2012, I was ignorant of the fact that during the EOCO investigations there had been discoveries of some of beneficiaries of the Government-assisted looting by Woyome.
It was only when I had applied to examine Woyome in November 2016 that photocopies of the cheques and the list of the beneficiaries were mailed to me by an anonymous well-wisher. When the list of beneficiaries was published by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on 5th December 2016 at a press conference organized for the purpose towards the elections, I expected that Koku Anyidoho whose name appeared as having received GHC100, 000.00 and GHC13, 000.00 respectively on 1st and 10th May 2011 through Agricultural Development Bank cheques numbered 809090 and 809093 would sue for defamation to vindicate his honour.
I am not aware that he has done that, which makes me suspect that these payments were the reason why he aborted the 23rd December 2011 press release, why he instigated the late President against me, and why he championed all the false press against my integrity for wanting to bring corrupt Government and party officials involved in Woyomegate to book as the Attorney General.
Kofi Adams’ spurious allegations that my crusade to defend the Constitution against corrupt and abusive governments “is borne out of envy, jealousy and hatred for Former President John Dramani Mahatma because he was not given another opportunity as running mate of the party,” is also an old indecorous personal attack recycled for lack of any credible and objective answers to my constitutional challenges to the John Mahama Government. This effusive response has popped-up any time I raise constitutional challenges against the Mahama Government. Similar attacks and assassinations of character were made in June 2015.
In a response published on all the electronic and print media entitled “I have nothing personal against the Government or the President” I answered each of the allegations, showing the role I played in John Mahama’s nomination as Vice Presidential candidate and stated that: “Being my true self
I disagree and I have disagreed with the NDC Government on matters of constitutional principles, beliefs, values and policy issues but never on personal matters. I served the PNDC from February 1982 to 7th January 1993 before serving under the NDC1, 2 and partly in NDC3. I have been unable to discard principles, and values I have internalized and lived with since my childhood and through my adult socialization over the years including the 31st December Revolution to adapt to the new disvalues of the NDC Government since 2009.
Dr. Ambomaje, in a recent article on the internet reminded me of the character testimonial that then Vice-President Mills who had been a personal friend of mine for over 30 years at the time gave me on 5th September 2000 when he introduced me to the public at the NDC Headquarters thus: “Prof. Mills described Mr. Amidu as someone who shared his personal values, adding that his nominee has character, integrity, experience and sound judgment.
‘Apart from his being a team player, Mr. Amidu is also bold and fearless, and a fighter when necessary,’ he said.
Prof. Mills said he saw in his former student as ‘someone who will work for the ordinary people of this country, not the powerful with a high sense of social justice, fairness, and above all truthfulness.’” Cows do not beget goats.”
In an earlier response to Koku Anyidoho and his rented NDC press, particularly Daily Post and the National Democrat, who accused me of being dishonest, lacking integrity and having skeletons in my cupboard including “receiving bribes while occupying the office of Attorney General of Ghana” and “aspects of his personal life which was unbecoming of the Attorney General of Ghana.” which can of worms members of the NDC Communication Team was going to open. Because the accusations were figments of their imaginations, no can of non-existing worms was ever opened despite my rejoinder of 26th June 2012 entitled: “Martin Amidu and the skeletons in his cupboard.” I stated then in writing amongst other things that:
“…I am sorry if any person gets offended by my insistence on the protection of public property and putting Ghana First because I was molded with this world, social, and the cultural view to life and community which it is too late to change.
I remain determined that the NDC shall live by its core values of probity, transparency, and accountability so that the NDC will continue to be relevant in the politics of Ghana for years to come for the sake of our children and those unborn. Anybody who has evidence that I have breached those objects and values of the Constitution and the NDC should make a report against me to the Police so I can have my day in Court instead of attacking my person without any evidence whatsoever. In this enterprise I fear no cost to my person in contributing to the realization of the vision of the NDC as a decent political Party that was intended to be viable beyond Election 2012. I understand these values of the NDC to be aimed at putting Ghana First before any individual’s selfish interests in Government.”
Let me now put the false circulating news over the years about what the President asked me at the 13th January 2012 meeting to rest. The President was sitting in the middle of a sofa, Mr. John Martey Newman was sitting to his left while now Sir, HE Bebaako-Mensah was sitting to his right on the same sofa. The President had called me on telephone on the night of 8th January 2012 to meet him in his office at 9’oclock in the morning with Betty Mould-Iddrisu. Betty and I sat facing the President and his two lieutenants – me to the left facing now Sir HE Mensah and Betty facing Mr. Newman.
The President then asked me whether it was Betty Mould-Iddrisu I was referring to in my press statement as the Minister who had committed crimes in the Woyomegate. The President asked the question three times and on each occasion, I remained silent while I was boiling to feverish heat because I had already briefed the President in his office on the 23rd December 2011 and 9th January 2012. I had clearly stated and named the persons whom in my legal opinion of 6th January 2012 were the culprits. However, the President never asked me at the meeting of 13th January 2012 to name the persons referred to in my press statement because he had my report already before the press statement was issued. Instead, he wanted me to confirm before the assembled and in the presence of Betty Mould-Iddrisu that she was the principal Minister to whom I had referred in my press statement.
I was boiling to feverish heat because the President and I had been personal family friends for over thirty years before he persuaded me to join his Government and he had just breached the trust we had had between us for all these years. The President knew my long-standing relationship with both Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her husband whom I called my elder brother and treated him and his family as such in accordance with northern Ghanaian custom and tradition. I was thinking of what to do next in view of this grave betrayal of trust when the President told Betty and me that if I was not prepared to speak out then his decision was that both Betty and I should resign from the Government.
I immediately accepted to resign and to submit my resignation to the President within one hour of leaving the meeting. Betty tried to reason with the President why he ought to consider the interest of the Government and the future of the party having regard to the position both of us and our families occupied in the party. She was not ready to commit to resigning until she spoke to her husband. I on the other hand felt betrayed by a very close and very dear friend of several years for whom I had sacrificed and run for office in spite of my better judgment.
Having offered to resign, I felt that I had reverted to my position as a citizen of Ghana, and so I told the President candidly and bluntly what I thought of his administration and promised him that as a citizen I would be the watch dog to ensure that his Government complied with the 1992 Constitution. At one point Mr. Martey Newman left the meeting. Sir HE Bebaako-Mensah facilitated a dialogue of explanation and counter explanation which cooled an otherwise tense situation to the extent that as the younger person I offered the President my apology for any offence occasioned by my candid views. I still, however, insisted that I wished to leave the Government after the breach of trust. Mr. Newman who had returned to the meeting insisted that I should apologize to the President and he was told I had done so in his absence. (The National Security Co-ordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, who was one of my trusted comrades and friends in the Government at the time and his Deputy, entered the meeting at around this stage to the best of my recollection and notes). I asked for permission to leave so I could submit my resignation letter within the hour. I was then told that the meeting had not come to any conclusive decisions and that because Betty had asked to consult with her husband it was only fair that the meeting be adjourned to 3 o’clock to enable Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu and Capt. (Rt.) Kojo Tsikata to attend. I objected and said my decision to resign was final because the President had breached trust with me and I could no longer serve in his Government.
At that point Sir, HE Bebaako-Mensah intervened with me in the Hausa language and told me to listen to him and come back at 3 pm at least for his sake as my senior brother. (The relationship of Bebaako and I goes a very long and respectful way). The meeting was adjourned accordingly to 3 pm and Larry Gbevlo-Lartey came to speak to me and asked me to speak to Capt. Tsikata; I told him I did not have his phone number. Larry later texted Capt. Kojo Tsikata’s number to me to call him. I did not. But I did return to Sir, HE Bebaako-Mensah’s office at 3 pm and waited until Capt. Kojo Tsikata came from the President’s office and told those waiting with me in that office that he and I were going to the conference room for a conversation. I have published in the media how Capt. Tsikata convinced me to stay on and retrieve the looted money in Court and will not repeat it here. The details of what I told the President as my reasons for wanting to revert to my position as an ordinary citizen of Ghana are contained in a letter I wrote to Mr. Martey Newman when he lied that I was dismissed for misconduct when he should have known as the Chief of Staff that one could not dismiss a senior public officer for misconduct without a formal charge and a formal hearing. At the earliest opportunity I reduced what happened on 13th January 2012 into writing as most well trained lawyers would have done.
Early the next morning, 14th January 2012, I sent Betty an email asking her to inform her husband and my senior brother Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama that he and I had to talk. She replied that Alhaji was on his way to my place. I had a cultural duty to inform Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu in person of what had transpired the previous day in the office of the President. I narrated as much as I have stated above giving more details to him. He confirmed that Betty had narrated almost exactly what I had told him and congratulated me for my stand and his pride in me as a brother.
As the Attorney General I had a constitutional duty to perform my functions without fear or favour and the President was at liberty to have given a copy of my report to Betty for her comments.
But it is against my northern custom for anybody to invite a senior brother’s wife and want the junior brother to implicate her in her presence so that when any action is taken against her it may be said that the junior brother named her even in her presence. Call me ethnocentric, but I was born in the Northern Territories of the British Protectorate of the Gold Coast Colony and only joined Ghana after the plebiscite in 1956; therefore I am very sensitive to other citizens not respecting our customs and traditions as well, including the President as first citizen for the meantime.
President Jerry John Rawlings is in a position to tell Ghanaians in minute detail what happened between the late P. V. Obeng, the most brilliant and intelligent, and equally the most corrupt Chairman of the PNDC Committee of Secretaries and NDC Government official I have ever dealt with. He made the mistake of addressing a letter to me as Mr. Martin Amidu, Ministry of Justice, Accra.
I replied him as Mr. P. V. Obeng, The Castle, Osu., and told him my piece of mind as a citizen of Ghana since he had forgotten to respect his office as Chairman of the Committee Secretaries and addressed me as a fellow citizen. Unbeknown to me, P. V. Obeng had marched to the Chairman of the PNDC to demand my dismissal. Ato Dadzie and Uncle Ebo Tawiah know the story and the details of dexterity and skill with which Chairman, later President Rawlings, the most capable and competent Chairman of the PNDC, and President of Ghana I have ever worked with, handled the matter.
If anybody thinks that because a president had appointed me to his Government, that I lost my right as a citizen of Ghana, he has to take his post back because I cherish my citizenship of Ghana which puts me at par with any other citizen. Respect is earned not coerced. My colleagues in the PNDC and NDC1 and 2 knew that I speak the truth to every fellow citizen even when he is the personification of our collective power for the meantime. That is the essence of citizenship, constitutionalism and democracy. Only boot lickers and corrupt officials fear to speak the truth to fellow citizens and to power. I had no skeletons in my cupboard to be blackmailed with so there was nothing to worry about. That is the benefit of integrity and uprightness in public office.
President Mills himself in the quotations above about me on introducing me in 2000 as his running mate extolled those virtues of mine. That was why the President was reported to have terminated my appointment against his better judgment as reported by Alhaji Bature on 24th March 2015: “But, handlers of the late president were reported to have insisted he sacks the rebellious AG or risk planting a dangerous and bad precedence for other appointees in government.” So President Mills was not his own man but a poodle! The handlers of the late President Mills are reaping what they made him sow against his better judgment so the likes of Koku Anyidoho and his other such handlers should shut up!
It should be clear by now that I had vowed on 13th January 2012 to President Mills to hold his Government to account in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and I have been doing precisely that ever since 19th January 2012. I accordingly started and won the Woyome Case of Amidu v Attorney General & 5 Others in the Supreme Court. President Mills was the 5th Defendant in the original suit but was saved by his untimely death from a declaration of unconstitutionality against him. The NEC of the NDC has never even spoken to me since the events of 13th January 2012 and after, until I called the Chairman of the Congress on 31st July 2017 to call his attention to the problem that caused me to later write the article that was being complained about. The NDC cannot therefore gag me in redeeming my promise and vow to the late President to defend the Constitution by holding the Government and the Congress to account for their stewardship.
Can someone from the NDC tell Ghanaians how active I have been in the NDC and how many times I have attended or been invited by the National Executive, Regional Executive, Constituency Executive or Branch Executive since 1st January 2012 to any meeting or activity of the Congress? None whatsoever! I have met some of the executives only when the founder, President Rawlings, has invited me to join his side of the delegation when the executive or visiting foreign delegations have an appointment with him. I am and will remain on the side of the man of honour, integrity and anti-corruption warrior, President Jerry John Rawlings, who stands at the core of the NDC defending the 1992 Constitution. I will never, ever be on the side of the incompetent, corrupt and looting John Dramani Mahama Government and its surrogates’ of the so called New NDC.
Am I not the only NDC former Minister who has not been given all his retirement benefits since 2012? This, despite a judgment of the High Court dated 14th September 2014 ordering that all my entitlements shall be paid with interest, together with my constitutional right to one saloon car respected; and that a receipt for all Social Security deductions from my emoluments should be given to me after the payment of my benefits to enable the SNNIT to ratify my SSNIT benefits? Did the Mahama Government obey the orders of the Court before leaving office more than two years after the consent judgment?
But the list of beneficiaries of end-of-service benefits that was published after 7th January 2017 included names of officers who were not even entitled to saloon cars but had managed to loot four-wheel drive vehicles as part of their benefits. Yet John Mahama had deliberately disobeyed a court order and denied me my entitlements because of Woyomegate. It is seven months since the new Government came to power and I am still pursuing the remnants of my benefits from NDC 3 Government that ended on 7th January 2017.
Is it now that the NDC is waking up to the fact that I am a party member who should not pursue constitutional rights against the inept corrupt Mahama Government?
The NDC cannot answer the foregoing questions because it was not the Executive Authority under Article 58 of the 1992 Constitution. The corrupt, incompetent and looting John Dramani Mahama Government was the Executive Authority and they refused to obey the court order because of my successes against it in the Woyome case at every turn at the Supreme Court.
Which free citizen would not use all legitimate constitutional means at his disposal to get such a Government, acting in a manner that is inconsistent with and in contravention of the Constitution, voted out of office? Where were the surrogates of John Dramani Mahama in the NDC when he was violating the 1992 Constitution when I was fighting the looting of the public purse by Mills and Mahama in the Supreme Court up to as recent as March 2017? The NDC cannot be the John Dramani Mahama Government under the Constitution and they have no jurisdiction to discipline me for defending the Constitution of Ghana or for anything I had said against the Government.
Mahama and his surrogates are chasing a red herring by petitioning against me for saying the appointment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission was done for a rigging agenda of that Government. I wrote, said and issued videos on this subject to defend the Constitution against abuse and subversion by a corrupt and looting Government of the national purse, in order to prevent its return to power.
The Mahama Government was in power and controlled the policing apparatus of the Republic, but because it knew that I was speaking the truth it dared not to investigate or ask me for substantiation of the allegation. So how come that out of Government the incompetent John Dramani Mahama surrogates in the NDC, which was not the appointing authority under Article 217 of the 1992 Constitution, now have the audacity to ask me to produce evidence on an incompetent appointment they did not make? Show me the NDC’s jurisdiction under the 1992 Constitution to speak for that Government.
As a most important preliminary point, is the question whether or not it is the conduct of Martin Amidu or the NDC itself acting through the NEC on behalf of the Congress and some members of the NEC in their personal and official capacities that has “exposed the Party to public hatred, ridicule and opprobrium and lowered its reputation in Ghana and elsewhere”? I, Martin Alamisi Amidu, single handedly and at personal expense obtained declarations and orders from the Supreme Court for Woyome to refund GHC51 million that he looted with the help of the Government back to the public purse because the looting was null, void and without effect whatsoever. The implication of the order I obtained is that Woyome and every beneficiary of his loot must refund the money or the portion paid by Woyome to the beneficiary.
The NPP at a press conference on 5th December 2016 produced a list of the names and cheque numbers of the beneficiaries of the unconstitutional loot. The list discloses that on 15th February 2011, a one million Ghana cedis Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) cheque with number 230051 was paid into the Unibank Ghana Ltd account of the NDC and was cleared the very next day.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Aseidu Nketia, was also disclosed to have received from Woyome a twenty thousand Ghana cedis ADB cash cheque with number 727292 on 2nd September 2011. The late Prof. Kofi Awoonor, the Chairman of the Council of State (who conned me for an apology letter on 18th January 2012) received a seventy-five thousand Ghana cedis ADB cash cheque from the same loot.
I have already referred to the portion of one hundred and thirteen thousand Ghana cedis of the loot that was received by Koku Anyidoho, the current Deputy General Secretary. (The full list with accompanying cheque numbers can be found on peacefmonline.com of 5th December 2016).
More than seven months after these very serious allegations by the NPP neither the NDC nor its NEC and other members who benefitted from the loot have issued any action to challenge the allegations against the Party and those other members mentioned.
This, prima facie lends some credence to the allegations made by the NPP. In these circumstances is it me, the citizen, who obtained the Supreme Court judgment that has exposed the secret beneficiaries of the looting of the public purse, who has brought the Party into hatred and disrepute? Or is it those who had not formally challenged by action the allegations of benefiting as NDC and NDC members from the unconstitutional loot, who have brought and continue to bring the Party into hatred and disrepute?
The NDC and some of its executive and other members shall never have jurisdiction under the 1992 Constitution to purport to discipline the citizen who single handedly constitutionally exposed their corruption and who holds the final judgment of the Supreme Court ordering the refund of the total amount looted with interest.
The John Mahama surrogates or faction in the NDC continue their attacks on my person and character any-time I assert my birth- right as a citizen of Ghana to challenge the Mills, and Mahama Governments on what I perceive to be actions and conduct undermining or that have undermined the 1992 Constitution, for being inconsistent with or in contravention of the Constitution.
They ought to be warned that their modus operandi will not lead to reasoned dialogue and reconciliation with me but may push me to invoke my right pursuant to Article 2 and 130 of the Constitution so that the Supreme Court may settle once and for all whether or not under Article 55 of the Constitution a political party can gag a citizen from defending, and upholding the Constitution demonstrated with a Supreme Court judgment simply because he is perceived to be a member of that political party.
I am for peace but if the Mahama surrogate NDC faction wants war it will be taboo to the values of the core NDC grounded in the 4th June and 31st December Revolutions for me to run away from it.
Martin A. B. K. Amidu (Citizens Vigilance for Justice) 13th August 2017
Seventeen people have been killed and eight wounded in a "terrorist attack" in the centre of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the government says.
Witnesses were quoted as saying that three gunmen opened fire on customers seated outside a restaurant.
Security forces killed three attackers, but some people are still trapped in the building, Communication Minister Remis Dandjinou says.
A jihadist attack on a cafe nearby left 30 people dead in January last year.
There are fears that the attack is the work of one of the affiliates of al-Qaeda that are active in the Sahel region, the BBC's Alex Duval Smith reports.
Mr Dandjinou said it was unclear how many assailants had been involved.
"They are confined to one part of the building they attacked. Security and elite forces are conducting an operation," he said on television.
The shooting began shortly after 21:00 (21:00 GMT) on Sunday on Ouagadougou's busy Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
The Aziz Istanbul Restaurant appears to have been at the centre of the shooting.
"The attack claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight injured," said a government statement quoted by the AFP news agency.
A hospital in the city said that one of those killed was Turkish.
The attack is similar to one in January 2016, when gunmen targeted the Splendid Hotel and the Cappuccino restaurant, only 200m further along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue from the scene of the latest attack.
Over 170 people were taken hostage and 30 were killed. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack.
Burkina Faso is part of the Sahel region, which includes Mali where Islamist groups have been active since 2012.
Statistics provided by the medical team from the Ministry of Health and the Ga South Municipal Hospital (Akawe) in the Greater Accra region indicate that “about 70% of market men and women screened during the Philipa Baafi Foundation free health screening at the Dome Market have high blood pressure and diabetes”.
Dr. Jarvis Abilla, who is the Medical Superintendent at the Ga South Municipal Hospital who led the team, attributed the increase in these two diseases to longer hours of sitting and their inability to attend regular medical checks due to the nature of their jobs.
Two out of the 70% were so high that, the medical team wanted them to be sent to the hospital since there was a waiting ambulance. However, “the women declined to go to the hospital”.
Dr Sena of the Ministry of Health also attested to the assertion and said “most of the people screened were very much aware of their condition but were not prepared to seek further medical attention”.
Dr. Sena said “the traders refused to be taken to the hospital because they claim there will be nobody to take care of their wares and again they needed to sell to get their daily bread”.
Hundreds of traders, shoppers and passersby stormed the Dome Market of the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, for the “How Well Are You” health screening campaign by the popular musician and Physiotherapist, Philipa Baafi.
The medical team and team Philipa Baafi Foundation had a hectic moment controlling the crowd as each of the traders, shoppers and passerby wanted to be screened.
Supported by MTN, GOIL Ghana Limited, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals, Anadwo Ye De Mosquito Coil, Tinatette Herbal, the “How Well Are You” free health screening screened over 500 people on Blood Pressure, Glucose/ Sugar level, Malaria and Body Mass Index (BMI) which are noted to be the common ailments among a number of market women. Apart from the musical performance which involved hit songs from Philipa Baafi, she also performed Physiotherapy treatment for some patients.
Present at the event was the Minister of State in charge of Procurement at the Presidency, Sarah Adwoa Safo who is also the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the finances of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are being sorted out in order to improve access to quality healthcare, as well as ensure that health workers are unencumbered and free to do their work.
Reiterating his determination to solve the problem of unpaid bills to healthcare providers, President Akufo-Addo noted that the NHIS is at the core of the country’s health delivery system, and government has a duty to make it work.
“So far, government has, by dint of prudent management within the short space of seven months, cleared GH¢560 million out of the GH¢1.2 billion of debt inherited.
I am told I can confidently say that we will settle all the arrears within the next 12 months. This year, we are up to date on the payment of claims to service providers. It is essential that the businesses of healthcare providers do not collapse,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 12th August, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 50th congregation and 5th oath taking and induction ceremony of the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Cape Coast.
With the major burden of healthcare in Ghana coming from diseases that are preventable, President Akufo-Addo noted that these are better dealt with at source and in the communities, rather than to wait until they become problems at the hospital level.
“It requires better sanitation, and not better medication, to deal with cholera, which seems to have reared its ugly head again in our country, especially since 2014. I hope that such programmes, as you have instituted here, would position the students to play good advocacy roles as healthcare providers within the communities they work in after their studies,” he said. Outlining the problems that bedevil the health sector, such as the challenge of bridging the equity gap in access to healthcare between urban and rural Ghana, the production and distribution of health personnel, and high under-five and maternal mortality rates, President Akufo-Addo noted that some of the answers lie in improving the physical infrastructure of the health sector.
His government, the President assured, will strive to complete ongoing projects around the country, as well as expand health promotion programmes, scale up disease prevention strategies and enhance access to curative and emergency services.
On the BOT arrangement being entered into with a Canadian group to build infrastructure at the University, President Akufo-Addo noted that such initiatives are admirable and are to be expected from a University, whose Chancellor is one of the most renowned entrepreneurs of Ghana’s generation.
“I hasten, however, to add a word of caution. I think we should learn, from previous and unfortunate bitter experience, that such arrangements should not be done on the blind side of government. I will strongly urge, if you have already not done so, that you seek the blessing of the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Attorney-General to the arrangement,” the President said.
He continued, “There is currently a difficult situation at the University of Ghana that should serve as a useful lesson for all public tertiary institutions, which seek to engage in such arrangements.”
Government, President Akufo-Addo indicated, will continue to make capital outlays in the health sector, and has begun to undertake a number of healthcare projects across the country to bring the provision of healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people.
All these projects, he added, are geared towards expanding health facilities in the country, and creating ready job opportunities for students in health disciplines in the country.
“We have a duty to ensure that this School is well-equipped to produce capable medical doctors with all the skills needed to improve the quality of medical practice in our country. It is my expectation and hope that graduates from this School will be motivated to take on the challenge and the opportunities for higher achievement through innovation and creativity, in the science and technology-led, knowledge-driven global economy,” the President said.