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Ghana’s peacekeeping troops serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have held a memorial service in honour of the Late Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Secretary-General. The battalion held the memorial service in the early hours of Thursday 13 September 2018 at the battalion headquarters located in Al-Qawzah, Lebanon to coincide with the burial service of the late Ghanaian Statesman. In a tribute written by the battalion, the peacekeepers acknowledged the immense contribution of the late diplomat who rose through the ranks by dint of hard work and perseverance to become the 7th UN Secretary-General. Mr. Annan was especially known for a comprehensive policy on the UN’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) which led to formulation of landmark policies to address the issue of sexual misconduct of UN personnel. Consequently, Conduct and Discipline Units have been established in all UN Peace Support Operation theaters to curb the canker Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. Kofi Annan was also seen as a global icon who put Ghana on the map and will be remembered for his tenacity for change and compassion to the vulnerable groups worldwide. In a short exhortation entitled “How would you want to be remembered”, the battalion Chaplain, Major Cynthia Kumitse entreated all to emulate the virtues exhibited by the late Secretary-General such as service with passion, humility and professionalism. She added that, all should work hard and be remembered for positively affecting the lives of others regardless of the position they may find themselves. The last post was then sounded after which a moment of silence and reveille was observed for the departed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. All flags in UNIFIL, which is the oldest peacekeeping mission in the world are flying at half-mast in honour of the departed former Secretary-General.
Menzgold Ghana Limited has temporarily halted operations effective today, September 13, 2018, following a directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This was contained a statement issued by management despite releasing one yesterday [Wednesday] to disregard the notice sent to the company by SEC ordering it to stop operations. “Following the notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Ghana issued on the 7thday of September, 2018, the Management of Menzgold Ghana limited in its bid to bring some finality to the issues once and for all has decided to place a temporary halt on all extra value payments and any new business related to our Gold vault market,” a statement from management of Menzgold stated. According to the company, it is halting operations for six days with the hope that all pending issues would have been resolved by then.
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is being buried today in Ghana. Mr Annan, a Ghanaian national and Nobel peace laureate, died on August 8 at the age of 80 after a short illness. “Kofi Annan was one of the most illustrious people of this generation. He was like an elderly brother,” Akufo-Addo said in a tribute. Born in Kumasi, the capital city of Ghana’s Ashanti region, Annan devoted four decades of his working life to the UN and was the first chief from sub-Saharan Africa. A career diplomat, he projected quiet charisma and was widely credited for raising the world body’s profile in global politics during his two terms as head of the UN, from 1997 to 2006. Following Annan’s death in Switzerland, where he lived not far from the UN European headquarters in Geneva, Akufo-Addo announced a week of mourning for “one of our greatest compatriots”. Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 — as the world was reeling from the September 11 attacks in the United States — jointly with the UN “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”. Another Nobel laureate, retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Annan as “an outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness, integrity and distinction”. The first chief to rise from within the organisation’s ranks, Annan left the post as one of the most popular UN leaders ever, and was considered a “diplomatic rock star” in international diplomatic circles. After ending his second term as chief, he kept up his diplomatic work, taking high-profile mediation roles in Kenya and in Syria, and more recently leading an advisory commission in Myanmar on the crisis in Rakhine State. He enjoyed some success in ending post-election turmoil in Kenya in 2007, and the two main players in that crisis, former President Mwai Kibaki and his opposition rival Raila Odinga celebrated his efforts this week. Annan’s death was met with an outpouring of tributes from world leaders. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed his “wisdom and courage”, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated the “exceptional statesman in the service of the global community”. Former US President Barack Obama said Annan “embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others”. Current UN chief Antonio Guterres described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good”. “In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations,” he said. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein described him as a “friend to thousands and a leader of millions”. “Kofi was humanity’s best example — the epitome of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful.” Source: AFP
A tax expert, Mr Kudjo Akpabey, has admonished Ghanaians to resist any attempt by individuals to get the Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Domelevo, removed from office. He told Rainbow Radio's Kwame Tutu that we shouldn’t allow people to orchestrate things to get Mr Domelevo removed. What the current Auditor-General is doing he indicated is unprecedented hence the need for Ghanaians to support him. He warned Ghana would be finished if we prevent the ‘’exceptional’’ Auditor-General from carrying out his constitutional duty. ‘’I have lived in this country for years and I can boldly say I have never seen any Auditor-General apart from Ahenkorah who was under former president Nkrumah-as bold as this one. I have written to the previous auditor generals; they will never even respond [but] this one is doing what he is supposed to do. I think the media and all of us [Ghanaians] must back and support him so that he does his work,’’ he posited. He advised the media to be circumspect and stop going after the Auditor-General or allow anyone to use the media to denigrate Mr Domelevo. ‘’Please media, go and support the Auditor-General. If this Auditor-General is not allowed to do his work; I do not want to be a prophet of doom but this country is finished if he [Domelevo] is not allowed to do is work.’’ He is also advocating for 24/7 security protection for Mr Domelevo. Mr Akpabey warned some of them maybe going to court if the undue interference is not stopped. Mr. Domelevo’s petition accused the Chairman and his allies of clothing themselves with powers to direct and control him unconstitutionally. He is vowing he will “not obey any unlawful instructions from the Board, including existing and new decisions that are inconsistent with the Constitution…” The 10-point letter, levelled several allegations against Prof. Dua Agyeman including “manipulating the procurement process”, “attempting to commission an audit”, “interfering with audit process” and “unlawful circulation of audit circulations”. It cited an instance when he wrote to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval to do restricted tendering in accordance with Section 38 of the Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663). He alleged, however, that the Board Chair instructed two of his subordinates- Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu; Deputy Auditor-General and Ebenezer Aglomasa, a Procurement Officer “to replace the approved firms with his choice” after approval was obtained from the PPA. “This was done without my knowledge and without going back to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to change the list originally approved,” the letter stated and claimed that: “The Chairman admitted to the offense with the excuse that the law did not exist during his tenure of office as Auditor-General. The Auditor-General also accused Prof. Dua Agyeman of holding a meeting with another Deputy Auditor-General, Blessed Baffuor-Atta and others, “to discuss the audit of MMDAs liabilities without my knowledge”. “The DAG showed me a letter inviting the Chairman in his capacity as the Chairman of the Audit Service Board to that meeting." According to Mr. Domelevo, when he questioned the Chairman where his mandate to audit in the Public Service and the reasons for calling the DAG to that meeting without his knowledge emanated from, the response he had was that: “he thought the audit in question was below my level as the Auditor-General”. In another instance, the Auditor-General said the Board Chair, who served as Auditor-General between 2001 and 2009 in the administration of President John Agyekum Kufuor, instructed another Deputy Auditor-General, Mrs Roberta Assiamah-Appiah to invite an audit team conducting special audit at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to a meeting while he was away in Kigali, Rwanda. He said he sent a mail to the Board Chair to confirm the information he received from the DAG regarding this meeting. Mr Domelevo quotes Prof. Dua Agyeman as stating in his reply that “…the Chief Executive of NHIA came to him [Chairman] with audit observations that were of concern to the management of the NHIA and hence his directive to meet with the audit team."
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has eulogised Kofi Annan as a great leader, describing the former UN boss as “one-of-a-kind”. The UN chief made the remarks in his tribute to the late UN Secretary General at his final funeral rites today [Thursday]. “He was an exceptional global leader,” he said. He added, the former UN chief was a person that almost everyone across the globe saw themselves in, as brought people together, put them at ease and united them towards a common goal for our common humanity. “He had that gentle voice, that lilt that made people smile and think of music. But his words were tough and wise. And sometimes the graver a situation the lower that voice would get.’’ “Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him,” Guterres declared. According to him, he would continually be inspired by the integrity, dynamism and dedication exhibited by Annan, especially so when he now occupies the post Annan once held. President Akufo-Addo has directed that the Ghanaian flag flies at half-mast across the country and in the country’s foreign missions abroad in deference to the deceased, who some described as Ghana’s gift to the international community. Flags at the UN headquarters in New York are already flying at half-mast. The former international Number One Civil Servant passed away in Switzerland. He was married to his second wife, former lawyer, Nane Lagergren of Sweden. The career diplomat joined the UN in 1962 and rose through the ranks to become the world body’s Secretary-General. Until recently he was the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon.
Audit and tax expert, Kudjo Akabey, has called for the removal of the Board Chairman for the Audit Service if it is established that the allegations levelled against him by the Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Domelevo in his petition to the president are true. Mr Akpabey speaking to Kwame Tutu on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the allegations in the petition are serious and constitutes unconstitutionality hence the need to remove Prof. Dua Agyeman from office for interfering in the work of Mr Domelevo. The petition to the president by the Auditor-General requested Nana Akufo-Addo to intervene in the “unlawful interferences” by the Board Chairman of the Ghana Audit Service whom the Auditor-General accusing of manipulating the procurement processes among others. Mr. Domelevo’s petition also accused the Chairman and his allies of clothing themselves with powers to direct and control him unconstitutionally. He is vowing he will “not obey any unlawful instructions from the Board, including existing and new decisions that are inconsistent with the Constitution…” The Auditor-General also accused Prof. Dua Agyeman of holding a meeting with another Deputy Auditor-General, Blessed Baffuor-Atta and others, “to discuss the audit of MMDAs liabilities without my knowledge”. “The DAG showed me a letter inviting the Chairman in his capacity as the Chairman of the Audit Service Board to that meeting." Mr Akpabey reacting to it said, the board chair who was a former Auditor-General knows best and must cease from his unlawful acts. ‘’This is unacceptable,’’ he fumed and called on Ghanaians to stand with Mr Domelevo and resist any attempt to get him removed. ‘’The board chair is not the Auditor-General. He has his specific role. What he has been accused of doing is criminal. The documents he circulated are classified documents and so if the allegations are true, he must bow out… The Auditor-General is independent and must carry out is work as stipulated by the constitution. He so powerful that not even the president can interfere in his work. The president must set a committee and investigate whether the issues are true and if they are, he must remove the board chair. If the issues being raised by the Auditor-General are true, the board chair has no business being there. That is my view.’’
IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe has said the interferences in the work of the Auditor General by Board Chairman of the Audit Service is an attempt to get him removed from office. He told Kwame Tutu in an interview that, Mr Yaw Domelevo, has started biting at the ruling party and because they see him as threat, they want to get him removed from office. He was responding to the petition sent to the president by the Auditor-General over interferences in his work by the Board Chairman. The petition, dated July 27, 2018 requests the President to intervene in the “unlawful interferences” by the Board Chairman of the Ghana Audit Service whom the Auditor-General accusing of manipulating the procurement processes among others. Mr. Domelevo’s petition also accused the Chairman and his allies of clothing themselves with powers to direct and control him unconstitutionally. He is vowing he will “not obey any unlawful instructions from the Board, including existing and new decisions that are inconsistent with the Constitution…” The Auditor-General also accused Prof. Dua Agyeman of holding a meeting with another Deputy Auditor-General, Blessed Baffuor-Atta and others, “to discuss the audit of MMDAs liabilities without my knowledge”. “The DAG showed me a letter inviting the Chairman in his capacity as the Chairman of the Audit Service Board to that meeting." According to Mr. Domelevo, when he questioned the Chairman where his mandate to audit in the Public Service and the reasons for calling the DAG to that meeting without his knowledge emanated from, the response he had was that: “he thought the audit in question was below my level as the Auditor-General”. In another instance, the Auditor-General said the Board Chair, who served as Auditor-General between 2001 and 2009 in the administration of President John Agyekuma Kufuor, instructed another Deputy Auditor-General, Mrs Roberta Assiamah-Appiah to invite an audit team conducting special audit at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to a meeting while he was away in Kigali, Rwanda. Responding to the petition, Mr Cudjoe said, if the president is serious about the fight against corruption, he must intervene. In his view, not even the Special Prosecutor can do what Mr Domelevo is doing. ‘’The man has started biting and because he is biting, they want to kick him out.'' According to him, the corporate structure under the current leadership is weak and the major problem leading to some fights in institutions could be attributed to selfishness. He took a swipe at the Board Chair and said, ‘’he did nothing as an Auditor-General. He did not surcharge corrupt people.’’ ‘’It is offensive and I think that the president should make sure that the man [Domelevo] stays in office. If they allow this man to be removed, that would be the end of the fight against corruption. We have to encourage the Auditor-General so the Special Prosecutor would also be encouraged…the man has started biting and because of that, they want to kick him out. It would be a grave mistake for the president to do that,’’ he stated. Meanwhile, the IMANI Africa boss has launched a campaign and encouraged Ghanaians to stand with the Auditor-General on Facebook. The post read: ‘’Dear Mr President, if you look on for the Auditor-General to be harassed by the board and chair of the audit service, you would have killed the last pillar in the fight against graft and kissed your fight against procurement theft goodbye. I am hopeful you will intervene and push back those unjustly baying for the Auditor-Genera’s blood. And frankly, I di not understand why the Daily Guide newspaper is on a mission to destroy the Auditor-Genera. Fortune Alimi my friend, what is going on? IMANI folks are not pleased at all. I urge everyone to share this post and say IstandbttheAuditorGeneral.’’
The Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin has asked Ghanaians to disregard a statement circulating on social announcing the resignation of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as chair of the Economic Management Team. The fake statement, which had the name of Eugene Arhin and his signature, said President Akufo-Addo has with regret appointed Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo as the chair of the team because the vice president had decided to resign his job. But Eugene Arhin in a Facebook post said, ‘’kindly disregard this false statement. No such decision has been made or will be made by the President of the Republic. Any statement from the presidency can also be found on www.presidency.gov.gh.’’
President Nana Akufo-Addo has instructed his Secretary, Mr Asante Bediatuo to look into a petition by Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, accusing his Board Chair, Prof. Edward Dua -Agyeman of interference. The Executive Secretary was also instructed by the president to report the outcome of discussions between the two public officials. The Auditor General has filed a petition before the president appealing to him to intervene over what he described as an inference by the board chair. Auditor General in a ten-point to the president raised issues on procurement manipulations, interference of audit processes, and unlawful circulation of audit findings among other things as the basis for his request for a presidential intervention. He said, “My investigation revealed that the Audit Service Board Chairman instructed Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, a Deputy Auditor General (DAG) and Mr. Ebenezer Aglomasa, a procurement Officer to replace the approved firms with others of his choice.’’ According to him, these breaches were done without his knowledge and the knowledge of the Public Procurement Authority. He said, “the Chairman admitted to the offence with the excuse that the law did not exist during his tenure of office as Auditor General.” The board chair he complained initiated an audit without his knowledge. “I again questioned the Chairman as to his mandate to audit the Public Service and the reasons for calling the DAG to that meeting without my knowledge. His response was that he thought the audit in question was below my level as the Auditor-General.” In addition to this, when Mr. Domelovo was away in Kigali, Rwanda in May, he received reports from the acting Auditor General that instruction had been given by the Chairman to invite the team conducting a special audit of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). He noted in the petition that “the Chairman wrongly accused the audit team of giving the audited institution only five days to respond to the audit observations instead of 30 days.” “I wrote to the Chairman again questioning the mandate with which he was interfering with the audit process and informed him that I was inviting my lawyers to come in and stop him from the continuous interference with my constitutional mandate.”
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