Sunday, November 30, 2014

"We are losing our Ghanaian identity" -Justice Dansu Norvor


Justice Dansu Norvor

Young activist of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Justice Dansu Norvor has bemoaned the constant strikes and alleged corruption cases which have bedeviled the nation as posing serious concerns on the conventional Ghanaian patriotism which has become our identity. According to the NDC youth activist, Ghanaians are revered all over the world as very nationalistic and patriotic people with deep sense of national pride and ownership, however, corruption and labor agitations for better pay and working conditions have eroded our globally acclaimed mentality. "We are gradually losing our Ghanaian identity with the constant labor strikes and endemic corruption at high places. Ghanaians are no longer willing to sacrifice for the national course," he said. Dansu Norvor said, corruption and misappropriation of public funds by public officials without the deference to the rule of law for such crimes has resulted in civil servants and labor unions also demanding excessively from government. "There is a sense of believe among labor unions that, if politicians can embezzle government funds with impunity, then there is more in government coffers for civil servants to be paid higher wages".

In an interview with the al- Hajj, Justice Dansu Norvor posited that the best way government can stop future labor agitations is when we make corruption unattractive. "We as a country must reconsider revising the laws on public financial management so as to make public officials accountable to the people. Our anti-corruption institutions have become political stooges to the highest bidder so the most powerful and affluent will continue to deplete our national coffers without any recourse to the rule of law" Mr. Norvor noted.

The young activist who has been a strong advocate for reforms in the NDC, said in as much as President Mahama is personally leading the fight against corruption, more needs to be done to make the practice unattractive. "Our citizens want to see corrupt officials face justice, and stolen monies retrieved from them. If we continue fighting corruption without people been prosecuted, then we are being hypocritical and if this situation continues, Ghana will become a breeding ground for 'biological criminals' because the youth, our next generation are watching," he argued.

The one time secretary of the Young Democrats however noted that, the current fight against corruption is over-politicized arguing that, the canker has been made to look as though the current NDC government invented corruption. Mr. Norvor argued that the fact the late Prof. Attah Mills failed to prosecute corrupt officials of the John Kuffour government for the sake of national peace does not translate to mean they were not corrupt. It is therefore our civil responsibility as citizens to call for stiffer public financial management laws and a stronger and an independent anti-corruption institution so we can fight this common enemy.

Commenting on parliament's decision to purchase Chinese furniture, the NDC youth activist averred that, it is a slap in the face of the nation and a further loss of our identity and heritage. It is evil to note that when President Mahama and his Trade Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah are making a strong case for the use of made in Ghana goods, the highest representative arm of the state will seek to economically sabotage the local industry and the salient effort of President Mahama and Dr. Spio Garbrah. "If someone has benefitted from economic rent of buying from China, the sins of Ghanaians will be on their head and their conscience will never be free until they confess" he declared. "Instead of resorting to the media, it may be time religious leaders declare 3 days of national fast and prayers for the nation so the wrath of God will visit those who are stealing from the state. Maybe, they will fear God," he also added.

Source: aL-Hajj




Ghanaians abroad struggle to fend off cocaine tag




A dramatic cocaine bust in the UK involving a Ghanaian woman, and other drug-related issues in connection with Ghana, has placed an unenviable tag on Ghanaians living abroad.

Hitherto, the cocaine label was associated with some African countries other than Ghana, but things have now changed.

A Ghanaian lady, Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi at the centre of a raging cocaine scandal was expected to appear before a London court for the first time Thursday, November 27, 2014 after her arrest by UK officials at Heathrow International Airport two weeks ago with 12.5 kg of cocaine.  

The brief hearing, which would be done via video conference, would also take her plea to a charge  attempting to import a class 'A' drug.

Another court in London is also hearing another drug case involving a Ghanaian residing in London.

Joy News' George Wiafe who has been monitoring events at the Isleworth Crown Court in West London that is trying Nayele said a large number of Ghanaians in the UK trooped to the court to witness the proceedings.

Some of them narrated the ordeal they go through for holding a Ghanaian passport because most of them are being perceived as drug carriers due to recent developments, George gathered.

Nana Yaw, a Ghanaian resident in London, told Joy News that although he was not connected to Nayele, he, like many others, are “interested” in the case due to the “collateral damage” of cocaine tag on the country.

He claimed most of them are subjected to intensive scrutiny which are at times “unpleasant” when travelling from one country to another.

Meanwhile, an International Relations expert, Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso has warned the continued politicization of the drug trade in Ghana is an indication to the international community that Ghana's politics may be thriving on the illicit drug trade.

He said attempts by the country's largest political groupings to gain political advantage by linking their opponents to the drug trade were damaging further, the country's international image. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com| Isaac Essel | isaac.essel@myjoyonline.com | twitter @isaacessel




Reinstate Daniel Kenu—Graphic Board Orders MD




The Board of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) has ordered the Managing Director of the Company, Ken Ashigbey to re-instate the newspaper’s Ashanti Regional Editor, Daniel Kenu. Citi News understands that the decision was taken at a crunch meeting on Wednesday which involved the National Media Commission, the Board of Graphic and Mr. Ken Ashiegbey.

Kenu was sacked on November 19, 2014 for unilaterally withdrawing an assault case against Baffuor Gyan, elder brother of Asamoah Gyan, which was before a Kumasi based court.

Ken Ashigbey earlier said “It’s a scar on my conscience that on a day to day basis, I’m expecting my journalists to go out there fearlessly and courageously do their job. And if they do their job and they are attacked how dare me say that I will do something else but protect their interest and make sure that justice is procured. Everyone will agree that we need to do this thing. In the same way we believe that the policemen should not be attacked when doing their job, it’s the same sanctity that we need to bring to the media.”

According to Kenu, Ken Ashigbey masterminded his dismissal because he felt embarrassed by the decision to withdraw the case from court.

Staff of the newspaper after the dismissal threatened to lay down their tools to have their colleague reinstated.

The Board Chair of Graphic Communication Group, Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey confirmed the new development to Citi News but declined an interview on the matter.

Daniel Kenu dropped the assault case against Baffour Gyan citing health and family issues.

“My recent consistent and persistent rise in my blood pressure following the trauma that I am currently going through as a result of the September, 5, 2014, attack as well as the sudden death of my uncle Efo Kwame in the Eastern region, who until his death on the eve of the last hearing in court, September 12, had insisted that I let go off the case because the name of the family had been in the media too much lately, warranted this decision,” Kenu told the Kumasi based court.




Ghana's Christian-Muslim coexistence commended




The Ruler of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has commended Ghana as a wonderful model of religious tolerance where Muslims and Christians live and work together in peace and harmony.

“Ghana is a very good example,” the Amir stated, as he urged Ghana's President and Ghanaians to uphold and maintain this valuable attribute.

His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani made the above comments when he held bilateral talks with President John Dramani Mahama, which centred on investment opportunities at the start of a three-day state visit to Qatar. 

The two leaders discussed ways of strengthening relations between Ghana and Qatar, with President Mahama focussing on how Qatar's vast expertise and experience in the oil and gas industry could benefit Ghana, a statement by the Presidential Spokesperson Ben Dotsei Malor said.

President Mahama highlighted Ghana's urgent need for the supply of Qatari Liquefied Natural Gas, (LNG), and investments in power generation as well as the development of Ghana's integrated bauxite-to-aluminium industry.  He further stated that once Ghana achieves energy security, the country should be able to export power to neighbouring countries, using the infrastructure of the West African Power Pool.

The Amir raised questions about the potential for investment in the tourism, hospitality and aviation, as well as agriculture sectors.  He also spoke of the value of developing an education city in Ghana along the line of what Qatar has built.

The two leaders discussed the power of Sports, especially Football, in a nation's socio-economic and cultural development.  The Amir recalled the valuable and memorable contribution of Ghana's legendary soccer star, Abedi Ayew Pele, to Qatar football.  (Abedi, who played soccer in Qatar in the 1980s, is a member of President Mahama's delegation.)  President Mahama congratulated the Amir and the people of Qatar on the nation's recent success in winning the Gulf Cup. 

President Mahama and the Amir also discussed the Ebola disease outbreak in some West African nations, with the Amir offering his assistance and support in the fight against the disease. They also shared views and concern over the security situation in the West African sub-region. 

President Mahama extended an invitation to the Amir to pay a reciprocal state visit to Ghana.




Galamsey operator jailed 50 years for robbery




A Tarkwa Circuit Court on Friday sentenced Kojo Owusu, a 24-year-old galamsey operator,  to  50 years imprisonment in hard labour,  for robbing his employer of 40,000 Ghana cedis, fifty pounds of gold worth 48,000 cedis, four mobile phones, one digital camera, medicated glasses, drivers license and a bunch of keys.

He pleaded not guilty.
Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Oscar Amponsah, told the court, presided by Mr. Justice Obeng Asante, that the complainant, Lousi Kwame Amoah, is a small-scale miner at Prestea.

He said Owusu and the complainant lived in the same neigbourhood at Prestea, and was employed by the complainant in his small-scale mining firm.

Chief Inspector Amponsah said the second, third and fourth accused whose names were only given as Bala, Mustapha and Poppy, are fitting mechanic and illegal miners respectively,  and resided in Kumasi in the Asante Region.

He said at about 1730 hours on October 20, this year, Owusu asked permission from the complainant to visit his sick child in Kumasi.

Chief Inspector Amponsah said at about 0130 hours on October 23, Owusu, Bala, Mustapha and Poppy came to Prestea from Kumasi without the knowledge of the complainant.

He said the convict led his accomplices, wearing masks and armed with pistols, matchets and axes, to enter the complainant's room through a bath room window, while he and his wife were asleep.

The Prosecutor said the complainant woke up while the accused persons were in the room and when he confronted them, they subjected him to severe beating and he sustained injuries.

Chief Inspector Amponsah said Owusu, Bala, Mustapha and Poppy bolted with the items leaving behind two bags, a matchet and an axe.

He said when a search was conducted in the bag by the police, an HTC mobile phone belonging to Owusu was found.

The Prosecutor said on October 25, Owusu was arrested at Aboabo, a suburb of Kumasi, and he was handed over to the police at Prestea.

He said when Owusu was questioned at the police station, he said they stole 21,600 Ghana cedis and not 40,000 Ghana cedis and fifty pounds of gold as alleged by the complainant.




Ruby Appears In Court Today


Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi

The cocaine bust saga enters a critical stage today as Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, the lady at the centre of an alleged smuggling of 12.5 kilograms of cocaine from Accra to the United Kingdom, appears in a London court.

She would appear before a judge at the Isleworth Crown Court around 2:00 pm to learn of her fate according to British law.

The court is said to be fitted with state-of-the-art gadgets to facilitate proceedings. The attention of most Ghanaians would be riveted on the proceedings and the eventual outcome.

The case of R v Nayeli AMETEFEH T20141080 is listed for a Preliminary Hearing at Isleworth Crown Court before His Honour Judge Edmunds QC, in Court number 5 at 2pm.

Miss Ametefeh, who is on remand in custody at Her Majesty's Prison Bronzefield, will not be produced in person but via video link from the prison.

For this quantity of drugs on a contested trial the defendant is looking at a sentence in the region of 15 years imprisonment. A guilty plea at the earliest opportunity will entitle her to a discount of one thirdâ€"something in the region of 10 years.

As the name suggests, a preliminary hearing is the first appearance of an indictable only offence in the Crown Court.

If the defendant intends to plead guilty she will be able to do so tomorrow.

Her lawyers may, on the other hand, want to know the strength of the case against her and may ask that the case be adjourned for a Pleas and Case Management Hearing following services of the case papers by the Crown (R).

There is a raging argument between state players and opposition elements over whether she enjoyed state courtesies reserved for executives at the Kotoka International Airport or not.

While the government denied that the state facilitated her trip, the opposition stands its ground that it did, explaining for instance that there was no way she could have used the VVIP lounge and a State Protocol Department registered vehicle without state intervention.

The Isleworth Crown Court, which would host many Ghanaians today, is located on Ridge Road, Middlesex.

She appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, November 11, and was remanded in custody until her next appearance at Isleworth Crown Court today, November 27, 2014.

By A.R. Gomda




NDC Government Likely To Introduce 'SEX' Tax




The Deputy Minority Leader and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of reneging on promises it made to Ghanaians during the 2008 campaign.

According to the Bimbilla MP, it is completely unacceptable for the NDC to promise in its 2008 manifesto not to impose any further taxes on Ghanaians but make a big ‘U’ turn to tax everything under the sun.

“Mr Speaker, this government is taxing everything that it sees from condoms, cutlasses, water and very soon will even tax sex,” he said in his contribution to the debate on the budget on Tuesday.

He said the government even planned to tax fertilizers for farmers, but Parliament opposed it.

The legislator noted that Ghanaians are now overburdened by so many taxes which are collapsing the real estate industry, as well as the manufacturing industry.

“We must tell government in the face that the taxes are becoming too much piling up more suffering on the people even though it promised in its manifesto not to impose any more tax when it comes to power.”

He indicated that policies in the 2015 budget will crowd out the local business, adding that now that interest rate is hovering around 30 percent, local business will find it difficult to borrow.

He said Ghanaians had faced frequent power outage, coupled with the sharp depreciation of the local currency in recent times, adding that the budget can never redeem the tattered economy.

There is no hope for Ghanaians and they must now tighten their belts because the IMF will be dictating to government to implement more ‘stringent’ policies, which will bring further hardship to Ghanaians,” he indicated.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, said the minority will not see anything good about the 2015 budget which he described as very progressive.

He indicated the NPP MPs mischievously displayed placards that read “Reduce Fuel Prices Drastically Now” when the Minister for Finance was reading the budget in Parliament, saying that when the price of crude oil also goes up the Minority MPs should be bold to tell government to also increase fuel prices.

He said the money that accrued as a result of the falling prices of crude oil is being used to offset the $400 million debt owed the Bulk Distribution Companies.

He said the government hopes to improve public financial management through the implementation of the GIFMIS and that the government was committed to its “Better Ghana Agenda.”




Overloading Heavy Duty Trucks And Vehicles Deteriorating Roads In Ghana




The Deputy Chief Executive of Maintenance, Ghana Highway Authority,Alhaji Baba Kasim, has disclosed that overloaded trucks do not only cause early deterioration of road pavements but also contribute significantly to the occurrence of road accidents along the major corridors.

He added that it also cost the Authority over US$1.0 million per kilometer to rehabilitate. Alhaji. Kasim made this remark during a public education and sensitization workshop which held for heavy truck drivers and their owners in order to help them understand the implement of the New Axle Load Regulation under the Road Traffic regulations 2012 (LI 2180).

According to him, Ghana Highway Authority has been charged to provide a safe and reliable truck road network in the country.

This he said, in order to achieve this aim, the Authority would have to design and develop roads that will increase socio- economic development in the country as well as maintaining the existing ones. He noted that in 2005 Ghana's AxleLoad Control Policy was initiated to curtail overloading of heavy goods vehicles that ply the roads and causing rapid deterioration.

Adding that, the Axle Load Control strategy seeks to reduce overloading on roads and also ensure that the road pavements serve their design lives and to improve safety on roads. He pointed out that, the Axle Load Regulations has caused a significant reduction in the overloading trend across the country since its implementation in February, 2013.

"The migration of the maximum gross vehicles weight limits from 68 tons to 60 tons and finally 51 tons is being implemented gradually to allow truckers time to adjust and renew their vehicles to the right configuration to enable them continue with their businesses" He said through public education and sensitization, the Authority is hoping to reduce overloading to its barest minimum in order to increase the lifespan of the roads in the country.

Axle Load Control Manager, Ghana Highway Authority, Ing. Mrs. Mercy A. Payne, cited the following as the major causes of overloading: Economic gain,Ignorance and Lack of deterring fines. According to her, the objective Authority is to reduce the congestion on roads due the snail pace moving overloaded trucks- reduce damage to road pavement and drainage structures due to overloaded axles and to improve road safety as about 12.5% of vehicles involved in road accidents are heavy goods vehicles.

This she said, the overloading fees or fines imposed on vehicles are negligible in comparison with damage caused to the roads.

According to her, rapid deterioration of the road leads to earlier and more frequent routine maintenance interventions. "Because of the limited funds available for the construction of new roads and also for road maintenance, it is essential that strict enforcement of the Axle Load Regulations is carried out the various weighing stations" she maintained.




I Didn't Take Any 'Soli' From President Mahama




The host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom Otchere, has chastised Sydney Casely-Hayford for insinuating that he took ‘soli’ from the President before the latter appeared on his show last Thursday. “How much soli did I take when I interviewed President Mahama? I think that this is a very poor comment…an intelligent and respectable man like Sydney Casely-Hayford will cast such insinuations, such aspersions, baseless, of no basis. He has no reason to cast these assertions yet, he does,” he fumed.

Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford on Citi FM’s The Big Issue said: “He [Mahama] was on the Paul Adom Otchere show and I don’t know how much ‘soli’ exchanged hands before the show happened.”

The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe on his part also remarked that the interview with the President was hurriedly done saying, “It happened at such speed that it was out of normal.”

But an angry Adom Otchere called into the show and disclosed that he, together with the management of Metro TV had been hounding the President over the past eight months to grant the interview.

According to him, his outfit was “disappointed that in all the democracy we’ve had, no sitting Ghanaian President had granted an interview to a local radio or TV station and we thought that we should do that and get that done.”

“So we campaigned to President Mahama that you are a President friendly to the media so in your time, let us get this done and we’ve been working on this for a long time now,” he added.

He therefore described Casely-Hayford’s comments as “the lowest that we could assign to all these…and I call it the resurgence of free speech because I was there when free speech started.”

“Here is Sydney Casely-Hayford after 14,000 interviews and 14 years of broadcasting the programme; we have an interview with the President and he says how much soli did you take for interviewing President Mahama?” he rhetorically asked.

He continued saying, “this is disgraceful, that is just disgraceful…and my good friend Franklin Cudjoe said the interview had been hurriedly arranged…you don’t work with me, you don’t know what I do every day, you don’t know how many letters I have written.”

Mr. Adom Otchere further pointed out that it is disappointing for “people like Sydney to derogate another person’s efforts just so that they become relevant”

Apology
Casely-Hayford in response apologized for his comments.

He said: “You’ve taken a sarcastic comment and you have turned it into a serious fight for no reason…Everybody knows Paul Adom Okeyer’s focus…I have been on your programme a few times and if I didn’t like your programme or agree with what you are saying, I wouldn’t bother to show up because it’s not a paying; it’s a job that you do as a public gesture so you have my apologies if you think it was an insult. It was a sarcastic comment.”




Accept Mentally Ill Persons As Part Of Society




The Techiman Zonal Coordinator of Brong Ahafo Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANGO), Mr Mustapha M. Yeboah, has expressed worry over the increasing discrimination against people with mental disorders as a threat to the development of the country’s mental health care system.

“Discrimination against people with mental disorders does not only affect them but may also affect their families and consequently retards the development of the nation”, he advised.

Mr Yeboah said this after a one-day workshop organised by BANGO for 65 participants including mental health workers, traditional healers, non- governmental organisations (NGOs), social welfare staff, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Faith Based Organisation (FBOs).

The Star-Ghana funded programme, which was on the theme: “Advocating for the mainstreaming of mental services in communities in the Brong Ahafo Region", focused particularly on improved access to psychiatric counseling, diagnosis, free treatment and care in all the 27 municipal and district hospitals in the Brong Ahafo Region by December 2014.

Mr Yeboah explained that discrimination against mentally impaired patients was one of the obstacles mental health workers were trying hard to deal with.

He, however, advised the general public that mentally challenged patients after treatment should be integrated into the society.

“Education should be done at communities and the families levels to encourage them to see people with mental illness as normal human beings and should therefore be treated well and included in all decision making process”, he noted.

Mr Yeboah also admonished the public particularly, the youth to desist from the smoking of Indian herm as it had been established to contribute greatly to the many mental disorders around the globe.

“The smoking of Indian Herm will remain a treat to our society, mental health and the lives of those to whom the future of our region and for that matter the country belong”, He said.

He, therefore, implored all stakeholders including traditional authorities, politicians, security services, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES), Assembly Members, NGOs, and religious leaders to join the fight against mental health in the region.

The Brong Ahafo Regional President of Traditional Healers Association, Alhaji Appiah Abass expressed worry that mental patients after being treated refused to take their drugs as prescribed by their physicians.

“One major concern is that most of the people who come for treatment and are partially treated sometimes stop taking the medication for the required period which may lead such patients to suffer from mental illness again”, he added.

Alhaji Abass, urged the Ghana Health Service to refrain from the over reliance on imported drugs to treat mentally challenged persons and rather patronised the locally manufactured drugs by the traditional healers.

A staff from the Techiman Municipal Mental Health Center (TMMHC), Ms Ama Korley Nartey expressed concern over inconsistent supply of mental health drugs to the facility to handle mental health and other related issues especially emergency cases.

She expressed worry that the Techiman municipality lacked psychologist to provide counseling services to mental health patients when the need arose.

Ms Nartey, however, called on the management of the National Health Insurance Scheme to include their coverage on mental health drugs to enable more mentally derailed people to seek for treatment.




Simulation Exercise At VIP Lounge; Alhaji Dawood On Wanted List




Alhaji Mohammed Alamid Dawood
The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has declared Alhaji Mohammed Alamid Dawood wanted for allegedly helping Nayele Ametefeh, the suspect busted with 12.5 kilogrammes of cocaine, and her two friends to use the VIP Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

The wanted man, also known as Alhaji Sani Dawudat, is the Business Development Manager of KELM Engineering Limited located at Kanda in Accra.

Alhaji Dawood is said to have called Abiel Ashitey Armah, a Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is the officer in charge of the VVIP and VIP Unit of the KIA, on phone to allow the ladies to use the VIP Lounge and also help them onto the tarmac to board the airline for London.

Since the news of the arrest of 13 suspects in connection with the cocaine saga, Alhaji Dawood, a resident of Community 20, Lashibi, has gone into hiding.

Sources close to the BNI told the  Daily Graphic  that Armah told investigators that Alhaji Dawood had made friends with officers at the airport and he became acquainted with him. Simulation exercise

As part of investigations into the matter, five out of the nine suspects arrested in connection with the cocaine saga were yesterday taken through a simulation exercise to help investigators understand how they managed to go through the KIA.

The suspects included Nana Akua Amponsah and Sadalia Nuhu who were said to have travelled with Ametefeh to the Heathrow Airport but returned to Ghana when they realised Ametefeh had been arrested.

The others were Armah, Theophilus Kissi, a Foreign Affairs protocol officer, and Ahmed Abubakar, a middleman at the airport, otherwise known as 'goro boy'.

The four other suspects were said to be in the custody of the BNI. Suspects conceal their identity

At exactly 2 p.m. yesterday, the suspects, accompanied by a team of investigators, including National Security operatives and Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) officials, arrived at the KIA.

Amponsah and Nuhu, who did not want to be captured on camera, tried to cover their faces, while some of the investigators shielded them.

While Amponsah, wearing a long blue hooded dress, covered her head with the hood, Nuhu, in a red check trousers and a black jacket, tried to cover her face with a handkerchief.

For more than an hour the two women, with their faces covered, sat chatting with a female investigator, while the investigators and security officers consulted one another as to which of them should brief the press. They used VIP and not VVIP

After the simulation, the lead investigator, who would not give his name for security reasons, told reporters that the two ladies claimed they had used the VIP Lounge and not the VVIP Lounge of the airport, as earlier reported.

According to the investigator, the ladies said on the day of their departure, they were helped by two officers of the Foreign Affairs Protocol Unit who had been instructed by the officer in charge of the VVIP and VIP Unit of KIA to assist them to access the VIP Lounge.

Investigations also established that they used an entrance reserved for staff of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Airport Security, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, NACOB and the BNI at the airport.

Reporters also heard that the two ladies, together with Ametefeh, went through the normal travel check-in processes, as they had earlier checked in their suitcases and went to the VIP Lounge with only their hand luggage which was scanned.

They then went through the VIP Baggage Arrival Hall and then to the VIP Lounge where they waited before boarding the airline to the Heathrow Airport. Arrested

According to the investigators, the three women travelled out of the country on November 9, 2014, but data at the KIA showed that one of them returned on November 11, 2014.

'However, there is no record of how the other woman returned to Ghana, according to the records of the GIS at the airport,' he said.

He said the two ladies were arrested in their homes after news had broken that they had returned to Ghana.

The other suspects were arrested after they had been exposed by a CCTV footage which captured the entry of Ametefeh, Amponsah and Nuhu, accompanied by some officials of the Foreign Affairs Protocol Unit, at the airport.

Credit: Graphiconline.com.gh




Tigo Opens Another Customer Experience Centre In Tema




Telecom operator Tigo has upgraded its shop in Ghana’s port city, Tema, into a customer experience centre. This brings the number of such centres to 4 with the Accra Mall, Takoradi and Barnes road already providing customers with a highly interactive and a more satisfying experience.

The Tema customer experience centre also has dedicated areas for specific customer needs including providing quality ICT solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises, (SMEs).

Speaking on the rationale for having a dedicated area for SMEs, the Head of Customer Experience, Stephen Essien, said, Tema is a port city and a very busy one at that with several SMEs that provide support services to both government institutions and large corporations.

“Our ultimate aim is to support SMEs to grow with the latest cutting edge ICT solutions to enable them improve on efficiency” he explained.

Tigo currently has over 44 nationwide and is investing heavily to expand its retail footprint to match growing customer needs and increasing network coverage across Ghana.




Relocate to new site, Judge orders Kotokuraba traders




A Cape Coast High, Friday, ruled for the demolition of the Kotokuraba market to pave way for the construction of an ultra-modern market in the Cape Coast Metropolis.

Traders occupying the old Kotokuraba market are expected to soon relocate to a temporary space to pave way for the construction of an ultra-modern market.

The relocation of the traders was embroiled in controversy when, in September this year, 8 aggrieved traders dragged the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly and the Regional Coordinating Council to court.

The traders were praying a stay of execution to stop the demolishing of the Kotokuraba market which was intended pave way for the construction of an ultra-modern market.

JoyNews' Richard Kojo Nyarko reports that the case was initially referred to the Omanhene of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osaberema Kwesi Atta II for an out of court settlement.

However, the Omanhene informed the Court presided by Justice Kwesi Dapaah, all efforts made to get the parties to reach an amicable settlement proved unsuccessful.

The High Court judge, after deliberations, ruled in favour of the defendants. He however asked the defendants to provide the plaintiffs with keys to the new stalls and also assure them of their chances to get the new stalls, which are yet to be constructed, through an agreement signed by both parties.

Per the ruling, all traders still occupying the old Kotokuraba market are ordered to move to the relocation site by midnight of December 19, 2014.




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Former Commonwealth Games athlete jailed for sexually assaulting schoolgirl whilst he worked as teaching assistant




A former Commonwealth Games
athlete has been jailed for sexually
assaulting a schoolgirl whilst he
worked as a teaching assistant.
Kevin Sempers, 29, started a sexual
relationship with the 14-year-old
student at Uxbridge High School after
she sent him a message over
Facebook.


Sempers, who worked 30 hours a week
as a learning support assitant, kissed
and "sexually touched" the teenager
outside school between April 20 and
May 1, Scotland Yard said.
He was jailed for 18 months at
Isleworth Crown Court today after
admitting two counts of sexual
activity with a child on the second
day of his trial.


Detective Constable Andrea Lenihan,
who led the investigation, said
Sempers had "seriously abused his
position of trust".
She said: "As a teaching assistant and
an athlete he should have been
setting his pupils a good example,
rather than taking advantage of their
vulnerability.


"Quite rightly, his action will have a
devastating impact on his career."
Sempers, of Ferndale Crescent,
Uxbridge, previously came fourth in
the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games
decathlon.


Source: Evening Standard




We are not the poorest district in Ghana-Karaga MP




The Member of Parliament for Karaga in the Northern Region, Alhassan Dandaawa, has questioned a research report by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) which labels the District as the worst performing in the country.

The district is said to have scored 15 out of 100 in the CDD's District League Table.

But the Member of Parliament for Karaga, Alhassan Dandaawa has expressed surprise at the results of the report and says it cannot be true.

Mr. Dandaawa informed JoyFm, that the report indicated that Karaga had performed poorly in the education, health and sanitation sectors and he wondered why the district would receive such a score when, in his opinion, it was doing much better than others.

Taking the health sector for example, He insisted that health personnel in Karaga were on top of issues. According to him, there are health posts in Accra which have recorded cholera and maternal deaths. These, he says have not been recorded at Karaga.

He opined that if the report was to show that the District is the most deprived, he has letter upon letter for support from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Water Resource, Works and Housing to improve the water situation as proof of that.

“If this is what they mean by deprived…if they are telling us that we are the worst performing in terms of that, then I agree".

However he refused to accept the label of being the poorest performing district.  

According to him, the CDD report is supposed to highlight deprived communities in the country so donor agencies would know where to concentrate their efforts and that the report “is not about naming and shaming”.

He challenged the CDD to explain to him what exactly Karaga was supposed to be performing poorly in.

The District League Table is a ranking tool of progress towards delivering development and key basic services in each of Ghana's Districts.

It also looks at strengthening social accountability for national development and put together in collaboration with UNICEF.

Indicators used include the quality of education, sanitation, rural water, health, security and governance in the districts.




Adomi Bridgeworks stall as workers withdraw services.




Construction works on the Adomi Bridge rehabilitation project has stalled as workers withdraw their services in demand for improved working conditions.

The rehabilitation works, which are scheduled for completion by October next year, involves replacement of the old decks and the installation of 23 new decks together with the hanger cables.

Speaking to JOYNEWS' Fred Smith about the latest developments at the construction site, Assemblyman for Atimpoku, Ampim Darko says the workers are demanding increased pay and other working conditions.

Mr. Darko declined to mention the amount the workers were agitating for but intimated that the increment the workers is astronomical-almost four times their current salaries.

According to him, Management for the project were sticking to their guns and refusing to increase the workers' payments.

On their part, the Management insists that the workers were hired based on an offer, of which terms they agreed to, and that they had signed contracts to that effect. Their position therefore would not be shaken.

Mr. Darko reported that negotiations were therefore at an impasse, as despite appeals from himself and the police, the workers also refuse to budge from their entrenched positions.

The two-hinged steel-arch bridge with a deck suspended by cables, provides connection between the Eastern and Volta Regions over the Volta Lake. It was closed in March this year to make way for repair works.

With the bridge closed, traffic between the two regions has been restricted to water transportation at Senchi.  




Media misreporting undermines integrity of the republic of Ghana- James Agalga




The Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga has criticized media handling of the recent cocaine saga. 

He accused the media for what he describes as an “attempt by some to sling mud at government”.

Speaking on JOYFM and Multi TV's current affairs programme “Newsfile”, Mr. Agalga chastised the media for failing to perform due diligence in their reportage on the cocaine saga involving a Ghanaian woman, Nayele Ametefeh, who this week pleaded guilty to a UK court.

He questioned the professionalism of journalists, whom, he says, relied on information from foreign presses, especially with regards to whether or not the suspect was in possession of a Ghanaian diplomatic passport.

The Minister was of the opinion that a huge section of the media failed to verify the information reaching them regarding the matter yet still went on to spew it into the public domain.

“You don't just rely on information that you can't verify. If you do that you are as guilty as the one who originated the information”, he asserted, adding “that is the problem I have” with the section of Ghanaian media who did so.

He cautioned the media against continuing in that manner, insisting that such practices demined the integrity of the Country.  

“It's not anybody's integrity we undermine. Not the NDC's integrity, not the NPP's integrity, but the integrity of the Republic of Ghana,” he insisted irrevocably.

Listen the the Deputy Minister Below:




Ametefeh's use of Ghana's VIP makes her kingpin in drugs trade- UK Prosecutor




A UK based Ghanaian prosecutor says among other things, Nayele Ametefeh's use of the VIP section at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) prior to her arrest in the UK for cocaine trafficking, makes her a kingpin in the business and could get her a maximum sentence for her crime.

According to the crown prosecutor, Godwin Adjei-Gyamfi,  the suspect's initial insistence at the airport that she had come to the UK for business and to shop, does not help matters at all.

He was guest panellist on Joy FM's Newsfile programme, Saturday.

Explaining the procedures in dealing with drug offences by courts in the UK and what would inform the number of years given to a suspect, Mr Adjei Gyamfi said the court would most certainly assess the weight and the purity of the substance found on any suspect.

It would further probe if the suspect was playing a lead role, lesser role and whether or not the suspect is being coerced to engage in the illegal trade.

He explained by a lead role, the suspect may be using business as a cover up for the illegal trade and must be living an ostentatious lifestyle. He added the suspect may likely be highly connected to higher authorities.

Adjei-Gyamfi said given the circumstances under which Nayele Ametefeh was arrested, he had no doubt prosecution would place her in a kingpin category.

"When she was stopped at the UK airport she said she came for business and shopping..." She also is reported to have used the VIP section in Ghana and that puts her in a leading role," he averred.

He said with all the evidence available, Nayele Ametefeh is deprived of any other mitigation except her "early guilty plea."

He added the British authorities may soon be following up to confiscate her properties in Ghana.




Jinapor Makes U-Turn To Say 'No Deadlines To Ending Power Crisis'




I never gave a deadline to an end to Ghana’s power crisis, Deputy Energy Minister John Jinapor has clarified. Jinapor told Accra-based Asempa FM Friday that he only told Parliament that several measures were being put in place to lessen the power crisis and was hopeful the deficit could be reduced by the end of the first quarter in 2015.

He told the Chamber Thursday that a lot is being done at the various thermal generation plants to offset the energy deficit.

Ghana is currently experiencing power supply difficulties as citizens enjoy electricity for less than 24 hours in a day and sometimes have to endure 48 hours without power.

Jinapor told Members of Parliament the Mahama-led administration is working feverishly to reduce the power deficit to the barest minimum or eliminate it.

According to him, Ghana is in talks with West African giant Nigeria for more gas to power thermal generation plants.

He said the Government was also optimistic that the coming on stream of gas from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant will help ease the crisis.

The Plant is expected to be commissioned next month after which it will start commercial operation.

Also, the Takoradi International Company’s (TICO) expansion project and that of Tema are on course to add more power to the national grid. He added that the Government is in talks with independent power suppliers as well to lessen the load on the existing ones.

The government is also in the process of bringing on board a power ship in 2015 that will generate close to 450 megawatts of power.




46 remand prisoners freed under justice for all project




Remand prisoners at the Kumasi Central Prisons, numbering 46 have regained full or partial freedom under the Access to Justice Project initiated seven years ago by the Chief Justice.

Nineteen of them have been discharged while 27 who had been on remand for about three years received bail.

Their cases are among 68 brought up for consideration before three justices who sat on Wednesday in Kumasi.

Two organizations are running the project this year on franchise, with support from STAR Ghana.

They are human rights group, POS Foundation-Ghana, and the Center for Law and Development Policy at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

It is through the joint effort of the Attorney-General's Department, Judiciary, Ghana Bar Association and the Prisons Service.

Three thousand and five prisoners have so far had their cases reviewed by the scheme, which has already seen 533 freed on bail, and 526 discharged.

A woman who is eight-month pregnant, and another with a five- month old baby, are among those discharged yesterday.

Fidaus Seidu had been on remand for more than 7-months for her alleged involvement in a robbery of a man.

The second woman, Rashida Halidu was accused of her husband's murder; a situation which forced her incarceration. She then gave birth to a baby-boy in prison.

An Appeals Court Judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, blamed some legal decisions taken by the lower courts for over-crowding in the prisons.

Authorities at the Kumasi Central Prisons welcome the initiative as an alternative means to decongest the prisons.

Of the over 2,100 prisoner population, 650 almost oneâ€"third are on remand at the facility.

Regional Commander, Deputy Controller of Prisons, William Ofori-Anoff is happy at the developments.

“I believe it's a step in the right direction. Normally we move to the courts which have got a lot of security implications. But here is a case the courts have rather moved to our premises.

It cuts down cost; it brings judgment and justice closer to the inmates” Mr. Ofori-Anoff said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of POS Foundation Ghana, Jonathan Osei â€"Owusu, wants the country's justice system reformed to allow for non-custodial sentences, especially, for minor offences.




Ex-ECG Boss Needed At Power Ministry—Mahama




President John Mahama says the former boss of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Rev. Ing. William Hutton-Mensah’s expertise will be needed at the new Ministry of Power, hence his re-assignment.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme, the President refuted reports that Rev. Hutton-Mensah has been fired.

“He was not fired. If you believe that he has talent that will help a new Minister that is coming in, you will assign him so that he can play that role,” he clarified.

Workers of the ECG have called for the immediate reinstatement of their boss, threatening to lay down their tools if their request is not met.

But President Mahama says Rev. Hutton-Mensah’s We are creating a new Ministry and he will be assigned to the new Ministry in a capacity that will be very useful to power supply in Ghana.

He advised that the workers of the ECG must not build their case on personalities saying, “we should not drill down on personalities. Managing Directors have come and gone and ECG should concentrate on how they build a team.”

“If you take one person out of a team, the team must be able to continue to operate and so it shouldn’t be about personalities,” he remarked.

The President also appealed to the ECG workers to stay calm and trust his government.

“They must just calm down and do their job,” he said, adding that “we appreciate the work that they are doing and all of us are concerned to make ECG better.”

He admitted that the workers may have legitimate concerns “but they should calm down and work as a team with the management that is in place and with the new Ministry that we have created to be able to give Ghanaians what they want.”

“Ghanaians want power and they want that power distributed in the most efficient manner and that is the same objective government has,” he added.




Access Bank Staff Supports Physically Challenged Persons To Walk


From (L-R) Kameel Adebayo, Stephen Abban And Joanna Bannerman  From Access Bank In A Handshake With Prosthetic Limbs Beneficiaries

Seventeen (17) physically challenged persons who could neither stand nor walk on their own, now have the opportunity to freely move around with the help of prosthetic limbs fitted courtesy staff of Access Bank (Ghana) Limited.

The beneficiaries were fitted with customised artificial limbs by the National Prosthetics and Orthotics Centre (NPOC) over a four week period and trained to exercise their new body parts before their discharge from the centre.

The latest humanitarian initiative forms part of Access Bank’s Employee Volunteering Program which allows staff to invest their time, skills and financial resources in meaningful projects within communities where the Bank operates.

Addressing the Group and members of the Centre during a short ceremony to climax the 4-week project, Dr. Thompson, Head of Prosthetics at the Centre expressed profound appreciation to staff of Access Bank for their sponsorship.

“The centre for a very long time has supported the whole country with very little resource in terms of human capital and other logistics needed to bring relief to patients. This gesture is very heart warming and we ask other stakeholders to join hands to ensure that people with disabilities are catered for in the community”, he urged.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira who was the special guest at the event, noted that until recently the National Prosthetic and Orthotics Centre used wood to generate limbs making them rather difficult to use. But with the help of prosthetics, more refined limbs can now be manufactured within two days.

He said ‘the intervention by Access Bank is helping to alleviate the hospital’s financial and logistical constraints’ and called on other public spirited organisations and individuals to support what he called the ‘laudable initiative to improve health care delivery system in Ghana”

The Executive Director for Operations and IT in Access Bank, Kameel Adebayo who is also a member of the staff volunteering group was excited by the outcome of their intervention’ “the smiles on the patients’ faces as they try out their limbs is priceless and we are proud to be a part of this great cause”.

The Project Director, Kennedy Effah said the decision to take up this project stemmed from a firm belief that, physically challenged persons deserve all the support they can get in order to live their lives with dignity and make meaningful contributions to society.

Access Bank staffs every year come up with various social intervention programmes as their contribution to society for sustainable impact to improve living conditions in the areas of health, education as well as the arts.

Notes for Editors
The Employee Volunteering Programme which was instituted by Access Bank in 2010 has seen over 150 employees giving back to the community in which the bank operates. It complements the Bank’s own annual CSR projects. The EVP projects have over the years contributed to the bank being adjudged Best Bank in Corporate Social Responsibility in 2010 and 2013 during the 10th and 13th Ghana Banking Awards respectively.

Recently adjudged Bank of the Year, Access staff continues to identify and offer volunteering services to projects that will change the lives of individuals in the community. Over 40 communities and institutions across the country have already been touched by the charitable projects embarked upon for the past four years.

About Access Bank
Over the last 4 years, Access Bank has displayed a strong commitment to health, education, environment and social improvement issues by leveraging its people and financial resources to invest in various projects across the country.

These contributions together with its financial performance and business expansion have contributed to the Bank being adjudged winner of several industry awards including:

• 2013 Bank of the Year in Ghana
• 2013 Most Socially Responsible Bank
• 2013 Top Emerging Brand
• 2013 3rd Most Respected Bank in Ghana (Ghana Club 100)

• 2012 Best Growing Bank in Ghana
• 2010 Most Socially responsible Bank
• 2010 Best Bank in Agric Financing
• 2010 â€" 1st runner up in Financial Performance
Currently, Access Bank is one of the largest banks in Ghana operating across 42 office locations. It has presence in 8 other African countries and operation in the UK.





Robbers Kill Nigerian Student




A Nigerian student has been killed and two others sustained various degrees of injury when three armed men allegedly attacked their Accra New Town residence at dawn yesterday.

The deceased was identified as Nazifi Osman Muhammed, 27. He was reportedly stabbed in the stomach and the chest by the robbers who were all masked.

The injured were Jamiru Osman, 23, and Mustapha Musa, 22, who are receiving treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The three, according to reports, are all Information Communication Technology (ICT) students of Sikkim Manipul University, located at Circle, Accra.

Meanwhile, the Kotobabi police have arrested one out of the three men who allegedly attacked the students.

The suspect, whose name is being withheld and currently in police custody, was arrested by neighbours and later handed over to the police, according to reports.

The Kotobabi District Police Commander, DSP Elizabeth Tiekuwaa Dankwa, who confirmed the arrest to DAILY GUIDE, said the suspect was yet to be interrogated by the police.

'Suspect was apprehended hours after the robbery attack by residents when he was passing in front of the house, on suspicion that he might be one of the suspects, but it is the duty of the police to confirm that through investigations.

'We are keeping him in our custody to assist us in our investigations,' she added.

Briefing the paper about the attack, DSP Dankwah said the incident occurred at about 3:30 am.

Police received a report from Mustapha Musa, one of the victims, that while they were asleep at Accra Newtown three masked men armed with a kitchen knife attacked and inflicted knife wounds on them.

He continued that his brothers, Nazifi Osman Muhammed and Jamiru Osman, were stabbed in the chests and the stomachs but he only sustained wounds on the hands.

'Complainant said they were all rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment by neighbours but Nazifi was pronounced dead by doctors on arrival at the health facility while Jamiru, who was unconscious, was admitted,'

the police officer narrated.
The body of Nazifi has since been deposited at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital awaiting autopsy.

Meanwhile, further information gathered by the paper indicated that the armed robbers had a hint that the victims had received $4,000 dollars from their elder brother in Nigeria to pay their school fees; and so decided to use brute force to collect the money.

BY Linda Tenyah
(lindatenyah@gmail.com)




Top MP Visits Ruby




COCAINE BARRONESS! Ruby Adu Gyamfi aka Nayele Ametefeh aka Angel

Information available to DAILY GUIDE indicates that a very leading Member of Parliament (MP) in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) visited the East Legon home and family residence of cocaine smuggling suspect, Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, soon after her arrest in London.

The MP, who represents a largely populated constituent and is influential in Parliament, is said to have rushed to the residence to commiserate with the members of the family on the arrest of their kith and kin.

Ruby last Thursday pleaded guilty in a London court after confessing to carrying the class A illicit drug valued at over $5 million. She will be sentenced on January 5, 2015.

The cocaine 'magadjia' or baroness, according to sources, had been in the drug business for a long time and had acquired several properties in and around Accra. She has three children and siblings.

Meanwhile, reports in other local news media indicate that the drug dealer, called severally as Ruby Appiah, Nayele Ametefeh and Irene Tawiah, did call the prominent politician from the Kotoka International Airport when the cocaine luggage was 'safely' delivered to her and made another call when she arrived at the London Heathrow Airport before the eagle-eyed security agents pounced on her.

The reports say she was carrying three mobile phones and four sim cards which contained a trove of information for investigators. It is believed that these discoveries led to her early admission of guilt at the Isleworth court and her readiness to carry the heavy load of imprisonment.

The records on one of her phones indicate that she made a telephone call to a very prominent Ghanaian politician on her arrival at the Accra International Airport for that fateful trip.

She called that same Ghanaian politician when the aircraft was about to take off and when it touched down at the Heathrow Airport.

The phone records also show that while on the aircraft, Ruby called a prominent Ghanaian businessman to indicate that all was well with her.

Video clips of Ruby and her extremely influential friends from the political stables have also been found on her phones. Some of the videos are said to be extremely compromising.

There are credible reports that Ghanaian intelligence had good reason to place Ruby under surveillance for more than three years.

Insider sources have confirmed that Ruby used the VIP lounge for her last trip to the United Kingdom, in spite of the fact that she was not qualified to do so.

The Insight, one of the newspapers with insider information on the scandal, has hinted that the cocaine was delivered to her on the aircraft by a well-placed official who is currently under arrest.

On Thursday our correspondent at the UK court, Kate Pratt, spoke to the prosecutor who indicated that he received the docket on the case barely a day before the hearing.

Prosecutor Revinden Johal told our Correspondent he was surprised at the speed with which Ruby conceded to the crime.

'I was alerted to this case only yesterday (Wednesday). I read some stuff online that seems to indicate this was not an ordinary case. There were political ramifications that go all the way to the top in Ghana's political system, and the accused carries with her some aura, some kind of 'Cleopatra' of the drugs trade in that part of Africa.

'You can see why she is not your ordinary drugs smuggler.  What is extraordinary is this speed with which she gets arrested on a BA flight and two weeks later she pleads guilty.

'The procedure was normal, there were barely any facts and details as she was simply asked how she pled to which she quickly pleaded guilty.

'I don't think anyone had anticipated the guilty plea.' Her lawyer on the other hand, refused to speak to anxious Ghanaians as it seemed she had prior knowledge about the deep interest by Ghanaians in the case.

She took the family members presentâ€"about four womenâ€"to a room for briefing after the hearing that lasted barely five minutes.




Obinim Blasts Rawlings




Former President Rawlings appears to have incurred the wrath of the founder of the International God's Way Ministry, Bishop Daniel Obinim, over his (Rawlings') recent comments in which he accused the 'man of God' and his colleague Prophet Nicholas Osei (popularly called Kumchacha) of using the name of God to exploit their followers.

Three weeks after Mr Rawlings had made the comments, it has now dawned on Obinim to break his longheld silence, descending heavily on the former President in a video in which he described the National Democratic Congress (NDC) founder's comments as 'very foolish.'

The video seems to have originally been targeted at the controversial actress and television presenter Valencia Nana Agyeiwaa (popularly called Afia Schwarzenegger) but the former President had his fair share of the dose when he was roped in at the tail end of the recording now circulating in the social media.

Aggression
In what looks like a video shot during or after one of his sermons with his entire congregation standing behind him, Obinim said, 'People sit down and do all sorts of foolish things; there is a former President called JJ; you are also there saying all the foolish things you like just because I've kept quiet; you don't respect yourself and you expect others to respect you.'

According to him, he was quiet over the issue not because he was afraid of the former President, but for the fact that his own people had called him (Obinim) and advised him to leave him (Rawlings) to his fate.

'You don't respect yourself; your own big men and people begged me to keep quiet because you have sat on the seat of the president before,' he posited while indicating that he had not only seen but had a copy of the video in which Mr Rawlings made those disparaging remarks about him on his phone.

Considering Rawlings as an elder statesman and former President who had occupied the highest office of the land before, the 'man of God' said, 'We expect that you will use your knowledge and wisdom that you have acquired to educate the young ones coming and not to be saying negative things about others.

Warning
That, he said, was because 'I respect you because you are a President; all the pastors here respect you but respect yourself as a President.'

Obinim has therefore warned Jerry to stay out of his way, saying '…let this be your last; don't ever use my name as a reference material when giving a speech. If you were old enough, you would have used your wisdom to benefit the young ones coming up. Let this be your last.”

Afia's Bit
Obinim did not equally spare Afia Schwarzeneggar in the footage, dressing her with insults like any worldly person on the streets.

Afia's crime, as has emerged, was showing a video of Obinim prophesying to his church members on her satirical show on UTV.

Bishop Obinim likened the height of the sharp-tongued lady to a monkey and warned her to stop questioning his integrity on air, promising to appear in her dreams to torment her if she did not stop poking her nose into his affairs.

“I will be visiting you in your dream (what I will do to you); I have poured oil on the ground…If you don't want trouble, then shut your mouth on Obinim,” he threatened.

The embattled pastor continued, “If you know any fetish priest or Malam in Ghana, ask them about Obinim. He will tell you that I visit people in the spirit. I will come to you in a dream. Beware! What I will do to you in your dream. Just wait for me; I'm coming. If you don't want me to come, then shut up on me! …I will show you that the place that you will go is not Obinim's size. I talk in the name of Jesus. You will know my kind.”

A no-nonsense Afia Schwarzeneggar has equally released a damning self-made video in which she described Obinim with unprintable words.

She told DAILY GUIDE that the 'man of God' had been bothering her with sexual overtures which she had always turned down and that at a point he asked her to let him know

the kind of panties (underwears) she was wearing.
The controversial lady has since dared Obinim to bring it on because she was ready to face him squarely

and that she was not in any way scared about his threats to hunt her in her dreams.

'His cup is full; I'm the wrong bitch to mess up with,' she noted.




Ghanaians, Advised To Portray Positive Attitude towards Work




The Governor of Association of Certified Quality Assurance [ACQA] Dr. N.G.K. Parker has admonished all public sector and private workers to change their attitude towards work since time is extremely vital for wealth creation.

Dr. Parker who gave this advice during an interview added that, when all and sundry in the country eliminate bureaucracy and poor attitude towards work, in the country, productivity will increase and later strengthen the economy as well.

According to him numerous organizations are collapsing as a result of attitudinal change towards work. This he said, a lot of people always waste time on works that one could take a few seconds to finish. According to him such attitudes are the recipes for low productivity. He said to address the canker heads of various institutions must endeavour to supervise and monitor their subordinates in order to uphold best practices that will enhance quality service delivery

Touching on made in Ghana goods and services , he stated that Ghanaian manufacturers or producers must add value to their products in order to attract both local and international consumers. According to him , this goal all institutions in the country should endeavour to at least have quality assurance practitioners in their companies in order to help them come out with quality products and services. This he said would also help them to meet the international standard.




Patronage of Ghana Products; Key to Socio-economic Dev’t




Ghanaians have been urged to develop positive characters towards made- in Ghana goods and services in order to help boost the economy and also strengthen indigenous businesses as well.

In an interview with ModernGhana, the Board Chairperson, Ghana Trade Fair Mrs. Hannah Anewenah Amoateng, further entreated Ghanaians to have confidence in locally made goods since it has the same quality as the imported ones from other countries.

This she said would help reduce pressure on the Ghanaian cedi and also save it the from continuous depreciation against other major foreign currencies. According to her as part of their outfit’s effort to help promote made-in- Ghana goods and services ,they thought it wise to hold Grand Sale Co-locating with Made in Ghana Fair, slated to take place from 15th to 25th at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre La- Accra.

She hinted that, the fair which is on the theme: “Bringing Buyers and Sellers together " is expected to attract over 400 exhibitors to take part in the fair. She said, fair will allow producers and consumers to interact and further enhance their business relationship as well.

Adding that, the fair is also aimed at assisting producers and manufacturers to outdoor their products which are not yet known to the public. According to her, the Kantankan Group of Companies is their ambassador since they are the first indigenous company to manufacture cars and electronic devices in the country.

She said, activities such as made -in- Ghana health walk and free health screening would also take place. She has, therefore called on all entities and potential exhibitors who have not yet registered to endeavour to do so in order to enjoy all the maximum benefits the platform offers.




G.E.S. DEMOTES TWO TEACHERS SUBJECTING STUDENT TO VAGINAL SEARCH




The Sekyere East District Directorate of the Ghana Education Service has demoted and transferred two teachers for subjected a student to vaginal search.

Headmaster of Okaikrom D/A JHS, whose name the victim gives as Kwasi Kumah and a female teacher identified only as Charity, had suspected the student of being pregnant.

The embarrassment forces the girl to change schools after staying home for some time.

According the girl she was in school when she felt signs of menstruation so she rushed back home, accompanied by a colleague, to put herself in order.

On their return, the class teacher gave each of them four strokes of the cane for leaving school without permission.

The headmaster later showed up in class to give the students fourteen lashes each for the same offense.

The poor girl’s humiliation was not to end there, however.

Headmaster, Kwasi Kuma singled her out, accused her of being promiscuous and of being pregnant, claiming that her breasts and belly had grown larger.

This, she said, resulted in an uproar from her fellow students.

Although the girl informed him that she was not pregnant and that she had just begun her period, the headmaster ordered her to his office, whereupon he instructed three female teachers to examine her through vaginal search.

According to the victim, two of the female teachers refused to obey the instruction but the third obliged, forcing the girl to strip naked and performing the invasive search in the presence of the headmaster, despite the obvious visual signs of menstruation.

Upon confirming that the girl spoke the truth, they let her go but the young girl insists she is humiliated by the incident and that the ensuing ridicule from her fellow students, both in and outside of school, forced her to drop out.

The District Director of Education, Nana Otuo Achempong, has since led a delegation to apologize to the students and her parents.

The girl is however uncomfortable going back to the school was, but thankfully, she has since enrolled in a nearby private school, obviously at extra cost to her parents.

Nana Acheampong believes the disciplinary action is enough to deter others from abusing students.

“I saw that the head behaved unprofessionally and have demoted him” he said.

Nana Acheampong went on to explain that the female teacher has been transferred to a remote primary school where she will not have access to adolescents to abuse in such a manner.

Story by Prince Appiah




Friday, November 28, 2014

Education Ministry Has Highest Number Of Ghost Names - Okudzeto




Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa 
The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Okudzeto Ablakwa has revealed that his Ministry has the highest number of ghost names on government's pay roll.

Speaking at the Government for the People Forum in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Mr. Ablakwa said ' we have also had the opportunity to discover ghosts as usual and I feel embarrassed that my sector has the highest number of ghosts.'

'Every now and then we have ghosts that we find but we managed to identify 46,888 ghosts this time around. Some were also people who have left the profession ,' the Minister added.

Mr. Ablakwa was however quick to add that government has deleted those names from the pay roll.

The issue of ghost names has been lingering for sometime now.

In July, the Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) deleted 3,179 ghost names from the pay rolls of public institutions in Greater Accra alone between April and June.

This was as a result of the implementation of the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher System (E-SPV) system.

Investigations at the National Service Secretariat also revealed that about GHC 7.9 million was paid to 22,612 to non-existent national service persons in more than 100 districts in July 2014.

Teacher Absenteeism
Speaking on the increasing spate of teacher absenteeism in Ghana, the Minister stated that the situation is prevalent in most regions, saying 'when we went to the Ministry of Education, teacher absenteeism in Ghana was 27 percent. More than a qauarter of teachers don't show up, they don't show up at all. That is not acceptable…'

He said the situation compelled the Ministry to set up a committee to address the menace.

'Clearly we could not continue with that, so what we did was that my Ministry declared zero tolerance against teacher absenteeism . There was a full blown war.'

In March, the Ministry of Education  commissioned a committee to design modalities for addressing the issue of teacher absenteeism, as part of efforts to effectively implement the policy of Zero Tolerance for Teacher Absenteeism and to increase teachers' time spent in the classroom.

The committee was mandated to deliberate and submit proposals to address the issue.

Source: Citifmonline.com




Police Service inaugurates Martyr's Day




The Ghana Police Service lost ten officers in the line of duty in 2014 at the hands of criminals. The Service in honouring its officers who are killed in the line of their work, has instituted a Martyr's Day

According to the Inspector General of Police who made this revelation at the inauguration of the martyr's day at the police training centre in Accra, said the day is to “honour the past and shape the future” and also pay homage to officers who died in the course of duty.

The Ghana police service is undoubtedly an embodiment of brave and courageous men and women who are in constant battle with armed gangs who have already shot dead six out of the ten deceased officers.

Director-general of planning and ICT David Asante-Apeatu of the Ghana Police Service, despite these risks to officers lives, says, “fear of casualties will not deter us from doing what needs to be done, rooting out criminals and threats wherever they are.”

The service, according to the IGP, lost nine of its men in 2013 under similar circumstance and so used the occasion to pay homage to its “forgotten heroes”.

DSP Cephas Arthur, Director of Police Public Affairs says, the institutionalization of the Martyr's Day will go a long way to boost the morale of officers to do more.

Answering questions on whether or not the attack on officers will change the mode of operations of the police service, the director of public affairs at the police service says “ that will no way change the mode of operations of the service and in fact, it will rather help the service to be proactive by keeping officers safe.”

There is no doubt that the discharge of police duties brings a trail of casualties, and Deputy Minister of interior, James Agalga says, “government can only support the inventiveness by the Inspector General of Police by helping to build a memorial for the fallen heroes”.




Make NACOB an Authority- Vladmir Antwi-Danso




Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy-LECIAD, Dr. Vladmir Antwi-Danso has called on government to institute a laid down procedure where persons with requisite skills and technical know-how can apply for various positions in NACOB without resorting to political appointments.

According to him, this will help NACOB to be more efficient and effective as a drug control body of the country, adding that NARCOB should be made an Authority or a commission so that no ruling government has direct control over it.

Dr. Antwi-Danso, who was speaking on Joy News' flagship programme, NewsDesk also said the country's recent involvement with drugs; especially cocaine is having a serious toll on Ghana's image and economy.

He explains that the international community now have a negative impression of Ghana which is tarnishing the country's image.

Touching on whether political parties in Ghana could have a hand in the current drug menace, Dr. Antwi-Danso said both the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP could be funding their party operations partly from drug monies.

Also speaking on News Desk, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Alidu Seidu indicated that there was the need for government and civil society to take a critical look at the drug menace in the country since the issue has the propensity to mar the image of the country internationally.

Speaking to News Desk host Gladys Osei Owiredu, Dr. Seidu was also of the opinion, drug barons must in no way be allowed to fund the activities of political parties in the country.

According to him, even though there is no known record of drug barons sponsoring political parties, political parties must make it a policy that in no way, will they ever subject themselves to the dictates and caprices of drug barons.

He also added that Ghana's international image worldwide is now under scrutiny following the recent drug scandal in the U.K and admonished Ghanaians to depoliticize the current drug menace and unite in fighting the canker.

Dr. Seidu took a swipe at NACOB for not following due procedure in the recent drug haul in the UK and called for a house cleaning exercise.

According to him, there is the need for government to keep the country's credibility and image in order by empowering the security agencies to carry out their work diligently without fear or favour.




Dep Min hints of Real Estate Sector law




The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon Jonny Osei Kofi has indicated that government has approved a Bill which will regulate the real estate sector in Ghana.

This was made known at a real estate conference organized by property expert, Lamudi Ghana yesterday on the theme, “The Future of Real Estate in Emerging Markets”.

According to Osei Kofi, the Bill is meant to streamline the real estate industry with respect to real estate brokerage practitioners and to protect the interest of house-hunters.

He pointed out that the Bill will soon be laid before Parliament to be passed into law.

“Government is working assiduously to come out with a Bill to control the sector. The main objective of this Bill is to regulate real estate brokerage practice and practitioners, real estate transactions as well as prevent the use of real estate transactions for the purposes of money laundering and other vices,” Osei Kofi stressed.

He also added that the Bill will establish a Real Estate Authority to regulate real estate agency practice, commercial transactions including the sale, purchase, rental and leasing of real estate.

This comes as welcoming news to the many house-hunters in Ghana who sometimes go through bad experiences with real estate agents in their quest to acquire a home.

Speaking on the proposed Housing Policy, the Deputy Minister indicated that it had been finalized and sent to cabinet for approval. It was his expectation that it would soon be approved and sent to Parliament for passage into law.

“On the matter of the new Housing Policy, I am happy to inform you that the new Housing Policy has been finalized and sent to cabinet for approval.

“Upon cabinet approval, the next step is for it to be laid before Parliament to be passed into law,” he announced.

Ghana currently has a housing deficit of approximately 1.7 million units and stakeholders within the industry have been looking to close the housing gap while looking to provide decent homes for the citizenry.

As part of its mandate, Lamudi Ghana has set the objective of organizing periodic real estate conferences to shed light on some of the problems while providing a platform for solutions to improve the industry.

Managing Director of Lamudi Ghana, Akua Nyame-Mensah, expressed her delight at the second of such functions organized and reiterated the call for a more transparent real estate industry.

““Lamudi is concerned with increased transparency and we believe that the government's efforts in drafting a Bill to regulate the real estate industry is a step in the right direction.

“It will not only be in the interest of house-hunters to have this enacted into Law, but that of real estate professionals too, as it will improve the confidence reposed in them, thereby, leading to more sales.

The real estate conference brought together many stakeholders in the real estate industry including the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, GREDA, Windzor Realty, Ghana Prime Properties, Orel Ghana, The Realty Connection GH Ltd, Isaac Anthony Homes, Ankacorp and a number of other real estate brokers and developers.




Nkonya-Alavanyo violence: Chief demands swift gov't intervention or...




An Alavanyo chief, Togbui Gyekye Atakora, is calling for a swift government intervention to prevent the possible escalation of violence in the area.

His comments come shortly after a gun attack on some residents in Alavanyo, which led to the death of one person and an injury to another.

The two were said to be heading to their farms when the gun attack occurred.

It is not clear yet the motive for the attack or who is behind it.

The Military and Police have besieged the area in a desperate attempt to maintain peace, law and order.

There has been a protracted land dispute between Alavanyo and Nkonya residents- a dispute which has claimed dozens of lives and damaged properties worth several millions of cedis.

Tobgui Atakora suspects Friday's killing was perpetrated by a rival ethnic group in Nkonya, as part of the longstanding battle between the two groups.

He told Joy News' Francis Abban, government must intervene to have the matter resolved.

According to him, the Nkonya side pulled out of an arbitration process between the sides and have resorted to violence.

"Enough is enough," he stated, adding for how long would Alavanyo residents suffer attacks from rival factions.

"Somebody must tell somebody that in the civilised world" this is not the way to handle issues he stated.

He said he has evidence, a tape recording, in which Nkonya residents are threatening to shoot and kill Alavanyo residents if they go step foot on the disputed land.

Togbui Atakora said he has had to restrain the youth from retaliating but wondered how long would he be able to do so.

Meanwhile, Police say they have sent officers to secure the area and maintain calm.




Tamale Mayor rallies residents for GUMPP




The Mayor of Tamale Abdul Hanan Gundadow has said the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly will continue to dialogue with residents on any developmental activity to be undertaken in the Assembly.

“We have to understand that in Tamale if you want to undertake a successful programme in any community you need to get the residents to buy into the project before it will be successful," he stated.

He made the comment when he led contractors, consultants and members of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly to engage with residents who are likely to be affected by the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Programme (GUMPP) soon to commence in Tamale.

The GUMPP project consists of the construction of storm drain and a retention pond in Gumani  to remedy perennial flooding which has over the years led to loss of human lives and properties in the Tamale metropolitan City and the Sagnerigu District assembly.

Other projects to be executed include the re-designing and construction of the Aboabo market and Lorry Park, rehabilitation of the Tamale Abattoir at Shishegu and the upgrading of Moshie-Zongo, Salamba and Tishegu Township.

The GUMPP is made possible under a Ghana-France collaboration with a loan facility of €40 million through the Agence France de Development (AFD).

Three other cities namely, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ho and Kumasi are also benefitting from the facility.

The visit took the team to Moshie-Zongo; Salamba and Tishegu where the Metropolitan Chief Executive met with opinion leaders and youth of the areas to sensitize them about the upcoming projects.

When the projects begin in these communities, access roads with drains and street lighting system will be created to give a face-lift to the communities. 

Residents of the communities have welcomed the move by the Tamale MCE saying it will help address the challenges they go through each year in the wet season.

They also assure the contractors of their support and cooperation towards a successful implementation of the project.




Roman Ridge School wins Lancaster Business Challenge




The Think Tank Team of the Roman Ridge School won the 2nd edition of the Lancaster University Business Cup Challenge held in Accra.

The winning team walked away with a 50% scholarship to study at Lancaster University (Ghana campus) along with GHS 5,000.

The IQ team from British International School was 1 st runner-up and received 30% scholarship along with GHS 3,000 and the 2 nd runner up was Wey Gey Hey 1 from Wesley Girls Senior High School, which took home 20% scholarship with GHS 2,000 in cash prize.

All other participants received a 10% scholarship to Lancaster University-Ghana

Under the Lancaster University Business Cup Challenge, students are encouraged to review and implement real-life business plans, analyse critical business scenarios and present their cases to an academic and professional panel of judges which consisted of Prof. John Grainger â€" Provost of Lancaster University, Ghana, Yaw Busia - Lecturer at Lancaster University, Ghana, Randolph Rodrigues - Head of Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank, and Frank Hagan Brown - Trade Advisor from the British High.

A total of 72 teams from 20 schools participated in the competition out of which 10 teams were selected for the finals. Teams were awarded scores according to the set criteria by the panel. Each team consisted of four or five students from the same school.

During the finals, all 10 teams were allocated a maximum of 20 minutes each to present a pitch they developed on their various products.

In an interview with Prof. John Grainger, he stated “With what I have seen today, we stand a very good chance of putting Ghana on the map of global business leaders with our young people. These are people who are coming through to be the leaders of tomorrow. The way they hold themselves, the way they put together good presentations and they pride themselves in the schools that they come from, I must admit was very surprised by the number of young ladies that took part in the programme and they seem to be very creative and very well spoken”.

The winning team mentioned in an interview that their victory was due to a lot of research, sacrifice, teamwork and open-mindedness.

The Business Cup Challenge is a unique marketing plan competition designed to challenge high school students and launch them into the business world at a young age while developing new business ideas and gaining valuable knowledge.

The competition was sponsored by Stanbic Bank and Lancaster University, Ghana, in partnership with the Daily Guide newspaper, Joy News and Global Media Alliance and supported by the British High Commission.




Ghana Is Gradually Emerging Out Of Its Challenges—Joseph Yammin




Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister Joseph Yamin has said that the nation is gradually getting out of the challenges faced during the year.

He said fortunately the country has its gas flowing which will help boost domestic gas by 70 percent and save the country millions of dollars which can be used for other things.

Mr Yammin said the Ashanti Region has for this year alone seen tremendous developments in terms of health infrastructure and cited the Tepa District Hospital which is a 60-bed hospital and the military hospital at Afari; a 500 bed hospital, as some of the developments.

He adds that road constructions are also on course “and the evidence is there to see. The Sofoline Interchange is a good example of what the NDC-led administration is up to. The project will be completed by end of year.”

Mr. Yammin called on Ghanaians to support and always pray for the government in all it does.




One Nigerian student killed; two injured in robbery attack




Armed robbers at dawn, Friday, attacked and killed one Nigerian student and left two others injured. One of the injured students is in serious condition.

The attack took place at Accra Newtown, a suburb of Accra.

The robbers were said to have demanded money from the students, who failed to comply their command, leading to the vicious attack and murder.

Joy News' Francis Abban who visited the scene of the attack, reported the incident as gory.

According to him, the deceased person had his stomach split open with his intestines gushing out.

There was a pool of blood in the room where the attack took place.

The survivor of the attack narrated that the masked men came into their unlocked room around 2:00 am, demanding money.

He said they had just received their school fees and did not want to lose the money and so they resisted. He says he hurriedly went into the kitchen for a knife but the three were overpowered by the robbers.

He said his other colleague has been left in critical condition with a deep cut on his chest. He said they feel targeted in Ghana and are no longer safe.

The Kotobabi Police have began investigations into the matter.




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