An anti-graft campaigner and former legislator has called on Ghanaians to hold their guns against President John Dramani Mahama over the controversial ford expedition vehicle presented to him by Djibril Kanazoe who is President and Director-General of Groupe Kanazoe valued at $100,000 to President Mahama in 2012 after he had won two construction contracts.
President Mahama has been widely lambasted by some anti-corruption campaigners and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), for the provisions of the 1992 Constitution and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) guidelines on conflict of interest in the country.
The Minority in Parliament have hinted of a possible impeachment against President Mahama.
Other shaver also made claims that the acceptance of the gift amounts to corruption.
However, the former legislator argues that, the President cannot be cited for corruption if indeed he added the vehicle to the pool of cars at the Presidency.
PC Appiah Ofori believes that the attacks on the President is not necessary. He therefore urged Ghanaians to be careful ho the make claims against the President.
He stressed, since the said vehicle is serving governmental purposes, there will be need to say that the President is corrupt.
''President Mahama did not take the vehicle to house to use it personally. But he handed iot over to the state to be used for governmental purposes. This not corruption.''
''When the President took the vehicle, did he use it as a personal property or did he hand it over to state, will this amount to corruption. In his capacity as a President, he can receive a gift in the capacity of President of the Republic on behalf of the state. If he registered the car in his name, then it amounts to corruption.''
Perhaps the largest of the many bubbles that have been boiling over to engulf Election 2016 in a sea of contested outcome and potential violence is about to be deflated for the good of all Ghanaians. And for that, I ask all Ghanaians to say a very big thank you to the trio; Abu Ramadan, Nana Bediatuo Asante and Evans Nimako.
The decision of the two plaintiffs, Abu Ramadan & Evans Nimako to instruct their counsel, Nana Bediatuo Asante, to go back to the Supreme Court of Ghana to “ask the court to give further direction on its ruling", must be applauded and lauded by all Ghanaians irrespective of political allegiance or personal opinion as to the true meaning of the SC orders to the Electoral Commission in its ruling of May 5, 2016.
For six weeks now, both plaintiffs and defendants, and assorted legal luminaries and ‘rented crowds' have argued about what it was the SC actually ordered the EC to do in respect of cleaning up the 2016 voters register.
Contrary to the pervading public conception, there has been unanimity amongst the protagonists about the instruction to delete the names of ineligible voters. However, there has been very noisy disagreement about the processes to be adopted to delete the ineligible voters.
The prospect of getting further and better particulars on the process from the SC is to be welcome and supported without equivocation by every Ghanaian living everywhere.
I am extremely glad that my seemingly ‘toono’ headline-grabbing call for the SC “to clarify your decision on voters register” of May 10, is set to become real, albeit five wasted weeks after. The response to my call was a torrent of abuse typified by one Ernest Amoako who wrote “Nonsense, what further clarity do u want" I hope you will swallow your impertinent words, Ernest, and join me in saying Ayekoo to the plaintiffs and their counsel.
A further reason for my joy at the recent development has to do with my frustration with the eternal dithering and competing for attempts to tell Ghanaians what process the Supreme Court ordered the EC to adopt in cleansing the Register.
I was so agitated by the amount of time and energy being dispensed on the latest Ghanaian perchance for endless debates masquerading as sound advice whilst the clock ticked on towards the November 7 or December 7 Election Date. I donned my engineer’s hat two weeks ago in search of a solution to this seemingly intractable impasse.
Indeed, on Tuesday night, as Richard Sky spoke to Abu Ramadan on Eyewitness News, I was huddled in a conversation with my uncle, Justice S. A. Brobbey, former SC member and distinguished legal brain, on the status of my intended action to seek clarification from the SC in the supreme interest of Oman Ghana.
I had consulted him more than a week earlier to seek a second opinion on the prospect of my intended action being entertained by the SC. It was his opinion that the intended action would not succeed irrespective of its seemingly attractive public interest angle. His view was corroborated by that of a younger but very knowledgeable lawyer who was so honest with me that he simply raised several notches higher in my already considerable esteem of his talents and more, especially his total honesty of conduct:
“One thing I don't do is to be in a haste to take a potential client's cash, against the background of less than 50% certainty or predictable success” That was his very elegant response to my offer to engage him in prosecuting my intent to seek clarification from the SC - "I commend you highly for seeking to play a critical role to keep our State from falling apart during and after the elections.”
The advice my nephew and learned counsel gave me was "I have carefully studied the authorities to firmly anchor a non - party's locus as you seek presently, and I am more than convinced the SC is not minded to depart from this position regardless of how one crafts such a process to assert public interest and whatever special circumstance.” This was the advice my uncle also reinforced as I sat listening to Abu Ramadan et al. more sober reaction to the SC’s orders.
To show you how desperate I was to get closure on this matter, I called Nana Bediatuo to plead with him to go and seek clarification from the SC in the supreme interest of Ghana. I reached him in New York and he promised a chat on his return. Well, I guess he is back in town, on account of the proposed action having been filed already, and I am happy to ‘forgive’ him for his little act of disrespect to his senior brother, which I deem pardonable as long as he was spending his valuable time preparing the suit.
On May 19, 2016, the EC issued its response to the SC’s orders by welcoming the directives of the court as meaning “that the Electoral Commission has a duty to compile a credible register, and in so doing, must act within the remits of the Constitution and applicable law; and that the existing law has made ample and sufficient provisions for ineligible names to be deleted during the exhibition of the provisional register but such deletions must be in accordance with the existing law”
The EC pointedly stated in its release, "the SC had once again rejected the so-called ‘validation’ process sought by the Plaintiffs “without statutory authority and in “carrying out its functions, the Electoral Commission cannot employ non-statutory remedies”.
For persons who registered with NHIA cards, such registrations were lawful at the time of registration, and the subsequent declaration of unconstitutionality in the earlier Abu Ramadan case does not ‘automatically render them void’. Such a position would have the effect of disenfranchising the persons affected.
So, as far as I am concerned, the issues before the SC for clarification are: 1) What are the processes under the applicable laws of Ghana it wants the EC to adopt to delete the names of ineligible persons from the electoral register: and 2) What is the true meaning and direction of Justice Dotse’s recent pronouncement “that the ruling was clear and unambiguous and that the EC must remove the names of persons who registered with the NHIS card”?
I salute Abu Ramadan, Nana Bediatuo and Evans Nimako for your action. Over to you the SC for a swift, unequivocal and waffle-free clarification of your orders of May 5 2016, which for the record were: “ a)That the Electoral Commission takes steps immediately to delete or as is popularly known ‘clean” the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and applicable laws of Ghana; b) that any person whose name is deleted from the register of voters by the Electoral Commission pursuant to order (a) above be given the opportunity to register under the law.
Please don’t ask me my view on who is right. Let us all wait for the SC’s further directions on its ruling. I hope it's all clear to all of us this once and for all.
Credit: Charles Wereko Brobbey
An MP has died after she was shot and stabbed in an attack in her constituency, West Yorkshire Police have said.
Jo Cox, 41, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, had been left bleeding on the ground by her attacker. A 52-year-old man was arrested nearby.
Her husband Brendan Cox said she would want people "to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her".
David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn were among the politicians paying tribute.
Live updates on this story
Vote Leave and Remain have both suspended campaigning in the EU referendum in light of the attack.
Mrs Cox is the first sitting MP to be killed since 1990, when Ian Gow was the last in a string of politicians to die at the hands of Northern Irish terror groups.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the country would be "in shock at the horrific murder", describing the MP as a "much loved colleague".
He added: "Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve.
"In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died.
"But for now all our thoughts are with Jo's husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for."
Cafe owner Clarke Rothwell, who witnessed the attack, said he heard a "loud popping noise that sounded like a balloon burst - a loud balloon".
"When I looked round there's a man stood there in his 50s with a white baseball cap on and a jacket with a gun, an old fashioned looking gun in his hand," he said.
"He shot this lady once and then he shot her again, he fell to the floor, leant over shot her once more in the face area.
"Somebody tried to grab him, wrestling with him and then he wielded a knife, like a hunting knife, just started lunging at her with a knife half a dozen times. People were screaming and running from the area".
Eyewitness Hithem Ben Abdallah, said the mother of two was left lying and bleeding on the pavement after the incident.
Mr Abdallah, 56, was in a cafe next door to the library shortly after 13:00 BST when he heard screaming and went outside.
"There was a guy who was being very brave and another guy with a white baseball cap who he was trying to control and the man in the baseball cap suddenly pulled a gun from his bag".
After a brief scuffle, he said the man stepped back and the MP became involved.
Mr Abdallah said the weapon had "looked handmade" and a man who had been wrestling with the gunman continued even after seeing the gun.
He said: "The man stepped back with the gun and fired it and then he fired a second shot, as he was firing he was looking down at the ground."
"He was kicking her as she was lying on the floor", he said.
Her husband, Brendan, has since tweeted a picture of his wife standing by the side of the River Thames in London.
Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton said he had known Jo Cox since before she became an MP.
Mr Hamilton said: "And I'm just completely devastated, I know Birstall reasonably well, and I think we're all totally shocked."
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman said he was "absolutely stunned".
"I was a mentor to her," he said.
"She was the same age as my daughter. She was one of the real talents in parliament, people loved her in the constituency."
Ms Cox, who was born in Batley, was elected in 2015.
She was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School and graduated from Cambridge University in 1995.
A former head of policy for Oxfam, she also worked as an adviser to Sarah Brown and Baroness Kinnock.
Mark Goldring, Oxfam's chief executive, said: " Oxfam is deeply shocked to hear the news. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jo and her family at this difficult time."
Most MPs hold surgeries in their constituency to give people an opportunity to meet them and discuss matters of concern.
They are usually held once a week and advertised locally or online. An MP may take up an issue on a constituent's behalf.
A former Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Ho Central, Hon. Mawuto Gor has described as needless the plans by the Minority to impeach President Mahama.
According to him, even if there are grounds for any impeachment procedures, it will not be necessary considering the number of months ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The Minority in Parliament have hinted of an impeachment procedures against President Mahama over his alleged acceptance of a ford expedition vehicle presented to him by one Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe, allegedly for helping him to secure contracts for fencing Ghana’s embassy in Burkina Faso and also winning the 46.4km European Union funded Dodo-Pepesu Road Contract.
But responding to the plans by the Minority on Rainbow Radio's Nyankonton Mu Nsem, Hon. Mawuto Gor said ''personally even if they are are grounds for impeachment, i do not think that it will be necessary considering the fact that we only some few months to the general elections.''
The former MCE said although President Mahama claims to be fighting corruption, he has not taken concrete steps in fighting the canker head on.
He explained, the current expose by Mannaseh Azuri is only a tip of the ice burg when the issue corruption in Mahama's government is mentioned.
''Let us face the fact, and we would see that, over the years Mahama's efforts in fighting corruption has just being talks. He has not walked that talk. He only speaks about it but he doesn't make concrete efforts at fighting corruption. We don't see it all. So obviously, this is just part of the corruption that has bedeviled the Mahama's government and he is not taking any critical steps to fight.''
Hon. Mawutor Gor stressed, Mahama gives corruption a mouth service but do not show commitment in fighting it.
In his view, the impeachment process can wait, while Ghanaians themselves go the polls to elect the choice of President.
The attack against sexual 'minorities' has been widely condemned by the One Hear Foundation (OHF).
According to the foundation, the Orlando attack calls for concern especially among human rights advocates.
In a statement issued by the foundation, they said, ''One Heart Foundation Ghana (OHF) edge all human rights advocates around the globe to speak against such abuses and discrimination against the LGBTIQ community or else LGBTIQ will or may continue to suffer such attacks, however we continue to stay optimistic that one day together we shall overcome bigotry, religious differences and atrocities that come with human rights.''
The statement added, ''Not quite long, the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando resulting in the killing of 49 innocent people and wounded 53 more in an attack was shock to other countries who share the same concern with the LGBTIQ around the world.
''With my heartfelt grievances, I call upon the law enforcement, stakeholders, security agencies, opinion and political leaders to address the abuses the LGBTIQ communities face.''
Omar Mateen, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, shot his way into Pulse nightclub at 2 a.m. Sunday with an assault rifle, Orlando Police announced Sunday. Mateen reportedly took hostage several patrons who were hiding in a bathroom. A SWAT unit entered the club at 6 a.m. and killed Mateen in what was described by law enforcement as a sustained gun battle.
The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history killed 49 people after a gunman attacked a gay dance club in Orlando, Florida.
Below is the full statement:
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AGAINST LGBTIQ COMMUNITIES (ORLANDO ATTACK)… A concern to all human right activists and advocates
A human rights abuse against LGBTIQ persons around the globe has increased and that makes the livelihood of an individual’s difficult to live as humans with regards to freedom and rights. LGBTIQ community should enjoy as ordinary citizens in the world without fear of intimidation and abuses.
Not quite long, the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando resulting in the killing of 49 innocent people and wounded 53 more in an attack was shock to other countries who share the same concern with the LGBTIQ around the world.
One Heart Foundation Ghana (OHF) edge all human rights advocates around the globe to speak against such abuses and discrimination against the LGBTIQ community or else LGBTIQ will or may continue to suffer such attacks, however we continue to stay optimistic that one day together we shall overcome bigotry, religious differences and atrocities that come with human rights.
With my heartfelt grievances, I call upon the law enforcement, stakeholders, security agencies, opinion and political leaders to address the abuses the LGBTIQ communities face.
My deepest condolence to all LGBT fraternity, especially the families of all those who lost their brothers, sisters and friends.
‘’ it takes no compromise to give people their rights… it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to remove repression.’’
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has made amendments to the requirements for surrender and repatriation of export receipts as part of measures to deepen the foreign exchange market and promote greater transparency in the determination of the exchange rate.
Effective 1st July this year, all exporters except those with retention agreement have been permitted to operate accounts offshore will be required to repatriate in full all their export receipts in banks in Ghana for cedis equivalent on need base or foreign exchange account.
The President of the Association, Mr. Samson Awingo bite spoke to Rainbow News saying the requirement is a good news for them as an association since this will help their exporting and importing rules since the moneys will be placed in their accounts in Ghana.
In 2014, Ghana’s Central Bank reviewed the directives it introduced to shore up the local currency against the dollar and other major foreign currencies.
The directive, among other things, placed a limit of $1000.00 on over-the-counter foreign exchange cash withdrawals at the country’s banks.
This Mr. Awingobite affected their operations as majority of their members preferred saving abroad to enable them pay their business partners as the directive delayed their operations.
He said, the new directive will boost their confidence in doing business and allow members who are currently saving abroad to transfer their money into their local accounts.
He added, the association has and will continue to advocate for members to identify policies which will help them.
Suspended General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyapong has withdrawn as witness for Mr. Paul Afoko who is challenging his suspension as National Chairman of the elephant party, at the Human Rights Court.
He was expunged as witness following his absence and unavailability in court to testify in support of Mr Afoko’s case that he was wrongfully suspended.
Mr Agyepong was expected to testify in court on Thursday but when the case was called he was absent.
The court went ahead to expunge him as witness after counsel for Mr. Afoko Mr Sarfo Buabeng told the court that he was not available to give testimony and that the legal team was withdrawing him.
Kwabena Agyapong was supposed to be the third witness of the suspended National Chairman.
With this new development, he will not be able to testify in support of his embattled chairman.
Mr. Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe, National Chairman, General Secretary and 2nd Vice Chairman respectively, were suspended by the party for what was described as “misconduct” and “disregard for party structures.”
The court , presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Yeboah, adjourned the case to June 24, 2016 for the NPP to open their defence.
The investigative report by Accra Based Joy FM's Mannaseh Azuri that Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe, offered President Mahama a Ford Expedition as a gift is an half baked story meant to malign the President.
President Mahama has been lambasted by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) for accepting the controversial gift. According to them the President accepting the gift is a smack of conflict of interest.
Mr Djibril Kanazoe, who has been given a series of contracts by the Government of Ghana, including a $650,000 deal to fence a tract of land around Ghana’s mission in Burkina Faso, gifted the SUV to Mr Mahama in 2012.
But commenting on the story on Rainbow Radio, the Central Regional Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) said ''the journalist allowed himself to be manipulated in publishing such an half baked story.
''The story published by the journalist is an half truth baked stories, and just to malign the President. The truth is that, diplomatic gifts are normal with every Presidency. The state of Libya made a donation of an heavy Mercedes Benz to President Kufour who added it to the poll vehicles at the Presidency. The ford expedition is part of the fleet of vehicles at the Presidency.''
He quizzed should Mannaseh Azuri be so mischievous just to malign the President; At the end of the day what is he going to get out of it? Is he trying to be a hollow valiant or hollow hero?''
He added, ''Journalists in Ghana should not allow themselves to be manipulated by politicians.''
On the issue of awarding of contracts to the Burkinabe, he said it was based on his competence and not the so-called gift presented to President Mahama.
''This is a malicious attempt to endanger the lives of Ghanaians working in Burkina Faso.''