Showing posts from January, 2013

NPP MPs should stay out of Parliament-Baba Jamal (Saturday, January 26, 2013, pg 16)

THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, Mr Baba Jamal, says his colleagues on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side should stay away from all Parliamentary work and benefits until the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the case pending before it.

Justifying his argument on Okay FM’s Morning Show,Mr Jamal said the NPP MPs had no business in Parliament, if they decided to choose what to participate in.

“They cannot continue enjoying the privileges of Parliament but choose and pick what role to play in the House,” he said.

Mr Jamal’s remarks comes on the heels of a boycott of vetting of ministers designate by the NPP.

The usual drama and heat generated by the process was largely absent on Thursday when Mr Seth Terkper, minister-designate for Finance and Economic Planning; Ms Hannah Serwa Tetteh, minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Alhaji Collins Dauda, minister-designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing took turns to answer questions from the Appoint…

Burnt transformer throws Kotobabi residents into darkness (Friday, January 25, 2013 pg) 3

An electricity transformer at Kotobabi in Accra caught fire on Wednesday night, plunging the community into darkness

Officials of the fire service responded quickly to douse the flames and eventually prevented it from causing any damage to life and property.

No casualty was recorded in the incident which eye witnesses said started at around 7pm. Even though the cause of the fire could not be established, speculations were that it was caused by overloadding.

“We saw smoke coming out of the building and then the power went off. The fire service arrived on time to deal with the situation,” a resident, Steven Anyanui, told the Daily Graphic.

When the Daily Graphic got to the scene, fire officers were putting the last flames in the transformer which is housed in a concrete structure and surrounded by homes.

In spite of the danger, a large crowd was milling around the structure as fire officers struggled for space to put out the fire.
Speaking the Daily Graphic, Station Officer Emmanuel Tettey Te…

Unpusblished: GIFEC presents computers to Kofi Annan Centre

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has presented 30 desktop computers and 10 laptops worth $60,000 to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Center (KAIPTC).

The presentation  is to  strengthen  the information communication (ICT) capacity of the center.
The presentation is also part of GIFEC’s ‘Security Connectivity Project’ which is aimed  at  improving  the quality of services, encouraging innovations in technology development, using  of technology and general work flows to  promote information sharing.

Making the presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, said the fund was aware of the crucial role the center was playing in training peacekeepers and election monitors across Africa.

He said a strengthened ICT facility at the center would ensure that the KAIPTC was open to the world.

The GIFEC was established in 2004 as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications to facilitate the spread of ICT use in rura…

Unpublished:Ghana needs enforceable cybercrime laws

The US Justice Department says Ghana needs comprehensive laws  on cybercrime and the prosecution of its perpetrators to tackle the canker as online business transactions increase.

Addressing a media roundtable discussion in Accra, Mr Thomas Duke, a Cybercrime Prosecutor of the department, observed that as businesses take advantage of the opportunities available using the internet, there would be increase in cyber-crime.

He, however, said the best way to handle the situation was to stay a step ahead of cybercrime offenders.
The press discussion heralds a US Department of State and the Government of Ghana co-hosting of the West African Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Workshop from January 29 – 31 2013.

The three-day workshop will bring together cybercrime experts from the US and the West Africa, civil society organisations, security services, policy makers and players in the telecom industry.

The workshop will focus on addressing broad issues on internet freedom, cybercrime and cyber secu…

GCB launches 60th anniversary (Spread)

Ghana Commercial Bank yesterday launched its 60th anniversary in Accra, with the pledge to channel more energy into customer satisfaction and the expansion of its services.

Launching the celebration of the bank’s sixth decade of existence, the Managing Director, Mr Simon Dornoo, said the bank, “now the financial supermarket of the nation, continues to introduce products for the benefit of the various groups of our society, having chalked up firsts in some of the most innovative banking products introduced in the country”.

The bank started in 1953 as the Bank of the Gold Coast to provide banking services for the emerging nation for socio-economic development. It was to provide special attention for Ghanaian traders, businesses and farmers who could not receive support from the expatriate banks.
Since then, it has been at the forefront of banking in the country.

In 1957, when Ghana attained independence, the Bank of Ghana was established as the central bank, while the Bank of the Gold Coas…

Security at Supreme Court causes distress to litigants (Front page)

The stringent security measures adopted by the police at the Supreme Court to prevent party sympathisers from invading the court yesterday caused some distress to litigants in other courts.

Ghana's Supreme Court As of 9.30 a.m., litigants with cases at the Fast Track High Court, the Human Rights Court and the Commercial Court were stranded at the gates as policemen demanded some form of identification from them before allowing them entry into the premises of the courts.
It took the efforts of some lawyers to rescue their clients who were refused entry into the court premises.
The tight security became necessary because of reports that some individuals purported to be supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had carried canes to the precincts of the Supreme Court during its sitting last week.
At some moments, the police and the security men of the Judicial Service used dressing codes to determine who should be allowed entry into the Supreme Court premises.
For instance…

Dutch firm to invest in poultry, aquaculture (Spread)

An international animal nutrition and feed company, Nutreco, has expressed interest in investing in Ghana’s poultry and aquaculture feed industry.

A delegation from the company is in the country as part of a West African tour to explore business opportunities to expand the frontiers of feed production in Africa.

Currently, the cost of feed remains the biggest headache for poultry farmers, resulting in the broiler sector of the poultry industry in Ghana struggling to cope with stiff competition from imported poultry.

While demand for fish is high in Ghana, local production is not meeting demand. As of 2005, the country was spending nearly US$100 million a year on the importation of 200 metric tones of fish to supplement domestic production.

But giving an overview of Nutreco’s operations in a presentation to officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Knut Nesse, said, “The company has what it takes to put Ghana’s poultry on its fe…

Libya to send home jailed illegal migrants

The Libyan Government is to repatriate Ghanaian and other African illegal migrants languishing in Libyan jails to their home countries.

However, those who were arrested for supporting the late Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi would be prosecuted.

“We caught a lot of people and they confirmed that Gaddafi paid them to fight for him. The law will deal with all these people but for those who entered the country without proper documentation, we send them back to their countries, the Charge d’affaires of the Libyan Embassy in Ghana, Mrs Warda Y.A Nasef, told the Daily Graphic in an interview on the fringes of the country’s 61st independence celebrations in Accra on Saturday.

A  number of sub-saharan Africans including Ghanaians  were reportedly killed on thrown into Libyan jails, in the heat of the Libyan version of the  Arab Spring,for being hired as mercenaries by Gaddafi.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration figures, about 640 Ghanaians were languis…

GRA shuts down two companies (back page)

The axe of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) distress action yesterday fell on two companies—Glade Digital Limited and Black Gold Limited which have not fulfilled their tax obligations.
While Black Gold is indebted to the tune of GH¢ 12, 949.69 since June 2010, Glade Digital owes GH¢ 7,251.74 in unpaid taxes since December 2010.

Officials of three other companies - Best Time Press, Quickfit Services Limited and Rockfield Limited, issued out cheques just in time to defray part of their debts and prevent their business from being shut down for not fulfilling their tax obligations.

The distress action is In line with Section 34 (3) of the VAT Act 546 of 1998, which empowers the GRA to resort to the last option under the law to retrieve debts owed the state.

According to the GRA, the companies involved had been reminded on several occasions to pay their taxes but had failed to do so.

Glade Digital, for instance, had on six occasions issued cheques that bounced at the bank.
The first port of ca…

President cut sod for waste management project, Thursday, January 17, 2012 (Back page)

PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama yesterday cut the sod to kick-start a project that is expected to find lasting solutions to Accra’s perennial flooding and waste management challenges.

The five-year, US$663,299,496 Accra Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Drainage Alleviation Project falls under two main components.

The first is to upgrade the sewer and drainage infrastructure within the Odaw Basin which will include covering, de-silting, dredging, construction of new siltation ponds and the removal of refuse from and complete reconstruction of priority drains and restoration of the Korle Lagoon, as well as any additional works determined during the feasibility and design stage.

The second component is sanitation, which will make the existing Accra Central Waste Water Treatment Plant operational and implement an overall solid waste collection programme.

Specifically, the project will include the construction of a new solid waste re-cyclable sorting facility to sort out 450 metric tonnes of …

AMA intensifies decongestion exercise (Back page)

SOME traders at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra defied the directive by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to them to vacate the streets and carry out their trading activities in markets.

To deal with the recalcitrant vendors, the assembly demolished unauthorised structures as part of the decongestion exercise.

Some of the traders arrived at their trading posts yesterday morning to find their structures demolished.

The AMA hauled away a truckload of broken tables and chairs during the exercise.

The assembly had given traders on the streets, pavements and footbridges a two-week ultimatum to vacate the areas they were plying their trade.

When the Daily Graphic visited the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, the streets and pavements, especially those near the Pedestrian Shopping Mall, were empty.

Four uniformed AMA taskforce members had positioned themselves on portions of the streets to drive away the hawkers.

But the story was different near the Vodafone offices where the hawkers, including mobile p…

When Ghana’s football league winner determines president (page 10)

Riddle Riddle! What is the relationship between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)? What about the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Accra Hearts of Oak?

There are two  things that are never absent from the Ghanaian daily hustle and bustle menu---football and  politics.

Take the two out of everyday life, and Ghana would probably be as drab as chewing a tree bark. The two are,however, defined by superstition.

Football and political superstition has a long history.

According to tales of the past, Kwame Nkrumah brought in a god from Guinea (Kan Kan Nyame) for spiritual powers he needs to rule Ghana forever.

The story had it that the late President buried a pregnant woman alive to further strengthen the potency of his charm.  More than 50 years after his death, Nkrumah’s vodoo is yet to be found.

 Do you remember the so-called  juju ring of the late President J.E.A Mills? If  you don’t,  here is the story. 

The Member of Parliament for Bimbilla, Mr Dominic Niti…

AMA clears hawkers off street (page 19)

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Monday reignited its protracted battle with street hawkers by clearing them off the streets and footbridges of Accra.

The exercise took the AMA Taskforce to the Central Business District, Achimota, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Kaneshie.

Unlike previous encounters, the hawkers gave no resistance. The AMA had earlier given an ultimatum to the traders to quit selling on the streets or face the wrath of its taskforce.
Indeed, that wrath was at full gear at Kaneshie where the taskforce demolished unauthorised structures and carted them away in a truck.

The Kaneshie footbridge which hitherto was market on its own has been cleared.

The story was no different at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle where the usual footwear, electrical gadgets and shirts usually put on display had all disappeared.

The AMA Chief Executive, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, directed the Head of the taskforce, Chief Okine, to ensure that no illegal structure was left on the streets.

“Clear everythi…

3 Fire disasters recorded in Accra, Tema & Kumasi (Monday, January, 14, 2012)

With Rose Darko, Tema & Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

TWO separate fire outbreaks occurred at the BBC Industrial Company in Tema and ECOMOG, a slum near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, on Saturday, leaving in their wake massive destruction of properties valued at millions of cedis.

No casualties were recorded in both fires.

The fire at the BBC, a paint manufacturing company, was the more intense of the two fires and it took personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) more than 12 hours of intense fire-fighting  to bring the inferno under control.

At ECOMOG, about 500 ramshackle structures were razed down by the fire.

The fire at BBC, which started about 5.30 p.m., proved difficult to fight as a result of the chemicals stored in the factory and which kept exploding while the firemen were at work, sending huge fireballs into the sky and spreading fire to other parts of the factory.

When the Daily Graphic returned to the area about 6 a.m. on Sunday, fire personnel from Tema,…

NPP legal team must apologise to Supreme Court, Monday, January 14, 2013 ( Front page)

A member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal team, Nana Ato Dadzie, is urging the New Patriotic Party legal team to render an unqualified apology to the Supreme Court especially Justice William Atuguba for their actions that sought to damage the integrity of the judges.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in connection with the comment he made on Joy FM Saturday, Nana Dadzie said “the NPP would have been gravely unfair and done extreme injustice to Justice Atuguba and the judiciary as a whole if it fails to apologise.”

Legal teams of both parties had met last Thursday to ‘lock legal horns’ for and against NDC’s application to join the case but that could not come on as counsel for the NPP had an issue with the composition of the panel.

The matter was adjourned to enable lawyers for the petitioners to file a formal application stating why they objected to the composition of the nine-member panel.

The NPP did not state reasons for their objections but it is weidely believed that it …

CASE OF BURNT GIRL: Court remands grandparents in custody , Saturday January, 12, 2013 (page 3)

The grandparents who allegedly compelled their 11-year-old granddaughter to sit in a basin of hot water as punishment for bedwetting have been remanded in police custody by the Accra Circuit Court.

Christina Torkonu, 50, a fish trader, and James Agbamavo, 65, an electrician, were arrested on Tuesday, January 8, 2012 by the Kpeshie office of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.

After the facts of the case had been presented by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP),Mrs Sara Ekua Acquah, the pleas of the accused were not taken and the court,  presided over by Mr Ebenezer Osei Darko, ordered them to reappear on January 24, 2012.

The adjournment is to give the police more time to continue their investigations.

A visibly angry Mr Darko lashed out at Agbamavo for acting ‘foolishly’, saying as a man, he could have restrained his wife from carrying out that inhuman act.

“Pray that nothing happens to her,” he said.

Throughout proceedings, Torkonu kep…

COUPLE ARRESTED: for causing harm to granddaughter (page 3)

Two grandparents have found themselves on the wrong side of the law for allegedly compelling their 11-year-old granddaughter who is a bedwetter to sit in a basin of hot water, an action which caused serious injuries to her buttocks and rendered her.

The grandparents, Christina Torkonu, 50, a fish trader, and James Agbamavo, 65, an electrician, were arrested by the police following a tip-off by an informant.

According to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Margaret Sapati Agbemabiese, the officer in charge of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Kpeshie Division, the informant reported the incident on January 8, 2013 after the grandparents had kept the girl, a class three pupil of Dai Salam Primary at Teshie, in the room in an attempt to conceal the crime.

She said the police responded swiftly to the information and with the help of the informant managed to locate the house, where the two suspects were arrested.

Mrs Sapati said during interrogation, Ms Torkonu…

I placed nation above party-Kufuor (Front page)

Former President J.A. Kufuor has explained that his decision to attend President John Dramani Mahama’s inauguration on Monday had been motivated by national interest rather than partisan considerations.

Deflating the claims that his decision to attend the inauguration was a betrayal of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), President Kufuor said he “chose the country over partisan interest”.

He said he had to make a difficult choice between the party he so much loved and the country he led, a position he articulated to the National Council of the NPP, which appreciated his position.

“Your country is calling you and the party says no. Where do you put your priority? I believe the call to national duty is very important,” he told Okay FM, an Accra-based radio station yesterday.

The former President joined a host of dignitaries, including his predecessor, former President J.J. Rawlings; a former United Nations General Secretary, Dr Kofi Annan, and Heads of State and Government from across the gl…

Prepaid meters installed in 80% MMDAs

The Electricity Company of Ghana has installed prepaid meters in 80 per cent of offices belonging to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

The measure, which is a directive by the then Vice-President, John Dramani, in 2010, is to curb the abuse of electricity consumption at the MDAs, while the government takes the necessary action to clear its huge indebtedness to the ECG.

Prior to the exercise, the government's indebtedness to the ECG, which had piled up over the years, stood at GH¢80 million.

The exercise was fiercely resisted by some of the MDAs but the ECG insisted on doing so and by December last year, it had installed 900 meters.

The Daily Graphic’s random check at some of the MDAs indicated that while the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is using both the prepaid and postpaid meters, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Office are yet to have their prepaid meters installed.

While at the Mi…

President takes office (Front page).

The eyes of the world will today be fixed on Ghana as the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, swears in President John Dramani Mahama as the Fourth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

President Mahama will become Ghana’s seventh democratically elected leader after independence and the second Vice-President, after the late President John Evans Atta Mills, to be elected President in the country’s nearly 56-year history.

The President-elect is also the fourth former parliamentarian to lead the country, after Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Prof K.A. Busia and Mr J.A. Kufuor.

Besides that, he also becomes the fourth person with the name John to lead the country since 1992.

The Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, will also be sworn-in. Amissah-Arthur becomes the fouth Vice-President of the Fourth Republic but the fifth Vice-President in the country's history.

Notwithstanding the decision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to boycott the ceremony, in line with its challe…

NDC, NPP split new constituencies, pg 13

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) split among them the newly created 45 constituencies with the NPP edging out the NDC with just one seat.

While the NPP swept 23 out of the 45 seats, the NDC won the remaining 22 in the keenly contested battle for the new seats.

In 2004, the NPP won 17 out of the 30 newly created seats with the NDC trailing with 12 seats, while an independent candidate picked the remaining seat.

That was the first time the Electoral Commission (EC) had created new seats after the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution which increased the seats in Parliament from 200 to 230. The 45 newly created seats pushes the seats in the legislature to 275.

Overall, the NDC won 148 seats, followed by the NPP with 123. The Peoples National Convention (PNC) has one, with three independent candidates winning their seats.

According to the regional analysis of the new seats won by each party, the NDC and the NPP won two seats in the Western and Ce…