Category Archives: News

Alfred Agbesi Woyome

Woyome file to be reviewed, Attorney General-designate hints

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Ms Gloria Akuffo

Ms Gloria Akuffo will be AG if approved by the Appointments Committee

Attorney General-designate Gloria Akuffo says she will take a second look at the file of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome as regards the GH¢52.1 million judgement debt case of 2012 if her nomination is approved.

“When I get there, I will study the file and see how quickly we can get the money,” Ms Akuffo said.

She was answering a question posed by Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency during her vetting on Saturday, January 21.

The former Aviation Minister acknowledged the stage of the case so far and says she will do her best in the interest of Ghanaians.

“I will put my best foot forward and look at the matter and do what is best.”

Mr Woyome’s judgement debt case is the most popular among other cases over the past five years.

The Attorney General-designate, who will also become Minister of Justice if approved, said she has asked for a comprehensive list of all judgement debt cases from the Solicitor-General.

“This is to help strategise on the recovery of these debts,” she noted, adding that interests accrued will also be collected.

Asked about timelines, the Aburi Girls’ SHS alumna said she cannot “make categorical undertakings that if you give me approval tomorrow I can recover the money”.

“That is a matter subject to litigation.”

Woyome’s case has seen a number of Attorneys General including the immediate past Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, who has been accused of not doing much to retrieve the money.

Pressure groups like Occupy Ghana have been hard on her over the issue.

Mr Woyome himself has accused some elements including a former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, of ill-intention against his person.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Ghana police service

Unprofessional conduct by Police won’t be condoned – Ambrose Dery warns

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PoliceMinister-designate for the Interior, Ambrose Dery has served notice he would not superintend over or condone unprofessional conduct and inhumane practices by personnel of the Ghana Police.

At his vetting by Parliament’s Appointment Committee Saturday, Mr Dery said the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government would ensure that the country’s security agencies, particularly the Police operates within the law

“It has been stated clearly that security agencies under His Excellency the president will operate within the law, within the context of the human rights of the suspects.”

Responding to a question by the Committee on what he would do to prevent suspects being kept in custody beyond the constitutionally mandated 48 hours among other unprofessional practices, he said would expect the Police to do its work professionally.

Ghana’s Police have in recent times been criticised for some of their excesses, including disregard for human rights, in the discharge of their duties.

Some personnel have also been arrested and prosecuted for variuous unprofessional conducts, armed robbery, extortion among other criminal offences.

But Mr Dery has assured Ghanaians he has the full backing of the President to ensure professionalism among the personnel of the Police, vowing that if approved, his leadership would insist that the Police operate within the law.

“A suspect is a suspect until convicted and we expect the security services, the Police and all those concerned to professionally do their work.

“If there is the need to detain somebody beyond 48 hours, it can only be on the direction of a court. We will insist they respect the law, respect the rights of suspect until they are convicted,” he stated.

Mr Dery further said he would ensure that the Police officers who mount road checkpoints ostensibly to extort financial gains from drivers is reduced, saying he would try to reduce working towards eliminating the abuse of the system.

He said, as part of his drive to ensure professionalism, there will be further retraining of personnel “to enhance our police to act professionally

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Gambians flee

Ghana readies to evacuate Ghanaians from The Gambia

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Gambians fleeGovernment has put in place the necessary measures to evacuate Ghanaians from The Gambia where a political crisis is imminent following Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to cede political power to the elected Adama Barrow.

The government has been criticised for not evacuating Ghanaians in The Gambia before committing over 200 troops to ECOWAS to help oust Jammeh who lost last December’s elections to Adama Barrow.

Jammeh missed a second deadline of 16:00GMT Friday to hand over power to Barrow who was sworn in Thursday from The Gambia’s embassy in Darkar, Senegal.

Thousands of Gambians have since the beginning of the simmering crisis fled the country to neighbouring Senegal.

Security analyst with the Kofi Anan Peacekeeping Training Institute, Dr Kwesi Aning has meanwhile expressed concerns over the government’s failure to evacuate Ghanaians from The Gambia in view of the fluid situation there.Dominic NitiwulHowever, minister-designate for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, told Parliament’s Appointments Committee during his vetting Friday night that preparations have been put in place to evacuate Ghanaians from The Gambia should it become necessary.

“I’m not … able to tell you publicly the steps that are being taken to evacuate our civilians but I can say for a fact that enough preparations have been made to ensure that in the event that we need to evacuate any Ghanaian, we will do that,” he assured Ghanaians.

This was after a member of the Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini had asked Mr Ntiwul as to whether he would advice the President to evacuate Ghanaians from The Gambia in view of the crisis brewing in the small West African nation.

Mr Nitiwul said there are currently about 50,000 Ghanaians in The Gambia, most of who are fisher folks, noting that if it becomes necessary to evacuate them, “That has been taken are of.

“Every available means that we will use, preparation that have been made have been made, I can assure you of that,” he said but declined to give further details due to the sensitive nature of the operation.

The minister-designate, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bimbila observed, “the situation in the Gambia is a bit serious,” but expressed optimism that by close of day Saturday it would have been resolved.

He said although the government has committed troops to Gambia to help ECOWAS resolve the crisis in that country, he is unable to say whether they are in The Gambia or Senegal.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Duncan pray

Archbishop Duncan Williams prays at Trump’s inauguration in US

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Duncan pray

Archbishop Duncan Williams on the podium praying for the congregation. Prez Trump & Vice Mr. Pence in front row

One of Ghana’s leading men of God and head of the Action Chapel International, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan William was amongst a few distinguished invited guests who graced the inauguration of United States President, Donald J. Trump and his vice, Mike Pence.

A pre-inauguration church service which was held about an hour to the main event saw the Ghanaian archbishop, pray for the incoming administration and asked God for wisdom for the Trump government.

US Vice President elect, now the substantive vice president Mike Pence tweeted a picture of the service in which Archbishop Duncan Williams was seen praying for them and a couple of other pictures of the clergy at the event.

He is the first Ghanaian in that capacity to be present at an event which was watched the world over.

The inauguration which took place around midday (US time) was attended by four of the five living US former presidents – Jimmy Carter, George Walker Bush, Bill Clinton and immediate past president Barrack Obama. George Bush Snr. who is also a living former president is in hospital receiving treatment for pneumonia.

Addressing the thousands that had gathered at the ceremony, the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump indicated that “a new vision would govern our country… we will put America first in all aspects of negotiations and agreements.”

By Martin Asiedu-Dartey||Ghana

Yaw Osafo Marfo vetting-36

I wasn’t Interior Minister during the ‘cocaine ship’ saga – Kan-Dapaah

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Yaw Osafo Marfo vetting-36Minister-designate for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, says he was not the Interior minister when a ship carrying cocaine docked in the country in 2006, hence could not have been dismissive of any information to that effect.

A member of the public had petitioned the Appointments Committee of Parliament that Mr Kan-Dapaah failed to act when information about the arrival of the MV Benjamin ship arrived in the country.

But during his vetting Friday, Mr Kan-Dapaah dismissed the claim saying “With regard to the cocaine that came into the country, in actual fact, I was not even the minister. I was appointed the Minister of the interior on 5th of May”.

The minister-designate noted the ship and the problems that came with it happened “on May 3 [2006] so when it happened I wasn’t the minister”

He explained to the Committee that as far as the operational matters of NACOB is concerned, the Minister of the Interior plays only administrative role, noting if he was even there at the time he would not have been informed of the incident.

In a Wikileaks cable, one John King claimed Mr Kan-Dapaah was “dismissive and irritated” when the issue was brought to his notice for discussion.

But at the vetting Friday, Mr Kan-Dapaah denied any such suggestion, though he admitted having a discussion on the matter with the said King.

“The agent was aware that my role as minister of the interior was such that I wouldn’t be involved in the operational  matters…and he made his point strongly. In an equal manner, I also made my point strongly. I said to  him that I did not share his view as far as it related to him.

“I really don’t understand how he thought I was irritated and dismissive. If making my views   known to him is what he calls dismissive then I disagree,” he explained

Mr Kan-Dapaah said he took time to take King through the various actions that the government had taken at the time to bring down the drug menace in the country.

Meanwhile, the Committee suspended the public vetting of Mr Kan-Dapaah to continue with an in-camera session due to the sensitive security nature of the portfolio he has been appointed to head.

 By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana


Parliament goes in-camera with Nat’l Security Minister-designate

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The Appointments Committee of Parliament has decided to vet National Security Minister-designate in-camera.

This is due to the sensitive nature of some of the questions to be asked Albert Kan Dapaah.

Mr Kan Dapaah is the second ministerial nominee of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to be vetted on Friday, January 20.

The preliminary session was, however, conducted in the presence of all with Member of Parliament for Bodi Samson Ahi given the final right to ask a question. His question bordered on the recent takeovers of state assets by persons suspected to be members of the ruling party.

Chaired by MP for Dome Kwabenya Adwoa Safo, the open vetting was truncated for the scheduled closed-door session.

The excuse of the media and guests inside the Speaker’s Conference Room was sought before Members of the Committee proceeded to hold the in-camera session.

After the former MP for Afigya Sekyere West is vetted, Ken Ofori-Atta, the minister-designate for finance, will take his turn.

Earlier in the day, Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo-Maafo was vetted, for nearly four hours. He was the first to face the Committee of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic.


Yaw Osafo Maafo

Osafo Maafo shoots down Ghana’s 40yr Development Plan

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Yaw Osafo Maafo

Yaw Osafo Maafo

Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister-designate, has revealed he strongly disagrees with the decision to have a 40-year Development Plan for the nation.

The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) designed the 40-year-plan which implementation begins in 2018.  The Plan would comprise 10 medium-term plans, each of four-year duration, spanning 10 general elections (2020-2056) and be reviewed every ten years by Parliament to keep it current and relevant.

But Mr. Osafo Maafo Friday told Parliament’s Appointments Committee when he appeared before Members that, “I do not believe in planning in excess of 10 years”.

He maintained that his view was made “clear” to the Commission when he was consulted.

He however indicated that he was consulted as well as the New Patriotic Party while in opposition in which he and now Vice President. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and others made inputs. The nominee however stated that he is yet to see the final plan which is pegged at 40 years.

Various groups including the Association of Ghana Industries have lauded the 40-year Development Plan. Former President Mahama who launched the Plan said it will significantly transform Ghana.

“This 40-year development plan will tackle Ghana’s development challenges and as a government we are fully committed to it,” he said.

The 40-year plan is the longest in the country’s history, but many feared the lack of continuity of development programmes by successive governments is likely to affect its smooth implementation.

Mr. Osafo Maafo maintained that the NPP government is “surely going to have a critical look at the programme, we won’t swallow it hook and eye”.

He reiterated that the government will do modifications when necessary as well as consult the framers to ensure that the plan works.

By Isaac Essel || Ghana

Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem died Tuesday after 39-year reign

Kumasi bounces back to life after Asantehemaa’s burial

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There is always activity in the central business district

There is always activity in the central business district

Kumasi has bounced back to life hours after the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, was laid to rest on Thursday night.

Businesses and schools within the metropolis, which remained shut on Thursday, have resumed operations as vehicular and human congestion builds up.

All business activities in Kumasi came to a halt on the burial day in honour of the final interment of the late Asantehemaa.

The central business district of Kumasi was a ghost town as streets were deserted of vehicles and people.

Streets were deserted on Thursday, the burial day

Streets were deserted on Thursday, the burial day

The Kumasi Central Market was locked for the first time in many years

The Kumasi Central Market was locked for the first time in many years

Banks, shops and basic schools were all shut in honour of the late queenmother.

The vibrant Kumasi Central Market, which hardly experiences complete closure, was locked to prevent traders from operating.

Barely a day after the burial, the central business district has come back to life.

Banks, shops and schools have reopened for operation.

The usual vehicular and human congestion is now visible in the central business district as traders anticipate to pick up in sales.

The Asantehemaa, who reigned for 39 years, was buried at Breman after rites, which began on Monday, January 16.

By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana

GPHA junior staff

Sack our Director General – GPHA junior staff urges gov’t

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GPHA junior staffThe junior staff union of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is calling for the dismissal of the director general of the Authority over an alleged recruitment and promotion exercise which the workers described politically motivated.

They also questioned the expansion project contract awarded and want the government to investigate the said contract.

Number about 2,400, the workers who are from Tema and Takoradi are alleging the director general, Richard Anamoo has employed some 378 new staff and promoted one thousand workers after the declaration of 2016 election results.

According to the union, the director general abused his position by giving his official residence to his son to occupy.

“Unprecedented levels of corruption, nepotism and cronyism have been entrenched in GPHA under his leadership. He has also duped the authority and the state of millions of dollars and Ghana cedis in the name of port expansion project, automation of port IT, buying of equipment and craft etc,” said Keku Armoquasi amuzuah, Secretary  of the Union said at a news conference Thursday.

But the leadership of the senior staff union questioned the action of the junior staff union, claiming their press conference was illegal and noted the issued raised by the junior staff union were internal matters.

One of the senior staff union members said they will trigger the relevant laws to see where the junior staff will fall short and apply the necessary sanctions.

However, the junior staff workers maintained they have not broken any law

Meanwhile, management of the Authority say they will respond to the allegation in due time.

Josephine Frempong|TV3||Ghana

student nurses

Sale of nursing admission forms suspended; no reasons assigned

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student nursesThe Ministry of Health has ordered health training institutions across the country to cease the sale of admission forms to people wishing to pursuing nursing and its related courses.

No reasons have been given for the immediate suspension of the sale of the admissions forms for the 2017/2018 academic year.

A memo dated January 18, 2017 and signed by Chief Director of the Health Ministry, Dr. Afisah Zakariah, suggested the directive, which was given earlier, is being flouted by the training schools.

“The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to the continuous sale of application forms for admission into various Health Training Institutions for 2017/2018 academic year.

“This is in spite of a directive from the Ministry for the suspension of the sale of forms until further notice,” the memo, which was copied to the government Transition Team on Health read in part.

It has thus asked all principals and heads of the various sales outlets across the country to suspend the sale of the forms forthwith until the Ministry authorises same to proceed.

“Principals would be held personally responsible for breach of this directive,” the memo stated.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana