• +233 20 230 9497

Set up court to prosecute corrupt govt officials – Min. Leader to UN

The Minority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has been re-elected as Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board and Executive Committee of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).

The event was at the 6th Global Conference of GOPAC which happened in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

It was attended by law makers from 74 member-countries of GOPAC.

At the conference, participants also unanimously elected GOPAC Indonesia Chairman and Deputy Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Mr. Fadli Zon for the 2015 – 2017 period, to replace the Mexican MP Ricardo Garcia Cervantes.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who presided over the conference called for the UN to establish an international court to prosecute the perpetrators of grand corruption. That call was part of the 20 – point Yogyakarta Declaration, which was endorsed by participants of the three-day conference held last Tuesday.

“We recommend that the UN consider the establishment of a new UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) protocol to establish an international court on corruption for the prosecution of perpetrators and collaborators of grand corruption” GOPAC Vice-Chair, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in the final session of the conference.

Grand Corruption refers to corruption that takes place in the highest levels of government where policies and rules are formulated and executive decisions are made.

The Yogyakarta Declaration also states that the fight against grand corruption must be carried out collectively as it has robbed citizens of many countries, especially countries in the developing world, of their fundamental rights and undermined the ability of states to protect the most vulnerable in society.

“We recognize that to deter and fight corruption, particularly grand corruption, the world needs strong international mechanisms, cooperation and collaboration”, the Ghanaian lawmaker said, as he read out the declaration.

The declaration also recommended that the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change, to be held next month in Paris, adopt commitments to implement anti-corruption measures.

“This is in awareness of the severity of the human crisis emanating from the increased effects of climate change and in recognition that 30 percent of all resources dedicated to supporting victims of the resultant human crisis are lost to corruption and poor governance”, the declaration elaborated.

Established in 2002, GOPAC is currently based in Ottawa, Canada, with 106 member states from five continents.

The new GOPAC leader, Fadli Zon, emphasized that the Organisation must help to promote the implementation of international instruments, particularly the UNCAC, as the tools to eliminate grand corruption. He called for availing resources to build the capacities of Parliamentarians and parliaments in order to position them to effectively oversee the policies, programs and projects of the various governments to expose corruption and tendencies of corrupt practices in order that citizens may enjoy the full complement of the development agenda of governments.


Parliament extols Subah revenue monitoring technology

Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Communication, Albert Abongo, has lauded measures put in place by Subah Infosolutions to monitor, on behalf of government, revenue being generated by mobile telecommunication companies.

This came after members of the committee paid a working visit to some of the telecommunication companies’ in Accra.

During the visit, the Committee gained insight into the activities of the telcos and acquainted themselves with how Subah Infosolutions had installed equipment to independently monitor revenue inflows by the telcos.

IT and telecommunications solution provider, Subah Infosolutions Ghana Limited, in 2010 was contracted by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to provide telecom traffic monitoring services for revenue verification, specifically to collect “Talk Tax” pursuant to the Electronic and Communication Act.

The first port of call by the Committee chaired by the Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency, Albert Abongo, was at the premises of MTN, where committee members were ushered into the data collection center by MTN officials, where Subah had attached its devises to the billing load or the main data center to monitor revenue inflow.

The MPs were briefed by MTN officials as to how the monitoring is regularly carried out.

The eighteen-member committee then proceeded to the offices of Glo to ascertain whether the rules and regulations were religiously been adhered to.

Similarly, lingering questions of committee members were addressed by Glo officials. The trend continued at the premises of the various companies, including Airtel, Expresso, Tigo and Vodafone respectively.

Briefing journalists after the tour, Mr Abongo expressed the Committee’s satisfaction with the work carried out by Subah so far.

“Though we are not too technical we can see for ourselves that the infrastructure, installations and the systems are there for them (Subah) to be able to do their work as stipulated by law.

“We have been to the data centers and we were explained to how the talk tax revenue is constantly monitored. We are very much impressed. The Committee thinks that yes something is happening,” the chairman averred.

While expressing gratitude to Subah for the diligent work done, Mr Abongo was quick to add the Committee would not hesitate to consult the National Communications Authority (NCA) for technical assistances when the need arises.

MPs must stop intimidating Ghanaians – Dr Amoako Baah

A political scientist and lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Richard Amoako has stated that any parliamentarian who would demand for evidence from Prof. Stephen Adei over his alleged corruption allegation would be dishonest.

Prof. Stephen Adei last weekend alleged that eight out of every ten politicians are corrupt including MP’s, the former rector accused the legislators of taking bribe before approving bills and laws and further go to the extent of taking some for their girlfriends.

Meanwhile, speaking with Kwame Tutu host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio, the political science lecturer indicated that, parliamentarians cannot in any way ‘gag’ Ghanaians for speaking their minds on issues because they do not have the sole power to be dragging Ghanaians before them.

According to Dr. Amoako Baah, parliamentarians can only summon government appointees to appear before them if they made those allegations.

He explained that the tenants of our democracy would be defeated, if parliamentarians keep intimidating Ghanaians over opinions they make.

Dr. Amoako Baah opined that, the focus of members of parliament should rather be on measures they would apply in dealing with the issue of corruption to save their dented image.

He stressed that the legislators should rather be the sole protector of democracy by providing support to Ghanaians who show interest in fighting corruption rather than putting fear in them.

“It is unnecessary for the parliamentarians to drag the former rector before them, but am sure when they call him he would shame them,” he posited.

Dr. Amoako Baah said the Constitution of the Republic allows Ghanaians the opportunity to express their opinions on issues without fear or favour and the intimidation when people express themselves must stop because it is unfair, unfortunate and an infringement on the right of Ghanaians.

Dr. Amoako Baah said if an allegation is made against you and you know you are not corrupt, then under no circumstance should you even respond to the issue.

He advised that if parliamentarians insist on inviting Prof. Stephen Adei, then they should first invite Majority Leader Alban Bagbin, PC Appiah Ofori and other MPs who made similar allegations.

By-election soon at Amenfi West following death of MP

The Electoral Commission (EC) will in the next few weeks conduct a by-election in the Amenfi West constituency in the Western Region, following the death of the Member of Parliament for the area, John Gyetuah on Tuesday .

The EC will set a date for the by-election after an official notification from Parliament as stipulated by the constitution.

The three term MP was found unconscious after a family member went to call him for breakfast. He was then rushed to the hospital and was later confirmed dead.

The late MP was born on 1st October, 1959 and hails from Asankran Breman. He is married with seven children. He is a Methodist and an Educationist.

He was once a Minister of State at office of the President under the Mills administration.

Hon. Gyetua was a former vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges.

He who was also a member of the Committee on Members Holding Offices of Profit, and Roads and Transport and held a BA (Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast and EMGL from GIMPA.


Parliament is not for children – Bagbin

“Parliament is not for children” but mature individuals of trust, Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, Majority Leader in Parliament said on Sunday.

He therefore cautioned people considering themselves for election into Parliament to reassess themselves and their preparedness for the task.

Mr Bagbin said this when he launched the parliamentary campaign of Mr Emmanuel Bedzrah, Member of Parliament for Ho-West at Dzolokpuita.

Mr Bedzrah who is seeking his third term in Parliament faces competition from two other candidates in the NDC.

Mr Bagbin said parliamentary work was about the individual’s ability to contribute to democratic process and not certificates.

“It is not about certificates and making promises. We have moved away from that. Some people came to Parliament with professorial qualifications but failed and this must not be encouraged,” he stated.

“Mr Bedzrah is a Star in Ghana’s Parliament” Mr Bagbin asserted.

He therefore asked delegates in the Ho-West Constituency to retain Mr Bedzrah as the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for the 2016 general elections.

“I am a witness to the success of Ho-West and I think if you got it right, maintain it by retaining Bedzrah in Parliament.”

Mr Bedzrah enumerated projects he initiated and supported in the Constituency and said he was ready to continue serving the Constituency.

Party executives and other Members of Parliament took turns to urge the people to retain Mr Bedzrah.


Stop using BOG inflows to pay BDCs, Minority flays govt

The Minority in parliament has strongly opposed to government’s plan of expending part of the inflow paid by the Bank of Ghana to clear arrears owed the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs).

The minority says the spending has not been sanctioned by parliament, and therefore illegal, attempts to pass it off as a proper state transaction.

It has emerged that government has already arranged to dole out monies from the Bank of Ghana dividend it had paid to the state to cater for some national issues.

But the minority insists “since this transfer was unanticipated, it has led to a larger than programmed total revenue for 2015- The spending of this unanticipated inflow has not been approved by parliament.”

Minority leader, Mr Osei kyei Mensah Bonsu, addressing journalists at a news conference in Accra, Wednesday said this constituted serious breaches.

The act he says was subsequently uncovered as part of the IMF’s country report that reviewed the Extended Credit Facility(ECF) arrangement.

The said IMF review had indicated that the Central Bank paid dividends to the government representing 0.4% of Ghana’s GDP.


Unemployment causes of terrorist recruitment in Ghana – Maj. Oduro

A member of the Defense and Interior Committee of Parliament, Major Derek Oduro, has charged government to address poverty and unemployment issues, to clamp down on the increasing activities of terrorist group, ISIS in the country.

The Education Ministry has revealed that reports from the National Security available to them show that terrorist group, ISIS, has successfully recruited agents in Ghana who are targeting students from the various tertiary institutions.

Already, two students who had earlier joined the group were heading to Syria from Lebanon, according to a Deputy Minister of Education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

However, Derek Oduro who said he was not too surprised at the development in an interview with Citi News, called on the Muslim leaders and government to work to ensure that the Muslim youth in particular are not enticed into the terrorist group’s fold.

“…Leaders of Muslim institutions should be roped in to assist to educate and enlighten their members that they should not yield to demands of Al-Shabab and ISIS because they are the conduits they can use,” he said.

“Government should make sure that unemployment especially within Islamic societies are looked into so that people will not be easily convinced to join them(ISIS),” Major Oduro added.

The Member of Parliament who believed the declaration by the National Security is a bit too late, however recommended that educational institutions be supported to fortify their security systems to enable them avert a further increase in recruitment by the terrorist group.

“Institutions particularly tertiary ones should set up security committee and if need be they extend their tentacles to cover secondary education, all of these should set up committees to look out for the agents or the representatives from the various tertiary institutions,” he stated.

The National Security Co-ordinator, Mr Yaw Donkor, had earlier confirmed that two Ghanaians including a 25-year-old graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST),Nazir Nortei Alema and another person, Rafiq, have joined the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


Psychiatric hosp. deviating from Mental Health Act – Muntaka

Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, a former Chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Health has said that mental health delivery in the country has deviated from the core essence of the implementation of the Mental Health Act.

An added challenge he says, is how mental health hospitals charge higher fees for their services, insisting that was wrong.

The Accra Psychiatric Hospital Wednesday started charging new fees for some services it renders to patients at the facility.

New patients are now paying 40 cedis to get their folders registered at the hospital, 15 cedis more than they previously paid while a some 30 cedis is being charged as consultation fee.

“It’s very worrying, the news about this charges in mental healthcare. This is not what we anticipated when we were promulgating this law. Our anticipation was tremendous improvement in the mental health delivery. Even when it was virtually free there were a number of mentally deranged people walking on the streets, how much increasing charges?”


Fanteakwa North MP condemns politicization of D/A elections

Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa north constituency of the Eastern region , Hon. Kwabena Amankwah Asiamah has condemned the politicization of the District Assemblies Concept across the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

According to him, it is gradually affecting operations of some assemblies as debates are normally done on partisan lines while most government appointees are sometimes not competent.

In an interview with Bryt FM, the MP accepted the fact that the practice has been there over the years even though it was not the concept for creating the various Assemblies.

“Even though the activities of the Assemblies should not be politicized, that is what has been going on even during our term of office which is very bad” the NPP MP revealed.

Hon. Amankwah Asiamah however expressed worry about the current economic situation of the economy and accused the government of failing Ghanaian on their promises.

“The government has failed to provide Ghanaian with better living conditions which is adversely affecting the ordinary Ghanaian, whiles students are even paying over three hundred cedis under the Free SHS Program me” he added.

Meanwhile, he commended the DCE for Fanteakwa, Abass Fuseini Sbaabe for contesting the party’s upcoming primaries unopposed but emphasized that there is no way he (DCE) can win the seat come 2016.

Hon. Asiamah therefore pledged to continue supporting his constituents at all times without any partisan approach.

Court to prosecute sanitation offenders in the offing- Speaker hints

The Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho has hinted of an impending specialized sanitation court to prosecute sanitation offenders across the country.

At a ceremony to inaugurate the Ho Municipal Assembly, the Speaker said the Ministry of Local Government is having discussions with Chief Justice about the need to create special courts to facilitate the prosecution of sanitation offenders.

He said this will go a long way to maintain the environment clean at all times.

Poor sanitation has been a major challenge to the country’s development. Last year over hundred people died as a result of cholera outbreak across the country.

A National Sanitation Day was instituted in order to address the issue of poor sanitation.

The Speaker believes it is about time the canker is addressed once and for all.

Edward Doe Adjaho also challenged the newly inducted Assembly members to put the needs of their people at heart.

This is the first step towards ensuring development in the various electoral areas, he said.

Amongst other things, he urged them to explore avenues for job creation, citing agriculture as the most profitable venture.

“One major function of the assembly is to explore avenues for the creation of employment for your people.

“…One sure area where there is comparative advantage is in the agricultural sector which is the source of providing surplus food and raw materials for both industry and export.

“As an assembly you must work towards a diversified and commercially oriented agricultural sector with strong linkages with processing, industrial and market oriented sectors.

“In this way you will be generating employment for the youth of Ghana and you will be addressing the issue of reducing rural poverty,” he said.