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Supreme court rules on Adamu Dramani’s appeal in October

The Supreme Court will, on October 26, 2011, review its decision on whether or not it has the jurisdiction to hear a case brought by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mr Adamu Daramani Sakande.

The court had, in October 2010 and in a 6-3 majority decision, ruled that it had the jurisdiction to hear an appeal challenging the eligibility of Mr Sakande as an MP.

The court had overturned counsel for the MP’s argument that electoral disputes ended at the Court of Appeal and for that reason, the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to hear an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision that a suit brought against the MP by a cattle farmer, Mr Sumaila Biebel, was an electoral dispute.

Mr Biebel had, in March 2009, filed a suit at the High Court challenging the eligibility of the MP on the grounds that the MP held both British and Burkinabe passports.

The High Court, in a default judgment on July 15,2009, ordered the MP to vacate his seat.

Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, counsel for the MP appealed, resulting in the Court of Appeal, in a unanimous decision, declaring that Mr Biebel should have gone by an electoral petition, since the matter bordered on electoral dispute.

Under the law, all matters relating to electoral disputes are to be heard as electoral petitions and those petitions are to be heard 21 days after results have been declared.

At its sitting in Accra yesterday, the Supreme Court, presided over by Ms. Justice Sophia Akuffo, directed the Attorney General’s department to file its written submissions to the MP’s application on or before July 29,2011 following the failure of the department to file an address, although it was a party in the suit.

Other members of the panel were Justices S.A. Brobbey, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse, Annin Yeboah; P. Baffoe-Bonnie, B.T. Aryeetey, G.S. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

The court gave Mr Biebel up to October 14, 2011 to file his response to the A-G’s response, while ruling on the matter would be delivered on October 26,2011.

Moving his application for review, counsel for the MP, Mr Yonny Kulendi, argued that the highest court of the land had no jurisdiction to entertain Mr Biebel’s suit because the suit was an electoral dispute clothed in constitutionalism.

According to counsel, the Supreme Court’s decision in October 2010 did not take into consideration the position of the law on electoral disputes, as well as its own numerous decisions on electoral disputes.

Source: Graphic

Don’t be pliable, Kwame Osei Prempeh urges new CHRAJ Boss

The Member of Parliament for Nsuta Kwamang Beposo, Kwame Osei Prempeh has urged the newly appointed Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to brace herself up and not pander to the powers that be as she heads one of the most sensitive public institutions in Ghana.

He encouraged Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey to be strong- willed and resolute in her principles as the nature and function of CHRAJ requires someone who is not pliable and has the guts to insist on what is right irrespective of what the political leaders want to be done.

Ms Lauretta Lamptey who was sworn-in by President Mills yesterday is an investment banker and specialist in African capital markets and corporate finance.

Her appointment comes months after the substantive commissioner, Emile Short voluntarily retired.

Anna Bossman who acted as commissioner after the exit of Justice Short also stepped down to, in her words, pursue other interests.

Speaking on e.tv’s newspaper review show on Wednesday, the Member of Parliament for Nsuta Kwamang Beposo, Kwame Osei Prempeh challenged the new CHRAJ boss to show that she can work independently by working according to the law and her convictions.

He also called on Vivian Lamptey to delved into all unfinished cases including high profile ones like Mabey and Johnson (M&J) case and other corruption issues and rule on them.

“She really needs to re-open all those unfinished cases and state CHRAJ’s position on them; this is where she is likely to step on toes and make enemies, but this is also how she can make a good name for herself’’ Hon. Osei Prempeh said.

Story by Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

No plans to move Sodom and Gomorrah dwellers – Bagbin

The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban S.K. Bagbin, says government has no plans to physically relocate residents of Accra’s biggest slum, Sodom and Gomorrah, which is home to some fifty thousand city dwellers.

Instead, he says, government plans to relocate commercial activities in the Agbobloshie area to Adjinkotoku in the Greater Accra region, hoping the move would trigger voluntary relocation of residents of the slum.

The Minister was responding to a CitiNews question when he took his turn at the Meet the Press Series in Accra on Tuesday July 26, 2011. He however fell short of giving details on the timetable for the planned relocation of commercial activities in the Agbogbloshie area to Adjinkotoku.

Earlier, the Minister gave new details on Ghana’s current housing deficit, warning the nation will hit a more crippling crisis point if massive investment is not made in the sector to cut back the shortfall.

Statistics from the Housing ministry indicates the existing housing deficit is in excess of 1.57m units, with the deficit projected to be about 2.76m in 2020.

90% of the housing stock in urban Ghana is privately owned, with just 10% public. The total housing expenditure in urban Ghana ranges from a high of 19% in Accra to a low of about 4% compared to the internationally accepted standard of 35%.

The annual cost of meeting the housing deficit is projected at between $2 billion and $3.6 billion for the next 10 years.

On the issue of water, Hon Bagbin government was on course to meet and strip the Millennium Development Goal target of providing potable water coverage for 78% of the population by 2015. The government of Ghana’s target is to reach 85% by 2015 and universal access by 2025. 62% of the population had access to potable water by the end of 2010.

Source: citifmonline

Ghana Highway Authority on the verge of collapse – Mampong MP

The Member of Parliament for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh has said that government’s inability to appoint substantive supervisors at the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) has accounted for the lack of monitoring and supervision of contractors working on various roads across the country.

According to Mr. Addai Nimoh, the refusal of the Ministry of Roads and Highways to confirm personnel in acting positions at the Authority including that of the Chief Executive Officer is a major reason why various road projects in the country have been stalled.

Contributing to a panel discussion on the poor state of roads in Ghana on Dwaso Nsemon Adom FM, Mr. Addai Nimoh, who is an engineer and worked at the Ministry of Roads and Highways said if appropriate measures are not taken to change the situation, the Ghana Highway Authority will collapse because the needed structures to make the institution effective are not in place.

The Ghana Highway Authority is an agency under the Ministry of Roads and Highways which has oversight responsibility of major road construction projects across the country.

To buttress his point, Mr. Addai Nimoh read a letter from the Senior Staff Association of the Authority to its Board of Directors in which they registered their displeasure with the non confirmation of senior personnel in acting positions.

The letter which was signed by the Association’s National Chairman, P.O.S Lanquaye and the National Chairman of the Workers Union, Henry Bah Anim said meetings between the Board of Directors and their members to discuss the regularization of the position of the Chief Executive Officer after the substantive one retired in 2009 have not been fruitful despite assurances from the Board that they were expediting action on the issue.

The workers say that their concerns have remained unresolved three months after the last meeting while the problems facing the Authority have worsened with the death of the Director for Road Maintenance who was also acting.

Currently, the positions of the Chief Executive for Maintenance (MTCE) and Deputy Chief Executive Administration have all been vacant for a long time while that of the Deputy Chief Executive for Development is technically vacant since the one in charge retired in June this year although there is someone in an acting position.

According to the leadership of the workers, the unfortunate situation is not enhancing productivity because it is provoking agitations which are a hindrance to their carrying out their duties effectively.

Again in the letter, the leaders claimed that information they are receiving indicates that the Board is having difficulty resolving their problems because of external manipulations and some parochial interest and warned that they would not tolerate any further delays in the resolution of their issues.

Mr. Addai Nimoh said the situation called for an immediate resolution to avert the collapse of the Ghana Highway Authority.

The Roads and Highways Minister, Joe Gidisu in response to the issues said the Ministry has already begun the process of rectifying all the anomalies at the Authority and that the workers concerns will be resolved very soon.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Gov’t must stop the hypocricy in the acquisition of ‘presidential jet’ – MP

The Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua, Isaac Asiama has challenged government to prove that the proposed aircraft to be bought for the country’s Armed Forces does not include a presidential jet to be used by the President.

Defense Minister J.H. Smith’s request to Parliament for the approval of a loan facility to purchase 5 aircraft for the country’s Armed Forces led to a heated debate between the Minority and Majority Members of Parliament about whether or not the aircraft will actually be given to the security forces to use or it would be used by the President.

Speaking on Multi TV’s political talk show, Minority Caucus, the Mr. Asiama said it was about time government dropped its hypocritical stance over the status of the aircraft and admitted that one of the aircraft being purchased was indeed a presidential jet.

He accused the Mills administration of “hypocrisy” and ‘double standards’ since they claim to be “social democrats but are not being gracious with the tax payer’s money.”

According to him “when you talk about executive jet, it is not about the name executive jet. It is what is in it, what it contains, so when you are going to have all these options embodied in the plane, then obviously, it’s for the president. Nobody can deceive anybody. Let me tell you, go to the falcon 900 that they spoke about, the options there do not meet this one at all.”

The Atwima Mponua MP who last Saturday explained the minority’s position on the jet on Multi TV/Joy FM’s news analysis program Newsfile added that “we support in principle that we need to equip the Ghana Armed Forces” adding that the minority also has a genuine concern about the manner in which the government is going about the purchase of the jet.

“The figures projected by the NDC for the purchase of the jets are highly exorbitant”, he added.

“Some of the figures that have turned out and the fact that we are going to spend a whooping sum of $17 million to construct a hanger is something that we should all be concerned about. When you look at the Embraer thing, for example when you go through it, the loan arrangement is quite a suspect, talk of commitment fee, insurance and all these things that are embedded in the loan agreement is something that we must take a second look at.”

“And also the figures… when you go through the figures, horrible figures that have been churned out and some of us are quite disturbed. When you go through the figures and look at it, extra fuel tanks costing us 8 million dollars – and as I said the other time, one would expect social democrats to be more gracious to the tax payer and not to waste scarce resources. Their hypocrisy is too much, how can you be spending an amount of 14 billion cedis on flight entertainment.”

Mr. Asiama added that government’s timing for the purchase of the 5 aircraft was wrong considering the socio-economic hardships Ghanaians are facing presently.

“So I am asking that is the time now matured for us that today we are better off, we are developed, that Ghanaians are happy, that we are going to spend a whooping sum of 3.7 trillion cedis on 5 planes as against quality water delivery, against quality infrastructure in schools, against energy delivery, our energy sector is in disarray” he added.

Source: Multi TV

Contesting for CPP Chair will not cause me Jomoro Seat – Samia

The Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah has stated that her decision to contest for the Chairmanship of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) would not affect her chances of retaining her seat in the 2012 election.

She said her running for the CPP chair would rather support the ability of the party to hold on to the Jomoro seat which currently is the only seat occupied by the CPP in parliament.

There have been some public concerns over Samia’s decision to contest for the CPP Chairmanship while she still occupies the Jomoro seat fearing that her dual job would make her lose her grip on the seat.

The CPP was scheduled to go to congress on the 29-30th July 2011to elect officers for the party, but the Central Committee had to postpone the event to enable the party complete the grassroots mobilization exercise which it is currently undertaking.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, the Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Samia Yaaba stated that her decision to annex both the CPP chair and the Jomoro seat was born out of her desire to build the party at the grassroots and also garner votes for the CPP’s presidential candidate.

She noted that the effective work she did in her constituency prior to the last elections ensured that the CPP Presidential candidate in the 2008 elections Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom secured his highest number of votes in the elections in Jomoro.

She also objected to sentiments that she is young and inexperienced and so should allow some of notable and very experienced person to Chair the CPP, saying the party presently needs a fresh face, someone who is dynamic, poised and resourced to bring the once vibrant CPP from the doldrums that it currently finds itself to win the 2012 general elections.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

I have no interest in leading NPP in 2016 – Dr Opoku Prempeh

The Member of Parliament for the Manhyia constituency and NPP’s Director for elections 2012, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has stated that he has never thought of leading the NPP as a Presidential candidate in the 2016 elections as is being reported alleged by the media.

The Informer newspaper on Monday July 25 reported that the Manhyia MP was bragging about former President Kufuor endorsing him for the 2016 elections.

However Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh denied ever making such statements about him being the choice of President Kufour for the 2016 election.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii-Sen on Monday from London where he is currently, Dr. Opoku Prempeh discredited the story and stated categorically that he would serve the party and not individuals.

He said his primary focus is to work assiduously to ensure that the NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo win the upcoming 2012 elections.

He said he will never be ungrateful to Nana Addo after the NPP flagbearer honored him and chose him as the party’s Director of Elections for the 2012 elections.

Hon. Opoku Prempeh added that even President Kufuor whom his name is being attached to as endorsing him for 2016, did not give him a position during his eight years rule as President of Ghana and wondered how he can turn his back on Nana Addo who has given him an appointment.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Education is imperishable legacy – O.B Amoah tells parents

Education is an imperishable legacy for one’s children, the Member of Parliament for Aburi-Nsawam, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah has urged parents and guardians.

He therefore advised parents not to relent on their effort to spend their hard earned resources to educate their children.

Giving the advice at Djankroma a suburb of Nsawam when he donated two computers, three footballs and three sets of jerseys and a cash of GH¢5,000 to the Nsawam Methodist Basic School as part of the school’s centenary celebration, Mr Amoah said, such sacrifice would make their children good future citizens.

He appealed to the Akuapem South Municipal Assembly to continue to put up new school structures as well as renovate the deplorable ones.

Mr Amoah also advised school children to be disciplined and to stop spending times they could use to learn on attending video shows and funerals.

Mr Mark Dompreh Amoako, Akuapem South Municipal Chief Executive on behalf of the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development commended the Methodist Church for providing quality education in the country.

He said government’s policy direction was to ensure that every child of school-going age got the chance to enrol in school, had access to books, infrastructure and quality teaching in order to develop their skills to any level.

He praised the Church for not only providing school infrastructure but also hospitals, clinics, farms, roads and the spiritual needs of people, which had helped many children to refrain from drunkenness, “Sakawa” (Internet fraud), homosexuality, pilfering and other vices.


Lower West Akyem MP presents communal labour tools to assembly

The Member of Parliament for Lower West Akyem Constituency, Ms Gifty Klenam, on Monday presented a quantity of tools to the Lower West Akyem Municipal Assembly to be used for communal labour.

She noted that most communities lacked basic tools like spade, wheel barrows and rakes for effective clean-up exercise.

She said this had contributed to the lack of enthusiasm for communal labour, the spirit which was almost dead and needed to be revived and hoped the tools would help in the revival.

The items were received by the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr George Mensah Akpalu, who thanked the MP and said the assembly would buy more of such vital tools to help clean the municipality.

Madam Klenam also presented a computer with accessories each to the West Akyem Municipal Education Directorate and the Asamankese Traditional Council.

She promised to present to the Asamankese Senior High School, five computers with accessories next month, following an appeal from the school.

The MP noted that in the computer age no school should be without the necessary tools to make their students computer literate.

The presentations were made at the Asamankesehene’s palace during the observance of Wukudae, which climaxed the Ohumkan festival.

In his address, Mr Akpalu said lack of interest in communal labour by the citizens had been a worrisome matter to the assembly.

He said quite often the participation in communal labour by the people had been very poor and such activities had often failed to live up to expectation.

The MCE took the opportunity to ask the people to see communal labour as an activity geared towards ensuring that the environment was kept tidy and the threat of diseases and sicknesses relegated to the background.

“This clarion call goes particularly to the unit committees which have been inaugurated, and that, very soon zonal councils would also be inaugurated to add a helping hand to the district developmental efforts.”

Mr Akpalu appealed to the chiefs to co-exist peacefully since unity and cohesion of a society depended largely on them.


Odododiodio MP donates 25 computers to schools

Mr Nii Tackie Kommey, Member of Parliament for the Odododiodio, has donated 25 computers to selected schools to facilitate the implementation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme in the constituency.

The GH¢37,370.00 worth of computers with their accessories were distributed to Derby Avenue Roman Catholic Basic School, Street Academy, Happy Days Academy and Saint Mary’s Anglican Primary.

The donation, which also coincided with the 80th Anniversary of the Derby Avenue R/C School would promote ICT education among the school children in the area.

Mr Tackie Kommey said one of his policies was to ensure that every child in the constituency learned how to use the computer.

He said the provision of social amenities was a policy to improve educational infrastructure in line with the Better Ghana Agenda by President John Evans Atta Mills.

The MP urged the school children to take advantage of the equipment to make themselves computer literate.

Mr Godwin Addo, Deputy Director of Basic education of the Ghana Education Service (GES), said parents’ role was crucial in educating children so he called on them to complement the work of teachers and school authorities.

He said the way children are raised at home had a vital and direct bearing on the personality formation of young ones into adulthood, adding that, “in recent times constant child and spouse abuse keep surfacing which the child might felt it was a normal thing to do when you marry,” he stated.

Mr Addo said such traits, when borne out of long-term exposure had serious implications for the child growing into adulthood, and in the formation of his personality, adding children go through trauma and emotions, especially when domestic violence resulted in injuries, divorce and even death.

“We need to bind together to build up children who after passing through the educational system, become productive, God fearing, skilful and excel in their chosen career.”

The Reverend Father Gabriel Liashiedzi, Parish Priest of the Roman Catholic Church at Arena in Accra, expressed concern about squatters close to the school compound, saying they make too much noise which distract the attention of the children during studies.

He said the Accra Metropolitan Assembly should check the activities of miscreants in the area whose activities could affect teaching and learning.

Rev Liashiedzi told the children that as future leaders they should be prepared for the task of nation building and not to indulge in anti social activities.

The Parish Priest commended the teachers for their hard work and appealed for the rehabilitation of the school’s library, provision of science centre and poly tank for storing water.

Source: GNA