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Mahama has transformed lives of MPs -Bagbin

Majority Leader, Hon. Alban Bagbin, Sunday, gave a run-down of the achievement of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament when he addressed over 68,000 party followers at the campaign launch of the umbrella family at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

He mentioned, in particular, the transformation in the lives of MPs as a result of the massive investments in infrastructure by the Mahama-led administration.

For instance, he said the investment in the magnificent State Tower Block, popularly known as Job 600, has brought a lot change in the lives of MPs that they no longer use their car boots as offices to conduct their business.

“The Job 600 whose restructuring was started by His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings could not be completed by the eight years of the NPP regime. His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has used just a few years to complete the magnificent Job 600 for the offices of the Members of Parliament”.

“Members of Parliament have got their lives completely changed. The Members of Parliament no longer use their car boots as offices. The Members of Parliament now have sufficient places to work in. And the Deputy Speaker of South Africa testified that that is the best Parliament that she has ever visited in Africa”, he noted.

That aside, he said President Mahama has also made available some financial support for Members of the Legislature to buy stationary and take care of the administrative cost of their offices.

This achievement, he reiterated, is non-comparable, believing that the NDC stands tall among all the political parties that have expressed interest in contesting the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Story by Ghanamps.com

I don’t mind election year demo – Sampson Ahi tells constituents

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodi, in the Western region, Sampson Ahi has said the unrest within his constituency will not affect his chances in the upcoming polls.

He claimed it’s normal for demonstrations to peak in election year, thus he’ll not be perturbed amidst the protest set against him by constituents.

“They have the right to demonstrate- and as a matter of fact I don’t have any problem with that. It’s only imperative that we solve their problems for them. There are two major roads in the area;one section is under construction and the other remain unattended to. But we’re aware of the problem and making efforts to resolve it. We have started rehabilitating them and we’ll ensure we tackle the one they are complaining about too,” Mr Samson Ahi told Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM.

Residents of Sefwi Kwafukaa, Bodi, in the Western Region, on Wednesday embarked on a demonstration against the MP, Sampson Ahi, for failing to address the needs of the community.

The residents mentioned deplorable road networks as well as other basic needs as their major concerns.

The demonstrators, who are in one of the perceived strongholds of the ruling NDC also vented their spleens on the government and the DCE, Solomon Fuachie, for failing to repair the area’s road networks, despite the fact that they vote  massively for the party.

They asserted that even though they had drawn the attention of the DCE and the MP to the issue of the deplorable roads, nothing had been done to rehabilitate them.

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EC Boss ‘sex for job comment’ was a joke – Ken Agyepong

“..I said a lot of things on that day, even this one, I was joking, I immediately took my seat after making those comments…yes, I was joking.

“There is an element of hypocrisy in this country. Nana Oye Lithur was orgainising and paying persons GHC20 to go and demonstrate against me because I have made comments against Charlotte Osei.

“I have nothing against Charlotte if and only if she would be fair to Ghanaians.”

  • Mr. Agyepong was speaking on Accra-based Adom fm.


Controversial MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyepong, has warned his critics not to dare him to expose the moral side of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, else the information he will churn out will not be palatable to consume.

According to the NPP firebrand, he has gathered so much information about the EC boss that he wouldn’t want to go public again with his findings.

He stressed that what he has already shared with the public when he mounted the political platform in Atonsu, Kumasi, on Sunday, is a summary of his findings.

The maverick foul mouthed legislator during the campaign launch of the Asokwa MP, Patricia Appiagyei, launched a scathing attack on the EC boss alleging that she did not secure her position based on competence and merit.

Agyapong said some highly placed officials in government told Charolotte Osei to “bring your buttocks in exchange of EC Chair position”.

He also said; ‘if indeed Nana Addo (the NPP’s flagbearer) wins according to the pink sheets and Charlotte Osei dares to rig the elections by twisting our arms in favour of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), we will not allow it to happen in Ghana.”

His comments have received widespread condemnation by a cross section of the public, especially, from women groups and individuals who believe that the Assin Central MP has debased womanhood with his unfortunate utterance.

Some have questioned his basis for making such claims and have demanded that he substantiates his allegation or retract and apologize unreservedly.

But the MP responding to his critics on ‘Boiling Point’ on Accra based Oman FM, Tuesday, said he does not comment on things he has no knowledge or information about.

“I am not the kind of person who will be pushed by what they (his critics). They should bring it on. I won’t apologize today and I won’t apologize tomorrow. If they dare me, what I will release to the public will shock everyone”, he noted.

He added “Parliament failed in scrutinizing the woman (Charlotte Osei) well. They should have done a thorough background checks not only about her academic qualification but also her moral life”.

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Montie 3 should be pardoned after serving 2 months – Ken Agyapong

The MP for Assin North has advised President John Mahama to pardon the three persons jailed by the Supreme Court for contempt after they have served half of their jail terms.

According to Kennedy Agyapong, the three might have learnt their lessons by then and there would be no need to keep them in prison for four months.

Two radio panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn and show host, Salifu Maase of an Accra-based radio station, Montie FM were sentenced to four months’ imprisonment by the Supreme Court on July 27, 2016, for threatening to kill judges of the Court.

The three were also fined 10,000 cedis each while the owners of the frequency of the radio station, and the directors were fined 30,000 cedis respectively.

A petition signed by a section of the public who are predominantly members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been presented to President John Dramani Mahama to pardon the three by invoking his powers under article 72 of the Constitution.

The petition has been referred to the Council of State by the President for advice.

Kennedy Agyapong who recently made derogatory comments about the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson and received a lot of flak for them, believes the call for the immediate release of the three is hypocritical, with specific mention of the Gender, Children, and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur who signed the petition.

‘Is the Chief Justice not a woman, let’s call a spade a spade,,,if my comments were condemned, then those of the three should be condemned as well,’ Mr. Agyapong stated.
He said on Adom FM’s morning Show ‘Dwaso Nsem’ on Tuesday that the Supreme Court has clearly made a point by sentencing the three.

‘They have made a clear point that you cannot threaten them and go scot-free…even if they handed them a day’s prison sentence, they have taught the Montie three that they are not above the law,’ he indicated.
On this note, he advised that President John Mahama to pardon the trio after serving two months of the sentence.

Mr. Agyapong added that his comments that the EC Chairperson got her job by sleeping with power brokers, were taken out of context.

‘If anything bad will ever happen in this country, the media should be blamed, not politicians…On that day, I jokingly made that statement after my submission and the media picked that portion and played it all over the airwaves as if that was the only thing I said but these things do not help this country,’ he clarified.

Kennedy Agyapong indicated that he has nothing against the EC Chair, provided she does the right thing in the organisation of the upcoming elections.

Montie 3: Mahama must educate himself on SC ruling – O. B. Amoah

Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Osei Bonsu Amoah wants President John Dramani Mahama to abreast himself with the ruling of the Supreme Court over the Montie FM saga before kowtowing to the demands of supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He believes that President Mahama after reading the ruling of the Apex Court would understand the spirit behind the sentencing of the trio – Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn, and Salifu Maase, aka Mugabe and would not do anything to jeopardise the image of the Judiciary.

“If President John Mahama critically peruses the judgement by the Supreme Court, in which the three persons were each handed a four-month jail term for scandalising the court and bringing its name into disrepute, he will certainly ignore the petition to grant them a presidential pardon”, he said.

He added “Probably, after reading the judgment, he will make a statement and that will curtail all these [calls to free the trio]. Why am I saying this? If you read the ruling…the court is saying that our main focus is to protect the state, protect the judiciary, to ensure law and order because what has happened is an affront to our democracy. …These people [Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Mugabe] acted with impunity; these people acted to undermine the powers of the judiciary, they scandalised the court”.

Mr. Amoah who is also the MP for Akuapem South was speaking on Multi TV’s news analysis program ‘Newsfile’ on Saturday.

His reaction was in connection to mounting pressure on President Mahama by some supporters of the NDC, including some ministers of State to exercise his prerogative of mercy power by invoking Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution to set free the Montie trio.

The party fateful have since the incarceration of the three petitioned the President to set them free from the Nsawam Medium Prisons.

Mr. Amoah commenting further on the issue said the judges were worried that after setting some examples during the Election Petition Case, the trend of verbally attacking the Judiciary has remained the same.

“The Judges were saying that for a long time, these things had been going on. They tried certain examples during the election petition but they believe still people are taking things for granted – and if you look at the reason why they have come to this conclusion, and you get a President who wants to reverse this, then the President really might not be interested in running the State well”.

“The independence of the judiciary is the bastion of our democracy and as they [SC Judges] said, they are seeking to ensure law and order, the security of the State, that people will not act with impunity and undermine every State institution. If they come to such conclusion, then you get any person to say that the President should reverse the kind of punishment that they meted out to such persons, then obviously it means you are not interested in [the State]”.

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Oti Bless ministerial ambition hangs

Parliament has temporarily put on hold the approval of the MP for Nkwanta North, John Oti Kwabena Bless, for deputy ministerial position for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

His approval, according to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, will be determined by the outcome of ongoing consultations by the leadership of the House over the nominee’s connection in the Montie FM saga.

Bless was accordingly sidelined when the House by a majority vote approved Emmanuel Bombande and Joseph Tetteh Agmor for deputy ministerial positions on Thursday.

Mr. Bombande was approved for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration while Mr. Agmor received the nod for the Eastern Region portfolio.

Bless was part of the nominees shortlisted and recommended for approval by the Appointments Committee in its report presented to the House on Friday, July 29, 2016 by the Chairman who also doubles as the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton-Odro.

He became a subject of discussion in the Montie FM saga when Members were debating the report of the Appointments Committee.

MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei Owusu, contributing to the discussion on the Committee’s report cited Oti Bless in the Montie saga and advised him to be mindful of his words so as not to denigrate any high ranking public official whenever he gets the opportunity to contribute to a debate on a radio program.

But the Speaker intervened and directed that any complaint against Bless in connection to the Montie FM saga be directed to his office.

It is however, not clear whether Bless will be approved by the House at all considering the fact that they are going on recess on Friday, August 5, 2016 and return in October 2016.

Story by Ghanamps.com

Parliament approves Ghs1.8bn supplementary estimates

Parliament has approved the GH₵1,888,203,387 supplementary budget estimates requested by the Finance Minister on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama for the 2016 financial year.

The supplementary appropriation was also subsequently passed by the House.

The approval was however not without a heated debate from both sides (Majority and Minority) of the floor of the House.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance and MP for Old Tafo, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Thursday, told the House the estimates will not make any impact to the Ghanaian economy.

MP for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah on his part told the House that Seth Terkper lied to the legislature when he painted a very good picture of economy when he appeared on July 25, 2016 to make the request for the supplementary estimates.

According to him, the country’s pursuit in the issuance of another Eurobond has hit a snag because the nation was not truthful to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Said despite the government promising the IMF of passing into law zero financing, the country ended up passing the Bank of Ghana Amendment Bill with 5% financing.

This, he noted, is having a rippling effect on the economy, a testimony he said should convince Members from both sides of the House to vote out ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), come December 7, 2016.

But the Minority Leader, Alban Sumani Bagbin contributing to the debate said the country has witnessed a transformation under the current regime and the supplementary estimates will go a long way to boosting the economy.

On July 25, 2016, Seth Terkper appeared before Parliament and requested for the approval of the supplementary estimates in view of recent developments in both domestic and global markets.

He said although crude oil prices were rising, it was still below what the government projected for in the 2016 budget.

I was not brought up that way…Please forgive me – Oti Bless begs CJ

Embattled minister-designate John Oti Bless says he was somewhat ‘misled’ to make the derogatory comments against the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood because he was carried away on the platform – Montie FM.

“That is not my nature, that’s not how I was  brought up, I’ll plead that it won’t happen again. This will be the last time. They should kindly forgive me in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” he added.

The deputy Local Government Minister-designate has apologized unreservedly to the Chief Justice after he was directed to do so by the Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho.

“I wish to sincerely state that I am really sorry for everything that has happened. Let me use this opportunity to render an unqualified apology to the Chief Justice who is my mother and the entire Judiciary, judges, Parliament, good people of Ghana and my constituents.

“I am really sorry and this will be the last time, It’s an experience. I have had my first baptism in politics. I thank the Speaker for his advice, the Minority Leader, my leader, Alban Bagbin – infact he’s a wonderful leader, he’s done a lot for me,and gave me guidance – and all the other leaders in Parliament. I also thank all Ghanaians for their sympathy and for understanding,” he said in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

The approval of the Nkwanta North MP as a minister is hanging in a balance after a tape recording exposed his verbal attacks on Mrs. Theodora Georgina Wood accusing her of colluding with the opposition NPP in a botched attempt to reverse the election results in 2008 and in 2012.

Although the under fire MP has issued a public apology to the CJ it’s unclear if the apology will suffice the need for the House to approve his nomination withheld temporarily.

Story by Ghanamps.com

Afenyo Markin commends EC over registration extension

Member of Parliament (MP) for Efutu Constituency in the Central Region, Alexander Afenyo Markin, has lauded the Electoral Commission (EC) for extending the re-registration of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders whose names were deleted.

“Let me commend the Electoral Commission because they have acted in good faith,” he told Joy News.
The EC at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting of all active political parties announced the extension of the period for the re-registration of NHIS registrants whose names were deleted following Supreme Court (SC)’s ruling in a case challenging the credibility of the voters register.

Former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako sued the EC over the credibility of the voters’ register which they claim is incapable of ensuring fairness in the upcoming December polls.

The SC ordered the deletion of persons who registered in 2012 using unapproved identity cards. The Commission proceeded to delete over 56,772 NHIS registrants and gave ten (10) days for victims to get back into the register.

At the end of the exercise, 24,287 persons registered out of the over 56,772 deleted names. This led to calls by sections of Ghanaians for the Commission to extend the period since it was merely complying with SC’s order.

Mr Markin threatened legal action against the EC saying more than 3,000 deleted NHIS registrants of his constituents out of the total 5,200 deleted were unable to re-register due to logistic challenges.

The EC had initially declined calls for the exercise to be extended, but it disclosed to the political parties that the process will be extended for a period of seven (7) days beginning Friday, August 5 to 12, 2016.
Welcoming the news, the Efutu MP says his threat to visit court action on the Commission was to afford it the opportunity to do the right thing.

He cautioned the Commission, to instead of focusing on the limited extension period, be interested in how to retool the various registration centers in terms of registration kits which denied many people the opportunity to register during phase one of the re-registration period.

“I am not just interested in extension but I more particularly interested in how they are able to resolve the logistical problems that experienced in the phase one of the re-registration,” he said. “My particular concern is the mode of registration.”

Story by Ghanamps.com

Parliament passes BoG bill

Parliament has approved amendments to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Bill, which now gives the State five per cent funding from the central bank instead of the zero per cent government and the bank requested.

The bill, which was approved on August 2, is expected to strengthen the bank’s functional autonomy, governance, and ability to respond to banking sector crisis while plugging loopholes identified in the existing Act, after receiving the presidential assent.

The amendments will, among other things, ensure the central bank submits a semi-annual monetary policy report to parliament to enable the house to properly exercise its oversight responsibility on the bank.

Story by Ghanamps.com