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The Accra High Court has granted bail to Rabih Haddad, the 39 year-old Lebanese alleged to have raped his 19- year -old house help. The court, presided over by Mr Justice Kofi Dorgu, granted bail to Haddad in the sum of GH¢500,000 with two sureties. One of the sureties must be a gainfully employed Ghanaian with a fixed place of abode. Haddad has also been ordered to submit his passport to the court registry and also seek permission from the court if he wants to travel outside its jurisdiction. In the ruling to grant the bail, the court held that the actions of the prosecution showed that it was now fishing for evidence to prosecute the accused. Haddad, the court said, should not be on remand while the prosecution continues with its fishing of evidence. Facts Per the facts of the case, the 19-year-old house help was employed by Rabih and his wife in November 2017. Ever since the house help moved into the house, the prosecutor said, Rabih had been pestering her for sex. According to Supt Bempah, on November 30, 2017, Rabih lured the house help into one of the bedrooms upstairs and “forcibly had sexual intercourse with her when his wife and other occupants of the house had gone out”. He explained that on December 2, 2017, Rabih requested the house help to prepare coffee for him. “When she went to the kitchen to prepare the coffee, Rabih went to her and demanded to have sexual intercourse with her. She resisted and that infuriated Rabih, who slapped her and hit her on the neck. “He then dragged her into the master bedroom, stripped her naked and forcibly had sex with her on the bed,’’ he said. Supt Bempah said the house help reported her ordeal to a co-worker, who also gave the information out to the police. The matter, he said, was subsequently reported to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), leading to Rabih’s arrest.   Credit: GraphicOnline
Former Chief of Staff under former President John Dramani Mahama, Julius Debrah has rubbished claims that his former officials bought cars at expensive prices and later sold them back to the suppliers at low cost.   Mr. Debrah issued the statement in reaction to a statement by  Thomas Kusi Boafo that officials under Mahama bought cars at expensive prices and later sold them back to the suppliers at low cost. Below are details of the statement by Mr. Debrah My attention has been drawn to a number of claims by one Thomas Kusi Boafo in a video purported to be from a submission he made on radio regarding the number of vehicles bequeathed to the Akufo-Addo government. Kusi Boafo among others claimed in the video, that it was the practice under the immediate past regime to buy expensive vehicles and have the suppliers buy them back at ridiculously low prices. In one instance he claimed that a vehicle bought for US$ 165,000 was sold to the supplier at US$ 2,500 after six months. He also spoke about vehicles sold prior to the exit of the previous government. For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to state as follows: 1) Under no circumstance and at no time during my tenure as Chief of Staff or the previous government was any such vehicle either bought or sold at the price quoted by Kusi Boafo. His claims in that regard are therefore totally false and malicious. 2) On the matter of vehicles bought by ex-government officials, Mr Kusi Boafo and his principals are aware of a long-standing policy under which salon cars aged two years and above are permitted to be bought by departing government officials. This policy has been in existence since the advent of the fourth republic and persons benefitting from it are made to pay a commensurate value objectively determined by professional valuers. It is surprising, and perhaps underscores the malicious intent of Mr Kusi Boafo, that he failed to disclose vehicles bought by members of the Kufour administration on the eve of their exit from office under the same policy and processes in 2008/2009.Many of the beneficiaries of that policy happen to be high-profile members of the Akufo-Addo government. These latest false claims follow similar claims by the Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, which are all false. They also appear to be a rehash of untruthful claims made by Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, to the effect that over 200 vehicles could not be found at the Presidency. We wish to assure however, that we stand prepared to correct such misimpressions and expose the mischief therein.   Julius Debrah Former Chief of Staff   Monday,15th January,2018
New HIV infections in Ghana have recorded an alarming 70.15% increase in just one year. The figure increased from 12,000 new infections in 2015 to 20,418 in 2016. The increase in new infections is a matter of concern because Ghana recorded significant gains in the key target areas of ending HIV/AIDS for five years. New infections drop 30% between 2009 and 2014. Between 2009 and 2014, the country recorded a 30 per cent reduction in new HIV infections and a 43 per cent reduction in AIDS-related deaths. 15,116 Died from HIV and AIDS-related illness in 2016. A Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) report also revealed that in 2016, a total of 15,116 people in Ghana died of HIV and AIDS-related illness. 12,585 Adults died of AIDS in 2016 Out of the total AIDS-related deaths, 12,585, representing 83 per cent, were adults. 2,531 Children under 14 years died of AIDS Similarly, 2,531 AIDS-related deaths, representing 17 per cent, were children under 14 years. 293,804 People are living with HIV Again, an estimated 293,804 people are living with HIV (PLHIV) in Ghana. 261,770 Adults living with HIV According to the data, of those living with HIV, 261,770, representing 89 per cent, are adults? 32,034 Children living with HIV. In the same vein, 32,034, representing 11 per cent, of those living with the virus are children. Gender breakdown Among the PLHIV, 115.244, representing 39 per cent, are males and 178,560 (61 per cent) are females. According to the report, the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions recorded the highest prevalence rate of 2.7 per cent for 2016, which is above the national HIV prevalence of 2.4 per cent. The Northern Region registered the lowest prevalence rate, recording 0.7 per cent prevalence rate. Figures for other regions The prevalence rates for the other regions are: Eastern – 2.6 per cent, Ashanti – 2.6 per cent, Western – 2.5 per cent, Upper West – 2.5 per cent, Greater Accra – 2.4 per cent, Central – 1.8 per cent, and Upper East – 1.7 per cent. HIV prevalence was higher in urban areas, hitting 2.5 per cent, compared to 1.9 per cent for rural areas. HIV among pregnant women increase The National AIDS Control Programme said the report shows an increase in the prevalence rate among pregnant women, representing a second consecutive time of rising incidence among Ghanaian pregnant women. Two consecutive upsurges According to the report, the HIV prevalence for 2016 of 2.4 per cent represents a second consecutive upsurge from the 2014 prevalence of 1.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent in 2015. HIV prevalence among ages 45-49 highest It revealed that HIV prevalence by age group 45-49 is highest at 5.6 per cent, followed by 35-39, with 15-19 being the lowest at 0.6 per cent. Agormanya, Sunyani top urban sites The highest prevalence within urban sites was 4.2 per cent in Agormanya in the Eastern Region and Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, with Wa in the Upper West Region with 3.7 per cent. Rural prevalence highest at Fanteakwa Rural prevalence ranged from 0.5 per cent in Builsa in the Upper East Region, Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region and Salaga in the Northern Region to 3.3 per cent in Fanteakwa in the Eastern Region. Types of HIV recorded in 2016 According to the report, the proportion of HIV subtype 1 is 98.5 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent for dual HIV type 1 and 2 infections while there was no HIV type 2 infection. Syphilis figures It said median syphilis prevalence for 2016 is 0.2 per cent and the regional syphilis infections ranged from zero in the Brong Ahafo and Upper East regions to 0.8 per cent in the Central Region. The HIV Sentinel Survey is a cross-sectional survey targeting pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in selected areas in the country. In the last 11 years, health officials say, the HIV Sentinel Survey data have been used as the primary data source for the national HIV and AIDS estimates. Director-General of the GAC, Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi told journalists in Accra that the increase in new infections is a call for concern. The commission has admitted that the preventive education had not been done effectively these days. “These days, people see me and ask, ‘So is this HIV still in existence’. And so I think we shouldn’t rest on our oars,” she observed. She announced that the strategic objectives of GAC for the year 2018 are to ensure the availability of funding for all relevant HIV programmes, review and formulate policies towards epidemic control. Dr Adu-Gyamfi said all those could be achieved through the implementation of the provision of the GAC ACT 938, especially the HIV and AIDS Fund and its effective management. She also said there would be a revision of the current National HIV and AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI) Policy to reflect the country’s needs and current global trends. There would also be a continuation of the implementation of recent policies and programmes of the national response to the epidemic, adopted by the nation, such as the 90-90-90 Fast Track Target, the Treat All Policy, and the Differentiated Models of Care. According to Dr Adu-Gyamfi, “All these are expected to spur the nation on in its efforts to achieve the National Strategic Plan 2016-2020 targets of reducing new infections and AIDS-related deaths”. She noted that the commission and its partners would step up programmes to help prevent HIV infection through education and prevention of mother-to-child transmission and early infant diagnosis, and link up those infected to care and treatment. The commission would also widen access to HIV treatment through the training of lay counsellors, reduce stigma and discrimination against PLHIV and those affected by HIV through advocacy while strengthening the implementation of task-sharing guidelines, with emphasis on community level actors. Dr Adu-Gyamfi announced that the National HIV and AIDS Research Conference would be held in May 2018 to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and smart practices in HIV research and programmes, as well as disseminate findings from relevant HIV and AIDS research. She urged the media, especially, and all partners to support the commission to achieve its set targets for the general good of the country. The meeting, aimed to chart the way forward in the fight of the HIV epidemic in 2018, was attended by regional, district and national officers of the commission, and chaired by Dr Adu-Gyamfi, who briefed the media on the outcomes of the meeting. – Source: The Finder Newspaper     
The Ministry of Health has been directed by cabinet to take over the management of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).    This was confirmed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ministry. In an a interview with Accra based Citi Fm, Mr. Robert Cudjoe said, “The Ministry is taking over, just like it is mandated to ensure the health of the populace for national development. All health-related facilities in Ghana, both public and private all fall under the purview of the Ministry of Health, so it was strange for anybody to say that a particular hospital shouldn’t have the ministry of health coming close. It is the Ministry of Health that trains all the various health professionals and posts them to the various facilities. This is the wisdom by which cabinet has decided that it should be managed or come under the Ministry of Health.’’     He also disputed claims that some National Security officials that stormed the facility were there to take over the management of the facility.     “The Company that won the bid and also constructed the facility has made it clear to the Ministry that they have completed all that they needed to do and for that matter they are demobilizing and are leaving the site. But if they are leaving the site, there are so many tools, items that are there at the moment. We have Legon security personnel patrolling and also taking care of the facility.”   “There are cases of pilfering going on from time to time so it became necessary for the Ministry to engage the National Security to go to the facility, analyze the situation and recommend appropriately, the number of additional security personnel who will be needed for them to check pilfering until the time that the facility will officially be opened to use by the public. They were not there to takeover because this is not a Military style or kind of thing,” he added.
A UK based Ghanaian; Nana Poku, has pat Donald Trump in the back for describing Africa as a shithole.   The Ghanaian citizen reacting to the statement on Rainbow Radio with Kwame Tutu said, the statement ‘’is a wakeup call for Africans and our leaders because Africa is a shithole.’’   He said majority of citizens both home and abroad are happy and jubilating over the statement by the US president. He said, Africa is a shithole because we sit on gold and yet the money we generate from our resources, is shared by our leaders who form a cartel to steal from the state.   Nana Poku was also disgusted and wondered why our leaders will travel abroad to seek medical care, send their children abroad to study when we have schools and medical facilities in Ghana. He said, it makes no sense for our leaders to send their children abroad and called for an amendment of our laws to prevent leaders from sending their children abroad.   He said, our leaders should better the systems, improve upon our sectors so we will have their children study in Ghana.   He took his gun on Nigerian leaders and questioned why citizens in that country will queue for fuel after the country discovered oil in large quantities many years ago.   Nana Poku called on Ghanaians to stage demonstrations in protest against the ills in the country because ‘’until we do that, we will still lack behind,’’ he concluded.
A lecturer at Kings University College, Prof. Agyenim Boateng, has charged the nominee for the office of Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to begin his work from 1992.   Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the International Relations expert suggested that, to ensure the Special Prosecutor is not seen be on a witch-hunting spree, he should start investigating alleged corrupt cases from 1992 to bring corrupt officials to book.   In the view of Prof. Boateng, it would be worrying if the prosecutor hand picks the cases hence the need for him to heed to ''my advice'', he said.   ‘’Martin Amidu should not hand pick the cases, he should begin investigating from 1992. If he fails to do that, he would be seen as bias,’’ he added.   He also expressed concern that, the Attorney-General may frustrate, interfere and prevent the Special Prosecutor from working efficiently.   The lecturer was reacting to the shithole comment made by US President, Donald Trump. According to him, although the comment by the president was undiplomatic, it was a wakeup call to our African leaders in doing their best to make things better in the continent. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last week, named  former Attorney General in the National Democratic Congress [NDC] administration, Martin Alamisi Amidu,  as the Special Prosecutor.     The President in announcing the name, said he received the nomination from the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, and has accepted the nominee, whose name will be forwarded to Parliament for approval when the House reconvenes from recess. He added that Mr. Amidu has the requisite integrity and independence of character to occupy such challenging office.   “I have done so because I am fully convinced that Mr. Martin Amidu, a prominent legal personality who held the high office of the Attorney General of the Republic in the government of the late President John Evans Attah Mills has the requisite integrity, competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this office.”
  Donald Trump defended himself on Sunday in the wake of recent disparaging comments about Haiti and African nations, declaring “I am not a racist”, as two Republican senators backtracked on their interpretation of the comments. The president addressed the issue as he arrived for dinner at his private golf club with the House majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California. Asked what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Trump said, “No, No. I am not a racist.” “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you,” he told reporters.   Trump has been accused of using the word “shithole” to describe African countries during an Oval Office meeting last Thursday with a bipartisan group of six senators. The president also questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the US, according to people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorized to describe the meeting publicly. Trump also said in the meeting that he would prefer immigrants from countries such as Norway instead. Trump on Sunday denied making the statements attributed to him, but didn’t get into specifics about what he did or did not say. “Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?” he asked. “They weren’t made.” Two Republican senators who had earlier said they did not recall Trump using the vulgarity to describe African countries backtracked on Sunday and challenged other senators’ descriptions of the remark.   Georgia Senator David Perdue and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton had issued a statement on Friday saying they “do not recall the President saying those comments specifically.” However, Perdue on Sunday described as a “gross misrepresentation” reports that Trump used the vulgarity. He said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were mistaken in indicating that was the case. All four senators were at the meeting. “I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I’m telling you it’s a gross misrepresentation,” Perdue said on ABC’s “This Week.” Cotton said he “didn’t hear” the word used “and I was sitting no further away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was,” Cotton told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Meanwhile, Trump’s comments and the reaction to them have spotlighted the bitter divide among American evangelicals about his presidency. While some of his evangelical backers expressed support for his leadership, many evangelical leaders who defended him in the past would not comment on the remarks. But other conservative Christians called the president racist and said church leaders had a moral imperative to condemn him. “Your pro-life argument rings hollow if you don’t have an issue with this xenophobic bigotry,” tweeted pastor Earon James of Relevant Life Church in Pace, Florida.   Source: The Guardian 
A twenty-one year (21) old resident at Ahenema Kokoben, Kumasi in the Ashanti region, has reportedly fallen off a three (3) storey building to his death.   The untimely death of the young man has been linked to an overdose of tramol. Narrating the incident to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, our reporter Abdul Malik Anokye said, the deceased was advised against the abuse of the drug.   The incident which occurred on Sunday around 6:30pm has got residents talking with some attributing the unfortunate incident to the drug use.   Tramol (acetaminophen) is a pain reliever and a fever reducer and is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds and fevers. It relieves pain in mild arthritis but its side effect according to the medicine seller is similar to a narcotic. Kwame Asolokwei was pronounced dead on arrival at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.     Abdul Malik Anokye added that, the police has commenced investigations into the matter.
United States Embassy says it has great respect for the people in Africa commitment to Ghana.   In a tweet, the Embassy said ‘’We have great respect for the people of Africa. Our commitment to Ghana and all our African partners remains strong. It’s an honor for our staff to serve here alongside Ghanaians, and we deeply value our relationship with them.’’     The tweet follows comments from President Donald Trump who described African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, as “shithole countries” whose inhabitants were not desirable as immigrants to the U.S.        
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