I ordered Bishop Obinim’s arrest – Kennedy Agyapong

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Source: Peace FM

Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong says he is the architect behind the arrest of controversial tele-preacher Bishop Obinim.

Bishop Daniel Obinim, the founder of the International God’s Way church, was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service over the publication of false news and falsification of documents.

According to the police, “He has been charged with the offences of Publication of false news and Forgery of document contrary to sections 208 and 159 of the Criminal and other offences Act, 1960 (ACT 29) respectively”.

Speaking in an interview on Kumasi-based Hello FM, Kennedy Agyapong said he has also “forwarded the issue to EOCO”.

He has however urged Ghanaians to “focus on their work and stop following pastors like Bishop Obinim for spiritual guidance.”

Bishop Obinim was arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court, in Accra, and granted a GHC100,000.00 bail with three sureties – one to be justified. Send your news stories to www.ghanabanews.com and via whatsApp on +233243359263

Create platforms or dialogue in case coronavirus disrupts elections – Dr. Chambas

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Source: Rotary Club of Accra

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has encouraged African nations to create platforms for dialogue and consensus-building in the event that coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupts already laid down schedules and calenders for elections in some countries on the continent.

A number of African countries including Ghana are scheduled to go the polls.

But with the coronavirus pandemic raging on across the continent, fears are that some nations may have to postpone their elections.

While in some countries like Cote d’Ivoire it is clear that in the event that election cannot be held for power to be handed over to an elected president, the incumbent could remain in power until such time when there is an elected official, in other nations it is a matter of judicial interpretations, with Dr. Chambas saying the Supreme Court would be in a better position to make a case for Ghana when election cannot be held this year.

Dr. Chambas made this known while addressing the Rotary Club of Accra, Airport on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Africa and the world at large.

Responding to a question on what should be the ideal mode of filling a likely ‘power vacuum’ to be created if elections cannot be held as planned and the tenure of incumbents expire, Dr Chambas in the virtual address strongly advocated for dialogues.

He said the issue of possible elections disruptions have come up for discussion both at the UN and ECOWAS levels.

He revealed that efforts were being made to encourage dialogue and consensus-building among political actors.

On constitutional provisions for power transfer in Africa and how that may play out if elections are not held due to COVID-19, he stated that succession plans are in place in the case of Ghana and the Constitution makes provision for that.

“In the case of Ghana, I think we have to go and look at the various provisions of succession in our constitution which I believe are there. So I will not put myself in the position of Supreme Court and pronounce how that will go.”

“But I think in our jurisdiction also, a succession plan is there in event that election is not held,” he said.

He expressed confidence that Ghana will continue to show leadership in the democratic space in the sub-region even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said considerations should be made in terms of how all stakeholders can work together to ensure that Ghana continues to show leadership in Africa as far as democracy and elections are concerned.

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‘We’ll stop them’ – Sammy Gyamfi sounds warning to EC, NIA

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Source: 3 News

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Gyamfi, is accusing the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) of being hell-bent on disenfranchising a majority of Ghana’s voting population.

He said the Commission is doing this in cahoots with the National Identification Authority (NIA).

But he insists the NDC will not sit unconcerned for such a scheme to come to fruition.

“We will win this battle. We will stop them,” he stated on The Key Points on TV3/3FM on Saturday, May 16.

The NDC, at a press conference, on Thursday accused the NPP of working in collaboration with the National Identification Authority(NIA) and the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to rig the 2020 general elections.

The NDC sighted the EC’s insistence on compiling a new voters’ register – using NIA cards and passports as the only identification documents to enable people register to vote – as a strategy to disenfranchise many of the NDC’s supporters in favour of the NPP.

But the NPP hit back saying that with or without a new voters’ register, the NPP will win the forthcoming election convincingly.

The NDC has been opposed to the compilation of a new register insisting that the old one is credible enough to be used and the compilation amounts to a waste of resources.

Their view has been supported by many civil society organisations.

But the NPP has been a fervent supporter of the EC’s resolve to compile the register.

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Escalating EC’s spending – IMANI calls for urgent auditing

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Source: My News GH

Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, is calling for urgent auditing of the accounts of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), citing escalations in its expenditure on the electoral process.

According to the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, the EC’s expenditure on voting infrastructure, for instance, has been increasing astronomically over the last decade as improved technology is being introduced.

For Imani, the massive expenditure and concerns raised by the Auditor General in his 2013 to 2018 audit report call for urgent auditing of the staggering expenditure of the EC over the years to establish whether or not there was wrongdoing or mismanagement.

“…Recent audits by the Auditor-General in the period between 2015 and 2018 have flagged serious problems with the integrity of the EC’s asset management and the quality of its asset registers, systems seriously critical to safeguarding and conserving this country’s meagre financial resources whilst ensuring the sound discharge of the EC’s mandate.

In the midst of these lingering concerns about the quality of the EC’s asset management practices, the EC has stoked controversy with an announcement that it intends to discard the entirety of its current biometric voter management system, and has indeed begun awarding contracts to procure a brand new system (BVMS) at a potential cost in excess of $80 million.

… We are of the carefully researched view that such expenditure warrants an urgent audit of past expenditures to ensure that these cost escalations are not driven by maladministration of assets, negligence, or much worse, malfeasance,” Mr Cudjoe proposed on social media.

The EC is set to compile a new voters’ register this year despite widespread opposition to move especially by opposition parties and some civil society organisations.

However the EC insists that the new register is a necessity to ensure the sanctity of the 2020 general elections…

Full post by Franklin Cudjoe

On voter register- part of IMANI’s concerns revisited again.

1. Concerns about the integrity of the electoral process, and particularly the security of voting mechanisms, have necessitated considerable investments running into tens of millions of dollars for the rollout of technological infrastructure.

2. At the core of this infrastructure is a set of technology tools which has collectively come to be known as the Biometric Voters Management System (BVMS), comprising, in the main, of biometric voter registration machines (BVRs), biometric verification devices (BVDs), automatic biometric identification software (ABIS), very small aperture terminals (VSATs), Voter Management System software and hardware (VMS) and datacentre equipment.

3. In the last decade and half alone, Ghana has incurred expenditure in excess of $200 million on this platform, its precursors and ancillary systems. An amount well beyond what we have spent on similarly critical aspects of national life, such as storm drainages, public health research and climate change mitigation.

4. Indeed, spending on the electoral process was US$138 million in 2008, and $267 million in 2012. Four years later, an almost identical figure of $269 million was spent on the election. Between 2012 and 2016 major procurements were made for the purposes of acquiring specialized tools to verify the identity of voters, as well as handle and manage the data of the ever-growing number of voters.

5. Recent audits by the Auditor-General in the period between 2015 and 2018 have flagged serious problems with the integrity of the EC’s asset management and the quality of its asset registers, systems seriously critical to safeguarding and conserving this country’s meagre financial resources whilst ensuring the sound discharge of the EC’s mandate.

6. In the midst of these lingering concerns about the quality of the EC’s asset management practices, the EC has stoked controversy with an announcement that it intends to discard the entirety of its current biometric voter management system, and has indeed begun awarding contracts to procure a brand new system (BVMS) at a potential cost in excess of $80 million.

7. We are of the carefully researched view that such expenditure warrants an urgent audit of past expenditures to ensure that these cost escalations are not driven by maladministration of assets, negligence, or much worse, malfeasance.

8. The EC insists that new gadgets, many procured within the last 4 years, according to audits conducted by the Auditor-General and Ministry of Finance records, have suddenly become obsolete, despite the limited use to which such devices have been intermittently applied over the period.

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Ghana’s coronavirus case count now 5,638; 4 more deaths

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com

108 more people have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus in Ghana, bringing the number of total confirmed case to 5,638.

44 of the 108 new cases were recorded in Accra, 26 in the Western Region, 16 in the Central Region and 12 from the Northern Region.

The remaining 10 cases, however, were recorded in the Ashanti Region; with 5 from the Kumasi sub-metro and the other 5 in Obuasi.

An update by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) states, Four more persons who tested positive for the virus have also died, bringing the number of total deaths to 28.

The total number of active cases in Ghana per the GHS report has risen to 4,150.

However, as of today 16 May 2020, 786 new recoveries have been recorded, this brings the number of persons recovered from COVID-19 to 1,460.

Savannah, Ahafo and Bono East remain the only regions without a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Find below the Regional breakdown:

Greater Accra – 4,248

Ashanti Region – 798

Central Region – 210

Eastern Region – 99

Western Region – 87

Western North Region – 57

Volta Region – 34

Northern Region – 31

Oti Region – 26

Upper East Region – 26

Upper West Region – 21

Bono Region – 1

Savannah Region – 0

Ahafo Region – 0

Bono East Region – 0

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I can’t convince my husband to join NPP – Chief Biney’s wife

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Source: kingdomfmonline

The two political opponents Maame Afia Akoto and Chief Biney Hamilton who tied the knot on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 sparked a lot of controversies in the Ghanaian community as well as among members of the two major political parties in the country.

Maame Afia Akoto, the staunch NPP member has responded to views expressed by critics against her marriage to the Deputy National Organizer of the opposition NDC, Chief Biney Hamilton.

According to her, she respects her husband’s decision to join National Democratic Congress (NDC) hence she can’t force him to join the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Commenting on the marriage which has surprised many Ghanaians, Maame Afia Akoto indicated that, she sees nothing wrong with her marriage with Chief Biney Hamilton.

“There is something that Ghanaians do not understand and I don’t blame them. Ghanaians hardly accept change,” she added.

Considering their political differences, she emphatically stated that, “I respect where my husband is and he respects where I am. I can’t force him to join NPP, because I am not the one who made him join NDC”.

“But I can only stay true and loyal to my party,” she exclusively told Kwaku Dawuro in an interview on ‘Pae Mu Ka’ on Accra based Kingdom FM.

Watch Full Video..

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Why the Chief of Defence Staff must go honorably

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Source: daybreakgh.com

The current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lieutenant General OB Akwa is due to exit the Ghana Armed Forces in 35 days. This is due to a constitutional mandatory requirement that puts his compulsory retiring age in the Ghana Armed Forces at 65 years. This constitutional requirement can be found in the Armed Forces Regulation Volume.

With this mandatory requirement, should the CDS stay in office for even one more day beyond his 65th birthday in 35 days; this will create a constitutional crisis and a breach which can be explored by the opposition NDC Party or any other body with interest in the Ghana Armed Forces. It will also not augur well for the growth of the Ghana Armed Forces since he is 13 years senior to some of the service chiefs that he sits at Defence Staff Committee with. The practice has been for the CDS to be on the average 3 years senior to his service chiefs so the current state of affairs where the CDS is 13 years senior is worrisome.

At the age of 65, the CDS has virtually given all that he has to offer to the military in terms of energy and knowledge having served the Ghana Armed Forces for well over 47 years. Lieutenant General OB Akwa on his retirement day on 20th June 2020 will be the longest-serving CDS in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces by his years in service and age of retirement. He would have served 47 years in the military and retired at age 65 years.

He will certainly be shown the exit because of precedence. A look at the data on the internet of these noble past Generals will reveal that the retiring age and years in the military of Lieutenant General OB Akwa’s predecessors since the 1992 Constitution were much in line with the Armed Forces Regulation.

Their details are as stated below:

The records indicate that no CDS in Ghana’s history has served more than 47 years in the service and retired beyond 65 years. Indeed no other Ghanaian military person whether a commissioned officer or other rank has served close to or more than 47 years with the military. The race for the CDS Office therefore continues and should be settled by 20 June 2020 or a constitutional crisis will reveal its ugly head. The worrying issue is that the rank and file of the officers and soldiers in the Ghana Armed Forces are all aware and are waiting patiently for the Commander-In-Chief to effect a replacement in line with the constitution to facilitate growth in the military.

Lieutenant General OB Akwa has rendered a worthwhile service to the country and military and it would be honorable for him to exit at this point since any further stay would detract from an otherwise enviable unblemished record. On the contrary, any stay in office for one more day would make stakeholders notably, former CDSs, Retired Generals, Retired Officers and Men, serving Generals, serving Officers and Men ask the rather avoidable question, “What at all is this man looking for in the military”?

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Who becomes the new Chief of Defence Staff

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Source: daybreakgh.com

There is a hush-hush, but a fierce battle within the Military High Command, as to who succeeds Obed Boamah Akwa, as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Obed Boamah Akwa attains the mandatory retiring age of 65 for Lieutenant Generals in 38 days, and DAYBREAK is informed of intense lobbying on the corridors of power, the homes of influential family members of President Akufo-Addo, the homes of the senior power brokers of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) by senior military officers to take over.

President Akufo-Addo’s selection list has been narrowed to Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, the Chief of Naval Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Frank Hanson, the Chief of Air Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the Chief of Army Staff and Major General Francis Ofori, the Commandant of Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.

According to the Armed Forces Regulations, Volume 1 which deals with Administration specifies the age limit for Lieutenant Generals is 65, 63 for Major Generals and 60 for Brigadier General. Again, it specifies the tenure and length of service for the top. Service Commanders have 3 years to operate with the Chief of Defence having 2 years.

Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa was born on 20 June 1955. He went through various first cycle educational institutions in the Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Northern Regions of Ghana before gaining admission into Mpraeso Secondary School in 1968.

On obtaining his General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level), he proceeded to Sekondi College for his Sixth Form Studies from 1973 – 1975, and obtained the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level).

Lieutenant General Akwa enlisted into the Ghana Military Academy in October 1975 and continued with his training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, from January 1976 to March 1977. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 24 March 1977 and was first posted to the 1st Battalion of Infantry, as a Platoon Commander.

Before Lieutenant General OB Akwa was appointed the Chief of Army Staff on 1 July 2016 by the Mahama government, he was the Commandant of Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and had attended his release interview but was saved and made Chief of Army Staff because the then Chief of Army Staff, Major General Richard Opoku-Adusei was harassing the system’s darling boy.

Then in February 2017, Major General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, was made the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by President Nana Akufo-Addo and Lieutenant General accordingly.

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NCA trial: Baffoe-Bonnie, William Tevie, one other jailed 16 years

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Source: starrfmonline.com

An Accra Commercial High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour has convicted three (3) out of the five (5) accused persons who have been on trial in the case of “The Republic versus Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and four others”.

The trial of the five accused persons, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the former Board Chair of the National Communication Authority (NCA); William Tetteh Tevie, former Director-General of the NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former board member; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, begun on the 16th of January 2018 when the state called its first prosecution witness, the Director of Legal Administration at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Abena Awarkoa Asafo Adjei, and ended on the 10th of March 2020 after the state, led by the Director of Public Prosecution, (DPP) Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa, concluded her cross-examination of the 5th accused person in the case, George Derek Oppong.

Prosecution Witnesses

The state in all called six (6) prosecution witnesses. They are the Director of Legal Administration at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Abena Awarkoa Asafo Adjei; Dr Isaac Yaw Ani, Deputy Director-General in charge of Management and Operations at the National Communications Authority (NCA); Henry Kanor, Deputy Director-General in charge of Technical Operations at the National Communications Authority (NCA); Colonel Michael Kwadwo Poku, Director of Operations at the National Security; Deputy National Security Coordinator, Duncan Opare, and Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, investigator of the case.

Defence of Accused Persons

All the accused persons when they took turns to open their defence testified on their own and none called any defence witnesses in support of their cases.

In Court

Justice Eric Kyei Baffour’s court in its judgement indicated that the State has established a strong case of causing financial loss to the State against the accused persons. The accused persons the Court said were in a conspiratorial drill to cause financial loss to the State. The first accused who essentially was the architect of the entire deal used his public office for private benefit to the tune of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00).

The Court found A1 (Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie) Guilty of Count 1,2,5,10,11, 12, and 17. A2 (Matthew Tetteh Tevie) was found guilty of Count 1,2,10,11, and 17. A3 (Dr Nana Owusu Ensaw) was not mentioned at all in the judgement because he had already been acquitted and discharged by the Court of Appeal on the 25rh of March 2020. A4 (Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman) was found guilty on Count 1,2,10,11, and 17. A5 (George Derek Oppong) was Acquitted and Discharged forthwith.

Lawyer for the accused persons, particularly, for the second accused person, Godwin Tamakloe, in their sentencing mitigation plea, prayed the Court for a non-custodial sentence for their clients and more importantly for the second accused person (Matthew Tetteh Tevie) due to his ill health.

Justice Eric Kyei Baffour sentenced the accused persons as follows, A1, is sentenced to six years in prison, A2 to five years and A4 to five years in prison with hard labour.

Background

According to the facts of the case as presented by the Attorney General, Baffoe-Bonnie, Tetteh Tevie, Nana Owusu Ensaw and Alhaji Osman were allegedly aided by George Derek Oppong to engage in the criminal act. The brief facts state that the previous administration had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at a cost of $6 million to enable the authorities to monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, charged $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million. The facts further explained that the National Security did not have the money to fund the transaction and for that reason the NCA, which had supervisory jurisdiction over the use of such equipment, was asked to fund the project.

It said $4 million was withdrawn from the NCA’s account, while $1 million out of the withdrawn amount was deposited into the account of the Israeli company. The A-G explained that the remaining $3 million was lodged in the account of Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd.

The State closed its case against the accused persons on the 18th of April 2019, following which the accused persons chose to exercise their rights under section 173 of Criminal and Other Offences Procedure Act (Act 30) to file ‘Submissions of No Case.

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ACCCCAR to collaborate with Oguaa Trad Council and Assembly to end illegal fishing in Fosu Lagoon

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
Association of Concerned Cape Coast Citizens and Residents (ACCCCAR) Executive together with the following; Assembly Members for the area, Chief Fisherman and Representative from the Ministry of Fisheries, today met with Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, his divisional and sub Chiefs today at his Palace (Emintsimadze) to discuss the measures to mitigate illegal fishing and dumping of refuse in our Lagoon.

As an advocacy and development group, we are much concerned about how some of our people are polluting and destroying our Fosu Lagoon, especially, using an authorized net to kill all the fingerlings in the Lagoon.

As part of the measures, the perpetrators would be given the needed education from the next week on the need to use the right net to do so and the rest shall follow.

Nananom, CCMA, Police, Fisheries and ACCCCAR shall put their hands on the wheel to holistically end it to save our Lagoon and sweet Tilapia, superseding all the Tilapias in Africa.

God bless our ancient Capital Cape Coast.

Best regards
George Justice Arthur
General Secretaty

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