Category Archives: Politics

GITMO 2

Akufo-Addo’s government softens ‘hard stance’ on GITMO 2

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GITMO 2The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government appears to have softened its ‘hard stance’ on Ghana’s hosting of two alleged terrorists who were held in Guantanamo Bay for 14 years.

The president and his New Patriotic Party early last year condemned and criticised the John Mahama-led government for agreeing to bring into the country the two ex-detainees.

They demanded that the then John Mahama-led government returns the two Yemenis, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al Dhuby, because their presence in Ghana exposed the country to external attacks.

But when he took his turn Friday night to be vetted as minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul suggested the Akufo-Addo government might have to relook at its position based on recent available intelligence on the two ex-detainees.

“But look, we’ve done one year now, intelligence will change, the situation will change. As we sit today, the government at that time analysed intelligence and took a decision. It is the same way this government is going to analyse all the intelligence related to this particular people and take a decision,” he argued.

This was after he was asked by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on whether he would advise President Akufo-Addo to return the two Yeminis as demanded prior to his election as the President of Ghana.Dominic NitiwulMr Nitiwul initially said he was “constraint to answer that question because the matter is in court” but said he would try to give what he termed as “a skeletal answer”.

He told the Committee that he was not privy to the latest intelligence for which reason he would not be in a position to offer advice to the president regarding the best decision for the government to take on the matter.

“As I sit now, I’m not ceased with that intelligence to be able to tell you which way I will advice the president or not advice the president but intelligent will lead us as to the best way the government to take a decision regarding this thing,” he stated.

Further, he said it would not be in the best interest of the country to discuss terrorism, vis-à-vis the two ex-detainees and the kind of advice he would give to the President in the full glare of the public.

According to him, President Akufo-Addo’s stance on the ex-detainees was based on the fact that Ghana is a peaceful country and brining the two alleged terrorists was going to put the country on the terrorism map.

“I think that at the time that Nana Akufo-Addo made that statement, he made it in the line that there was no need to invite trouble to us; to put our map on the terrorist map at that particular period when Ghana didn’t need to do that,” he claimed.

Background

The two ex-detainees were relocated to Ghana on January 6, 2016 after a deal between Ghana and the US governments.

Many Ghanaians including security experts questioned the government’s decision to host the ex-detainees who were held without charges and trial for 14 years.

But at a special media chat on in mid January 2016, President Mahama denied claims that the government took money from the US government to arrive at such a crucial decision.

“There’s no monetary consideration and the US itself would have disclosed if there were any monetary consideration,” Mr Mahama told journalists, adding “It was a direct request from the US to my government. We have been allies to the US for a year, it didn’t start today…” he said.

Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye later sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of the Interior, for illegally bringing in the two ex-detainees into the country without recourse to the laws of the land.

They are thus seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of the two, the Daily Graphic reported.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance minister-designate pays NPP’s GHC2million debt to Prudential Bank

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Ken Ofori-AttaMinister-designate for Finance, Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta, says he has settled the controversial GHC2 million debt owed Prudential Bank Limited by the New Patriotic Party.

The bank in 2015 wrote to the NPP to demand repayment of the amount which the party secured as loan to prosecute its campaign but reportedly reneged on its repayment plan.

Following the leak of the bank’s letter, Mr Ofori-Atta who was the chairman of the 2012 campaign finance team issued a statement at the time to take responsibility, stating that the loan was purely a private transaction which NPP had no hand in contracting.

The GHC 2,290,631.36 million loan was obtained to support the operations of the party’s polling station agents during the 2012 general elections.

“I am personally liable for any obligation that arises from this transaction and not in any way the New Patriotic Party,” he said in the statement .

When asked during his vetting Friday as to whether he has paid the said amount, Mr Ofori-Atta said “I have put closure to the prudential debt so that is closed. I have a letter at home with regards to that”.

He told members of the Appointments Committee that the amount was paid in full in December but did not indicate which year. “It has been fully paid. It was in December,” he said.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Yaw Osafo Marfo vetting-41

Osafo-Maafo ‘baffled’ by Prime Minister reference

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Yaw Osafo Marfo vetting-41

Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo-Maafo has expressed befuddlement at reports that his position is more or less like a Prime Minister.

“That baffles me,” he stressed at his vetting on Friday, January 20.

Mr Osafo-Maafo became the first ministerial nominee of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to face Parliament’s Appointments Committee after assuming the seat at the Speaker’s Conference Room Thursday morning.

His position had come up on the floor of Parliament after Member for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga said it was not captured in the 1992 Constitution.

The former Youth and Sports Minister followed up with an open letter to President Akufo-Addo, making a case why he thinks Mr Osafo-Maafo is clandestinely being made a Prime Minister by the 5th president of the 4th Republic.

“Why the discrimination? You consciously seek to elevate Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo to a status akin to that of a Prime Minister,” the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP wrote.

‘Octopus Ministry’

But explaining at his vetting on Thursday, the former Minister of Finance said he was essentially a minister of state.

He pointed out that the 1992 Constitution grants the president authority to rename ministries except the Attorney General, among Finance, Interior and Education mnistries, which are specifically mentioned in the constitution.

He added, therefore, that if the president even wants to name a ministry “Octopus Ministry,” he is granted the powers to do so.

But Mr Osafo-Maafo explained that his ministry will coordinate activities of economic sector ministries in order to help the government transform the economy.

He said he will not be above the other ministers but will flex his muscles sometimes when need arises in order to get what he wants to help transform the economy.

He also explained that his roles will be markedly different from the Chief of Staff’s.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

File photo

Osafo Marfo, Ofori-Atta, Kan Dapaah face vetting committee today

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ministers

The first four of President Akufo Addo’s ministerial nominees would be facing parliaments vetting committee today Friday Jan.20, 2017 as the new government takes shape.

The first four are, Yaw Osafo Marfo – Senior Minister designate and he would be followed by Kan Dapaah who is the Minister of National Security designate.

The third appearance would be by Ken Ofori Atta – Finance Minister designate and the last appearance would be by Dominic Nitiwul – Defense Minister designate.

Yaw Osafo-Maafo

Yaw Osafo-Maafo Senior Minister designate

There have been concerns raised about some of the ministerial appointments eg. Senior Minister which would be Osafo Marfo, a former Finance and Sports minister under the erstwhile Kufour government.

The question being asked include, ‘what is the meaning of the post and what would his role be?’ amongst several other questions.

Mahama Ayariga, a member of parliament is one of the people raising concerns about the responsibilities of the Senior Minister position alleging that the president is allegedly creating a “Prime Minister position.”

Parliament has constituted a 26 member appointment and vetting committee made of 10 members of the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) with the remaining 16 being members of the Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP)

By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsyMartin

Akufo-Addo is Ghana's president-elect. He is due to be sworn in On Jan. 7, 2017

We’ll pile heat on Akufo-Addo’s government if…- LMVCA

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nana-akufo-addo-is-sworn-in-as-president-75

Usually pressure groups with affiliation to political parties turn to go extinct when their party wins election and forms government. But pressure group Let My Votes Count Alliance (LMVCA) has said going extinct is not an option as the group vows to keep the new government on its toes.

Speaking to Onua FM, Ibrahim Adjei, spokesperson of Let My Votes Count Alliance noted that the group will hold the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and his cabinet accountable for every penny of taxpayers’ money spent.

“We are still going to do what we stand for. We are not going to be like some other pressure groups whose members after being rewarded with political appointment, went to sleep, and pretended they did not see the rot in the past government. Those people became spokesperson for the NDC government fighting over media recognition just to catch the attention of the then President. We will not go extinct.”

Let My Votes Count Alliance gained currency after the 2012 general elections when the group protested vehemently over what it considered as ‘irregularities and massive cheating’ during that year’s polls. LMVCA held several demonstrations across the country, notable among them was the one held in Accra with the intent of mounting pressure on the EC to prepare a new register which saw over thousand people in attendance. However what started as a peaceful event turned violent after the police and demonstrators failed to agree on the protest routes, leading to the police firing tear gas at demonstrators, whipping and injuring some protesters they considered were ‘recalcitrant’.

But Ibrahim Adjei posited that “we have resisted and survived undue pressure from the security services to break our front but they did not succeed and no force can stop us now”. He maintained that, although some of the front runners of the LMVCA belong to the NPP which forms government now, the group will not hesitate to hold press conference to point out any wrong they detect.

“Yes David Asante, John Hall and I are members of the NPP but we will critique when necessary and commend when it is right because not all members of the group are NPP members. That is why we want to get a lot of youths from across all party fronts involve so that we will become not just a movement but a force, ensuring that all processes regarding elections in Ghana are protected” LMVCA spokesperson asserted.

By Bright Dzakah |3news.com|Ghana

Yaw Osafo-Maafo

Akufo-Addo clandestinely making Osafo-Maafo Prime Minister – Ayariga fires

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Yaw Osafo-Maafo

Yaw Osafo-Maafo

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of surreptitiously promoting Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo into a Prime Minister position.

The framers of Ghana’s 1992 constitution rejected the position of a Prime Minister in the country’s governance system, but appointing someone as a Senior Minister is a straightforward acceptance of that position, which contravenes the constitution, Mr. Ayariga explained.

Summing his argument in a 6-page document to the President, the former Sports Minister believes the Senior Minister position is also discriminatory.

“Why the discrimination? You consciously seek to elevate Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo to a status akin to that of a Prime Minister,” he argued.

This is the second time someone has been appointed as a Senior Minister under the Fourth Republic. The first was Mr. J.H. Mensah under former President Kufuor in an NPP-led government. The position was ignored when the National Democratic Congress government won power in 2008 until they left office in 2017.

The Senior Minister will sort of supervise the works of other sector ministers.

“I have, myself, heard Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo grant interviews and say on radio that he is going to oversee the work of other Ministers of State you have nominated, especially for the economic sectors.

“That is to say that he will superintend over the work of other Ministers of State. That interview betrays the real motives for creating the ‘Senior Minister’ post.

“It is going to function very much the same way as a Prime Minister. Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo does not understand that you don’t intend to breach the Constitution by creating a Prime Minister status for any one particular Minister of State, if mu assumption is right. For him it is not a mere accolade based on his age and wealth of experience.”

The MP who is a member of the Parliament’s Appointments Committee reminded the President:

“The Constitution does not make that differentiation when it comes to ministerial appointments. Being advanced in age does not entitle you to be vetted by Parliament and given the accolade of ‘Senior Minister’”.

Better still, Mr. Ayariga suggested that Mr. Osafo-Maafo should be made to head the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) where he would be able to “superintend over the Minister of Finance and all other Ministers of State, as you may desire”.

Yaw Osafo-Maafo is 75 years old, and has had an exemplary career as a banker, consultant, politician and a statesman. He is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, an Engineer and Project Analyst by training, and a fellow of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.

By Isaac Essel |3news.com |Ghana

ministers

Akufo Addo’s nominees to be vetted on Saturday

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ministers

Parliaments vetting committee would be vetting President Akufo Addo’s nominees on Saturday as part of efforts to expedite the process so the minister designates can get to work as quickly as possible.

A 26 man vetting committee has been put in place to begin work on Friday January 20, 2017. The committee will then sit on the Saturday January 21 to continue with the process.

It will resume on Monday January 23 and continue until all the 36 ministerial nominees submitted to parliament are vetted.

President Akufo Addo has given indications that names of the 10 regional ministers would be submitted to the House of legislature on January 24 when it resumes from recess.

Below is the time table for the vetting process:

Friday Jan 20, 2017
Yaw Osafo Maafo – Senior Minister of State nominee,

Albert Kan Dapaah – Security Ministry nominee

Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister nominee

Dominic Nitiwul – Defense Minister nominee

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017
Gloria Akuffo – Attorney-General & Justice Minister nominee

Ambrose Dery – Interior Ministry nominee

Monday, Jan 23, 2017
Hajia Alima Mahama – Local Government & Rural Development Minister nominee

Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen – Trade and Industry Minister-nominee

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto – Agriculture Minister nominee

Boakye Agyarko – Energy Minister-nominee

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway – Foreign Affairs Minister nominee

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh – Education Minister nominee

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu – Health Minister nominee

Full list of 26 man Appointments / Vetting committee:

Joseph Osei-Owusu (MP for Bekwai and First Deputy Speaker) – Chairman

Adwoa Safo (MP for Dome Kwabenya and Deputy Majority Leader)

Kwesi Ameyaw Cheremeh (MP for Sunyani East and Majority Chief Whip)

Dominic Nitiwul (MP for Bimbilla)

Samuel Atta Kyea (MP for Abuakwa South)

Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Manhyia South)

Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover (MP for Tema East)

Ursula G. Owusu-Ekuful (MP Ablekuma West)

Joseph Kofi Adda (Navrongo Central)

Joseph Cudjoe (Effia)

Patricia Apeagyei (Asokwa)

O.B. Amoah (Akwapim South)

Kofi Amoako Hene (Atebubu)

Anthony Karbo (Lawra)

Barbara Asher Ayisi (Cape Coast South)

Micheal Yaw Gyato (Krachie)

Minority:

Haruna Iddrisu (Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South) – Ranking Member

Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak (Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase)

Mahama Ayariga (Bawku Central)

Sampson Ahi (Bodi)

Eric Opoku (Asunafo South)

Bernice Adiku Heloo (Hohoe)

Joseph Yieleh Chireh (Wa West)

Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye (Odododiodioo)

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu)

Alhassan Suhuyini (Tamale North)

By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsyMartin

Hand cuff1

NPP Vice Chairman & wife arrested for ‘taking over’ three toilet facilities

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Police security

The First Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Brong Ahafo Region, Alex Asare, and his wife, Yaa Achiaa, are in the grips of the police for allegedly taking over three toilet facilities in the aftermath of the 2016 elections.

Mr Asare is said to have led one Justice Appiah to seize the facilities in Derma, near Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region.

His wife, Yaa, reportedly attacked Veronica Owusu, who was in charge of one of the toilets. The ensuing fight led to Veronica Owusu losing two of her teeth and some strands of her rasta-plaited hair.

In a statement from the Ghana Police Service, the two – together with Justice Appiah – have been charged and granted bail.

They are expected to appear in court on Thursday, January 19.

Separately, three persons namely Emmanuel Asare, Joshua Owusu and Eric Amoyisi, have been arrested by the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Command for inflicting cutlass wounds on one Eric Kwame.

The incident occurred on Saturday, January 14.

It is still under investigation, said the statement signed by Director of Public Affairs of the Service Cephas Arthur.

The statement said the arrests are part of efforts to stamp out post-election violence.

“In all, sixteen persons had been put before court for their involvement in one post-election offence or the other.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Voting

Council of State elections on Feb. 9; processes begin Tuesday

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VotingThe Electoral Commission will from Tuesday, January 17 begin processes for the election of 10 people as Council of State members to represent each of the 10 regions in the country.

The elections of Council of State members are in line with Article 89 (2) (C) of the country’s constitution.

Persons seeking to contest the elections, which have been scheduled for February 9 at the various regional capitals, are expected to pick nomination forms between January 17 and 19 at the regional offices of the Commission.

A statement issued by the Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, said the Commission would begin receiving the filled nomination forms between January 20and 26.

The Council of State, established by Article 89 of the country’s constitution, is enjoined to “counsel the President in the performance of his functions”.

The Council is required to “consider and advise the President or any other authority in respect of appointment which is required by the Constitution or any other law to be made in accordance with the advice of, or in consultation with by the Council”

Anyone seeking to be elected as Council of State member must be Ghanaian citizen, a valid voter with a sound mind and must be a resident of or hail from the region he seeks to represent.

Click here to check who qualifies to stand for election to the Council

By 3news.com|Ghana

akufo-addo-and-bawumia-new

Mahama distinguished himself in the bungalow saga – Akufo-Addo suggests

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akufo-addo-and-bawumia-new

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is full of praise for his predecessor John Mahama for exhibiting maturity and keeping his cool over the Cantonments bungalow saga.

Former President Mahama’s request to keep the prestigious house he had occupied for eight years as a vice president and president, as part of his retirement package, attracted avalanche of criticisms mainly from the government side. The house is located on the No. 3. Prestige Link,Cantonments in Accra.

When the criticism grew strong, the former president wrote a letter to President Akufo-Addo and copied the Asantehene, stating his intention to withdraw his decision to keep that house.

But President Akufo-Addo at a special thanksgiving service held at the Ridge Church on Sunday, noted that his predecessor deserves commendation for the way he handled the situation in the face of criticisms and name calling.

“Despite all the controversies surrounding his (Mahama’s) settlement, his conduct has been a credit to our nation and we must all give thanks to the Lord for it,” the president observed.

He had earlier acknowledged the peaceful transition supervised by Mr. Mahama.

“Our thanks for this occasion must also go to my predecessor who followed in the worthy footsteps of his illustrious predecessor. The President Jerry John Rawlings and the President John Agyekum Kufuor and supervised a peaceful transition of power.”

Meanwhile, a former Deputy Interior Minister, Kobby Acheampong has explained why the former president copied the Asantehene in his letter to the president on the accommodation.

“After the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo requested a meeting, through the Otumfuo Osei Tutu with [then] president Mahama…at this meeting [former] president Mahama requested to keep where he is staying and Nana Akufo-Addo agreed,” he told TV3’s New Day on Saturday. Read more here

By Isaac Essel |3news.com|Ghana