Pressure group, OccupyGhana is demanding answers to 23 questions from government on the full details between it and the US Government over resettlement of the two former detainees of the Guantanamo Bay Prisons.
The two ex-detainees of the Guantanamo Bay Prisons, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who arrived in Ghana on Thursday January 7, 2016 for a two-year stay as part of a deal reached between the United States of America and the Government of Ghana.
President Mahama in a press conference yesterday also admonished Ghanaians to remain calm since there is no security threat following our decision.
However OccupyGhana is still demanding more answers.
The statement by the group among the 23 questions is demanding for the real names, professional and occupational background, restrictions of the detainees.
Below is the full letter to government by OccupyGhana
STATUS OF MESSRS. MOHAMMED OMAR BIN ATEF & KHALID MUHAMMAD SALIH AL-DHUBY
Pursuant to Article 21 (f) of the 1992 Constitution, OccupyGhana® writes in respect of the above-mentioned former detainees of the Guantanamo Bay Prison, whom you have confirmed the Government of Ghana (GoG) has agreed to accept to live in Ghana for a period of two years, after which period they may opt to leave Ghana.
We of OccupyGhana® are alarmed by the conduct of GoG in respect of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby respectively and demand that you answer the following issues:
1. What are the real names and any aliases of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby that are known to GoG?
2. Prior to the detention of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby, what were their professional/vocational/occupational backgrounds?
3. When did GoG execute an agreement with the government of the United States for the acceptance of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?
4. Why did GoG make an announcement to Ghanaians of the acceptance of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby only after FOX News had broken the news?
5. Was Parliament or any of its Committees at any point in time briefed on the decision of GoG to accept Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby? If Parliament or any of its Committees was involved, kindly furnish the name(s) and the date(s).
6. Are Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby among former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees who have expressed fears at any time of torture or persecution if they returned to Yemen, their home country?
7. Has Yemen confirmed to GoG that Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby risk criminal trial if they return to Yemen?
8. If there is no confirmation that Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby do not risk a criminal trial if they return to Yemen, why has GoG accepted them to live in Ghana?
9. Why did GoG agree to accept Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby when the United States as the country that has primary responsibility for the two and other Guantanamo Bay detainees and former detainees is unable to do so because of strong opposition to settle even a single of the former detainees on American soil?
10. Did GoG consider the fact that some former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees have joined terrorist organisations on their release before agreeing to accept Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?
11. Did GoG consider the fact that some former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees have engaged in “propaganda warfare” by speaking out publicly against their detentions and justifying terrorism before accepting Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?
12. What legal status has GoG given Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?
13. Do Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have a right to work whilst in Ghana?
14. Do Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have the opportunity for family reunion whilst in Ghana?
15. Do Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have the right to access public services, including housing, education, medical care, socialization and integration programs whilst in Ghana?
16. Do Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have voting rights whilst in Ghana?
17. Will GoG grant Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby residence permits whilst in Ghana?
18. Will GoG grant Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby refugee status whilst in Ghana?
19. Is GoG aware that restrictions on the movements of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby whilst they are in Ghana can only be ordered by a court and not the executive branch of Government?
20. Did GoG consider that by agreeing to accept Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby, Ghana and its citizens worldwide can be viewed by terrorists organisations as collaborators with the United States in its fight against terrorists such that the country and its citizens may be targeted for terrorist attacks?
21. Are there any financial gains to Ghana for its acceptance of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?
22. If there are any financial gains for Ghana’s acceptance of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby, into which bank account(s) of the Republic of Ghana would the said financial gains be paid?
23. If there are any financial gains for Ghana’s receipt of Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby, what uses would the said financial gains be put?
We trust that you would use your good offices to furnish OccupyGhana® responses to these questions within a week of your receipt of this communication.
Yours in the service of God and Country,
The management of Koala Shopping Centre in fulfillment of their promise to replace the damaged vehicle of the ‘brave’ taxi driver who rammed into the motor bike of two suspected armed robbers who attempted robbing an assistant administrator of the supermarket.
It could be recalled that the two suspected robbers Abaliku Sannie, 35, and Oko Quaicoo, 30 shot the victim in demand of the daily sales of the company which she usually deposit at the bank.
But for the timely intervention of the taxi driver, the two suspected robbers would have absconded.
The cab got damaged in the process and as a reward to honour his brave act, the company promised to hand over a new cab and Koala at a colourful ceremony has handed him a brand new Chevrolet Optra Saloon car.
Speaking to rainbowradioonline.com, the head of Marketing and Public Relations, Christal Beeko said ‘’This was the promise we made to him when he saved our employee…Koala Management promised to give him a car and we finally got it today by God’s grace and we were able to present it him. We gave him the keys so he is a car owner”
“We wanted to do something for him for what he did. Our colleague is very dear to us, she has been with the company for many years…”
President Mahama has also directed that the taxi driver be given a three bedroom apartment for his brave act.
Answering questions posed by the press yesterday, President Mahama said ‘’I believe that in every country people who show bravery or go beyond their comfort zones to show courage as a national or selfless duty needs to be awarded and rewarded and is done in every country,’’ especially when the person has shown a mark of courage and endangered his life in other to save somebody or to rescue a situation…’’
The US has apologised to Iran after 10 American sailors were arrested for entering Iranian waters, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval forces has said.
General Ali Fadavi accused those detained of "unprofessional" acts.
But he suggested the group, who are being held by the guards, could be released soon.
Despite last year's breakthrough nuclear deal tensions remain between the US and Iran.
US Secretary of State John Kerry contacted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over the incident.
Giving his assessment of the talks, Gen Fadavi said "Mr Zarif had a firm stance, saying that they were in our territorial waters and should not have been, and saying that they [the US] should apologise".
"This has been done and it will not take long, and the naval force, according to its hierarchy, will act immediately upon the orders it receives," he added.
The Ghana Armed Forces has revealed they are not ready to recall the about 500 military recruits dismissed in December last year after they embarked on ‘’unauthorised assembly’’ in protest against what they [recruits] described as ‘’maltreatment’’.
Some the recruits after they were dismissed have denied partaking in the said protest and that there were unfairly dismissed and have called for their reinstatement into the training school.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie said the decision to dismiss the recruits was established after they were found to have misconducted themselves and therefore they will not be re-called.
He explained that if by the protest something positive came up, they would have all benefited hence the affected recruits should accept their fate and move on.
‘’Some investigations were done and that is how come they [Board] were able to establish what they did,’’ he stressed.
According to him, Ghanaians will soon come to appreciate this bold decision taken by the GAF to dismiss the recruits although many have expressed concerns over the action.
Colonel Aggrey Quarshie stated the training at the army school is in stages and every recruit is expected to endure no matter the challenge.
‘’Our training is very hectic,’’ but with perseverance, one can go through and come up successful.
The PRO for the Ghana Armed Forces charged Ghanaians to assist the security agencies to clamp down on criminals in our communities.
When he was asked to comment on the decision to make comments on the resettlement of the two former detainees of the Guantanamo Bay Prisons, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie declined saying Government will not do anything to jeopardize the security of this country.
Owners and operators of all the micro finance institutions whose licences were revoked by the Central Bank will face prosecution for fraud for ‘’cheating’’ depositors.
This was revealed by President Mahama in his interaction with the press at the Flagstaff House today.
He said government is going to take action to protect Ghanaians most especially depositors.
‘’…We are going to prosecute them for fraud. They are currently in BNI custody, they’ve being remanded for a week. We will go back to court because investigations has started and those who have cheated the people will pay for it,’’ President Mahama said.
He added the owners of the various institutions will not be prosecuted but government will put a lien on all their properties, sell them and pay off all their deposited.
‘’I have asked the BNI to look for look for and identify all their properties and put a lien on those properties. So that even if we are able to sell those properties and get some money we can still refund,’’ depositors money back to them.
President Mahama indicated a forum would be organised in the Brong Ahafo region to interact with all affected victims on Wednesday to explain to them the current situation over the matter.
He was however scandalised over the politicisation of the matter and allegation that the Central Bank froze the accounts of the institutions to allow Government use the money for roads.
‘’…The cocoa roads programme is GHC 3 billion…what are going to take…GHC 65 million (of a microfinance) to do roads,’’ he quizzed and yet that is what some parties are going round to tell people,’’ President Mahama lamented.
He charged politicians to desist from political deviousness which is only meant to insight people against government.
President Mahama who also expressed his shock at the calibre of people who deposited at these micro financial institutions including pastors, heads of institutions among others.
He advised citizens saying ‘’…I will appeal to my fellow Ghanaians, if someone is offering you higher than the treasury bill rates,’’ and ‘’profits free please take a step back,’’ and reconsider you decision in investing in the
A ranking member on the Select Committee on Defence in Parliament and MP for the Nkoranza North constituency, Major Retired Derick Oduro has argued that the decision by the Ghana Armed Forces to dismiss about recruits for ‘’misconduct’’ was in the right direction because the action by the recruits was a threat to national security and a sign of a possible coup.
The recruits in on the 3rd of December last year embarked on an “unauthorised assembly” to register their displeasure about “strenuous” exercises they feel was a form of “maltreatment” being meted out to them.
The GAF in a statement released to the effect of the dismissal of the recruits said the action was a threat to national security.
This the legislator and former army officer, Hon. Major Retired Oduro in an interview on frontline on Rainbow Radio said, the action by the recruits was a possible sign for plotting a coup hence should be encouraged in a discipline institution like the military.
He explained anyone who tries to join the military should be someone who high sense of patriotism and matured enough to withstand the training at the training school.
Hon. Major Retired Oduro added although there are a few challenges confronting Ghana’s security, things are generally under control and the nation is doing extremely well.
Liverpool have signed Queens Park Rangers central defender Steven Caulker on loan until the end of season.
The 24-year-old was on loan at Southampton but that agreement has been cancelled immediately to allow him to move to Anfield.
The paperwork was completed in time for him to be eligible to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday - if included in the squad.
Liverpool have been hit by a succession of injuries to central defenders.
The Merseyside club have lost Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren to hamstring injuries, but Kolo Toure (cramp) and Mamadou Sakho (knee) will be fit to face Arsenal.
Tiago Ilori was recalled from a loan spell at Aston Villa to play in the FA Cup third round on Friday.
The Reds have been linked with former Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic and Schalke defender Joel Matip, who could still move to Anfield in the summer.
Caulker, who won one England cap in 2012, has seen his career stall after moving on loan to St Mary's Stadium after previously playing for Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City.
He also had loan spells at Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Swansea City during his time at White Hart Lane.
A suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) group has killed 10 people, at least nine of them German tourists, in a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul, officials say.
They say the Syrian national carried out the attack in the Sultanahmet district, near the famous Blue Mosque.
Fifteen people were wounded, many of them also German.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was the "top target for all terrorist groups in the region".
His country, he added, was "fighting against all of them equally".
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu telephoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel to offer his condolences, the Anadolu news agency quoted his office as saying.
Mr Davutoglu later said: "We have determined that the perpetrator of the attack is a foreigner who is a member of Daesh (IS)."
He vowed to find and punish those linked to the bomber and pledged to continue the fight against IS militants.
Turkey's Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus said earlier: "It has been identified that the suicide bomber is Syrian and his connections are being investigated."
The suspect was said to have been born in 1988 and was identified from body parts.
Some Turkish media said the suspect was a Syrian citizen but had been born in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Kurtulmus said the suspect was not on Turkey's militant watch-list and was believed to have recently crossed into Turkey from Syria.
Turkey last year took a more active role against IS in Syria, carrying out air strikes and allowing US warplanes to use its Incirlik base for missions.
Eyewitness Murat Manaz said: "It was a suicide bomb. I went there and saw it and came back to the hotel. There was chaos. Everybody was running somewhere.
"Policemen did not see this coming. They were distressed but at the same time they were trying to evacuate the area because they said there was a possibility that a second bomb could go off."
Bishop Pat Buckley, from Northern Ireland, had been taking photos in Sultanahmet Square shortly before the blast and had moved on into the Blue Mosque.
He told the BBC: "I have lived in Northern Ireland since the 70s, and I have heard explosions, and this was incredibly loud. I saw dust through the doorway of the mosque and I could smell the explosives."
He added: "I am slightly worried because there is talk here that they are expecting further trouble and we have been warned to avoid crowds."
Mrs Merkel had earlier expressed "serious concern" about the casualties, saying a German tourist group had been affected.
She added: "Today Istanbul was hit; Paris has been hit, Tunisia has been hit, Ankara has been hit before. International terrorism is once again showing its cruel and inhuman face today."
Germany currently provides the largest number of tourists visiting Turkey. In 2014, 23.6 million people visited, with the top three:
Germans - 5.1 million (21.5%)
Russians - 3.7 million (15.6%)
Britons - 1.5 million (6.3%)
What is the security situation in Turkey?
Turkey faces myriad security threats and establishing which group is behind this latest attack will be a matter of urgency. The Islamic State group has been blamed for three bombings in Turkey in the past year, including an attack in Ankara that killed more than 100 people. Violence has also soared between Turkish security forces and PKK militants, battling for more autonomy for the Kurds, after a ceasefire agreement broke down in July. A PKK offshoot, the TAK, fired a mortar at Istanbul airport last month. Far left groups are also active in Turkey, and a female suicide bomber attacked a police station in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district last year.
Who could be behind the latest attack?
President Erdogan has blamed a "suicide bomber of Syrian origin". The conflict in Syria has not only seen the rise of IS but also strengthened the PKK's offshoot in Syria, known as the YPG. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but correspondents point out that IS was similarly silent following previous attacks last year that were widely blamed on the jihadist group.
How is the Turkish government responding?
Last year Turkey agreed to take a more active role in the US-led campaign against IS, carrying out air strikes in Syria. It also allowed US warplanes to strike IS targets from its base in Incirlik and moved to tighten security along its 900km (560 mile) border with Syria. Meanwhile Turkish forces have also been targeting Kurdish militants in northern Iraq. And violence has flared in Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-east, where the Turkish military says it has killed some 600 PKK militants over the past month, according to Anadolou Agency.