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Speaker Tunis appeals for leniency for former ECOWAS Speaker

The Rt. Hon Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis has written to the Chief Clerk of the Central Criminal Court in the United Kingdom for leniency for the former Speaker in the third Parliament (2011 to 2015) Senator Ike Ekweremadu who later also served as First Deputy Speaker in the second legislature (2007 to 2011), over breach of UK laws relating to organ trafficking and modern slavery.

Ghanamps.com can reveal per the letter sighted written to the court three weeks ago on behalf of the parliament, that he is against the crime for which the senator and his spouse have been convicted same with the parliament.

“We do not support organ harvesting in anyway and by any method. Nevertheless, we believe that lessons have been learnt, not only by Ekweremadu, but by everybody. I wish to fervently appeal to the honorable court, on behalf of the ECOWAS Parliament, for leniency in meting out justice to the couple”.

He further added that he understands the position of the law, but only appealing for human face in this circumstance and justice should be tempered with mercy, considering his good behavior and contribution to the good of society, the less privileged, and democracy.

Rt. Hon Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament

Dr. Tunis added that the former Speaker gives to charity work and experienced in lawmaking in Nigeria and internationally, could also be very useful to his nation and the international community in public enlightenment as well as legal reforms campaign on organ trafficking to curtail such incidents drawing from his personal experience.

Ghanamps.com can further reveal that former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria H. E. Olusegun Obasanjo had early written to the court appealing for leniency.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu is highly appreciated in the sub-region for his sterling roles in the development of the Community Parliament in the preservation and stabilization of democracy. As First Deputy, he chaired the Parliaments Ad Hoc Committee on the political situation in Niger and the Republic of Guinea.

As his effort contributed in no small measure towards resolving the impasses in the two ECOWAS member states and visited almost every flashpoint, sometimes at his very personal expense.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I will win Akuapem South Seat when given the nod”—NDC’s Nuamah Donkor

Aspiring National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) Parliamentary candidates for Akuapem South in the Eastern Region, Samuel Nuamah Donkor has appealed to NDC delegates in Akuapem South to give him the nod come May 13, 2023 to win the seat for the party.

In an interview he pointed out that he knows the problems in Akuapem South.

According to him he has stayed in Akuapem South since childhood and he is the only candidate who can win the seat.

He added that he has helped so many people in the constituency, scholarship, getting a job for youth and others.

Mr. Samuel Nuamah Donkor finally appealed to NDC delegates in Akuapem South to vote him to win the seat for NDC come December 2024 general election.


Africa will not be deterred by threats —Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has asserted that Africa is not deterred by the veiled threats of withdrawal of investments and international aid, and other stringent economic measures that have attended the continent’s effort at protecting its culture, values, and societal norms and to safeguard the future of its youth.

He was speaking at a meeting with an array of Members of the British House of Lords and the House of Commons at Westminster in London.

This came as a result of concerns to the British Members of Parliament as the law passed in Uganda recently on the LGBTQI phenomenon, and the bill on Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values currently before Ghana’s parliament.

“Threats are not the way to go. If your neighbour or partner has a problem, you help him to solve it. Boycotts and threats do not solve problems: engagement and understanding do”, said the Rt. Hon. Speaker.

He explained that once a group of people is in agreement on what constitute Human rights, values and principles, they move on. What is required is alignment and understanding of their context.

Rt. Hon. Bagbin told his hosts that the role of parliament is to receive bills from civil society or interest groups, usually through the process that allows for a Private Member’s Bill, or from the executive. Parliament then takes the bill through its processes and procedures outlined in its Standing Orders and in consonance with the provisions of Ghana’s constitution.

“There is nothing untoward; nothing wrong with the efforts by Ghana’s Parliament to legislate on the promotion of human sexual rights and family values in Ghana, using our constitution as a compass”, he declared.

There is urgent need of legislation in the area of LGBTTQR± in Ghana. Parliament is aware of the copious human rights provisions in the Constitution of the country. Parliament knows that “any legislation that detracts from the human rights and freedoms guaranteed by our constitution will be a candidate for litigation in our court of law”.

Responding to a question on the role of the President in the bill under reference, the Speaker insisted that Ghana’s Parliament has the mandate and the capability to legislate on the subject, and will not countenance any interference from the executive.

He explained that the role of the President is to accent to bills submitted to him by Parliament. In the process, the President can make recommendations for the consideration of Parliament. However, final legislative powers rest with the legislature, not the executive. “Ghana’s democracy is based on the rule of law, not the rule of man”, he pointed out.

Besides, he said, Ghana’s constitution is heavy on the promotion and protection of various fundamental human rights and freedoms, and gave an assurance that curtailing human rights is not the target of the bill under reference; rather, it is about the protection of rights as well as values; so is it about the healthcare and welfare of Ghanaians, particularly those whose sexual orientation has implications for their health.

According to the Speaker, the legislature has engaged in very wide and broad consultations whilst working on the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill. Members of the select committee working on it have held consultations in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, EU and Canada, among others for a deeper appreciation of the issues at stake.

In addition, the committee has received and considered about 400 memoranda on the issue and has granted audience to many advocacy groups, professional associations, traditional leaders, civil society groups, and religious leaders. He said the approach to this bill has been to “think global and act local”.


“Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso is well fortified; but Burkina needs troops and resources support”—Mahama

In the wake of media reports of security threats around the borders of Ghana and Burkina Faso, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga said the nation’s borders with its neighbour Burkina Faso is well fortified.

According to him the jihadists have not carried out any activities beyond the Ghana border with Burkina Faso and he knows, the level of troops presence at the border post and along the border to prevent any activities of any jihadists.

The first rapporteur on the Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Mahama Ayariga noted in an interview that in dealing with the security threat, Ghana cannot act in isolation; Ghana must mobilize its colleagues in the sub-region to deal with the immediate challenges and the fundamental issues.

And further added that enough troops needs to be mobilized to assist Burkina Faso to dominate the entire region that is experiencing jihadist activities, including troops contribution, resources mobilisation to support Burkina Faso with military support to cover that whole region that experiencing jihadist activities.

Again, the more fundamental issue is to deal with the internal equity issues and in such situation the issue of the function of democracy, the issue of power sharing among the population and resources distribution across the country and the capacity of the state to maintain its presence in every part of the states and the basic infrastructure health care delivery and education, housing among others.

 “If they do not structure their country in such a way that these equity issues are addressed properly you will come back to the same point. Sometimes what we call jihadist is a rebellion against the arranged system of resources sharing and opportunities conferred by the state; and if you do not deal with those ones there would continue to be grievances”.

Mr. Ayariga said people would continue to use terrorist methods to express their grievances against the state.
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

karaga MP gives interest free loans to women

The Member of Parliament for Karaga constituency in the Northern Region of Ghana, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has supported 600 women in the constituency with interestfree loans.He was represented by his constituency and officials fromthe MPs secretariat.

At the launch of the program at karaga, the researchAssistant to the MP, Mr. Abukari Bikun indicated that this kind gesture fromthe Affable member of parliament is to empower women economically in order toalleviate poverty in the area.

The research Assistant further stated that the MPs onewoman, one acre initiative is also coming on this year’s farming season. Thisand many other interventions of the MP primarily focused on how to empowerwomen in the constituency economically.

Tizaa Rural Bank Manager as a consultant to the project,advised  beneficiaries to put the  facility into good use in order to pave wayfor others to benefit from it and also to encourage the Member of Parliament gofurther to get more support for the women. The women on their part sent appreciative messages to the Memberof Parliament, commending him for coming to their aid in this distress anddifficult times.

The beneficiaries couldn’t hide their ecstasy and joytowards the kind gesture bestowed on them by their humble legislator.


Parliamentary Primaries: Six disgruntled Ningo-Prampram NDC executives sue party scribe

Six Branch executive members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ningo-Prampram Constituency have sued the Party’s General Secretary, the Party and Constituency Executives.

According to the Members their action was to avert the situation in their last primaries where 27 eligible voters were denied voting to favour a candidate.

This time, 54 members comprising 6 branches of which three have gone through elections and awaiting induction into office and for the three others, the party is yet to conduct elections to elect their leaders.

Jonas Tetteh Obinya, a branch executive and Plaintiff and Five others, according suit no E12/208/2023 are suing The Party’s General Secretary, the first Respondent, and Greater Accra Regional NDC Chairman, the Constituency Chairman and the Organizer of the Party.

The Plaintiffs are seeking in their writ among other things an order directed to the party to swear in the executive of Mobole D/A Basic School Branch.

The Plaintiffs also seek an order for the defendants to hold Branch elections at Loweh-Kobiaweh( Old Ningo Branch), Dawa-Oteng Kope, Mangotsonya D/A School, Christian Praise Church International Branch and New Ningo South A Branch.

The Plaintiffs, Jonas Tetteh Obinya, Mathew Ayiku, Mathias Narh, Sylvester Tetteh, Emmanuel Tawiah and Joshua Tetteh are also asking the court to declare their not- swearing in as unlawful.

In their conclusion, according to their writ, they pray the court “ for an order of interlocutory injunction to be granted and to protect their rights and ultimately determined in their favour and the constituency has already conducted some activities without and further activities will make them suffer more harm”


Sea defence project is permanent solution to tidal wave menace – Keta MP

The Member of Parliament for the Keta Constituency in the Volta region, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey has once again appealed to government for the commencement of work on the phase two of the Keta Sea Defence project as permanent solution to the perennial flooding of communities along the coast as a result of tidal waves.

According to the lawmaker, several appeals to central government to commence work on the Blekusu stretch of the sea defence project has proven futile leaving the people at the mercy of the tidal waves annually with devastating effects to lives and properties.

Mr Kwame Gapkey’s renewed appeal follows the flooding of households in several communities in the Keta constituency.

The phenomenon of Keta and its adjourning communities being hit by tidal waves with its attendant negative impacts on livelihoods have become a norm in recent times due to the increasing eating up of habitable lands by the sea.

Communities such as Keta central, Kedzikofe, Agbotsakofe, Dzelukofe, Nugbesekofe, Tetelikofe among others are currently immersed in water and properties such roads, roofings of buildings as well as tourist sites including emancipation beach and parts of Aglor Lodge have all been damaged as a result of the tidal waves.

Speaking in an interview with TV3 News about the disaster, Hon Kwame Gakpey expressed disquiet about the regular kneejerk approach by government to finding a permanent solution to the problem which kept recurring.
He indicated that the time has come for government to act quickly by resuming work on the sea defence project once and for all.

Mr Gakpey noted that despite a pledge by the minister for Works and Housing to parliament following a question he posed that some Ghc 10 million has been allocated for feasibility studies for the project and a follow-up visit by the minister to the community, nothing has been done since.

The MP also appealed to benevolent institutions including corporate bodies and NGOs to come to the aid of the people even as he urged the National Disaster Management Organisation to act as a matter of urgency to brief relief to the residents.

In April last year, Keta and its neighboring communities especially Agavedzi were hard hit by tidal waves disaster destroying several properties including close to 100 houses and curtailed economic activities of residents for several days.


Sophia Ackuaku Wins African Iconic Female Parliamentarian Award

The Member of Parliament for the Obom Domeabra constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Sophia Karen Edem Ackuaku has been adjudged winner of the Africa Iconic Female Parliamentarian of the year award for 2023.

She emerged as winner of the coveted Africa Iconic Female Parliamentarian of the year category among several other women from the continent in the African Iconic Women Recognition award AIWRA 2023 after going through vigorous democratic process of nomination, screening and voting.

Ms Sophia Karen Ackuaku who made the shortlist of five remaining nominees beat off the completion from four other female lawmaker nominees, two from Nigeria, one each from Kenya and South Africa respectively to emerge victorious.

Madam Sophia Ackuaku pulled 329 votes out of a total 694 representing 47% of the total public votes cast against Senator Uche Ekwenife of Nigeria who pulled 163 votes representing 23%, Hon Nkeiruka Nyejeocha also of Nigeria who got 162 votes (23%) , Hon Busia Ruth Odinga of Kenya who had 20 votes (3%) and Rt. Hon Ms Mapisa Nqakula of South Africa who also had 20 votes representing 3%.

The award
The Africa Iconic Female Parliamentarian of the year is awarded to a female parliamentarian in Africa, a woman in leadership who has initiated all manner of innovations to ensure improvement in the economy of her country and Africa as a whole.

The award vetting panel has a mandate to ensures that recipients of the award is that woman that has lived traits of kindness and commitment of service to people, exhibits constant desire to improve quality of life in society and create opportunities for future generations through the positions she held.

An elated Sophia Ackuaku in an acceptance video expressed gratitude to the organisers for the award which she noted will motivate her to do more for the development of Ghana and Africa as a whole in transforming lives.
The MP who is a social worker, a philanthropist and a politician said she is a firm believer in investing in people as a virtue that is important than anything else.

She dedicate the award to former President John Dramani Mahama and his spouse Lordina Mahama, Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Kingsford Bagbin who gave her the opportunity to shine, her constituents, her children and family, Dr Fazam and the Future Trends Collective Rights of Africa fraternity, OLA Girls, Mrs Kwakye and family, Ghanaian children, and her colleagues MPs and staff of parliament, all Ghanaian women and the voting public who voted for her among the several finalists.

Hon Sophia Ackuaku is expected to formally receive the award on June 1, during at the awards event to be held at Abuja, Nigeria.

Hon Sophia Ackuaku is a product of OLA Girls, Accra Workers College, School of Social Works, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Nalitary Institute, University of USA, and Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre and holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Charisma University in the USA.

She is the founder of Womanhood Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation, as a vehicle for empowering young women and the youth in general.

Sophia Ackuaku is a member of the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Association of African Women Entrepreneurs and National Association of Women Entrepreneurs and serves as the focal officer for these international bodies in Ghana.

She is also the ambassador for Future Trends Collective Rights of Africa in Ghana.
The Obom Domeabra lawmaker is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of a cosmetic empire, Eligreen Enterprise Ltd that deals in shea butter based products, providing jobs for women especially in northern Ghana and also owns two other companies, Amosos Ghana ltd and Donkomi.

The MP previously worked as deputy director in-charge of operations at the National Service Secretariat during the era of former President John Dramani Mahama.

Due to her quest of championing development of deprived communities, Hon Sophia Ackuaku has been installed Queen mother for two traditional areas, Adenkrebi in the Greater Accra and Anyarko in the Volta regions where she masterminded several community development projects.

Sophia Karen Ackuaku is a versatile politician who easily adapts to any new environment she finds herself. She first served as the parliamentary candidate for the National Democratic (NDC) in the Dome/Kwabenya constituency but was unsuccessful and subsequently contested on the ticket of the party for the Obom Domeabra constituency also in the Greater Accra region and won the 2016 polls and was re-elected in the 2020 elections for a second term.

Hon Sophia is on verge of making history as she moves from the Obom Domeabra constituency and is seeking to secure the parliamentary candidate ticket of the NDC to contest the Ayawaso Central constituency in the capital for a third term bid to the lawmaking house.

She is a mother of three biological sons (boys), Ransford, Richmond and Raymond as well four adopted children.

AIWRA is a prestigious annual international Democracy Heroes Awards event organized by FDN Projects (Friends of Democracy Nigeria Projects) to strictly celebrate women of notes who have consistently and committed to the development of Africa through various women and youth development initiatives.


Resources to elect Community MPs are there, what is lacking is political will—Ayariga

Gradually the tenure of the current Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament is coming to an end, but a question that remains answered is whether the Rt. Hon Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis’ crusade of getting lawmakers elected would be achieved?

A member of Ghana’s delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Mahama Ayariga has said electing lawmakers to the Community Parliament is workable as resources budgeted to the Parliament when managed well can be used to achieve this.

According to him what is lacking is the political will and further added that elections are being held in the sub-region all the time, be it presidential, parliamentary and local government level elections. “Infrastructure for holding the elections are there, the capacity to allocate and determine boundaries is also there”.

In a telephone interview with the Bawku Central lawmaker in his constituency, he pointed out that, heads of States the Parliament have gotten in touch with have pledged their support but when it comes to implementation, there is no real push by “the leadership of the Parliament because MPs seems to enjoy the current practice”, where member states MPs double as Community lawmakers.

And further added that the new arrangement of electing lawmakers directly would mean you cannot belong to your national assembly at the same time in the ECOWAS Parliament, as most likely all the current MPs in the Parliament “may be swept out of the Parliament and definitely they do not want that”.

The Commission President and Heads of States have pledged their commitment, it’s for the current leadership of the parliament to take the step to create a new system which they are likely not to be part of and they are not just ready for that, he emphasized.

“Is for the heads of states to take this up and any one can test this issue in the community court of justice”, he told Ghanamps.com in an interview on the subject matter.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Work on burnt Oda market starts

Re-construction work on the burnt Oda market has started two years down the line after it was raised down by fire.
After government cut sod for the re-construction to start work did not start as expected but monitoring done by Ghanamps.com can reveal that work has started and this website can reveal that the Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah has donated street light to the contractor at the site.

Speaking to journalists at the site, the MP noted that they had to mount pressure on the contractor to start work because there were agitation and when the question is asked as to when work would start he did not know what to tell his constituents.

According to him the contractor has indicated that he would work day and night hence the need to donate streetlights to aid him in his work to fast track the construction work.

The lawmaker for Akim Oda further assured those moving around radio stations trying to take advantage of the delay in the re-construction of the burnt market for political gains that their wishes would not work as work has started in earnest.