Showing posts from February, 2014

My victory in court is against dishonesty and lies (pg 19)

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Mr Johnson  Asiedu Nketiah, sasy his victory in the defamation suit against the Daily Guide is a punishment for dishonesty and lies.
“The problem of this country is more about dishonesty and lying than corruption.  The way to address it, is to make dishonesty and lying very expensive.”

“The way to make it expensive is to ensure that when people are caught lying, they must be dealt with punitively,” he said at a press conference in Accra yesterday. 

According to him, ordinarily, “I would not take any media house at the first instance without giving them the opportunity to know the fact and correct the damage. I tried doing that and I was met with further insults.”

“I don’t also go to court on just any accusation. I have never taken any radio station to court because I have been insulted as a foolish person. This is because being wise or foolish is your opinion but when you accuse me of criminality, as for that we would deal with…

NDC owes NPP no apology - Asiedu Nketia (pg 18)

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) owes the New Patriotic Party (NPP) no apology for it’s plans to introduce a progressive free senior high school education from the 2015/2016 academic year, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia has declared.

According to Mr Nketia, the NPP could not lay claims to the idea which had been enshrined in the 1992 Constitution — the source from which the NDC lifted the initiative.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, Mr Asiedu-Nketiah said the NPP could not claim patent to the idea, especially when it boycotted the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution.

The President, John Dramani Mahama, in his last Tuesday’s State of the Nation Address, announced that the Ministry of Education, following consultations with stakeholders had  prepared a report on the roadmap for a progressive introduction of free secondary education in Ghana as required under the 1992 constitution.

“This roadmap will be presented to cabi…

Accra under water after 1 hour rain (February 1, 2014) front

THE vulnerability of Accra to floods manifested again yesterday when parts of the city were submerged in water after nearly an hour of torrential rain.

While a number of streets were submerged by the flood, companies, including the New Times Corporation, publishers of the Ghanaian Times and The Spectator;  Metro Mass Transit, the Odawna Clinic, a number of auto shops on the Graphic Road and some homes were flooded and their occupants had to be evacuated.

Some of the hard-hit areas were the auto mechanic shops at Odawna in Adabraka and the Kaneshie Market area. Vehicular movement came to a standstill as a result.

The usually busy Adabraka Official Town area was deserted by vehicles as the area got flooded, forcing motorists to avoid it. Residents, afraid of vehicles moving into their homes, pitched their camps in the rain, pleading with drivers not to move further. Others were also scooping the water from their homes with buckets, bowls and other containers they could lay hands on.

The a…

Unpublished: UT Bank boss sweats in court

THE Chief Executive Officer of UT Holdings Limited, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, last  Tuesday told the Accra Circuit Court that Naa Otuah Sawyne, the owner of the property and a complaint in a case in which he has been accused of fraud, assigned her interest in the property to the person he released the title deeds to.

According to him, Naa Swayne assigned her interest in the property, numbered 23, First Ringway Estate to the late Mr Alex Adjei, the purchaser.

Amoabeng has been accused of releasing title deed documents of the complainant, Naa Sawyne, which were in the custody of his bank to one Alexander Adjei, now deceased, to secure a loan of GH¢1,279,000 from the HFC Bank.

Amoabeng’s evidence-in-chief
However, in his evidence-in-chief at the court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri , he said the complainant had agreed to assign the property to Mr Adjei and had received a $100,000 as part payment.

He said while he witnessed the assignment for Naa Swayne, one Matilda Hesse, witnessed it for th…

Ugandans celebrate anti-gay Bill (pg 5)

HUNDREDS of Ugandans defied a downpour in Kampala to celebrate the signing of a controversial anti-gay Bill by President Yoweri Museveni.

“Everywhere, people are in groups talking about it. Even though it rained here, the city square had about 700 talking about it. It is the same in every corner. They are commending the president for signing the law,” Ugandan journalist, Richard Lukwago , told the Daily Graphic.

The new bill strengthened existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for "aggravated homosexuality" - including sex with a minor or while HIV positive.

It criminalised lesbianism for the first time and made it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts

. Gay rights activists in Uganda have kicked against the law, describing it as a kick in the groin of human rights.
They have already declined an intention to  legal challenge the new law.

The bill was originally introduced in 2009 and prescribed death penalty for of…

Nigeria’s auto industry carries the hope of West Africa (Monday, Feberuary 24, 2014) pg 20

Barring any last-minute hitch the Ghanaian auto market may soon be flooded with Nigeria-assembled vehicles.

 Nigeria began the implementation of its auto policy which seeks to reduce car imports and set up a functional car manufacturing industry. 
In October 2013, Nigeria's Federal Executive Council approved the new national auto policy in an attempt to cut down on the country's car import bill and encourage local manufacturing.
The statistics Just like most countries in Africa, Nigeria’s car manufacturing sector is one that is on its knees but with the new policy, Nigeria is expected to save an estimated US$3.451 billion in automobile imports and create more than 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Figures from the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA), the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development indicates that a total of 400,000 vehicles (300,000 used and 100,000 new), valued at N550 billion (US$…

Juju will not help you — Judge tells accused (Saturday, February 22, 2014) front

An attempt by a mason, Emmanuel Gyau, to use spiritual intervention in a case in which he is accused of defiling a 13–year-old girl yielded no effect when the judge told him “the law is the law, incantations will not help you.”
Gyau, throughout the hearing of the case in which he allegedly defiled and impregnated the girl, kept closing his eyes and murmuring inaudible words.

But the presiding judge at the Accra Circuit Court, Ms Ellen Vivian Amoah, urged him to forget about the incantations.

The court found him guilty but deferred sentencing to February 24, 2014.

Gyau had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement but changed his plea to guilty with explanation last Tuesday, February 11, 2014.
Accused pleads Gyau pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
“I will accept the pregnancy and look after the girl to be delivered of the baby. Please temper justice with mercy.”

Earlier, while admitting to sleeping with the victim, Gyau maintained that h…

Otcherbleku: A small village with big problems (Monday, February 10, 2014) spread

A herd of cattle viciously attacks grasses while trampling  on other plants on the vast swathe of land.

A cane-wielding herdsman lashes some of the recalcitrant animals getting out of line or delaying.

 Not far away, lies estate houses under construction. Occasionally, trucks carrying sand speed past, kicking up a whirlwind of dust on the already dusty, bumpy road.

A stone’s throw away rests a school---a primary school with only three classrooms instead of the conventional six; seven teachers, including the headmaster, and a weedy football pitch.

This is Otcherbleku, a predominantly farming community in the newly created Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region.

Located seven kilometres off the Dodowa-Afienya road, Otcherbleku is a village with problems bigger than itself.

Apart from an Elite Kingdom signpost on the Dodowa-Afienya road directing people to the community, there is no sign of any community existing beyond the dust and green vegetation.

The vast stretch …

Let’s debate return of schools to churches -Ablakwa (February 7, 2014) pg 28

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for an open debate about the return of mission schools to the churches.
According to him, the government will not shut the door on such a debate, since it is of the view that churches are partners in development.

“We are willing to engage further on this matter, but we want the public views to also be heard,” he said.
The debate about the return of mission schools to the Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, and Evangelical Presbyterian churches, among others, was recently revived in Parliament, with some members arguing that handing over the mission schools to the churches would be an antidote to falling academic standards and morality in schools.

The debate in Parliament appeared to have gingered the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), which has over the years made a case for the return of its schools, most of which were taken over during the …

Duncan-Williams defends prayer for cedi(February 4, 2014 ) Pg 23


Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams The General Overseer of the Action Chapel International (ACI), Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, has asked Ghanaians to stop politicising issues concerning the fall of the  cedi and rather concentrate on contributing their quota to stabilising the depreciating currency.

“We all know the implications of the falling currency…the prices of petrol, food, transport fares all go up. My concern is for the ordinary Ghanaian who has to face the consequences.

“I don't see anything wrong in praying for my nation and the economy of my country.  I also don’t think anybody who criticises what I did is wrong or right. They are entitled to their opinion.

“If we can ask for prayers for the nation’s peace, peaceful elections, to avert flood…why can’t we pray for our economy and our leaders?” he asked in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

He was commenting on public reactions after he had led the ACI congregation to pray for the deprec…

Saving on fuel cost: The easy way out (Monday, February 3, 2014) pg 20

Fuel prices and transportation fares have been on the gallop lately. Unfortunately, there is no hope of the prices coming down soon. That means one thing – consumers must take proactive steps so that we are not robbed dry at the pump. The following are several pieces of advice on how to conserve your fuel, so you make fewer trips to the pump.
Always keep an eye on tyres. Tyres are notorious for increasing fuel bills. Keep your tyres inflated to the appropriate pressure, and make sure they are wearing evenly. Align, balance and rotate your tyres as needed.

The reason is simple, an under-inflated tyre can cause more gasoline usage. It is important to check your tyres when they are cold, otherwise you will not get a proper measurement.

According to RAC Limited, a British automotive service company, about 50 per cent of the tyres on the road are under-inflated, this increases resistance and raises your fuel consumption. Driving with soft tyres can increase  your fuel b…

Amrahia residents complain of cracks in buildings(| Tuesday, 25 February 2014) back page

• A resident pointing to cracks on the walls of her home. Picture: SETH J. BOKPE Owners of about 200 houses at Amrahia in the Adenta municipality have expressed worry over cracks which keep developing in their buildings following vibrations, the source of which they are unable to locate.
Residents complained about loud noise, followed by vibrations and cracks on their buildings, which have gone on for over two years now.
“We hear loud noise and feel the vibrations and then the cracks follow,” Mr Seth Amoah Ashirifi told the Daily Graphic.
Houses in the community, as well as uncompleted structures, including schools, have developed cracks which have been patched several times.
The residents said the need for them to patch their buildings was becoming frequent and the cost involved high.
Currently, a number of quarries are sited on the Shai Hills, providing gravel for the building and construction industry.
No quarry site However, checks in the immediate surroundings of the…

Govt writes to Legon to stop collecting tolls but VC says decision rests with council ( Friday, 21 February 2014) front

• Prof Ernest Aryeetey(L) — Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana and •Alhaji Amin Sulemani — Minister of Roads and Highways The controversy over the collection of road tolls at the University of Ghana may soon come to an end, with the Ministry of Roads and Highways having requested for a dialogue with the university to work out modalities for the payment of debts incurred by the university to maintain the roads on the campus.

The ministry has, consequently, asked the authorities of the university to discontinue the collection of tolls, as the ministry has decided to absolve the university from its financial commitment for the maintenance of the roads on the campus in a letter addressed to the university.
Controversy   The decision of the university to collect tolls from February 1, 2014 to pay back the loan contracted for the maintenance of the roads has become a subject of controversy and public anger.

While the university maintains that beside the repayment of its GHc1.…

EPA identifies new dump site (Tuesday, 11 February 2014) front

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has earmarked a new dumpsite at Nsumia in the Ga West District.

The new site, which has been engineered to contain refuse for the next two years, is to replace the closed Pantang landfill site.
Pantang Site The EPA last month shut down the Pantang landfill site near Abokobi to address the health and environmental concerns the dumpsite posed to residents of Pantang and other communities in the Ga East Municipality.

Even though the site has been shut down officially, dumping of refuse is still active there. The assembly had pleaded for more time to find an alternative place to dispose of its waste.

That aside, the  EPA has also received a request from the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to give the Ga East  Assembly sometime to look for a new place.
EPA However, Mr Kwabena Badu-Yeboah, the Accra Region Director of the EPA, told the Daily Graphic that the agency would not allow the Pantang site to operate again.

LPG stations in residential areas raise alarm (Tuesday, 11 February 2014)

There is a growing public concern over the siting of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel stations in residential areas in Accra.

This is in the wake of a gas tanker crash at Kwahu Fodua, near Nkawkaw, that killed eight people and injured more than 20 others, three weeks ago.

According to some residents of Accra, it was about time the authorities concerned, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), took quick remedial actions before a major disaster occurred.

Even though there is a guideline that regulates the siting of such services, violations of the regulations by fuel and LPG station owners and some recalcitrant people who build so close to the facilities, are exposing the lives of the public to danger.

The practice is particularly widespread in Accra and other regional capitals where the stations are built very close to homes, shops, churches, offices and even refus…

US Group of Companies ordered to pay investors GH¢1,168,000 ( Thursday, 13 February 2014) spread

Investors in the tilapia business of the US Group of Companies walked out of the Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday full of smiles, following a default judgement of GH¢1,167,928 awarded in their favour. The court, presided over by Mr Justice Daniel Mensah, also slapped the company with GH¢116,000 costs in the case in which the 21 customers and clients of the company initiated an action at the court for the recovery of the company’s indebtedness to them.

The court, however, struck out their demand for damages for breach of contract.
Case for default judgement Making a case for default judgement, counsel for the plaintiffs, Ms Mary Ohenewa Afful, said although a search at the court’s registry indicated that the company had been served the writ on January 10, 2014, after it had been filed on December 18, 2013, the company failed to enter appearance.

A few minutes after taking his seat, Justice Mensah pronounced judgement, ordering the company to pa…

Court orders demolition of houses at Ofankor (Thursday, 06 February 2014) sprerad

• A bulldozer demolishing of the buildings.Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH ADDAI Ten houses were Wednesday demolished at Agya Herbal, a neighbourhood of Ofankor in Accra, on the orders of an Accra high court. The intervention of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Trobu, Mr Moses Anim, and the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ga Central Municipality, Mr Aristo Aryee, saved 20 other houses from demolition.
The exercise, which was carried out by the Nii Nikoi Olai We, with the backing of an Accra high court, started at around 6 a.m., during which parts of a number of houses were pulled down.

However, the intervention of the two political heads calmed the situation and owners of the targeted properties were given a two-week relief period to work out an agreement with the landowners.

The lands on which the buildings were situated had been the subject of a protracted litigation between the Nikoi Olai family and one Emmanuel Fradey and others.
Demolition site When the Daily Graphic team …