Private legal practitioner, Isaac Eshun, the lawyer representing a Yemen resident in Ghana Ould Mohamed Mahamoud, who allegedly defiled a 14-year-old girl in Accra has rubbished the allegations against his client.
Reacting to claims made by the lawyer for the 14-year-old victim, he told Kwame Tutu on Frontline 87.5Fm that, the issues being peddled against his client are false.
The Counsel for the victim and the family, Justice Abdulai Esq of Crown Legal Bureau in a petition to the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, said the family has provided every information and cooperation to the police to enable them to carry out the prosecution, yet the CID is delaying the prosecution without any reason. The petition which was addressed to the Director-General of the CID on November 4, 2018, explained that “the family of our client (name withheld) informed us that sometime in December 2017, the victim was defiled by Ould Mohamed Mahamoud, 54, in West Legon in Accra”. “The issue was reported to the Kwabenya Police Station where a medical form was issued to attend a government hospital for examination”, Lawyer Abdulai Esq explained. He added that “on the day of the event, the victim was said to have returned from school and was lured by the suspect Ould Mohamed Mahamoud into a hideout where he drugged her and forcibly had sex with her without her consent or participation”.
But lawyer Eshun says he was scandalized at the claims by his learned colleague.
He further disclosed that the victim alleged to have been defiled by his client is now married to a husband and the two are staying in Yemen but not seeking medical care as suggested by her family.
Investigation conducted by the police established beyond reasonable doubt that, my client was not culpable for the allegations levelled against him, he said.
He also disputed claims that his client has jumped bail as alleged by the victim’s lawyer.
‘’Our client is not guilty and we are prepared to provide the needed evidence to fight our case. As we speak, the victim alleged to have been defiled is married.’’
‘’We are prepared for any prosecution. We are confident that our client is clean and not guilty. Our client never defiled the victim as alleged. He is not guilty and we are prepared to go to any court. We are not scared.''
Lawyer Eshun told the host the accused and the victim are relatives and had a great relationship together but he never abused her sexually.
‘’They have accused my client falsely. They are going about accusing him without any evidence. The victim is married; the marriage ceremony was held in Ghana and currently staying in Yemen with her husband. I have the video and I will soon give you a copy.’’
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Community in Ghana have called for respect from all persons, institutions including the media.
The LGBTI Community says they are not seeking for any special rights but respect from Ghanaians especially the media.
This came to light at a dialogue organised by Human Rights and Health organization CEPEHRG few days ago.
The organization held the dialogue between a group of journalists from selected media houses and members of the LGBTI community on the 13th November 2018.
Human Rights Advocates and Allies of the LGBTI community also attended the dialogue meeting. The aim of the dialogue meeting was to create a positive rapport between the media and the LGBTI community and also discuss human rights, media regulators and the role of the media.
Participants raised concerns over how campaigners, advocates and allies of the LGBTI community are tagged in a bad light.
According to the participants, the tag is not only unhealthy but frowns on the fundamental rights of these persons since their core aim is to fight for the rights of the marginalised in society.
‘’…Media persons and the public tend to tag advocates as LGBTI persons, which is not as perceived. It is the passion for human rights that drives these advocates to work for the respect of human dignity and not their sexual orientation.’’
The media persons present shared how they find it difficult to get LGBTI community for any kind of dialogue where they can present facts rather than misconceptions. This according to the LGBTI community is due to the fact that there are a lot of homophobic attacks, slander, stigmatization and discrimination facilitated by some Journalist and thus leading to the LGBTI community being guarded and not availing themselves to the media.
Another challenge raised at the meeting was the fact that although the media serves as a tool for information and education, most of the information that the media gives out on LGBTI’s is negative, over sensationalised, mostly slander and scandals, which is discriminatory, and the public picks up these negative perceptions, which often results in physical and verbal attacks on LGBTI community members.’’
Referring to the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) (Article 6), the LBTI Community reminded journalists to desist from telling negative stories that will make people discriminate against others based on their sexual orientation, religion, gender or colour.
The article of the GJA states that “a journalist should not originate material which encourages discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, colour, creed, gender or sexual orientation.” But Some media houses ignore this ethic code and discriminate based on sexual orientation. Fabrications are added to LGBTI stories mostly unlike other stories. LGBTI persons are often portrayed by some journalist as paedophiles, which is totally unacceptable. Whereas Paedophiles take sexual advantage of children, members of the LGBTI community rather show affection towards consenting adults. This behaviour of some journalists, including the GJA president’s assertion that “homosexuality is morally repugnant, culturally offensive and legally unacceptable, and that this should be reflected in journalism”, makes it clear that they do not adhere to their own code of ethics,’’ a statement from the LGBTI Community read.
At the end of the dialogue, the LGBTI community made it clear that they are not seeking for any “special rights”, but all they need is RESPECT from all persons and institutions including the media fraternity. Advocates and Allies also recommended and urged the media to take their code of ethics seriously and avoid discrimination. The media should be professional and not incite the public against sexual minorities.
‘’The media and public are entitled to their opinions, but they should not make it their duty to judge and infringe on the human rights of the LGBTI community. The media should also do well to report facts and not myths and misconceptions about the LGBTI community,’’ the statement concluded.
Director of Elections for the ruling New Patriotic Party 9NPP), Peter Mac Manu has described the ‘Mputuo’ as incredible.
Speaking to Rainbow Radio’s Afia Kwarteng after the budget statement, Mr Manu who was the campaign manager for President Akufo-Addo in 2016 said, the budget is full hope.
The budget he stated outlined the massive infrastructural development projects to be undertaken by government.
According to him, the budget was anchored on the vision of transforming the Ghanaian economy, creating prosperity and job opportunities for all.
The budget he added also gave a clear picture on how government intends to move Ghana Beyond Aid.
The Nana Addo led administration he said is on course and its strong economic policies have yielded positive results and based on this, government will consolidate and build on these significant progresses to create better opportunities for citizens.
He said, ‘’the budget was filled with hope. Government has cut down on expenditure, resources have been allocated to tackle sanitation; massive infrastructure is also part of the budget and so I can confidently state that government’s budget is a good one.’’
The total revenue and grants expected for the 2019 fiscal year is GHC58.9 billion; representing 17.1 percent of the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The projected expenditure for that year, including the clearance of arrears, would, however, would amount to GH¢73.4 billion being 21.3 per cent of GDP.
This would lead an overall budget deficit of GH¢14.5 billion or 4.2 per cent of GDP.
Government would make interventions and investments across economy in its bid to build a stronger economy for jobs and prosperity.
These would mainly cover six priority areas namely: Agriculture; Industry; Infrastructure; Entrepreneurial Support; Revenue Mobilisation and Protecting the Public Purse; as well as Social Partnership.
In the Agricultural sector, it would expand the Planting for Food and Jobs to programme to cover a million farmers and increase storehouse capacity by 80,000 metric tonnes, among others.
Under infrastructure, several projects are expected to be undertaken including roads, housing, health and water projects, with a $2 billion facility as well as other sources of funding.
More than one billion cedis will be invested in industry while under the National Entrepreneurship an Innovation Support Programme, another set of 10,000 entrepreneurs would be trained and financial support provided to about 2000 of entrepreneurs.
A total of GH¢200 million would also be allocated to the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to strengthen its capacity under better management practices.
Finance Minister says although President Nana Akufo-Addo is determined in building the National Cathedral, the decision will not put on undue hardship on Ghanaians.
Delivering the budget statement in Parliament on Thursday, the Minister said ‘’Mr. Speaker, the President is determined that the building of the National Cathedral would not put undue financial burdens on the state.’’
The Minister said because this, he [President] has therefore proposed a partnership between the State and the Ghanaian Christian community both at home and in the Diaspora. The formal launch of this national fundraising campaign is slated for December 28, 2018 in Ghana, and February 2019 in the United States. This National Cathedral partnership framework operationalizes, and indeed is a practical expression, of the social partnership envisaged to foster participatory development of country as our collective goal.’’
‘’Mr. Speaker, on March 6, 2017 - the 60th year of our independence - the President cut the sod for the construction of a National Christian Cathedral for the country that will provide the space for national events of a religious nature. A National monument, the Cathedral will house impressive chapels and baptistery, 5000-seat main auditorium, expandable to 15000 people for national events and celebrations. It will include among others, a grand central hall, a music school, and will house Africa’s first-ever Bible Museum and documentation centre, The National Cathedral project will also bequeath to the country a gracious national park for all Ghanaians; bring new skills, technology and jobs to the country; and will act as a beacon to national, regional and international tourists. Mr Speaker, the state is facilitating this process by providing the land, the Secretariat, and seed money for the preparatory phase.’’
Former Energy Minister under the John Mahama led administration, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Buah has said, the previous administration did all the dirty jobs to stabilise the energy sector.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Rainbow Radio’s Parlaimentary correspondent, Afia Kwarteng, the legislator said, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has no excuse to fail because the NDC administration laid a solid foundation for them to succeed.
He indicated that the hard work of the NDC administration has extended Ghana’s oil fields from 3 to 10.
He slammed government for doing less with more resources it has to grow the economy.
Mr Buah said, the NPP in 2018 also had the benefit of growing the economy with ‘petrol dollars’ from Sankofa oil and gas field and the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) Oil Field, second largest after Jubilee and which began oil production on August 18, 2016.
He stressed, if the NDC government could achieve 14% GDP growth from one oil field, the NPP government cannot call 8.5% from two more fields as good enough.
Oil prices have also increased under the NPP government with oil projected to hit $70 per barrel from around $60 used to draw the 2018 budget, he said.
The NPP government got 2.5bn cedis from petroleum products in 2017 and other commodity prices like gold and cocoa have gotten a boost but we cannot see the benefits, he added.
He is also predicting doom in the energy sector should the NPP fail to do more.
‘’The NPP is lazy and failing to invest more in the energy sector. They have to do more and inject more resources to improve upon what we have done. We resolved the energy crisis but I will encourage them to do more,’’ he said.
He said the government of today is failing to heed to our advice. The budget was hopeless and will rather increase the hardship of Ghanaians. The budget failed to provide hope to Ghanaians. We’ve missed our priorities. Ghanaians are suffering but we have money to construct a cathedral. Why should government waste resources on a national cathedral when Ghanaians are experiencing hardship?
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a Home-Based Airline.
The approval he posited is a with private sector participation to provide regional and inter-continental services for efficient movement of people, goods and services as well as promote tourism.
According to him, strategic investors will be engaged, and the airline is expected to commence operations in 2019.
The move he explained will complement the various transport systems currently running in the country to ferry both humans and goods through international and regional routes.
“Mr Speaker, Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a home-based airline with private sector participation to provide regional and inter-continental services for the efficient movement of people, goods and services as well as promote tourism. Strategic investors will be engaged, and the airline is expected to commence operations in 2019,” he said.
He further stated that the Ministry of Transportation commenced work on the Kumasi Airport Phase II Project to upgrade it to international airport standards.
The works include the extension of the runway from the current 1,981 metres to 2,300 metres, construction of a new terminal building to handle 1 million passengers per year and other ancillary works. The project is expected to be 30 percent complete by the end of 2018.
According to the Minister, work on Tamale Airport Phase II has received regulatory approvals for the construction of a new Terminal building and will serve the Sahelian region, and in 2019, the contract agreement will be finalised, and construction works will begin.
Mr Ofori-Atta speaking on the plan by government to improve infrastructure he said “Mr. Speaker, infrastructure, both hard and soft, is the backbone of economic development and growth, as well as a source of jobs and wealth for a majority of people. In a rapidly changing global marketplace, traditional infrastructure like electricity and power, transport and logistics, water and sanitation, roads, highways, and railways have combined with new, mostly soft infrastructure like digitization of government services to enable emerging economies like ours leapfrog the development path to prosperity”
“Mr. Speaker, this Government, is committed to embarking on an integrated infrastructural development programme across the country that will move goods, food items and people from one location to another that will create jobs and prosperity and ensure value for money for Ghana as well as position Ghana as the transportation, energy and logistics hub in the region.”
Nine thousand delegates and four thousand observers are expected to attend the national delegates congress of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Sixty-five (65) aspirants are contesting for various positions.
Out of the number, only 6 are females with 59 males.
Vice chairman for the planning committee, Mr Alex Segbefia addressing the media on Thursday said, preparations were far advanced for an incident free congress on Saturday at the Trade Fair, Accra.
He told the media the conference will have two phases namely the constitutional review of their party's constitution and the election of national leaders.
For the chairmanship position, there are 4 males and 1 female.
Nine aspirants including 1 female and 8 males are contesting for the vice chairmanship position.
Only two males are contesting for the general secretary position namely Koku Anyidoho and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.
Eleven aspirants are vying for the deputy general secretary position with 10 males and 1 female.
Madam Anita Desoso is the only female contesting 6 other male aspirants in the national organizer race.
She is contesting the likes of Joshua Hamidu Akamba, Mardhi Jibril, Yaw Boateng Gyan among others.
Nine aspirants are contesting for the deputy national organizer position with 1 female and 8 males.
The national communications as well as the deputy positions are being contested by two and six persons respectively and it is an all male affair.
The national executive committee race is being contested by 8 aspirants with 7 males and 1 female.
The Zongo Caucus is also an all male affair with 6 aspirants contesting.
Government will construct an ultra-modern Film Production Studio in 2019.
The construction of the studio, according to the government, will attract the international film community to Ghana.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced this in his 2019 budget statement presented before Parlaiemnt today [Thursday] November 15, 2018.
The Finance Minister also announced that the government will pursue the passing of a legislative instrument to establish a Secretariat for the National Film Authority.
This Authority, he said, will facilitate the construction of the ultra-modern Film Production Studio.
“In addition, Government in 2019, will pursue the passing of a Legislative Instrument to establish a Secretariat for the National Film Authority" and will also facilitate the construction of an ultra-modern Film Production Studio to attract the international film community,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
The Minister announced that “the Creative Arts Industry Bill is now in Parliament for deliberation and passage into Law. The Creative Arts Fund is incorporated in the Bill to ensure the economic viability of the Creative Arts Sector in the economy.”
He also said that to commemorate the 400 years of slavery, a delegation led by President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, went to the US to declare 2019 as the “YEAR OF RETURN” in September of this year.
“The Ghana Tourism Authority is leading this campaign that will see a great number of African Diaspora from the United States of America, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom return to Ghana on a pilgrimage to promote heritage tourism in 2019,” he said.
Government has presented to Parliament, a proposal to secure up to US$1.5 billion long-term financing for GETFUND on the back of a portion of VAT receivables as prescribed in Act 581, and which will be issued in three (3) tranches of US$500.00 million.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed this before Parliament when he presented the 2019 Budget Statement on Thursday November 15, 2018.
The amount he said will be used for critical education infrastructure, especially to complete the numerous uncompleted buildings in secondary and tertiary institutions around the country.
Government will also commence work to upgrade 10 Technical Universities Polytechnics and 13 Technical Institutes with modern equipment and also train selected lecturers of these institutions.
On technical and vocational education he said ‘’To further develop the TVET sub-sector, we will commence the construction of 20 state-of-the-art TVET Centres as well as upgrade and retool 34 Vocational Training Institutes in 2019. In addition, two new centres in foundry and machining will be constructed.’’
On Science and technology the Minister said ‘’Mr. Speaker, as part of its drive to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education across all levels, Government will in 2019 roll out the BSTEM programme in 7,000 basic schools across the country; construct 10 STEM Centres; initiate the development of a knowledge cloud to make educational materials content accessible to all; and provide multimedia laboratories as well as internet connectivity to cover many more schools.’’
In the area of Youth and Sports Mr Ofori-Atta said ‘’Mr. Speaker, in 2018, Government also cut-sod for the construction of a multi-purpose Youth Resource Centres in every region of the country. Construction work has started at all the sites and are at various levels of completion. The centres will provide space for youth engagement, recreation, centres of learning and sports. 151. Mr. Speaker, Under the Zongo Development Fund, five Astro turfs (with spectator stands and dressing rooms) were 97 97 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year constructed at Madina, Kyebi and Walewale. In addition, five recreational parks were completed for use at Bolgatanga, Salaga, Yeji, Tafo-Kumasi and Akim Oda.’’