Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Expect Reduction In Electricity Tariffs Soon Boakye Agyarko


Ghanaians could have some relief on how much they pay for utility, especially electrify, in the first 100 days of the new administration, the Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko has hinted.

This would be the beginning of the implementation of the many policies in the energy sector aimed at delivering efficiently and bringing respite to the Ghanaian people.

Mr Agyarko, who spoke to The Finder moments after he was sworn into office as Minister by the President on Friday, said government would start an ambitious programme to gradually reduce tariffs on electricity to bring some relief to Ghanaians

We will commence the incremental reduction of tariffs on electricity so that people start to get some relief. There are other things we will do within the first 500 days, he said.

Furthermore, he said, his top priority in the energy sector would be to manage the resources in the sector more effectively for the social fine of the people.

He mentioned that most of the entities in the energy sector do not have a healthy balance sheet and, therefore, are not able to operate efficiently as they should.

My first task is to make sure that I improve the health of the balance sheets of the various sector so that they can act as credible entities and credible off-takers for energy production.

According to him, government will follow through its manifesto promise which gives clear guidelines on what it intends to do in the power sector, adding that new measures, such as the enactment of new legislations to make government more efficient, would be prioritised.

The nation would be excited with what we have to offer within our term office, he assured.

Speaking to concerns of possible challenges in power generation due to some planned shutdowns of some major plants such as Ameri and the Ghana Gas company, the Minister said adequate arrangements have been made for gas from Nigeria and supplementary power from neighbouring Cote dIvoire to support mitigate the effect of the scheduled shutdown.

The power generating company, the Volta River Authority (VRA), earlier last week, announced of a planned shutdown of the Ghana Gas company to allow the connection of the TEN fields to the Atuabo plant.

The shutdown is expected to affect the Ameri Plant leading to a shortfall in production of about 230MW and possibly trigger some power supply challenges

But Agyarko said government is not leaving anything to chance to ensure that Ghanaians enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

We would not take that chance for it to happen; we would rather find the substitution power so that the question of the power triggering off doesnt happen. We are negotiating with La Cote dIvoire to give us the balance and we pushing pipeline gas from Nigeria into the western enclave to make up for the 300 mw of power that would be lost during the shutdown period, he added.
The Finder


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Forgive 'Political' Chiefs - Togbe Afede


The president of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XVII, of the Asogli State has apologised on behalf of Chiefs who erred and engaged in partisan politics during the political season last year.
 
He said even though the code of conduct of chiefs and the Constitution precluded them from taking active part in politics, some of them could not live up to expectation.

He therefore asked that the practice be thrown in the dustbin of history and a new page opened, going forward.

Togbe Afede who was speaking at the first meeting of the National House of Chiefs said the house would be ensuring that members adhere to the code of conduct.

This, according to him, will be part of the image building of the chieftaincy institution and re-positioning it in the development of the country.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


African Leaders Consider Proposals For Institutional Reform Of The AU


African Heads of State at the ongoing Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are considering proposals aimed at reforming the continental body, so as to make it more relevant to the needs and aspirations of the African peoples.

At a retreat organized by the AU Commission for the Heads of State on Sunday, January 29, 2017, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who was tasked by the 27th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly to lead the latest initiative to reform the continental organization, outlined a raft of initiatives to this end.

Describing the AU as a highly dysfunctional organization, President Kagame, in his presentation, catalogued a wide-range of problems which have plagued the Union since its inception in July 2002 as the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) â€" the body which successfully led Africa's struggle against colonialism and apartheid. 

According to him, inadequate funding, a bloated AU Commission, a weak Pan-African Parliament, the lack of clear priorities and weak linkages between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities are among the challenges that have impeded the progress of the AU.

These problems, he added, are making it difficult for the AU to implement decisions taken at its Summits. Consequently, the AU had become a mere bureaucracy that is largely divorced from the African citizenry.

To make the AU more effective and efficient, President Paul Kagame proposed the outlining of clear priorities in areas that affect the continent, such as in peace and security, integration and fine governance. He also called for a leaner organization that was structured around the priorities of the AU.

His report also recommended that ways be found to make decisions taken at Summits binding on member states, without necessarily turning the AU Commission into a bureaucratic dictatorship.

Another significant proposal by President Kagame is to give the Chairperson of the AU Commission the authority to appoint his or her own Deputy, so that appointees are more effectively supervised. This implied a review of the Constitutive Act in order to accommodate the structural and legal implications of the proposed reforms.

At the end of President Kagame's presentation, it became obvious that what he and his team were calling for was a significant reform of the AU.

In the discussions that ensued, all the speakers agreed on the need for reforming the AU, and making it more responsive as well as capable of meeting the aspirations of ordinary Africans.

On his part, President Akufo-Addo welcomed the recommendations contained in the President Kagame's report and urged the Assembly to speed up the implementation of the proposals contained in his report.

The President recalled that similar discussions had taken place in Accra when Ghana hosted the 9th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, and urged his colleague Heads of State to be genuinely interested and committed to the integration process of the African continent, stressing that unless the challenges facing the continental body are addressed honestly, then the proposed reforms would not make the desired impact.

 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Dr Ben K. D Asante Appointed Ghana Gas CEO


President Akufo-Addo has appointed famed Engineer, Dr Ben K. D Asante as the Caretaker Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas).

Dr. Asante replaces Dr. George Sipa Yankey whose terminal leave took effect February 1, 2017, and terminates in May 2017.

Dr. Asante is expected to act as the CEO of Ghana Gas until a substantive one is approved. Dr. Asante under his acting role is also not permitted to take decisions that have policy implications.

Profile of Dr. K.D Asante

Dr Ben Asante has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.

He was the technical Director of Ghanas first Gas Infrastructure project and also developed the gas infrastructure master plan for Ghana in 2008.

He has also served as a consultant to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and provided engineering services, project management and technical help for various projects across the world including UAE, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and USA.

He has worked for major companies including Nova/TransCanada and Enron and Jacobs Engineering.

Dr. Ben Asante is a product of Mfantsipim school and holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering (KNUST, Ghana), and an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada.

He also has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London /University of Calgary and has taught gas processing and pipeline engineering at Imperial College, UK and KNUST, Ghana.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Man, 22, Dies From Stroke While Having Sex With Girlfriend


A man has died after suffering a suspected stroke while having sex with his girlfriend.

The 22-year-old, from Keelung in Taiwan, began to sweat and have breathing difficulties before losing consciousness while having sex at 5am, his partner said.
 
He was taken to hospital but was later pronounced dead. Although there was no official diagnosis, senior doctors believe he suffered a stroke or heart attack.

The 22-year-old, named as Huang, was said to be a little overweight but otherwise healthy and had just recovered from a minor cold.

Prosecutors have requested an autopsy but officers do not suspect foul play.

His girlfriend, identified only as Fu, 20, explained she phoned an ambulance when her partner collapsed on the bed. ‘Halfway through our lovemaking, he began to sweat and had difficulty breathing, she explained.

‘He lost consciousness right there, and fell down on the bed with a loud thud.

‘I called his name and touched him, but there was no reaction,

Medics are questioning whether the citys unusually cold weather, which has seen temperatures hit 11C, could have played a role.

Dr. Shih, head of Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospitals emergency room, warned that people should avoid vigorous sex when it is cold â€" and warm up first with some exercises.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Teacher 'Assassinates Donald Trump' In Classroom (VIDEO)


 
 
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of This Website. This Website accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.
 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


FDA Boss Sacked


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Hudu Mogtari, has been relieved of his post by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with immediate effect.

The decision to remove him from office was communicated to him last week from the presidency.

Mr. Mogtari took over from Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, whose alleged reign of terror crippled the pharmaceutical industry after owners of companies he suspected were not sympathetic to the cause of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) were targeted and victimised.

Pharmaceutical companies that purportedly suffered serious victimisation in the hands of Dr. Opuni were Tobinco, Kingdom and Kinapharma.

One of his purported cronies, a definite Delese Mimi Darko â€" who is said be an NDC woman â€" is currently lobbying to be appointed FDA boss and is believed to be using her fathers connections.

Her father is said to be an NPP man, but DAILY GUIDE learnt that her appointment can only be a perpetuation of Opunis regime.

Other people Dr Opuni allegedly used to harass the pharmaceutical companies are believed to be Amedzro, Nathaniel Nkrumah and Asante Boateng.

Dr Opuni, upon assumption of office as the FDA boss, allegedly cleared all the top people in management positions and planted his favourites.

For instance, Ben Botwe, a deputy CEO, was sent to the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and finally sent home and Akrasi Sarpong came to replace him; and one Rev Martey was also reported to have been relieved of his post by Opuni.

The outgoing FDA boss, Hudu Mogtari, is the husband of Joyce Bawa-Mogtari, a former deputy Minister of Transport, who was also the Communication Director of the John Mahama 2016 electioneering campaign team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).


By Ghana Leaks Blog


African Leaders Agree Deal On Continental Free Trade


Heads of State and Governments who attended the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union have signed up to the Continental Free Trade Agreement, whose purpose is ensure significant growth of Intra-Africa trade, as well as assisting countries on the continent use trade more effectively as an engine of growth and for sustainable development.

The CFTA will, amongst others, reduce the vulnerability of the continent to external shocks, and will also enhance the participation of Africa in global trade as a respectable partner, thereby reducing the continents dependence on foreign aid and external borrowing.

This was made known at the closing ceremony of the 28th AU Summit on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This agreement is in furtherance of the commitment made by African leaders in Addis Ababa in 2012 towards the establishment of the CFTA

It will be recalled that at the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU held in January, 2012, in the Ethiopian capital, the Assembly endorsed an Action plan to boost intra-Africa trade through the operationalisation of the CFTA by 2017.

The Action Plan was specifically aimed at deepening Africas market integration, and significantly increasing the volume of trade that African countries undertake among themselves. The plan also outlined a programme of activities required to remove all bottlenecks and obstacles to intra-African trade.

A key feature of African trade is its low level of intra-African trade, insignificant share of global trade and high external orientation. Intra-Africa trade accounts for some 10% of Africas total trade compared to about 60%, 40% and 30% intra-regional trade achieved by Europe, North America and ASEAN respectively.

At around 3%, the share of Africa in global trade is insignificant. In terms of the direction of Africas trade, exports are mainly to Europe and USA (57%) and in recent times to China.

Again, with the numerous free trade areas existing across the globe such as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Africa has no choice but to reduce its vulnerabilities with the creation of a CFTA.

The CFTA, therefore, will create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.

Additionally, the CFTA aims to expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes, as well resolving resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.

 

 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Konadu Yiadom SHS Crys For Infrastural Development


Authorities of the Konadu Yiadom Senoir High School at Akrofonso Asamang in the Sekyere East District in the Ashanti Region have expressed concern over the schools huge infrastructural deficit, describing it as a disincentive to effective and quality teaching and learning.

Management regrets that even though the school has been in existence since 1975, its infrastructure base is nothing to talk about.

The Headmaster, Mr. Baba Idrisu Seidu, bemoaned that the institution, to date, has no befitting administration block, as he and his core administrative staff operate from a shared temporary dormitory structure.

He pointed out that the school has just 23 classrooms accommodating a student population of a little over 1,000, which is below standard. He indicated that teachers are sometimes compelled to split and conduct classes in open spaces, as a means of decongesting classrooms.

The Headmaster disclosed that the only befitting structure on campus, a two storey 21-unit classroom block, was undertaken by schools Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

Mr. Seidu sadly mentioned that a dining hall project, which is also an initiative of the PTA, has stalled due to financial constraints. He said despite the tremendous improvement in student discipline and schools academic performance, enrollment is not encouraging at all, and attributed it to the poor infrastructural base of the school.

He revealed that less than one third of students who were posted to the school through the Computerized School Selection Placement System (CSSPS) this academic year did not report, as they preferred sister schools with quite decent infrastructure.

Mr. Baba Seidu has, therefore, appealed to the government, the Ministry of Education, and other relevant educational bodies to come to aid of the school.

He also appealed to the District Education Directorate to deploy two mathematics and one physics teacher to fill these positions which have been left vacant for some time now.

From Ernest Best Anane

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By Ghana Leaks Blog


Missing Vehicles: UER Health Boss Begs; Car Found At Residence


Starr News has uncovered fresh facts that suggest the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Kofi Issah, may have deliberately misled the public with claims that some five official cars were ‘stolen from the regional directorate.

In what is the latest development on the longstanding controversy about the alleged missing vehicles, Dr. Issah has not only rendered an apology to authorities for his action but Starr Newss investigations also have dug out an official project vehicle he is said to have unduly taken from the directorate for his wife.

Dr. Issah, in a letter captioned Regret over Situation of 5 Vehicles in the Ghana Health Service, confessed soberly to the mad Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, saying: It is [my] poor, rural and humble beginnings that influenced my approach to the situation surrounding the five vehicles for which I wish to state that it was regrettable. The experience has taught me a revealing lesson regarding the operations of the service in general

Further, the letter, a copy of which Starr News has in possession, reads: In this regard, I regret whatever was caused to you, the [Ghana Health Service Council], colleague Directors, and health staff and query that we look forward in order to build a strong team for service delivery.

He had told international donor agencies and the general public in August, 2016, that the vehicles had gone missing at the directorate before he took over the office from his predecessor in 2015. Some, following the announcement, concluded the claims were only an attempt to tarnish the image of his predecessor. But a section of the public, angered by the alleged theft, called for the recovery of the vehicles and for a suit against whosoever was responsible.

Starr investigates GEHIP reportedly given to wife

Sources within the Upper East Regional Health Directorate hinted Starr News in October, 2016, that Dr. Issah had unduly given out to his wife an official project vehicle, a grey pickup, meant to sustain the gains made under the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Project (GEHIP).

The sources added that he rubbed out the GEHIP originally labelled on the body of the car before donating it to his spouse. That car belongs to a set of the same project vehicles he had declared missing in August, 2016.

For several weeks, Starr News prowled in disguise day and night around the official residence of Dr. Issah (where he lives with his family) in the regional capital on the lookout for the said pickup. On the night of Friday November 11, 2016, Starr News spotted a grey pickup parked alongside two saloon cars under a car shed on the monitored compound. The investigation, as monitoring and efforts to take shots of the compound through the wire-mesh fence continued for days, at a point almost came to a crash when the security officers, always seen around the premises, appeared to have sniffed a spy.

In the late-morning hours of Monday December 19, 2016, Starr News finally gained access into the yard in disguise as a desperate basket hawker seeking shelter from a wild lunatic in the street. An unsuspecting security officer let in the ‘basket hawker who took some video footages and photographs of the vehicles on the compound with a secret camera.

Release of findings on the pickup was withheld in a long wait for a credible document to confirm and back the discoveries. A month after the December breakthrough, Starr News laid hands on a GEHIP project material showing a list of project vehicles including a Toyota Hilux pickup with the same registration number as the grey Toyota pickup spotted at Dr. Issahs residence- GN 3439-12. The findings gave credence to what sources had hinted.

Seeking a reaction to the finds, Starr News asked Dr. Issah via SMS on Wednesday January 25, 2017, if he gave out a GEHIP pickup to his wife as inside sources claimed. Obviously unaware that Starr News had fetched some evidence from his residence, this was his response in a text:

There is also one given to my mother and another to my uncle in the village. I believe you have seen them driving the vehicles in town. Kindly let me know where you are so that they come around so that you can take pictures for evidence.

I am also planning to allocate one vehicle to my grandfather, another vehicle to my village to my village chief, and leave with two when Im going on retirement. Maybe I can loan you one of them so that you use for rural reporting. Thank you and happy new year.

Another text message came, 25 minutes apart from the first and from the same source. It reads: Eddie we are looking for you so that you take the pictures. Kindly let us know where you are. In the meantime expect a delegation from the village with the other GEHIP vehicle for the evidence you need for your story.

Attempts were made later from his end, on the last Thursday and Friday of this month, to prevent the findings from being published by delegating people to plead on his behalf and also requesting to meet with Starr News. There are audio clips of those pleas made on his behalf. Subsequently, Starr News crafted a trick by forwarding a 500-word-long whatsapp message on Saturday 28th January, this year, to him, requesting to meet with him in secret and telling him that the findings made would no longer be published.

The trick was to extract further details from him. One of the pictures taken from his residence was attached to the message sent to him, to commit him to the meeting. But he had not responded to the proposal as of the time of filing this report. Inside sources say his delay in responding to the proposed secret meeting was due to the caution he received that the proposed meeting might be a trick to expose him further.

How the missing vehicles came and disappeared

Starr News also launched an investigation into the whereabouts of the vehicles which Dr. Issah had told the world were missing, beginning with how they arrived in the region in the first place.

In 2009, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) through the Columbia University funded the procurement of 7 vehicles to support the Ghana Health Service execute the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Project (GEHIP) in the region.

Dr. Awoonor-Williams, who is credited for initiating the project and putting together a comprehensive proposal that attracted funding for it, allocated six of the vehicles for the implementation of the project and reserved one for rapid answer to such emergencies as disease outbreaks.

The six project vehicles were Mitsubishi Pickup GE 9289-10, Toyota Hilux Pickup GV 447-11, Toyota Hilux Pickup GN 3439-12 (the vehicle captured on secret camera at Dr. Issahs residence), Mitsubishi Pajero GE 9291-10, Toyota Hilux Pickup GM 9929-13 and Toyota Hilux Pickup GV 261-09.

The projects life, just six years, ran from 2009 to 2015 in three deprived districts- Bongo, Garu-Tempane and Builsa. Excited and encouraged by the amount of success realised at the close of the first phase, the partners decided to redirect their resources outside the region to replicate the same project elsewhere. But Dr. Awoonor-Williams, through another proposal development and mindful of scaling up the successful GEHIP project in the remaining ten municipalities and districts of the Upper East Region, convinced the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to launch a scale-up phase in the region.

Screenshot of a message forwarded to Dr. Issah for a meeting crafted purposely to extract further details from him. Inside sources say he was advised to avoid it.

The agency agreed to provide a grant of 9 million US dollars to cover the entire Upper East Region for five years (2016 â€" 2021). The agency would withhold the agreement later because of Dr. Issahs false alarm about missing vehicles. But the Director-General also would succeed thereafter in convincing the apprehensive donors that project resources were safe in the Upper East Region.

A document available to Starr News also indicates that the Ghana Health Service and the donors, following the expiration of the project period, arrived at a decision in August, 2015, to retain three of the project vehicles in the region to sustain the gains made.

The vehicles were the Mitsubishi Pickup GE 9289-10, the Toyota Hilux Pickup GV 447-11 and the Toyota Hilux Pickup GN 3439-12. Whilst the Mitsubishi Pickup GE 9289-10 and the Toyota Hilux Pickup GN 3439-12 were allocated to the regional directorate to help administrative activities, the Toyota Hilux Pickup GV 447-11 was allocated to the district health management team in the Builsa South District to help health services delivery.

The other three vehicles- the Mitsubishi Pajero GE 9291-10, the Toyota Hilux Pickup GM 9929-13 and the Toyota Hilux Pickup GV 261-09- were also reallocated to the national headquarters of the Ghana Health Service for the launch of the same project in the Northern and the Volta regions. It is also on record that Dr. Awoonor-Williams successfully lobbied the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for 8 million dollars to help the implementation of GEHIP in those two regions for five years.

Controversies and drama of the year

Dr. Issah took over the administration of the region from Dr. Awoonor-Williams on Monday October 26, 2015, in rather controversial circumstances.

He initially was due to replace the then Northern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Akwasi Twumasi, who was due for retirement, but some residents of Tamale, the regional capital, met his appointment with wild protests in open preference for one Dr. Jacob Mahama, a Deputy Director in that region.

Following his rejection in the Northern Region, Dr. Issah was asked to proceed and take charge of the Upper East Region- a move that detonated another barrage of protests staged by groups and individuals opposed to the transfer of Dr. Awoonor-Williams.

Dr. Issah was directed to return to the Brong Ahafo Region, where he was a Deputy Director until his appointment as Regional Director, and to temporarily assume office there as a regional boss as the substantive Regional Director, Dr. Timothy Letsa, who was in charge of that region at the time, had proceeded on leave of absence. But Dr. Issah, a native of the Upper East Region and backed by some of his kinsmen in the region, looked decided on taking the reins of regional administration in his region of birth. He courted the sympathy and help of some members of BONABOTO- a voluntary association of natives of the Frafra zones in the region- after he reportedly had complained that he had become stranded because Dr. Awoonor-Williams had refused to vacate the office for him.

Whilst his admirers continued to fight for his stay, Dr. Awoonor-Williams spent his last months in the region reportedly receiving text threats anonymously sent by groups and individuals believed to be rooting for Dr. Issah. Sources at the Regional Health Directorate also disclosed how there were threats and plans by supporters of Dr. Issah to embarrass him by staging a red-band demonstration in the yard of the regional directorate and locking up his office on Monday October 26, 2015.

According to sources, Dr. Awoonor-Williams, in a bid to avoid the impending humiliation, spent the entire weekend of Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th of October, 2015, respectively preparing handover notes. There was little time for him to pack his belongings, sources revealed, and drama was already waiting for him when he arrived Monday to hand over. Demonstrators were on standby. Dr. Issah had arrived very early at the directorate and introduced himself to the staff on the 3-storey block as the new regional boss.

Whilst Dr. Awoonor-Williams was still on his way to the office to hand over, Dr. Issah had demanded access to the office of the regional director. But secretaries at the front desk, now torn between two overlords, nervously held on to the keys and burned with indecision. Dr. Awoonor-Williams finally arrived in the middle of that drama and graced an emotional handover ceremony that passed as quickly as a flash.

The hall was in funereal silence, differentiated from a sepulchre only by the whisper of pens on rattling notepapers. In ten minutes, it was all over. Dr. Awoonor-Williams left the scene immediately. He drove out of the yard and out of the region, all by himself in a saloon car. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) dubbed the development a mini coup détat and many observers described it as the drama of the year.

The truth behind the curtains

In a letter dated 22nd January, 2016, Dr. Issah told the Director-General that five vehicles [are] captured in our inventory but physically not available for service delivery.

On Thursday April 14, the same year, he wrote another letter, reminding the Director-General about five vehicles missing from the region. The details he gave on the vehicles were Toyota Landcruiser GV3520-09, WW Passat (Saloon) GE9632-09, Mitsubishi Pajero GV9291-10, Toyota Hilux GV2914-14 and Toyota Hilux GM9929-13.

Dr. Issah wrote another letter dated 24th June, 2016, to the Director-General, indicating that he had not received any written responses to the issues raised about the missing vehicles and that any decisions we take without the written advice of your office might be the only viable alternative left for us.

The Director-General replied with a letter dated 7th July, 2016, explaining that the WW Passat (Saloon) car was being used officially by Dr. Awoonor-Williams as the headquarters had not provided him with a vehicle following his transfer to the headquarters as the Director in charge of Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME).

He added that the vehicle would be returned to the region as soon as the headquarters is able to provide him with one. It was the same official vehicle Dr. Awoonor-Williams used whilst he was the Upper East Regional Director. And as of the time he left the region, the headquarters had procured new saloon cars for all regional directors- one of which Dr. Issah uses today.

Concerning the project vehicles, the Director PPME has indicated his preference for the Station Wagon which he used for the past 7 years to the newer V8 Landcruiser at the PPME Directorate. The Transport Department has therefore, been directed to dispatch a Toyota V8 Landcruiser to Upper East Region as a replacement. The V8 can better serve the terrain and help the proposed Family Physician Programme.

The three pickup vehicles as explained in the attached letter from Prof. Jim Philips of the Columbia University (Principal Investigator) are to be used for the second phase of the project which is to be implemented in the Northern and the Volta Regions, since no vehicle shall be procured under the current project. It must however, be noted that the continuation phase of the project in the Upper East Region will be supported by KOICA which will provide help for vehicles, the Director-General clarified.

But Dr. Issah still goes ahead

On Wednesday August 24, 2016, Dr. Issah stood in front of international donor agencies among other major stakeholders and declared that five vehicles had vanished from the directorate before he assumed office. The public announcement came after he had reported the same development to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) as well as BONABOTO.

As we took stock of 2015, somewhere along the line we realised that five vehicles were on our inventory but the transport manager could not account for them physically. The vehicles were not around where we normally park them. We followed administrative procedure by writing to the Director General that this is the situation.

We wrote to him and weve written to the Regional Minister to advise us. They are not bicycles; they are not motorbikes. These are vehicles- one car, one Mitsubishi Pajero, one V8 and two pickups, he had affirmed his claim at the 2015 mid-year performance review held in Bolgatanga, the regional capital. Although he did not mention names, a divided public believed he was pointing an accusing finger at his predecessor.

The announcement, trailed by widespread media reports, drew mixed reactions. Some called for the head of the nameless thief and chanted for the return of the ‘vanished vehicles. Others, particularly those who hailed the contributions of Dr. Awoonor-Williams to health service delivery as unequalled in the region, called it a well-rehearsed move to demonise an innocent legend and condemned it.

KOICA, who was to fund the new scale-up project in the region, became apprehensive in the wake of the alleged disappearance of the automobiles. Consequently, it also decided to put on hold an agreement it was initially scheduled to sign with the GHS for the execution of the 9-million-dollar project in the region.

A saddened Director-General summoned the Regional Director: Media reports on your address at the regions [just-ended] 2016 [half-year] review also harps on allegations that you made about missing vehicles in your region. This has been after you had received my [above-mentioned] letter that had indicated the whereabouts of the vehicles in acknowledgement to your letter on the issue to me. The vehicles as indicated in my letter to you are not missing as you alleged and they are still in the Ghana Health Service.

Also in a letter written to the then Upper East Regional Minister, Albert Abongo, and copied to the Minister of Health and the Chairman of the Ghana Health Service Council, the Director-General concluded that Dr. Issah was only out to ruin a legacy.

The GEHIP Project chose to retain some of their vehicles in UER and relocate three (3) vehicles from the UER for continuation of the project in two regions long before Dr. Issah assumed duty as Regional Director of Health Services for UER. Without taking his time to find out details about such issues, Dr. Kofi Issah decided to embark on a programme to tarnish the name of his predecessor and also bring the image of GHS in general into disrepute.

Instead of working to consolidate and build on the gains and achievements chalked in the region under his predecessor, Dr. Kofi Issah appears to embark on a programme to drag the name of the Ghana Health Service in the mud. In this quest, which I do not really understand, he appears crooked on dragging all powers that be in the fray, he pointed out.

CHRAJ, BONABOTO and fear of the unknown

Starr News also learns from credible sources that Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira is likely to go on retirement in May this year, with Dr. Awoonor-Williams among some top medical chiefs most likely to replace him as the Director-General.

Dr. Issah may have apologised as evidenced by his regret letter, but the fire he stoked may not peter out now. The CHRAJ is said to have commenced investigations into the missing vehicles.

Not all members of BONABOTO help Dr. Issah, who is a member of BONABOTO himself. Some, both high-ranking and ordinary members of the group, have condemned his open strike at a man many say came to love the region like his own.

But BONABOTO has been widely cited by an furious public for not only setting loose a commission for administrative justice on Dr. Awoonor-Williams and the Director-General for alleged administrative injustice but also for vigorously fanning the flames of disrepute against the former (who has not spoken in public since he became the centre of stolen official property) not only to ‘kill his chances of rising to the peak of a career where, with an overall ‘arsenal at his absolute disposal, he might take a decisive revenge on those who unjustifiably hunted him to the core but also to jointly pull down the ‘giant statue once erected in his honour in the hearts of many to immortalise him.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Woman Becomes Only Black Woman To Give Birth To Two (2) White Babies (Photos)


A black mother who gave birth to a million-to-one, white, blue-eyed baby boy has stunned doctors by having a second white child.

Financial analyst Catherine Howarth, 35, who is of Nigerian heritage, believed the rare recessive white gene that resulted in son Jonah, three, being completely white would not strike a second time.

So she was stunned when the midwife handed her daughter Sophia and she was as white as her big brother.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


BNI Picks Up 10 TOR Workers Over Explosion


Operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) have picked up 10 workers of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) for questioning over a purported arson.

They are supposed to assist the BNI to unravel the circumstance under which several barrels of oil spilled from the refinery into some drains at Tema that caused the explosion of the newly built furnace on Thursday.

The suspects were seriously interrogated and detained for a few hours before they were allowed to leave, according to sources.

The workers, DAILY GUIDE gathered, were made to provide full statements on their night shift duties through to the time the spillage occurred and afterwards.

Few hours after the overflow of crude at about 10:40 am, a Crude Distillation Furnace (CDF) dubbed, ‘F61 at the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) purchased at about $7 million, exploded, compelling management of the refinery to shut down the CDU.

For fear of fire outbreak, management was forced to carry out the emergency shutdown as there was said to be excessive pressure, coupled with heat.

According to sources, no casualty was recorded but the damaged CDF which enabled TOR to increase its capacity day, was said to have been damaged beyond repairs and might need complete replacement with a new CDF to perform its required function.

TOR is currently running on a single furnace at the CDU instead of double, after technical assessment was done on the plant.

Although the cause of the explosion is yet to be known, IES was of the view that the non-adherence to safety protocol and standard operating procedures, lack of adequate supervision, inexperienced operating and production management personnel and complacency are many of the factors that could result in such incident.

The IES statement signed by Richmond Rockson, a Principal Research Analyst, feared that the incident could jeopardise the countrys fuel security, threaten job, and push back the gains made so far by TOR which could again turn the refinery to a storage terminal and impact negatively on the socio-economic growth of the country.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Bekwai Youth Angry Over Ayarigas Allegation Call For Parliamentary Sanctions Against Bawku Central MP


The Concerned Youth of Bekwai has called on Parliament to sanction the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, for making fallacious bribery allegations against the MP for Bekwai, Joseph  Osei-Owusu, who is also the first Deputy Speaker of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic and Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP).

Mahama Ayariga has alleged that the Energy Minister, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, attempted to bribe the minority members of the Appointments Committee.

The MP claims the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, who is also the Asawase legislator, had told the minority that then nominee, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, had, through Joseph Osei-Owusu, also known as Joe Wise, gave them (each minority member on the committee about GH¢3,000 each, out of a total GH¢100,000, allegedly gifted to the vetting committee, to influence his (Boakye Agyarko's) nomination.

According to the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga had made up the allegation to level the playing field, and that the Bawku MP had withdrawn the bribery allegation and apologised.

But Ayariga insists he stands by the allegation, and that he had not withdrawn the bribery allegation against Boakye Agyarko. He says the minority members actually received some sums of money from the leadership, which came from the then nominee.

The MP for Asawase has also denied ever giving any money to Ayariga, let alone, say it came from Joseph Osei-Owusu.

He said MP Osei-Owusu had not discussed any money issue with him. He (Osei-Owusu) has not given me (Muntaka) to be given to Ayariga or anybody, the Minority Chief Whip indicated.

As a result, the Bekwai Youth has recommended that the MP should be subjected to a number of sanctions, after the matter had been dealt with.

It also suggested that Mahama Ayariga be made to retract his allegations through all media houses, especially, Radio Gold radio station, where this allegations were made public, made to face the law for defamation, and the necessary sanctions given him and be made to appear before the Privileges Committee of Parliament and investigations made public to that effect.

The youth, on behalf of Bekwai constituents, noted that MP Joe Osei-Owusu has never been corrupt and will never be, and that the records are there to show how honestly he worked when trusted with the public purse as the C.E.O of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in former President Kufuor's regime, which subsequently led to his election as a Member of Parliament for three consecutive terms.

The Concerned Youth said Joe Osei-Owusu, who grew up in the palace of Twafohene of Bekwai, had good moral standards right from childhood, and believed him to be honest and God-fearing, and will not stoop low to be bribed or bribe somebody.

The aggrieved youth advised their MP to go to court and sue Mahama Ayariga for peddling falsehood and defamation, after making a statement on the floor of Parliament.

It is extremely despicable that people can concoct lies to try and destroy the hard earned integrity of others this way, they said.

In a statement issued at Bekwai yesterday, and signed by Eugene Osei Poku, Convener, and Ibrahim Boateng, Youth Organiser, the Bekwai Youth described the bribery allegation as defamatory.

It said following communication with Joe Osei-Owusu, the youth trust that the allegation is false as declared by Muntaka, a member of the Appointments Committee and MP for Asawase constituency, last Saturday.

The statement indicated that the kind of street politics which the NDC is embroiled in recent times is not only dangerous for the sustenance of credibility of politicians in this country, but also a way of trying to draw us back to the dark days.

According to the youth, Mahama Ayariga has not only put his credibility at stake, but also exhibited gross disrespect to the Parliament of Ghana, and shown the whole world that he has to be subjected to serious scrutiny if he was once trusted with the public purse.

The youth said they are saddened by the conduct of the Bawku Central legislator, a lawyer and former minister in a previous government, who should have been a better role model for the youth to fall shamefully and go NAKED IN FRONT OF HIS IN-LAWS in broad daylight.

They noted that Mahama Ayariga had brought the name of Parliament and the Ghana Bar Association into disrepute, and must face the consequences squarely.

We would have only requested for pardon for him if he was a drunkard and might have done this under the influence of alcohol, the irate youth group indicated, saying it found it difficult to refer to him as an Honourable, and must be subjected to sanctions after proper investigations.

From Sebastian R. Freiku, Bekwai

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Bribery Saga: NDC Must Whip Its Mps In Line Dr. Osae


Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Local Government Studies, has said the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) must intervene to resolve the seeming crack among Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee with regards to a recent bribery allegation.

The allegation by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga that Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko attempted to bribe the Minority MPs on the committee and the strong denial by the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed has threatened to divide the ranks of the opposition party in the legislature, with some backing Mr Ayariga while others have chastised him.

Speaking to Class News, Dr Osae said the national executives of the party as well as the Minority leadership should quickly find a solution to the issue before it degenerates into something they cannot control.

I think the NDC party should call the Minority leadership to order. This one I believe the Minority leadership should be able to deal with the issue. Aside from that, they should also sit at home. If I say home, they are all from the same political party, so, I expect the General Secretary and other executives of the party to meet the NDC parliamentary caucus and then talk to them, he stated.

I will also expect the leadership of the NDC party in parliament to sit up and then ensure that there is unison and unity among them as a group. This is not the time for them to argue among themselves as a group. This is the time to present a coherent and consistent statement and a unified front to enable them give the NPP a credible opposition. So I will expect the leadership, especially Honourable Haruna Iddrisu and the other members, to quickly come in and talk to the members. It should not even come out into the media for people to suggest that there is some disagreement amongst them, because once there is a disagreement then there is a problem. Once they commence disagreeing amongst themselves, it gives the Majority the position to enter into their camp or to have a cool ride over the Minority and this is not what we need.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Another Fire Outbreak At Agbogbloshie


Fire yesterday swept through the Sikkens Scrap Line, near Agbogbloshie in Accra, razing down some shops and destroying valuables running into thousands of Ghana cedis.

It took the swift acknowledgement of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the area.

No life was lost, but some structures which provided shelter for dealers in scrap metals in the area were destroyed.

The fire, which reportedly started around 2 p.m., destroyed the wares of the scrap dealers, including second-hand fridges, electronic spare parts and extracted aluminium products.

Cause of fire

The immediate cause of the fire is yet to be established by the GNFS, but unconfirmed information indicates that the activities of a welder could be responsible for the fire outbreak.

An eyewitness, who gave his name as Baba Alhassan, said: The welder was working on a gate and, then, all of a sudden, we saw the fire coming up from there. As of now, the welder has run away.

Observation

When the Daily Graphic got to the scene of the fire around 3:30 p.m., personnel of the GNFS from the Industrial Area Fire Command were battling the fire.

The firemen, armed with two fire engines and other fire-fighting equipment, fought the fire until they were able to bring it under control and cordoned it from escalating.

Dejection, despair and sorrow were written on the faces of some of the dealers in scrap metal in the area, as they were seen counting their losses.

Victims

Some of those who expressed their sorrow to the Daily Graphic said they had lost all that they toiled for over the years, while others said they had taken money from clients in the hope of supplying scrap to them.

One of the victims, Yakubu Abdul Rahim, said his entire shop had been burned down by the ravaging fire and that it was going to be a daunting task for him to come out of the woods.

GNFS

Personnel of the GNFS who were at the scene declined to speak on the cause of the fire. However, a source within their fold said the GNFS received a distress call around 2 p.m and had to move to the location immediately.

When the call came, our men were quickly mobilised to ensure that the fire was put under control. After ferociously confronting the fire, we were able to put it under control, it said.

But speaking later to the Daily Graphic on the fire outbreak, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS, Mr Prince Billy Anaglate, said the service was doing an in-depth assessment of the cause of the fire.

We are looking at specific information relating to the fire outbreak and we hope that within the next 24 hours we will be able to put a finger on the facts and let the public know, he added.

Scrap line

The Sikkens Scrap Line is a hub for the extraction of aluminium products from scrap metal. The dealers are mainly migrants from the northern part of the country and others from Mali, Burkina Faso and other West African countries.

It is arguably the biggest site for scrap metal in Africa, but it has witnessed some fire outbreaks over the years, most of which had been attributed to the activities of substance abusers.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


'No Chemistry' Between President Buhari & His Wife Aisha...


 
So, we woke up to a press release from the office of Aishah Buhari â€" with pictures of her visit to London, to see her husband, Mr. President. All was well with the pictures and the usual commentary online, until murmurs arose of the apparent disconnect between Nigerias First Couple.
 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Ayariga Could Be Suspended Majority Chief Whip


The MP for Bawku Central and a member of Parliaments Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga, risks being suspended should his bribery allegation against the committee turns out to be false.

Mr. Ayariga Friday accused Energy minister, Boakye Agyarko of attempting to bribe the minority members of the committee, to clear him following his edgy vetting â€" but they rejected it.

According to him, the energy ministers bribery attempt was made through the chairman of the committee, Joseph Osei Owusu which was given to the minority caucus by its chief whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

Commenting on the matter Monday in an interview on Morning Starr, the majority chief whip, Ameyaw Cheremeh warned that the Bawku Central legislator could face expulsion from the House should he fail to deduce compelling evidence to back his claim.

For him, the corruption allegation is quite confusing and disturbing, stating that any payment by parliament is made by its accounts office or by the clerks to the various committees.

It is not the duty of any member of parliament to pay monies on behalf of parliament. So that shows that his [Ayarigas] story is not true. He is just making up the story, Mr. Cheremeh told Clegg.

He added : It is not the duty of Honourable Muntaka [Mubarak] to go and take money from the accounts office to go and pay to the minority. Neither is it my duty as the majority chief whip to go and take monies meant for majority members and pay to them. That is not what we do.

He said the story does not add up and that Mr. Ayariga would be made to prove the allegation and suffer the consequence if it turns out to be false.

Denials

The chairman of the committee, Osei-Owusu and Minority chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak have both denied the allegation, describing it as preposterous.

Speaking Saturday in an interview, Mr. Mubarak said the allegation is false and odd maintaining that by Allah he never gave Ayariga anything that it was coming from Osei Owusu.

Also, Osei Owusu in an interview with Starr News rubbished the allegation hinting that he would proceed to court Tuesday to clear his name.

I will make a general statement on the floor and then on Tuesday proceed to the court to clear my name in this matter legally; and thats what I will do, he said.

Again, Mr. Agyarko has also denied ever bribing the committee.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Apologize To Agyarko Or Face Our Wrath Concerned Youth of Kroboland


A group calling itself, the Concerned Youth of Kroboland (CYK) are enraged by the allegations of bribery being brought against the Minister for Energy Hon. Boakye Agyarko saying it is an attempt to denigrate his reputation.

Rumours were rife in parliament that the minority caucus have been bribed GHS 3,000 each by Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko to facilitate his approval by the House, a claim attributed to MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.

Consequently, the Leadership of Parliament has dismissed the said claims by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.

Three National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs being led by Mahama Ayariga himself and supported by two others, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Mike Oquaye to institute an enquiry into the alleged bribery scandal against the Appointments Committee.

But the group in a statement argued that such claims by Ayariga and his cronies are just ploy set by them to score cheap political points against the backdrop of Agyarkos contention with the former President, John Dramani Mahama over some corrupt deals within the energy sector in his administration.

The group contends theyll square up to Ayariga and his cohorts to ruin the image of a Krobo person, calling on the leadership of the legislature to haul him(Ayariga) before the privileges committee to substantiate his allegation.

We the youth of Kroboland believe that the MP in question and the NDC minority leadership in Parliament will do the honourable thing to retract this despicable comment and apologies unreservedly or face the consequences in the future, the group said.

Below is the full statement published below:-

 
APOLOGIZE TO HON. BOAKYE AGYARKO OR FACE THE WRATH OF THE CONCERNED YOUTH OF KROBOLAND

It has come to the notice of the Concerned Youth of Kroboland (CYK) with great concern the attempt by some unscrupulous self-centered MPs on the Appointment Committee of the 7th Parliament of the 4th republic.

Their attempt to discredit the Minister for Energy Hon. Boakye Agyarko on his sterling performance displayed recently at the vetting committee, just to score cheap political points on the basis of him accusing the former President-John Dramani Mahama as being corrupt with regards to some deals within the energy sector.

We wish to state emphatically that we clearly understood the expression of the Hon. Minister during the vetting process and need no political equalization to sway the flavor on his performance at the vetting and massive endorsement received by the whole country both in the print media and social media.

In high spirit we are glad to state without any equivocation that indeed the President has the MEN to deliver prosperity to all citizens of this country based on intelligentsia acumen of the likes of the Honourable Minister.

All be it, we want to send a note of caution to Hon. Mahama Ayariga and his cronies who strategically want to take the shine of the Minister by denigrating his hard earned reputation to be careful not to arouse the feelings of us as youth of the Krobo State who are happy with the President choice of Minister to head a strategic portfolio like the Energy and Petroleum Ministry.

We will not countenance any act from him and his cronies that will ruin the image of a Krobo person just as they intentionally did to their own party member Hon. Seth Terkper and turned to proclaimed that they (NDC) loves and associate themselves well with the Krobo people.

We will not sit down for questionable characters like Hon. Mahama Ayariga who conspicuously smuggled and soled State-sponsored tractors meant for deprived farming communities to tarnish the image of a fine citizen who by par is far ahead of him in loyalty and service to this our dear country and demand the following:

First, that Hon. Mahama Ayariga should render unqualified apology to Hon. Boakye Agyarko for misleading the
people of this country that he has offered them bribe in order to get his way through the vetting process.

Secondly, we call on the leadership of the legislature to haul him before the privileges committee to substantiate his allegation or face the wrath of the youth of Kroboland in a serious demonstration against his personality and the NDC party as a whole, as against the appointment of one of the illustrious son of the Kroboland.

We the youth of Kroboland believe that the MP in question and the NDC minority leadership in Parliament will do the honourable thing to retract this despicable comment and apologies unreservedly or face the consequences in the future.

Thank you.
Signed:
Philip K. Mamphey
Convener
0249624314

Goldman D. Awuku
Secretary
0541552471/ 0501335540

Marksen Walter Junior
Patron
0242754255

Tetteh Michael Mensah
Organizer
0246966327


By Ghana Leaks Blog


BREAKING: Iraq Brings In Travel Ban On US Citizens In Tit-For-Tat Move


Iraq has banned US citizens from travelling to the country in a tit-for-tat move following Donald Trump's extreme vetting executive order. 

Trump has suspended travel from seven Muslim majority countries including Iraq. 

However, in return, Iraqi politicians have now banned Americans from their country. 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


2 Killed In Nsutam Crash


Two persons travelling on the Accra-Kumasi Highway lost their lives and two others sustained injuries at about 4:20 am on Sunday when a Pajero 4-wheel drive reportedly ran into a stationary cargo truck at Akyem Nsutam in the Eastern Region.

Alex Osei Bonsu, 46 years of age and Asante Richmond, 12, reportedly died on the spot while Barrow Dahm, 15 and Boadi Richard, 35, sustained injuries.

According to DAILY GUIDE sources, the Mitsubishi Pajero with   registration number GG 4654-16, was from Accra and heading towards Kumasi when it rammed into the parked vehicle, registered AS 9032-15.

According to eyewitnesses, those who got injured were taken to the Hawa Memorial Hospital at Osiem for treatment, and the bodies of those who could not survive the accident were sent to the Kyebi Government Hospital awaiting autopsy.

The cause of the incident was unknown as at press time last night, but this paper gathered that the police had launched investigation into it.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Report: NATO Sources Suspect Turkey Coup Staged By President As Pretext For Purge


An attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, is believed by NATO sources to have been staged by the president of Turkey himself, according to a Wednesday report on the aldrimer.no website.

Although sources admit that there is no written NATO documentation to support the claim due to its sensitivity, the website said that the dominant NATO assessment is quite clear.

The senior officers, three- and four-star generals, and those who worked with Turkey for 30-40 years and who mentored Turkish officers for four or five years, say they do not believe that there was a coup. If the Turkish Armed Forces wanted to carry out a coup, they would have succeeded. Thats a tradition in Turkey, a NATO source told aldrimer.no. They had a list of 1,600 names the very next day of people they wanted gone, he added.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, which strongly denies the allegation.

The next morning, after announcing that the coup had been foiled, the Turkish government immediately launched a purge of military officers, judges and others in state institutions under which at least 135,000 civil servants to date have been dismissed from their jobs.

According to the aldrimer.no report, some 80 to 90 percent of Turkish officers serving at NATO headquarters were relieved of their duties and recalled to Turkey. Those who dared to return home have been jailed, said sources, one of whom added: Turkish officers who still have contact with NATO said that Erdogan had been planning the so-called coup for a year and had a list of people he wanted out. I have so far not met anyone who believes there was a real coup attempt.

The report also points to one of ErdoÄŸans acts following the alleged coup â€" splitting up the Turkish military and the gendarmerie, separate organizations that had previously served under the same jurisdiction but with different objectives. The paramilitary gendarmerie, however, was particularly loyal to ErdoÄŸan and had actively participated in the purges that followed the alleged coup.

The Norwegian website had contacted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for remarks on its report, but the NATO head declined to comment. His press office responded with a statement saying that the secretary-general had already commented on the failed coup and had discussed the issue with the Turkish leadership, adding: He has made clear that those responsible for the failed coup must be brought to justice, and it is important that this be done with full respect for the rule of law. The press office, however, did not respond to questions about NATO assessments of who was really behind the coup attempt, nor has the president of Turkey answered questions submitted to him, either.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Ayariga Hot Over MPs Bribe


Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has landed himself in hot waters following a claim he made that MPs were given bribes to approve the nomination of then Minister-designate of Energy and Petroleum Resources, Boakye Agyarko.

Ayariga, who is the immediate-past Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, caused public uproar last weekend when he claimed on pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) Radio Gold that his Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, gave them (MPs) GH¢3,000 each to approve the nomination of Boakye Agyarko to become Minister of Energy.

In the wake of the bribery allegation by Mahama Ayariga, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has called for a thorough investigation into the matter to establish the truth or otherwise in order to preserve the image of the House.

He said leadership must treat this as an urgent matter since the allegation was put up by somebody who is a member of the Appointments Committee and comes from ‘within â€" in order to purge the institution of any wrongdoing.

According to the majority leader who is also the Minister-designate for Parliamentary Affairs, the veracity of the allegation has to be properly established since it has the potency to inflict ‘mortal wound on the reputation of the legislature, adding that it (allegation) must not be wished away because it could seriously dent the image of the Seventh Parliament if the truth is not established.

It is not a childs play for somebody to go about labeling people without any shred of evidence, he charged.

Wild Allegation

According to Ayariga, the Minority Chief Whip had said that the money was given to him by Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, who is also the First Deputy Speaker, and insisted later that Mr. Osei-Owusu had confirmed to him (Ayariga) that the money came from Mr. Agyarko.

Mahama Ayariga then went on Radio Gold on Friday and said that the minority MPs outrightly rejected envelopes containing GH¢3,000 each when they found out from Mr. Osei-Owusu that the money was coming from Mr. Agyarko.

According to Mahama Ayariga, the minority MPs first accepted the money because they idea that it was their sitting allowance; but he claimed he became alarmed and decided to return the money after they heard that it was coming from Mr. Agyarko to bribe them to approve his nomination.

Radio Interview

We were expecting our committee allowances from the chairman so when we were called by our leader to come and take our money we took it, knowing that that is our allowance, he claimed on Radio Gold in an interview.

So, as for the quantum, we cannot tell how much money he (Agyarko) might have given to the chairman (Joseph Osei Owusu) , so there are all sorts of speculations about what sort of quantum he is alleged to have given but what we know is what came to us as individuals, that is what we can bear testimony to: whether its GH¢1 or GH¢2, no matter how small it is, what we know is what was given to us and we found out later that it was coming from him (Agyarko) so as for the quantum, its not important.

He continued, For me, the most critical thing is that we were expecting to be given our committee sitting allowances, and we were promised by our chairman that it would come very soon, and we were called to pick up money from our Whip (Muntaka). We picked it up and assumed that it was our allowances and then later we heard rumours in the house and we called our leader and asked him ‘where is the money coming from He said it came from the chairman but the chairman said it was coming from Boakye Agyarko so that is where we realised that we (couldnt) take money from Boakye Agyarko, adding, So we asked him to take his money back; we are not interested. The quantum is insignificant, even if he had brought GH¢1 million, we would still return it to him.

Under Pressure

Mahama Ayariga is currently under pressure to substantiate the wild allegation following outright denials by Mr. Osei-Owusu,  Alhaji Muntaka and Boakye Agyarko.

On Saturday, Muntaka was on Joy FM swearing by ‘Allah that he never gave any money to Mahama Ayariga who is his best friend.

Im a Muslim and Ayariga is also a Muslim. I want to swear by Allah that, Ive never given any money to Ayariga claiming that its from Hon. Joe Osei-Wusu, the Minority Chief Whip fumed.

Muntaka said that from day one, the MPs had resolved that they were not going to take money from any nominee who appeared before the Vetting Committee and when the host of the programme, Samson Anyenini, asked what made it necessary to hold a meeting to say that they would not take money from a nominee, the line went dead.

Chairmans Denial

Mr. Osei-Owusu also denied ever giving money to Muntaka on the instructions of Mr. Agyarko saying, Hon Ayariga knows that I have never spoken to him or Muntaka or any member about money. I have never received any monies from Agyarko or anybody for that matter I will take steps that will protect my integrity, he said.

There are not many people from the other side that I like anyway, for me to go to that level I cannot get into friendship with people I seem to be uncomfortable with to even go and give them bribes. I have been a lawyer for 27 years; can I just get up and go to anyone to offer them bribe You can only do that with somebody you are friends with, he fumed.

He said he was surprised because Ayariga had said it was a prank to pin down Boakye Agyarko since he had called Ex-President Mahama a corrupt person.

Frivolous Claim

In the ensuing debate, the Leadership of parliament issued a statement urging the public to disregard Mahama Ayarigas bribe claim.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by acting Public Affairs Director, Kate Addo, described Mahama Ayarigas claim as ‘frivolous and ‘vexatious.

We have noted with concern allegations that the leadership and members of the Appointments Committee have been bribed by some of the presidents nominees to facilitate the recommendation of approval of their nomination as ministers to the House. Parliament would like to state categorically and without any equivocation that these allegations are frivolous and vexatious and should be disregarded.

The statement further said, Parliament attaches a lot of importance to its constitutional duties and abhors practices that will not only affect its work but also bring the institution into disrepute. Therefore extreme care is taken and thorough background checks are made before chairpersons to the various committees are appointed.

This is to ensure that the works they oversee are meticulously carried.

The House concluded that, Parliament will therefore like to state that no such event has taken place and anybody having any information to the contrary, must resort to the laws of the land and take the appropriate action for redress.

Agyarkos Reaction

Meanwhile, Mr. Agyarko who has since been passed to become Minister of Energy and was subsequently sworn into office by President Akufo-Addo, has reacted to Mahama Ayarigas claim saying that his lawyers were studying the tapes to advise him on the line of action to take.

He also said he was expecting Mahama Ayariga to substantiate the claim or face him in court.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Miss France Iris Mittenaere Crowned Miss Universe 2017


A 24-year-old woman from Paris has won the Miss Universe 2017 competition.

Iris Mittenaere, who is pursuing a degree in dental surgery, beat off 85 hopefuls on Monday following a three-hour show in the Philippine capital. "I was very surprised I won, I feel blessed," said Mittenaere after winning the 65th edition of the annual competition.

On the Miss Universe website, the student had said she wanted "to advocate for dental and oral hygiene" if she won.

"Miss Universe was a dream, every girl wants to be Miss Universe...the stage is amazing, everything is amazing," Iris said.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Parliament Did A Shoddy Job Vetting GMO Minister


Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) wishes to thank the Parliamentary Appointments Committee for raising our objections to the nomination of Hon. Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto as Minister-Designate for Food and Agriculture.

However, we cannot conceal our complete disappointment in the manner the question was framed which was a complete neglect of the actual basis of our specific objections to the nomination. It appears that the entire import of our objection was either lost on the Appointments Committee or deliberately ignored.

Our position on GMOs

We, therefore, wish to restate our case clinically and in plain language and leave it for the Ghanaian public to judge for themselves. In a nutshell, our case is that there is no consensus on the safety of GMOs in the scientific community. This position is actually the title of a peer-reviewed article "No scientific consensus on GMO safety", published in a reputable scientific journal, Environmental Science Europe, so it cannot get more scientific than that.

The joint statement written and signed by over 300 independent researchers, does not assert that GMOs are safe or unsafe. Rather, the statement concludes that the scarcity and contradictory nature of scientific evidence published to date prevent conclusive claims of safety or lack of safety of GMOs. Claims of consensus on the safety of GMOs are not supported by an objective analysis of the refereed literature. See: "No scientific consensus on GMO safety" statement published in peer-reviewed journalhttp://www.ensser.org/media/0115/

All we are calling for are proper and transparent precautionary measures until the GMO science is clear. What part of this is so difficult for Dr Akoto to understand, especially as he himself admits (and we agree with him), "we don't even need it" As Dr Mercola puts it, "While no one knows exactly what the effects of consuming pesticide-soaked genetically-engineered (GE) crops will be over time, all of humankind serve as "lab rats" as a few massive corporations profit handsomely from their experiment."

FSG, and we believe, almost all Ghanaians are very clear that we have no intention to be treated like lab rats and will not brook any insults from our own elected representatives about it either.

"Are we all dead "

The basis of our objection to Dr. Afriyie Akoto's nomination was captured on TV, where he attacked those citizens who, concerned about the infiltration of GM foods into our food chain, sometimes without labels, are therefore calling for strict precautionary measures in view of the lack of scientific consensus on its safety for humans, animals, birds, insects, and the natural environment. Dr Akoto did not only exhibit a very closed mind to a serious public concern but arrogantly demanded our death before complaining! We believe this is completely unacceptable behaviour, absolutely unbecoming of a public official, as it portrays his contempt for both the public and for the office.

We find the attitude adopted by the former Minority party's Parliamentary spokesperson for Agriculture, to be far below the minimum standards required for any person to serve in public office. He did not only resort to name-calling such as "hypocrites", but even worse, presented a unusual and rather irresponsible pathology for determining the safety of GMOs, live on TV.

According to Dr Akoto, until we are all dead from eating GMOs there is nothing to worry about! He actually stated this buffoonery and in a very cantankerous manner publicly on TV! Fortunately, the whole episode is still available on YouTube: New Day â€" Discuss the Fight Against Genetically Modified Foods â€" 31/1/2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch v=-gZgr7FAli8. Dr Owusu Afiriyie Akoto, Minister-Designate for Food And Agriculture, was on TV claiming:

"...Ghana imports 150 thousand metric tonnes of poultry products every year and most of that are coming from America, Brazil and Europe. Where do you think those chickens are fed from They are fed from genetically modified grains. So, we are eating genetically modified food. Has anybody died Genetically modified food is eaten in America and Ghana and everywhere through feeding grains to chickens and [other poultry produce] and we [Ghanaians] are eating it [as well]. Are we all dead All the Americans would be dead by now..."

There are better and more scientific ways of detecting the safety of GM foods than to wait until we are all dead! It is this particular judgement call that makes him unfit to be in charge of anything near our food! We believe that no self-respecting country can allow such an individual to be in charge of important decisions where food is concerned.

Vetting question

For us at FSG, a question that could have done justice to our petition would go this way:

Honourable Member, I have a question here, or should I say, an opinion, offered by Food Sovereignty Ghana. They are suggesting that you appeared on TV to say that because we are all not dead, those complaining about GMOs are hypocrites. They want to know whether you find your own statement sensible And if not, what would you say to assure them that if you are made a Minister in charge of Agriculture you would exercise a better judgement call than waiting until we are all dead before you take any action "

Instead of asking something similar as above, what we got from the Chairman of the Appointments Committee was:

Chairman:"Honourable Member, I have a question here, or should I say, an opinion, offered by the Food Sovereignty Ghana. They are suggesting that you help errrm... GMA, and for that purpose, [Voices: GMO] sorry, "GMO", genetically modified foods, for which reason Parliament should not approve of you as Minister for Agriculture. That is their view, would you like to say anything to that "

Obviously, whatever response Dr Afriyie Akoto gave to this question is completely irrelevant, as our question in our Memorandum was not put to him in the first place! Our Memorandum to the Chairman clearly stated our objection to Dr Afriyie's appointment, citing his irresponsible remarks as quoted above.

The Plant Breeders' Bill

We seek to concentrate on the substance of our objections and not play the game of mixing this with the Plant Breeders' Bill. Hence our comments on the Plant Breeders' Bill shall appear in a separate statement. Suffice it to say that at this point we consider the introduction of the Plant Breeders' Bill into the whole affair of our objection to his appointment, as very ominous indeed. In the first place, we are horrified that not only was our question not asked but also, they used the opportunity to digress from the real issue and deviate to the Plant Breeders' Bill. As the latter was not even mentioned once in our Memorandum to the Appointments Committee, we can surmise that what we saw on display was an obviously calculated piece of mischief designed to carry forth their own agenda of doggedly imposing the UPOV-Compliant version of the Plant Breeders' Bill on Ghanaians!

Conclusion

Obviously, we are not satisfied at all. On the contrary, we were horrified to watch the chairman of the Appointments Committee also making similar trivial remarks of his own instead of addressing the issues we presented him with. Our question was not necessarily on GMOs but rather pointed out Dr Akoto's apparent lack of a sense of responsibility in making inane statements with grave implications for our health, wealth and sovereignty, some of which we have quoted above.

In a clear departure from the sort of composition, a gentleman of his stature should assume he further displayed exactly the sort of behaviour we have cited earlier as insensitive to Ghanaians when he said on the floor of the Appointments Committee that "Mr Chairman I think your comment is very apt because you know something GMO has been adopted and is actually the force behind American agriculture now". "America produces GMO and the Americans are not dying of some funny cancers and so on so I don't even know where this whole impression is coming from". Strangely enough, he added, "That does not mean we should adopt GMO". So, why should we ALL DIE first before he listens to us, especially as he himself now says we don't even need it

We, therefore, call for a thorough review of the appointment of Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto as Minister-Designate for Food and Agriculture.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour

Communications Directorate, FSG

Contact FSG Communications:

Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Famous Kwesi Atitsogbe Wins Top 2016 IFEJ-Flamingo Award


Famous Kwesi Atitsogbe, a journalist, formerly with the Multimedia Group was on Friday, 27 January adjudged the Best Financial and Economic Journalist at the third IFEJ Flamingo Awards.

Mr Atitsogbe, whose award was received on his behalf by his wife, also won the award for the Best in Tourism and Best in Microfinance/Rural Banking and SMEs.

As part of his award for the overall best Financial and Economic Journalist, Mr Atitsogbe would have the opportunity to attend the World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC, USA and also receive an ipad, sponsored by the World Bank Group.

Speaking at the awards event organised by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalist (IFEJ) at the Dubois centre in Accra, on the theme "Strengthening Micro Finance Institutions to enhance the growth of rural and micro enterprises", Professor Ernest Aryeetey, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana stressed the need for Ghana to emulate countries like Sri Lanka and Kenya in the regulation of microfinance institutions.

He said regulation of the microfinance sector would be more workable when linked to larger financial institutions like banks, as practised in Sri Lanka and Kenya.

He said the microfinance business was a dangerous one and players needed partners, such as commercial banks to share those risks by linking with other initiatives such as education.

"Microfinance can make a contrast but depends on how it is managed, structured and regulated.

Mr Lloyd Evans, President of IFEJ, urged media practitioners to highlight and promote the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in order to harness their potentials.

"SMEs, when well-developed, can fill the unemployment vacuum the country is currently saddled with,"he added.

Mr Evans announced that IFEJ would collaborate with the Africa Centre for Economic transformation to hold a series of training programmes for its members, among other initiatives.

Others winners at the awards are; Kwabena Adu Koranteng of New Crusading Guide - Best in Development and Extractive, Rebecca Adwoah Awuah of GBC 24 - Best Business/Manufacturing, Maxwell Akalaare Adombila of Graphic Business - Best in Agribusiness, Adnan Adams Mohammed of Economic Times - Best in Finance.

Mr Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, who chaired the event urged Journalists to be diligent in their work as a single mistake could create confusion.

He gave the assurance that banks in Ghana would be ready to partner serious microfinance institutions to support grow the sector.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Dont Use Language Unacceptable In Asantehenes Palace Speaker Advises MPs


Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye has entreated first-time Members of Parliament (MP) to make the effort to learn the ethics of the House.

Speaking at an orientation ceremony held for the new entrants in Koforidua, the former MP for Dome Kwabenya cautioned them against using unsavory language and actions considered unacceptable in the House.

Of the 275 MPs, 125 of them are new to parliament representing a 45.4 percent attrition rate. The orientation ceremony was to accelerate the learning curve for crucial work of holding the Executive to account.

The orientation ceremony attended by the leadership of Parliament was to officially orient the new MPs on parliamentary standards.

If the language is such that you cannot use it at the Otumfuors palace or the palace of any respected Chief please dont use it in Parliament," he told them.

He also told them that just as a person cannot be called a liar in court, such words are unparliamentary.

They were schooled about operations of the House and how they can contribute to discussions on the floor.

Prof Ocquaye told them to be mindful about their pronouncements whenever they rise to speak on the floor, saying they would be responsible for their comments.

He also advised them to conform to the official dress code of Parliament, assuring them that he would be fair to both minority and majority members.

Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu also used the opportunity to query the new MPs to read the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.

He told them to access these two documents on daily basis to effectively execute their duties.

On his part, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu also tasked new members to dedicate some time to learn on the job.

"...learn the techniques and proceedures of Parliament. Even if you knew them you will enhance or elevate them in order to make you effective and therefore take every aspect of this training very seriously," he said.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


My Job Is To Police My Colleagues M&E Minister-Designate Akoto Osei


The Appointments Committee of Parliament has resumed vetting of ministerial nominees amidst raging controversy that MPs were given monies to approve a nominee.

Three ministers-designates are set to appear before the committee. Monitoring and Evaluation Minister-designate Anthony Akoto Osei

Works and Housing Minister-designate Samuel Atta Akyea and Environment, Science and Technology Minister-designate Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng are expected to appear.

But there is huge public interest in the MPs themselves to get to the bottom of the bribery saga.

Cracks are appearing in the Minority as some of its leadership have been fingered in the saga. Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga has pointed to Minority Chief Whip as the one who was given the money to be shared to the MPs.

He has denied this, putting his caucus member in an uncomfortable position of seeking fresh witnesses to the money-sharing claim.

Joe Osei  Owusu comments on the bribery saga. He says he is presiding over todays session with ‘a lot of pain.

He says he proposed to the Majority leader to have the committee re-constitued in order to keep public confidence in the committee. But after a careful review of the Standing Orders they concluded this is not practicable.

He says Ghanaians have become a very cynical people and he can understand why the public may not trust us again. He hopes investigations into the saga will commence and end soon enough so that our integrity will be restored.

He stresses that Appointment Committee members meet and choose on a nominee immediately after sitting is over.

If anybody wants to bribe us, I suggest he pays the bribe before we start. there is no room to bribe us, he says.

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu also breaks his silence on the matter says ‘I will help full scale investigation into the matter to establish the truth of the matter.

Meanwhile the nominee for Monitoring and Evaluation Minister-designate Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei is answering questions on his CV.

He is asked to clarify a position on his CV â€" a dorm director in a university in the US. He says it was called the ‘Third World Dorm because it was full of students from Asia and Africa. He was matured enough to be in charge for two years and got free accommodation as a result.

His work is to work with ministers to achieve results in the promises detailed in the partys manifesto. For example, the government wants to restore teachers and nursing trainee allowances and so he will work with the Education ministry to implement this according to agreed timelines.

He gives another example with the Minister for Re-organisation who is charged to create some new regions by August 2018. This minister will need help from him to meet his target.

Once Cabinet approves the performance targets, his work kickstarts.

OB Amoah: I suspect the nominees work will dovetail into the work of the Chief of Staff. He wants a reply from the nominee.

AO: Chief of Staff handles the presidency but he is going to handle the results-churning machinery of government. He is to ensure that government machinery works.

MP says he finds it difficult to understand nominees role. We have a whole senior-minister cordinating some ministeries and in each Ministry there are M & E directors to track results.

AO: I am looking from information from political heads to satisfy the president. The ministers may use their M&E departments to generate information he needs. ‘My job is to police my colleagues, he simplifies his assignment.

He says he suspects that there could be a retreat for all ministers and the Vice-President Dr. Bawumia to choose targets and plans to implement governments agenda with clear timelines.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Ghana @60 Commitee To Work For Free


Members of the committee to organize the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Ghanas independence have resolved not to receive any allowances for work to be done. The service to be rendered by the committee members will be strictly on a pro bono basis.

The decision was reached at the committees maiden meeting on Saturday. In a resolution after the meeting, the committee to be chaired by Ken Amankwa said the decision was largely motivated by H.E the Presidents attitude towards public service, that is to say, selfless service to ones homeland. Further, we are determined to religiously be guided by H.E. the Presidents directive for members to be mindful of the difficult financial and economic circumstances of our country, regarding our 60th anniversary commemoration.

Members asked for the help and prayers of Ghanaians in this endeavour. The 60th Anniversary Planning Committee was inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Thursday to oversee activities surrounding March 6, 2017 celebrations. The Committee is made up of 30 members. 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Confirmed: Ghana@60 Committee Won't Receive Allowance


Joy News can confirm that the 60th Anniversary planning Committee has resolved to forfeit all allowances and remuneration following public concern that the national celebration will be a burden on a struggling economy.

"The service to be rendered by the committee members will be strictly on a pro bono basis," a statement signed by Chair of the Committee, Ken Amankwa, said. President Nana Akufo-Addo put together the Committee last week to mark the 60th Anniversary of Ghana's independence from British colonial rule in 1957.

The announcement of the Committee received a backlash on social media following the fiasco that characterised the Ghana @50 celebration under the John Kufuor administration.

Critics also believe the celebration, which will be climaxed on Independence Day, March 6, 2017, is unnecessary since there is more work to be done to turn the fortunes of the nation around than to waste resources celebrating.

Read below the full statement on the resolution by members of the Committee not receive any payment for their work

FORFEITURE OF ALLOWANCE(S) BY MEMBERS OF THE 60TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY PLANNING COMMITTEE

The 60th Independence Anniversary Planning committee held its maiden meeting on Saturday, the 28th of January, 2017.

At the said meeting, members resolved to forfeit any and all allowance(s) and/or remuneration which may be due them.

The service to be rendered by the committee members will be strictly on a pro bono basis.

This decision was largely motivated by H.E the President's attitude towards public service, that is to say, selfless service to one's homeland. Further, we are determined to religiously be guided by H.E. the President's directive for members to be mindful of the difficult financial and economic circumstances of our country, regarding our 60th anniversary commemoration.

We continue to count on the help and prayers of all Ghanaians in this endeavour.

Thank you and may God continue to bless our homeland.

SGD

KEN AMANKWA

(CHAIRMAN, 60TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY PLANNING COMMITTEE)


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Haruna Breaks Silence: Supports Full Scale Investigation Into Bribery


The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has broken his silence on the bribery scandal that is threatening to dent the image of Parliament and break the Minority front.

He told members of the committee during the vetting of the Minister designate for Monitoring and Evaluation Dr Anthony Akoto Osei that he would help full scale investigation into the bribery scandal that has rocked the Appointment Committee of Parliament.

The Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu who is also the first Deputy Speaker had early on expressed his disappointment over the scandal which suggested that money exchanged hands in the approval of the minister designate of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.

Haruna Iddrisu said he will help full scale investigation on matters that bothers on integrity of individuals in Parliament as well as the institution of parliament.

He was quick to add that the scandal has undermined the integrity of Parliament and a full scale investigation will be required to get to the bottom of the matter.

Background

Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko stands accused of paying an amount of GHȻ3,000 to the members of the minority side of the Appointment of Committee in order to facilitate his smooth approval.

Agyarko and that of the Senior Minister designate Yaw Osafo Maafo had their approval delayed because of comments they made during their vetting.

Out of 13 nominees vetted, eleven of them were approved by the committee pending a final approval by the plenary.

The two remaining were asked to bring further and better particulars to substantiate claims they made during their vetting.

The majority side of the committee was satisfied when the additional information was provided by the nominees but the Minority side.

By majority decision, the two were approved by the committee and a report was submitted to the plenary.

Scandal

Just when the House will consider the approval of the two on the floor of the house, a bribery scandal broke.

Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga alleged that they had received a GHȻ3,000 bribe paid to them by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

He said they initially idea the amount was their sitting allowance so they collected it but when they were later told it was coming from the Energy Minister designate Boakye Agyarko, they had to return it.

According to him, the amount was given to Muntaka Mubarak by the Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Owusu on behalf of the Energy Minister designate.

All the three persons named have denied the matter. Boakye Agyarko swore on his life that he never gave any money to have him approved and threatened legal action.

Then came the Chair, Osei Owusu who also stated unequivocally clear that he has never collected any money from Agyarko and has not given any money to Muntaka Mubarak. He also threatened legal action on the matter.

The last man standing in the matter and chief witness Muntaka Mubarak swore by Allah that he had not taken any money from the chairman of the committed and given same to Ayariga.

But Ayariga remains resolute on the matter. He together with two other MPs Alhassan Suhiniyi and Okudzeto Ablakwa have petitioned the Speaker to investigator.

When vetting resumed Monday, the chair of the committee reiterated his denial and hinted the matter will be raised on the floor tomorrow.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


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