Category: Uncategorized

Ghana incurs US$15 million judgement debt after officials sold seized mining equipment

Kweku Baako CorruptionAbdul Malik Kweku Baako is the editor of The New Crusading Guide newspaper has revealed that a court has slapped Ghana with a $15 million judgement debt after some government officials involved in the galamsey fight sold mining equipment that belonged to a company.

Baako disclosed that the court found the state guilty after state officials failed to properly account for the whereabouts of the excavators.

“Those who seized the earlier excavators, are they known? Were they responsible citizens of the nation? So if excavators are missing, can’t they be held responsible. Are we saying the law doesn’t make provision for that?

“There is a case in court about excavators which were seized in the first wave of the Akufo-Addo campaign. When they seized the things, they sold them to different people who were using it. It’s a court case and I have the judgement here. The court has fined the state some $15 million for us to pay as a cost of all the equipment we seized which have gone missing. The judge cited the name of someone in the judgment,” he said.

Baako was protesting the decision by government to set ablaze equipment seized at the galamsey site in the Operation Halt II exercise.

He noted that the law on mining provides a roadmap in dealing with excavators seized at the sites and must be followed by the government.

“The burning of excavators is mindless and lawless. This is a law governing society so if you make laws and feel that the law is impossible to implement, there is an option – just amend the law. You don’t make a law and let the law prevail but go out there to violate the law and it’s state actors who are engaged in mindless and lawless actions. I’m unable to reconcile that.”

“During the Mahama crusade, we burnt excavators. Akufo-Addo’s campaign too we are burning excavators. When we seized some equipment, didn’t they go missing? Didn’t some of them go back to the field?” he quizzed.

Baako intimated that government has resorted to burning the equipment to cover up for its own “institutional impotence and dysfunctional system.”

“So here we are admitting our chronic impotence. institutional impotence and dysfunctional system so we seek refuge and say, burn the things. Is that a solution? The law says when you seize it, take the illegal miners to court and if the court convicts them, it hands over the equipment to the appropriate authority,” he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

High unemployment a national security threat – Allotey Jacobs

The former Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs says the growing number of unemployed youth in the country poses a threat to national security.

According to him, the government must depoliticize its job creation policies in order to ensure that the country does not risk breeding criminals through the neglect of jobless youth.

“Nobody should think of it in political terms. This is purely a socio-economic problem which should be solved by the politician,” he said.

“Serious numbers like this in their youthful age between the ages of 20 and 35, unemployed become a hot magma from which all kinds of vices can be mined. If there is the chance for indulging in anything unconstitutional they will do it because they have to survive and that is how you look at it when security is concerned… For me it is a big security problem,” Bernard Allotey Jacobs exclusively told Reynold Agyemang on ‘Pae Mu Ka’ on Accra-based Kingdom FM 107.7

Allotey Jacobs chided successive policymakers for giving too much emphasis to the political implications of job creation program rather than the socio-economic benefits.

He also called for the restructuring of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) into an apolitical organization that must focus on researching and bringing to the fore all the challenges within the country that must be addressed.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

The taxes are killing us – Methodist Bishop to Akufo-Addo

Sekondi Synod Methodist Bishop De Graft

The Bishop of the Sekondi Diocese of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Right Reverend Daniel De-Graft Bracep, has lamented how the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government is failing to honour promises made to the Ghanaian electorate.

He explained, for example, that during the campaign period ahead of the 2016 elections, then candidate Akufo-Addo chastised the Mahama administration for bad leadership, which had resulted in brazen hardship even though the country was well endowed, according to the then opposition leader.

“When the President was campaigning in 2016, I was in Abosso. He came there and his words were that there is money in this country, but because we don’t have the right people governing the country, it has resulted in brazen hardship.

“So many taxes have been heaped on us. So, I, in particular, agreed with him that this country is endowed and that if we get our acts right, things will be okay.”

But, according to Most Reverend DeGraft Brace, who was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 60th Synod of the Sekondi Diocese at Dixcove in the Ahanta West Municipality, nothing significantly different has changed since Akufo-Addo became president, stressing that “rather new taxes have been introduced and (that is) causing more hardships.”

“…now what he has introduced is rather causing a lot of hardships. People are suffering and we need to hit it that [President Akufo-Addo] must do something about it.

“It is true that the coronavirus has damaged the world economy but if you look at what is happening, I believe government must do something about it.”

He added: “The taxes are too many and it has brought a lot of hardship.

“Look at fuel, the price has increased about five times since the beginning of this year, why? But during the campaign period in 2016, they promised that all these things will be cancelled.

“But rather it is still increasing and I believe government must rethink and do something to help to change things.”

Source: 3 News

NPP Bites ‘Stubborn’ Members With New Law

John Boadu

THE RULING NEW Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to introduce new set of laws that will ensure proper behaviour of its teeming members to help improve party unity and boost its chance of retaining power in 2024.

The NPP National Executive Committee (NEC) at its latest meeting on Monday, considered a draft code of conduct and guidelines to regulate the conduct of party members, ahead of the 2024 polls.

However, the NPP National Council, the highest decision making body in the party, has to ratify the draft code of conduct and guidelines, before it would be made a law for NPP members to abide by it, going forward.

The new laws, primarily, would ensure that the party members would conduct themselves properly, especially as the race for the NPP flag bearer for the 2024 polls looms, so as to ensure a united NPP after the presidential primaries.

“At the said meeting, the National Executive Committee also considered a Draft Code of Conduct and Guidelines to regulate the conduct of party members, particularly prospective Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates for election 2024 and their followers, during the pre-elections period.

“The Draft Code of Conduct and Guidelines would soon be made public after same has been ratified by the party’s National Council,” this was contained a press release, signed by NPP General Secretary, John Boadu.

During the crunch meeting, the NPP NEC also adopted the Report of the Osafo Maafo-led Election Review Committee, which was set up by the party to review its performance in the 2020 general elections and to make appropriate recommendations.

“The Review Committee Report was adopted by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at its meeting on Monday, May 10, 2021,” the NPP chief scribe indicated in the press release, which catalogued virtually everything that transpired at the meeting.

John Boadu also announced that NEC has lifted the indefinite suspension of Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, who, until his suspension in December 2015, was the General Secretary of the party, citing good behaviour of Mr. Agyapong to have influenced their decision.

According to him, Kwabena Agyapong has clearly shown remorse as he has put up a positive behaviour ever since the party wielded the axe on him, citing a letter written by him (Agyapong) appealing to the party to recognise him as a former General Secretary of the NPP, to buttress his case.

“This decision was taken by the National Executive Committee after extensive deliberations following a letter written by Mr. Kwabena Agyapong to the party, appealing to the National Executive Committee to recognise him as a former General Secretary after the expiration of his mandate as General Secretary on April 12, 2018.

“In arriving at the decision to lift Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyapong’s suspension, the National Executive Committee, which was the body that suspended him based on the recommendations of the National Disciplinary Committee, took into cognizance, his conduct during the period of his suspension.

“In the light of this decision, the party now recognises Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyapong as Former General Secretary, which recognition, entitles him to enjoy all privileges and courtesies conferred on previous occupants of the position of General Secretary,” he emphasised.

John Boadu said the Constituency Women’s Organiser for Atiwa East, Gifty Sackey, who was suspended by the Eastern Regional Executive Committee of the party, has been reinstated into the party after NEC accepted recommendations of the NPP National Disciplinary Committee to lift the suspension

NPP bigwigs using soldiers to seize people’s properties – Ken Agyapong

Firebrand Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has condemned what he says is the excessive use of soldiers by some bigwigs of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP) to appropriate peoples properties.

According to him, some party big shots have turned some officers of the revered Ghana Army into land guards seizing properties left, right, and centre.

“I’m going to talk to the Minister, Ghana soldiers must be careful. NPP people are using soldiers to forcefully take over peoples properties. It is wrong! They are fond of using soldiers too much…This guy I’m talking about has some soldiers at his beck and call and he uses them at will to scare people. why, are our soldiers land guards? I’m going to report this development to the Minister… I can show you pictures of Tse Addo where some NPP big men are forcefully taking peoples lands,” he said on the Seat show on Net 2 TV monitored by Kasapafmonline.com.

The party financier warned that such an act if not immediately stopped will destroy the party and send it to opposition.

“The way we are using police and soldiers to forcefully take over the properties of innocent people, we should be very careful. Let’s remember that everybody will account for his stewardship. I don’t go to church often but I believe in God. The Bible says what shall it profit a man when he gains the whole world but loses his soul. NPP should wake up, flush out all these greedy people because they are sending us to opposition

Church of Pentecost constructs ultra modern 300-bed capacity prison at Ejura Nkwanta

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The Church of Pentecost has on Tuesday 11th May 2021 handed over a 300-bed capacity prison facility to the Ghana Prisons Service at a brief ceremony at Ejura Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region.

A sod was cut for the start of the project by the church in July 2019 and it has now been completed and handed over to the Prisons Service.

The 300-capacity prison has facilities such as vocational and technical training workshop, recreational centre, a Church building, baptistry.

The ultra-modern edifice which is fully furnished also has a football pitch, state of the art washrooms, mechanized boreholes, offices, infirmary, kitchen, dining hall among others.

It was jointly commissioned by the Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery and the Chief of Ejura, Barima Osei Hwedie II.

It forms part of the Church’s Security Based Development Projects captured in its vision 2023 with an overarching theme: “possessing the nations.”

According to statistics by the Ghana Prison Service, Ghana’s Prisons are overcrowded by 52.87%.

The total authorized holding capacity of all 44 prisons is 9,945 inmates, however, the number of inmates is currently hovering around 15,203 out of which 13,355 are convicted inmates while 1,848 on remand, 15,015 are male while 188 female with foreigners constituting 834 while the juvenile is 268.

Below are some pictures of the facility

Source: Ghana Guardian

MPs use V8 to serve electorates – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin says having the perception that politicians enrich themselves is “not really the situation”.

According to the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, there is no evidence that former MPs and government appointees after their tenure in office are still living affluent lives, a perception that is formed by the electorates.

“As a Member of Parliament, I won’t speak for NPP or NDC but MPs; the pressure, you do everything. People borrow to provide services for their constituencies. People borrow against their salaries to provide services. People use their End of Service Benefit (ESB) ahead of time to provide social services,” the Effutu MP explained on Joy News’ PM Express monitored by GhanaWeb.

He added, all the support the MPs are giving to their constituencies may not be enough, but they still do it.

“People are paying school fees, people are being trained in vocational institutions, they are giving the little they can to support their constituents. You don’t come into the office and expect that you will have it all rosy; you need to ^ for resources to the expectation of your people and I can say here that the Ghanaian politician [MP] does not get into the office to sleep,” Afenyo-Markin observed.

He indicated that if the MP refuses to get certain things within his constituency done, it results in him losing the next election.

When questioned by the host that the Ghanaian politician gets into the office to feed largely on the people with him driving a Land Cruiser V8, does not feel the potholes on the road and does not spend time in traffic and experience the hardships the ordinary Ghanaian faces, the MP argued, the V8 is not for the MP’s personal use but for official use.

Afenyo-Markin explained, the V8 was not bought for the MP as a gift but “the MP uses it for official purpose and even so, it is against your income. If you are a Member of Parliament, on your own, you have your small car, you need to tour your constituency; the strength of your small car cannot. So, it is part of the office. It shouldn’t be seen as he just went into the office, he is now living a life of ease and pump, no!”

“…to serve you, you need certain facilities and if those services are not available, [the MP] cannot serve the people…if you don’t have some of these facilities available, you cannot function effectively,” he stressed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Galamsey: Operation Vanguard no more – Jinapor

Operation Vanguard, a military-police task force set up by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017 to combat the operations of galamseyers in Ghana, has been suspended in the government’s renewed fight against the menace.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

Addressing the media, Mr Jinapor said: “The operations and activities of Operation Vanguard has been suspended for the time being”.

“Operation Vanguard is no more in operation”, he stressed.

“As we speak, we had a meeting between myself, the minister of national security, the minister for the interior, the minister of defence, the minister of information [and] we came to the firm conclusion that the operations of Vanguard are to cease”, he announced at a press briefing on the fight against galamsey on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

According to him, “all other task forces continue to remain disbanded”, explaining: “There are no such task forces anywhere”.

“I’m privy to the concerns of the Small Scale Miners Association and I’ve had the occasion to interact with their leadership and I’ve made it clear to them that there are no such sanctioned security operations anywhere in respect of small-scale mining”, Mr Jinapor noted.

In place of Operation Vanguard, the government has deployed some 400 men from the Ghana Armed Forces in a mission called Operation Halt II aimed at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining in the red zones – water bodies and forest reserves.

The operation focuses on the tributaries of the Pra river, which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners.

The Ghana Armed Forces has also commenced armed patrols of the Pra river itself.

The team destroyed some 28 excavators and 267 chanfans seized from illegal small-scale miners on the River Pra in the Eastern Region.

Also, 18 water pumping machines, 2 industrial machines, 18 generator sets, 10 plastic chairs, 5 canoes, 1 wooden accommodation, 8 industrial batteries, 1 platform, 21 new pumping machines, a Kia Bongo truck, and 2 pump action guns were seized in the operation started over the weekend.

According to him, the Ghana Armed Forces, which is leading the operation, has destroyed a total of 476 chanfans in the past week.

Speaking at the same media briefing, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul, said the exercise “should be sustained” to prevent a return of the galamseyers.

According to him, the activities of the galamseyers is not only destroying the river bodies but their tributaries, too.

Mr Nitiwul also urged the government to “relook” at the legal framework that allows action to be taken against only those operating within 100 metres of river bodies and forest reserves.

That particular law, he noted, has restricted the team from taking action against galamseyers operating slightly outside the 100-m limit.

As a result, Mr Nitiwul said the team is not able to “capture every prisoner” not because they are incapable of doing so but the law is being a hurdle since they are operating “strictly” within the legal framework

Galamsey: 28 excavators, 267 chanfans destroyed in ‘Operation Halt 2’

The Operation Halt 2 team has destroyed some 28 excavators and 267 chanfans seized from illegal small-scale miners in the River Pra in the Eastern Region.

Also destroyed were 18 water pumping machines, 2 industrial machines, 18 generator sets, 10 plastic chairs, 5 canoes, 1 wooden accommodation, 8 industrial batteries, 1 platform, 21 new pumping machines.

Meanwhile, a Kia Bongo truck, and 2 pump action guns were seized in the operation started over the weekend.

According to the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, the Ghana Armed Forces, which is leading the operation, has destroyed a total of 476 chanfans in the past week..

Briefing the media about the operation on Tuesday, 11 May 2021, Mr Nitiwul said the exercise “should be sustained” to prevent a return of the galamseyers.

According to him, the activities of the galamseyers is not only destroying the river bodies but their tributaries, too.

Mr Nitiwul also urged the government to “relook” at the legal framework that allows action to be taken against only those operating within 100 metres of river bodies and forest reserves.

That particular law, he noted, has restricted the team from taking action against galamseyers operating slightly outside the 100-m limit.

As a result, Mr Nitiwul said the team is not able to “capture every prisoner” not because they are incapable of doing so but the law is being a hurdle since they are operating “strictly” within the legal framework

5 Pickups of heavily armed police storm Citi FM, arrest female journalist, cage Caleb Kudah for ‘secret recording

Heavily armed police officers in five Pickups stormed the office of Adabraka-based Citi FM on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 to arrest a female journalist, Zoe Abu Baidoo, for allegedly conspiring with her colleague, Caleb Kudah, also of Citi FM, to “secretly film” the compound of the Ministry of National Security.

Mr Kudah was arrested while filming the premises of the ministry, as he waited for someone he had gone there to visit.

He allegedly sent the videos to his female colleague who was in the office of the radio station at the time, prompting the war-style invasion of the media house by the armed police officers to effect the arrest of the female journalist.

Ms Abu Baidoo was later released after questioning.

However, Mr Kudah, who was handcuffed by the police officers, is yet to be released

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