Category Archives: News

Jailing Delta Force 13 would have been unfair – Lawyer

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The vigilante group stormed the A/R Coordinating Council to force the new appointee out

Lawyer for the 13 members of the vigilante group, Delta Force, has justified the non-custodial sentence handed the convicts by the Kumasi Circuit Court, contending it would have been unfair to have imprisoned them.

Each of the 13 pro NPP group members were fined GHC1,800 after they pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and rioting Thursday. They will spend 12 months in jail in the event they fail to pay the fine.

READ: Delta Force 13 sentenced to GHC23,400 fine; face 12-month in jail if…

They were standing trial for assaulting the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei who was appointed by President Akufo-Addo on grounds that he did not contribute to the victory of the party, hence they cannot work with him.

Charges of assaulting a public officer, conspiracy to assault and causing unlawful damage, which the 13 convicts were initially facing, were dropped by prosecutors on October 10, 2017 on the advice of the Attorney General’s Department.

When they appeared in court on October 19, to answer the two new charges leveled against them, they pleaded guilty following which they were convicted, fined and made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour for a year.

Some people have criticized the sentencing which they feel is not deterrent enough, arguing the convicts should have been given a prison term as against the non-custodian sentencing.

But their lawyer Fredrick Kankam Boadu has defended the sentence on Onua FM Thursday, stating “They are first time offenders and it means that they have to be given a chance because if you imprison them, it will be at the expense of the tax payer”.

“These are able men who can work for the nation so it wouldn’t be fair to imprison them at the expense of the tax payer”, the lawyer explained on Ghana Dadwene.

He said on Ghana Dadwene that the convicts did not waste the court’s time by going through full trial.

He stated “we went into mitigation because their offences were misdemeanor which is the lowest offence and that is why justice has been served in my view”.

Lawyer Boadu admitted that though “controversies have existed [in the case] but in law, courts must excuse itself from the public and controversies…in law, we don’t refer to a public opinion”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

Mother of 4 children with special needs rescued from suicide attempt

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Golda says the family has been shunned completely by people

Mrs Golda Nunoo, Mother of four children, all with special needs, has been rescued from a suicide attempt by members of a support group she belongs to.

Mrs Nunoo made a frantic call to one of the members of the Special Mothers Group Madam Linda Clarke amidst tears that someone in her neighborhood has been constantly ruining insults on her, referring to her as “mother of mad children”

She thus decided to end it all for herself and three of the children currently living with her. When Madam Linda Clarke and Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie both members of the Special Mothers group, got to her house in Ashiaman, a suburb of Tema, she had locked two of the children in a room and had left to a church with the two year old son to say her last prayers to God.

According to Golda, she has been shunned completely by people in the area.

Golda, 36 years, said: “No one talks to me, even if I am holding money to buy things people refuse to accept the money, they call me the curse one, saying I have given birth to mad children, I feel very isolated and want to move away from this neighbourhood.”

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy, said the project was introduced to Golda about two years ago when she gave birth to her last son with severe club foot.

“We tried to no avail to get the children into schools, even with a letter from the Ghana Education Service Special Education Unit, the children were refused admission,” Mrs Awadzi said.

Two years ago Ghana launched the Inclusive Education Policy supposed to ensure that all children go to school regardless of their disabilities; however, many parents of children with special needs think that the policy is not inclusive enough.

Majority of children with special needs in Ghana are refused admission even in government schools

Golda spends the whole of her life attending to her four children, three of them non-verbal and she is unable to work, her husband even though very supportive earns only 200 cedis a month as a security man.

Her first child has been adopted by her brother to lessen the burden on her

Mrs Awadzi called on the Department of Social Welfare, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists and corporate organizations to come to the aid of Golda

Source: 3news.com  | Ghana

New regions will bring development – Dan Botwe

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Dan Botwe

The Minister for Regional Re-Organisation, Dan Botwe is hopeful if Ghanaians buy into the idea of adding at least four regions to the existing 10, it will boost the country’s development.

The Upper West is the last region created out of the Upper Region in 1983 by the then Head of State, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings under the Provisional National Defense Council.

Dan Botwe told TV3 some Ghanaians have for decades been craving for additional regions for easy administration.

President Nana Akufo-Addo Thursday inaugurated a nine-member Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice S. A. Brobbey.

He said the inauguration of the commission sets the tone for his ministry to kick start processes to create the new regions.

“It will bring government to the people and accelerate development,” he remarked.

Constitutional steps to creation of new regions

Article 5 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic forms the constitutional bases for the formation of the Commission of Enquiry by the President. It states as follow;

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the President may, by constitutional instrument –

(a) create a new region;

(b) alter the boundaries of a region; or

(c) provide for the merger of two or more regions.

(2) If the President, upon a petition being presented to him and, on the advice of the Council of State, is satisfied that there is substantial demand for –

(a) the creation of a new region;

(b) the alteration of the boundaries of a region, whether or not the alteration involves the creation of a new region; or

(c) the merger of any two or more regions;

he shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merge.

(3) If, notwithstanding that a petition has not been presented to him, the President is, on the advice of the Council of State, satisfied that the need has arisen for taking any of the steps referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article, he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merger.

(4) Where a commission of inquiry appointed under clause (2) and (3) of this article finds that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger referred to in either of those clauses, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the sues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum should be held.

(5) The President shall refer the recommendations to the Electoral Commission, and the referendum all be held in a manner prescribed by the Electoral Commission.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Delta Force 13 sentenced to GHC23,400 fine; face 12-month in jail if…

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The 13 members of the Delta Force in court on July 13, 2017

The 13 members of the pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force, who assaulted a public officer in Kumasi, have been handed a fine to the tune of GHC23,400.

Each of the them is to pay GHC1,800 and sign a bond to be of good behaviour for a 12-month period or in default serve 12 months in prison, the Kumasi Ciricut Court ruled Thursday.

The 13 were convicted and sentenced after they pleaded guilty to the new charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit rioting leveled against them last week by police prosecutors.

Charges of assaulting a public officer, conspiracy to assault and causing unlawful damage, which the 13 convicts were facing, were dropped by prosecutors on October 10 on the advice of the Attorney General’s Department.

READ: Earlier charges against Delta Forces dropped

Fresh charges of conspiracy to commit crime and rioting were subsequently leveled against them and the case adjourned Thursday, October 19 for continuation.

When the case resumed Thursday, the convicts pleaded guilty to the charge in the Circuit Court presided over by JMs. Mary Senkyire to convict them accordingly.

Members of the Delta Force in March this year ssaulted President Akufo-Addo’s newly-appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei who they said did not contribute to the victory of the party, hence cannot work with him.

Police later arrested 13 of them and on April 6, 2017, and were put before court.

Escape

Some other members of the group numbering eight stormed the KMA Circuit Court on Thursday, April 6 and freed the 13 members who were standing trial for assaulting the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei.

The eight accused defied an order by the judge, Mary Senkyere, in open court after she had remanded the 13 in prison custody.

They verbally abused her and vandalized court property, exiting through a restricted area meant only for judges.

The eight were immediately arrested while a bench warrant issued by the Ashanti Regional Police Command resulted in the escapees turning themselves in for the trial to continue in their case.

They were put before court for escaping from lawful custody but were pardoned by the Circuit court presided over by John Ekow Mensah but were fined 2,400 each and made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour within six months. Failure to do so will lead them serving a jail term of three years.

The other eight who broke them out were charged with disturbances of court as captured in Section 233 of the Criminal Code and resisting arrest and rescue as captured in Section 226(1b) of same.

Discharged for lack of evidence

But they discharged by the Kumasi Circuit Court Two due to lack of evidence.

READ: Delta Force 8 freed for lack of evidence

Judge Patricia Amponsah freed the accused persons, following the Attorney General’s claim that it has no evidence to prosecute.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

‘Mahama’s’ hospital at Garu-Tempane abandoned; thieves stealing materials

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One of the six district hospitals started by the John Mahama government to eliminate disparities in healthcare delivery in the country has been abandoned at the Garu Tempane in the Upper East Region.

In August 2013 the then Health Minister Sherry Ayitey cut sod for construction work to begin on the hospitals under the 175 million-dollar turnkey project at Dodowa, Kumawu, Sekondi, Abetifi, Garu Tempane and Fomena.

Four years on, only the Dodo District Hospital has been completed under the agreement signed between the Ministry of Health Ghana and NMS Infrastructure Limited from the United Kingdom.Construction work on the Garu Tempane District Hospital, which officially started in May 2015, was abandoned a year later by the contractors who left the site without explanation.

The site has been taken over by weeds and roofs of the buildings serving as offices have also been ripped off while thieves have taken advantage of the situation and lack of security at the site to steal building materials meant for the project.The Garu-Tempane district is the largest in terms of land and population in the upper east region but without a hospital. Residents currently rely on clinics and CHPS compounds which cannot handle certain cases.

Cases beyond those hospitals are awalys referred to either the Bawku Hospital or Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.

Youth want action taken

News of the construction of a district hospital for the people came as joy but their hopes of getting a modern health facility to handle their healthcare needs have now waned with the years of abandonment of the project.

Some youth in Garu-Tempane are now calling on the government to as matter of urgency ensure the completion of the stalled project.Member of Parliament for Garu, Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, told 3News in a telephone interview that the project at Garu-Tempane was suspended for the contractor, MNSI to complete the others in the southern sector.

At a news conference Wednesday, the youth of Garu called on the current government to call the contractor to order to complete the project, indicating the district needs hospital to take care of serious healthcare issues in the area.

Spokesperson for the youth, James Akasire, said items meant for the construction of  the hospital were being stolen by some residents and they blamed the contractor for the activities of these miscreants.

“We may sound mild and modest in our demands and presentation; we should not be misconstrued to mean a weakness. We shall closely monitor events and if no action is taken in respect of our demands we shall advise ourselves accordingly.

“We shall not hesitate to embark on massive street protest among other options,” he warned

The group said the Garu-Tempane District Assembly spent huge amount of money in paying compensations for the release of land for the project and that such investment should not be allowed to go waste.

“The contractor should explain why he had to cause the Garu-Tempane district Assembly to spend huge sums of money as compensation for land and the construction of residence to house him and some of his workers,” he said.

Some of the stolen iron rods at the Police station

Meanwhile, three people arrested for stealing iron rods from the project site have been given bail for investigations to continue into the matter.

By Tanko Mohammed Rabiu|3news.com|Ghana

9-member commission to oversee creation of new regions inaugurated

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has inaugurated a nine-member Commission of Inquiry to see to the creation of at least five new regions.

The Commission would be chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice S. A. Brobbey.

The country currently has 10 regions with the Greater Accra being the capital.

The Commission of Inquiry are expected to tour the country especially the Volta, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Western regions to gather the necessary information for the landmark exercise.

The Council of State in August this year okayed the decision to create six more regions as proposed by the government, paving the way for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to also take up the issue by examining the petitions on the matter.

Other members of the Commission are inaugurated on Thursday are: Dr. Grace Bediako, former Government Statistician; Maulvi Mohammed Bin-Salih,  AMEER, Missionary in-charge, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana; Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, former Vice Chancellor, KNUST; and Ms. Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh, a local government expert.

The rest are: Mr. Robert Ajene, retired Director of Education; Dr. David Wellington Essaw, Senior Research Fellow, University of Cape Coast; Prof. George Owusu, Institute of Statistical, Social & Economic Research, (ISSER)/Director, Centre for Urban Management Studies, University of Ghana; and Ms. Josephine Hughes, legal practitioner.

The map of Ghana showing the 10 regions of the country

The terms of reference given the Commission include:

(a) Inquire, pursuant to the petitions, into the need and substantial demand for the creation of new regions.

(b) To make recommendations to the President based on its findings, on the creation of a region or alteration of regional boundaries and

(c) To specify the issues to be determined by referendum and the places where the referendum should be held, where it makes recommendations for the creation of new regions.

By 3news.com | Ghana

US cancels all 2019 DV Lottery entries; process to be restarted

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All entries made for the US government’s 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery prior to Wednesday across the globe will have to be resubmitted, a statement has said.

The development is due to a “technical issue”.

“Any entries submitted before Wednesday, October 18, 2017, will not be considered, and the entrant will need to submit another entry during the new registration period,” the statement issued by the US Embassy in Accra on Wednesday directed.

The new registration period for DV-2019 ends on Wednesday, November 22 at 1700Hrs GMT.

New applicants can only submit one entry in the new window without recourse to previous multiple entries.

“Individuals who submit more than one entry during the new registration period will be disqualified.

“All other eligibility requirements remain same.”

It is unclear what triggered the “technical issue” but applicants have been cautioned to be vigilant of fraudsters as they are encouraged to always apply themselves.

No payment, according to the US government, is made in advance for the application.

“Fees for DV application process are paid to the US Embassy cashier at the time of the scheduled appointment if an entry is selected.”

From May, 2018, applicants are expected to receive unique registration numbers to check the status of their entries.

“The US Department of State will also confirm visa interview appointments through the Entrant Status Check.”

The US expressed regret over the restart of the process but said this is to “ensure fairness and protect the integrity of the process for all those concerned”.

The DV Lottery is a programme that affords persons the opportunity to live, work and study in the US with their families – in some cases – and even become US citizens.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Promotion of ACP Addo-Danquah ‘a recipe for disaster’ – Group

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ACP Addo-Danquah took over as the DG of Police CID Tuesday

Pressure is mounting on the Ghana Police Service to reverse the promotion of ACP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah who was accused of a ‘cover up’ in a the corruption allegation against two deputy chiefs of staff.

ACP Addo-Danquah who was the Deputy Director General of the Police CID, was on October 17 asked to act as the Director General following an order to her boss, COP Bright Oduro, to proceed on leave prior to retirement.

But some civil society groups have condemned the decision, which they say, puts the integrity and the credibility of the Police Service into disrepute, something they argue could cause people to put the law into their own hands.

Executive Director of Governance Watch, Stephen Kwabena Attuh said on TV3 Midday Live Wednesday that his outfit would petition the Inspector General of Police by close of this week, to get him to reconsider the decision.

Background

A conversation between ACP Addo-Danquah and musician A-Plus revealed a possible cover-up in the report of the CID on the allegations of corruption against Ghana’s deputy chiefs of staff.

A-Plus alleged corruption against the deputy chiefs of staff, Francis Asenso-Bopakye and Samuel Abu Jinapor, stating on Facebook: “It is amazing how Nana [Akufo-Addo] was able to appoint two thieves whose level of stupidity is the same. Arrogant and corrupt fools”

An investigation into the matter by the Police CID however cleared the two of corruption, descrying the allegations as baseless and without basis whatsoever.

But before the dust on the matter could settle, an audiotape between ACP Addo-Danquah and A-Plus emerged on which the former appeared to confirm the corruption allegation against the two deputy chiefs of staff.

Barely 24 hours after the audio leaked, ACP Addo-Danquah issued a statement to deny the claim, noting she couldn’t possibly had come to the conclusion that the two deputies were corrupt.

She claimed the leaked audiotape was “doctored and or edited to achieve deliberate, mischievous and evil purpose”.

Though many called for ACP Addo-Danquah to be interdicted for investigations into her “unprofessional” conduct to be carried out.

However, before any such action could be taken, she was announced as the acting Director General of the Police CID.

Credibility issues

Commenting on the latest development, Mr. Attuh said it was unfortunate ACP Addo-Danquah had been promoted when no action has so far been taken to establish or otherwise, acts of unprofessional conduct against her.

He said though the ACP said a part of the tape was doctored, “as you and I are talking today, none of us know which part of that tape recording is doctored.

Mr Attuh said the emergence of the tape on which ACP Addo-Danquah appeared to be “helping the complainant [A-Plus] to conceal facts and evidence that would implicate the individuals in the report …we think this cast a greater doubt on the work of the Ghana Police Service”.

“Now to wake up to hear such a person who has not taken any step to clear herself of any corruption charges or corruption allegation to become the head of an institution she was acting under as a deputy director which brought up a report that has cast a lot of credibility issues on the service,” he argued

The development, he averred the A-Plus – ACP Addo-Danquah saga could have future implications on the work of the Police, noting “tomorrow if another allegation of corruption is referred to her office and she investigates it and put that report out and it doesn’t confirm corruption against the individual, the people of Ghana will not take that report serious”

He added: “And we believe that is a recipe for disaster for this country”.

In view of the above, he said, they will petition the IGP to reconsider the decision to make ACP Addo-Danquah the acting Director General of the Police CID.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

A/R: Angry youth lock Daily Guide offices for ‘disrespecting’ Otumfuo

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The Police moved in to open the offices for workers to get access.

Some youth in Kumasi on Wednesday morning stormed the premises of Daily Guide to lockup the offices of the private newspaper over the paper’s reportage on allegation of money laundering against Otumfuor Osei Tutu II.

The youth, who form the Kumasi Youth Association, claim the newspaper disrespected the Asantehene with its reportage on the issue which the Ghana International Bank has come to absolve him of any wrongdoing.

They pasted several notices at the entrance of Daily Guide office in Kumasi to demand immediate apology and a retraction of the publication from the media house.

They also threatened to close down the office should the paper refuse to apologise to Manhyia Palace.Meanwhile, the Police in Kumasi have since broken the locks of the youth and granted access to allow the workers to work.

The Police say no item was stolen or destroyed.

But it has asked the group to report themselves to the Police or be hunted down for the necessary action to be taken against them.

Though calm has now been restored, the police personnel are still stationed around the premises of the newspaper to provide protection to the workers.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana

Former CID boss considers suing Kennedy Agyapong

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Former CID boss Mr. Oduro [L] accused Mr Agyapong [R] of influencing his being asked to ‘proceed on leave’

Former Director General of Police CID, COP Bright Oduro, has hinted of a legal action against Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, whose allegations he claims have tainted his 29 years of unblemished service to the nation.

Mr Oduro who was due to retire on January 3, 2018 was last Friday ordered to proceed on leave following what he said was consistent attacks on him by the MP who claimed he [Oduro] was associated with land guards.

He admitted that though his leave should have started in August this year, he decided to continue to work until his retirement as has been the practice, but the accusations that he had failed to tackle the menace of land guards triggered his sudden exit.

Though reasons were not assigned for his being asked to go on leave ahead of his retirement, he was convinced the decision was influenced by Mr. Agyapong’s accusations against him.

“Others [Officers] have used their leave to work earlier and they were not asked to proceed on leave so you can smell rat… That is where I smell rat and I believe that some people are behind it. Obviously, Kennedy is one of them because he’s waged a verbal attack on me from the time that I was appointed,” he told 3FM.

Allegations ‘off tangent’

Speaking on Sunrise morning show Thursday, he told the host, Winston Amoah, that Mr. Agyapong consistently alleged that he was associated with land guards, a claim he said was not true.

“Who are the land guards that I’m associated with? Nobody has mentioned any land guard that I’m associated with but they just say land guards. There was one occasion that I heard Kennedy mention somebody called Awala. I know that Awala, he has land cases at the property fraud and so he comes to the CID headquarters whenever he is invited to.

“I once chaired a meeting he [Alawa] also sat in and so I know him but how will I be associated with him, for what, for what purpose and what do I gain for associating myself with people who are considered a land guard?” he asked

Mr. Oduro said he expected the Police adminstiration to have called Mr Agyapong to order, especially so when some of the attacks were directed at the Police Service

He said he once “brought it [the attacks and accusation] to the attention of the IG [Inspector General of Police] sometime ago that we need to invite him because of the where he was taking the Police to but he wasn’t invited.

“I was told that the higher authority will invite and to talk to him. I don’t know whether they did it and so the war went on, the verbal attack went on and on and on,” he claimed.
The former CID boss said the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah once called him to find out why Kennedy Agyapong was always insulting him and “I said I did not know and so from there I thought that he had been spoken to”.

For sometime, he said Mr. Agyapong’s attack ceased until last week Thursday when the attacks started.

“And when he did that, I had my order to proceed on leave early morning on Friday so you could at least link my ‘proceed on leave’ to the attack, my so-called association with land guards because that was the story captured by daily guide.

According to him, he has since not been given reasons for his being asked to go on leave, noting that ““Nobody wants to explain, nobody wants to tell me except daily guide that has come out with a story and the story is that I’m not handling land guard issues well”.

Mr.Oduro stated those making the allegations that he’s failed to handle land guard issues in the country well “are off tangent completely”

“I don’t feel fine, I think I’ve not been treated fairly. I was not given the opportunity to explain anything [to the Police administration]” he said..

‘Irreparable damage’

Asked whether his image has been tainted by the allegations, he responded affirmatively saying “exactly!

“Irreparable damage, irreparable harm has been done to me. I have done 29 years of service and this is not the time anybody can link me with land guards and this is not the time anybody or somebody should tell me to proceed on leave without explanation,” he stated.

On whether he would seek redress in court, he said, “I haven’t decided yet…those allegations that have been made, I need to study the tapes and then be advised accordingly. It’s worth considering”.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana