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‘EOCO & FIC saw me as a bad boy’ – Afenyo Markin

Outspoken Lawyer and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markin says he was regarded as a thorn in the flesh of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) when he begun doing financial crime cases several years back.

According to him, he launched a strong defence of his clients whenever they had issues with the aforementioned state institutions, which most of the time saw his clients winning their cases in court.

Speaking to Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM, Hon. Afenyo Markin who is perhaps the youngest Legislators who is rising very fast said he feels fulfilled that he’s been able to effect a change in the manner in which accused persons used to be badly treated by EOCO officials.

“I do a lot of financial crime cases; which has to do with money laundering and the like, and there’s enforcement with respect to the anti-money laundering. When I started, the FIC and EOCO saw me as a bad boy, in this country when you are doing something, you can get many people going against you, but if you force to do it and it becomes the principle you get people celebrating it without celebrating you.

“I remember those days at EOCO, when a person’s account is frozen, the kind of things that were happening were not too palatable, but I fought against it. I remember my first time I sought appointment with the then Executive Director…boldly I said I don’t understand why if my client or somebody is written to and he comes here, your people should arrest him. Apparently he didn’t even know of that conduct by his officers, at least that aspect was dealt with and things changed.”

Ghana’s economy has expanded more than 100 percent – Pelpuo

Minister of State in-charge of Private Sector Development, Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo says Ghana’s economy has expanded more than 100 percent from 2008 to 2016.

According to him, this expansion has created numerous jobs and opportunities for Ghanaians to tap into but that is not done.

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Wa Central constituency, was reacting to criticisms about President Mahama’s statement that Ghanaians who are complaining of not ‘feeling’ the economy must be lacking skills to take advantage of opportunities.

Whilst responding to critics about the stiffening economy, President Mahama charged Ghanaians to learn to take advantage of the many opportunities in the economy.

He argued: “…As the economy grows it throws out natural jobs that people can take advantage of but if you do not have the skill or you do not have the capacity to take advantage of a growing economy then you would not feel it in your pocket.”

This statement has generated heated debate among Ghanaians, many of who believed the President erred knowing very well government is to create opportunities which some say his administration has failed to do.

But defending the President’s statement on the Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis program, NEWSFILE on Saturday, April 23, Mr. Pelpuo said there are a lot of opportunities in the country but “the skill to know that [those] work exist somewhere” is what is lacking among Ghanaians.

Listing some of the government’s projects in the country, he said more schools, clinics, and bridges have been constructed and much more are being constructed which create job opportunities for Ghanaians especially those with skills.

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako agreed with the assertion that the economy has expanded some folds, but disagreed with the figure provided by Mr. Pelpuo.

Mr. Baako says the oil production in the country has contributed a lot towards the expansion of the economy.

I only dream of money and fight – Kennedy Agyapong

Barely a week after saying My Bed Alone Is Worth $80,000, My Wife Didn’t Believe it, outspoken MP for Assin Central Kennedy Agyepong, has made another controversial statement, saying he only dreams of money and fight.

Speaking on Adom Tv, the legislator said he was in his constituency over the weekend to make donations to the people where he had interactions with the chiefs of the towns in the constituency.

Kennedy Agyepong added that, the NDC chairman in his constituency had made reports that he will be sending soldiers to intimidate him during the voter registration period, which infuriated him, so he had to send warning to the NDC through the chiefs.

I only dream of two things when I sleep, that is money and fight, and therefore if anyone is planning to intimidate me during the coming registration exercise or the November polls the person must be joking, he or she should bring it on, I am ready to face them, he warned.

According to him, he is on course on retaining the seat for the NPP and the donations of sewing machines and hair dryers he made over the weekend is one of many that he will be doing for his constituents.

Dan Botwe calls on corporate Ghana to invest in local league

MP for Okere Dan Botwe, has called on corporate Ghana to invest in the Ghana Premier mainly because of the large pool of talents in the league.

Dan Botwe made these comments after Kotoko paid a call on the MP after their 1-0 victory over Dreams in Dawu.

Botwe was elated with the huge numbers in his constituency and was of the view that the return of the league in Dawu has boosted economic activities.

“The league match between Kotoko and Dreams FC brought a lot of economic activities in the town. Young men and women were selling things like water and food to make money,” he told Asempa Sports.

He believes the Ghanaian domestic league is blessed with abundant talents and needs some major investors to help hoist the league as well as the great players playing in the league.

“Companies have to come in the league and invest their money which will give them good returns. Their involvement will make the league better.”

The MP also took the opportunity to advise the Kotoko players to be very disciplined and look up to great players who have played for the team in times past.

He said they have to be careful how they behave outside because they are now role models of the young ones.

The Ghana Premier League currently does not have a headline sponsor.

Lake Bosomtwe lacks infrastructure – MP

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwe Simon Osei Mensah has blamed the unimpressive patronage of the Bosomtwe Lake in the Ashanti Region to lack of commitment from government to invest into the infrastructure in the area.

The Bosomtwe Lake is touted one of the biggest lakes in Africa and a prominent tourist site in the Ashanti region.

However, patronage of the site has been abysmal as the recreational potential of the lake has not been harnessed and developed to accord it relevance in tourism.

Link roads to the site and its environs have also been in a deplorable state.

The MP laments that numerous assurances of government to invest into the potential of this natural asset has not been forth coming.

Speaking on Ultimate breakfast show hosted by Lantam Papanko, he expressed fear that businesses along the lake might be forced to fold up if the state of the lake remains unattended to.

‘Lake Bosomtwe, that area can never develop until we have all year round access road around the lake, ..you cannot even walk around the lake, there are some areas, the gullies are so deep you won’t even dare go inside, investors will not come until we get roads, the private sector would like the government to lay the basic infrastructure for them to take off.

Businesses will not come and say they are going to construct roads before they put up their industries or hotels, they will always go to areas where they have basic infrastructure, there are some few hotels established around the lake, they are operating far below capacity, simple receptive center they don’t have,’ he stated.

Osei Mensah reiterates that the tourism sector in Ghana will remain in a sorry state if the country fails to link its development to all other peripheral sectors and relevant ministries at the policy level.

Hundreds mourn Abuakwa North MP

Parliamentarians, government officials and a cross-section of the public have gathered at the forecourt of the State House today to pay their last respect to the late Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North JB Danquah Adu as he is laid in-state.

Also present are President John Mahama, his Vice P.K Amissah Arthur, Flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo Addo, his Running Mate Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and other stalwarts of the NPP, of which the late MP was a staunch member.

The late Legislator was murdered in cold blood at his residence in the plush East Legon neighborhood on February 9, 2016. Investigations by the police led to the arrest of one Daniel Asiedu who has been charged with murder and is currently facing prosecution.

The late Joseph Boakye Danquah will be buried on Saturday April 16 at Akyem Tafo, with a memorial service held on Sunday.

The late JB Danquah-Adu, a grandson of the renowned United Party (UP) – antecedent of the New Patriotic Party (NPP – founding member, Dr. JB Danquah, was born on July 2, 1965. He left behind a wife, Ivy Danquah-Adu and two children.

Let us help MPs to address the needs of the citizenry – Speaker

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, has charged Parliamentary administrators (Clerks) in the Commonwealth Africa Region to come up with innovative ways to assist lawmakers to address the needs of their citizens.

In his view, the 21st century public do not only demand timely information on issues affecting their lives as a right but also expect the elected representatives to ensure that pressure is brought on the government for the supply and provision of public goods such as water, education, electricity, health care as well as safety and security of the people.

“The greatest threat for democratic experiment will be the failure of the legislature and the political class to respond to the needs of this new breed of public and society in general”.

“The public is therefore expectant that the roles as Parliamentary administrators propose innovative ways of responding to the interest of the public. This is essential if our respective democracies must stand the test of time”, he noted.

The Speaker made this observation when he opened a conference of Society of Clerks at the Table (SoCATT), Africa Region, in Accra on Tuesday.

Continuing, he urged the administrators to be guided by the recent happenings in the Parliament of Burkina Faso where despite the public outcry, the National Assembly persisted in considering an amendment to the Constitution to extend the term of office of the incumbent President.

“This resulted in the storming of the legislative buildings by irate citizenry where the facility was burnt down. This should be a constant reminder and warning post to us and that public interest should be a reason for our existence”.

Validation will not disenfranchise any registered voter – O. B. Amoah

Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislative Committee of Parliament, Osei Bonsu Amoah, has allayed fears that registered voters who do not submit themselves for validation will have their names removed from the voters’ register.

He said although one will not be able to cast his or vote during the election, it does not mean that the name of the registered voter will permanently be deleted from the electoral album.

“If you are not validated, it doesn’t mean that your name will be removed from the voters’ register. What it means is that you cannot cast your vote during the election”.

“Under the CI 91 if you register 60 days before the elections you cannot vote – so why are not saying that we are infringing on the rights of those who will register during that time?”, he asked while interacting with Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.3 FM, Tuesday.

Validation is the process a registered voter goes through to confirm his or her name in a voters’ register prior to an election. After the exercise, the list of the confirmed registered voters are migrated onto a new voters’ register for use during the election. When one fails to validate his or name, it means that that person’s name will not be captured in the new electoral album that would be used for conducting the said election, and thereby, will not be able to exercise his or her franchise.

Mr. Amoah who is also the MP for Akwapem South further told Banson that validation allows for a clean voters’ register in that it gives way for only validated registered persons to cast their vote during an election.

However, the names of those who could not submit themselves for validation would still be contained in the old electoral album for use in subsequent elections.

The Akuapem South legislator’s comments was in sharp response to claims by the Director of Elections of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo that validation when introduced will disenfranchise some registered voters, especially, those who have traveled far from the homes and would be returning to cast their votes in the upcoming general elections.

That aside Mr. Ampofo said the country does not have any legal regime to back the validation exercise the NPP and some Civil Society Organisations have been advocating for and therefore would not be necessary to buy into that idea.

Mr. Amoah who is also a representative of the NPP at the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) commenting further told Banson that the Electoral Commission of Ghana has proposed that during the exhibition of the voters’ register, “registered voters who will go and cross-check their names will have their fingerprints put on a device to ascertain whether you are truly the one who have been captured in the electoral album”.

To him, the moment one submit himself or herself to that process, it means he or her is being validated and therefore there should be a legal regime to back it.

I will work with all factions to ensure victory for NPP – Ursula

Incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma West, Ursula Owusu, has vowed to work with all factions within the constituency to ensure that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) retains the parliamentary seat come November elections.

Ursula, a lawyer by profession, won the constituency Parliamentary election organized over the weekend in a poll which was characterized by confusion, especially from supporters of the former Constituency Chairman Theo Tetteh who withdrew from the election at the last minute.

She polled 554 votes to beat her only contender in the race, Roni Nicole, who garnered 317 of the total valid votes cast.

That means, Ursula is the NPP Parliamentary candidate-elect for the November 7 Parliamentary polls.

It is the second time she will be representing the area on the ticket of the elephant family.

The contest was expected to have come on some months earlier but due to series of court injunctions, had to be postponed until Saturday, April 9, 2016.

The electoral album was the bone of contention.

Former party chairman of the area, Theophilus Tetteh, who was one of the contestants, had to withdraw from the race at the last minute due to the guerilla tactics that was adopted by the National Executives in support of the incumbent MP.

On the eve of the polls, Mr. Tetteh, together with thirteen other executives of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition announced the resignation from the party.


AngloGold Ashanti has virtually collapsed – Obuasi W MP replies Mahama

Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, says there is substantial evidence of Ghana’s economy crumbling as most companies seek market exit from the country.

President John Dramani Mahama has claimed the nation’s economy has become very resilient defending his government’s management of the Ghanaian economy, under his watch.

This follows criticisms that Mahama’s economic management record have major lapses and that the trend is forcing Ghanaian businesses to fold out, because the country has become an expensive business destination.

But, President Mahama has downplayed such criticism, insisting that such views are not borne out of the facts,  adding that Ghana’s economy is one of the two major buoyant economy in the sub-region, after Nigeria.

For him, he sees this as a good propaganda for his opponents painting a gloomy image of a robust economy under his Presidency.

Commenting on President Mahama’s take on the economy in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, the Obuasi West lawmaker, said investors are finding it difficult thriving in Ghana.

“At a time when it is so clear that several aspect of national life have almost gone to collapse, we cannot find the humility to say that things are getting bad and that as a country let’s rally behind the leadership to fix the mess.

“If the President said he’s not been able to find a single company collapsing in Ghana, then I want to tell him in my own constituency, AngloGold Ashanti(AGA) has virtually collapsed. All their workers have been sent home and the company is struggling to survive. Elsewhere people are seeking bail out for companies, and we want to see what the government is doing”.