Friday, August 31, 2012
AUGUST 31, 2012 (Front Page) THE Judicial Service has explained that it is impossible to immediately empanel Justices of the Supreme Court during the legal vacation to hear a suit challenging the creation of 45 new constituencies. According to the service, almost all the Justices of the Supreme Court are out of the jurisdiction on legal vacation while the rest are scheduled to leave the jurisdiction by the first week of September. Reacting to a petition it received from Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for Mr Ransford France, the man challenging the creation of the new constituencies, the Judicial Service in a statement dated August 29, 2012 to the Daily Graphic said “we did indeed receive a petition from counsel for Ransford France on Monday, August 27, 2012 bearing the same date”. “Again, while the instant case of J1/24/2012 Ransford France vrs. Electoral Commission and Attorney-General is ripe for hearing, almost all the Justices of the Supreme Court are out of the jurisdiction on legal vacation. The rest are scheduled to leave the jurisdiction by the first week of September and return at the end of September,” the statement said. Under the circumstances, the statement, which was signed by the Judicial Secretary, Mr Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, stated that the earliest date within the legal vacation when the case could be heard was Thursday, October 4, 2012. The statement said another electoral case titled James Amarh Amartey vrs. Electoral Commission and Attorney-General would also be heard on October 4, 2012. According to the statement, “it is the determination of the Hon. Lady Chief Justice that all electoral cases are disposed of before the commencement of the 2012/2013 Legal Year”. It further pointed out that two other cases of an electoral nature would be heard on Friday, October 5, 2012. The legal year is expected to commence on October 9, 2012. Mr Dame had prayed the Chief Justice to empanel judges to hear his case in order to avoid chaos in the country as, according to him, the issue on the creation of new districts “had overwhelming public interest”. The other defendant in the case is the Attorney-General, who according to counsel had not filed a response to the suit as of yesterday. The EC for its part has put in a defence denying any wrongdoing. Responding to the Judicial Service’s statement, Mr Dame said he appreciated the necessity for the distinguished judges of the Supreme Court to have a holiday but pointed out that “my only difficulty is that, with the imminent recall of parliament from recess, injury may be occasioned the whole nation, since by the time the suit is heard, the CI73 which is being challenged would have entered into force”. The EC has come under attack from the Minority in Parliament and other members of the public, some of whom have filed similar suits challenging the legality of the creation of new constituencies. The leadership of Parliament and the Electoral Commission (EC) on August 14, 2012 agreed to withdraw CI 73 which was to establish 45 new constituencies on account of several errors on the CI. The EC replaced the CI 73 with an amended one which is expected to mature in 21 Parliamentary sitting days. Parliament is currently on recess and is expected to be recalled on September 3, 2012 for an emergency sitting on the matter. Mr Dame filed the suit on July 6, 2012 challenging the power of the EC to go ahead with the creation of new constituencies without first laying before Parliament, a Constitutional Instrument indicating clearly the mechanism, formula or modalities by which it intended to undertake that exercise. Counsel is praying the court to perpetually restrain the EC from laying before Parliament any Constitutional Instrument creating new constituencies and/or revoking the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2004 [C.I. 46], until it laid before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument which clearly sets out the processes to be adopted by the EC.
AUGUST 29, 2012 (Page 3) EIGHT persons, including two chiefs, who allegedly caused chaos at Ablekuma last Saturday, were today arraigned before the Accra Circuit Court in Accra, following last Saturday’s chieftaincy violence at Ablekuma, a suburb of Accra. They pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, rioting with offensive weapons, and rioting. The chiefs, Nii Kweku Fosu III, 56, and Nii Larbie Mensah, 67 were each granted bail in the sum of GHC20, 000 with two sureties each by the court presided over by Mr Francis Ofori while the six other accused persons namely Nii Adjin Kofi, 67, Asafoatse Abeka Abbey, 49, and secretary to Nii Larbi Mensah, Mustapha Adjin Tetteh, 42, Nii Kotey Nartey, 58, Ebenezer Ayeh, 50, and Fatau Mohammed, 19 were remanded to reappear on September 4, 2012. A chieftaincy clash broke out at Ablekuma on Saturday and in the process, three persons lost their lives. Four others sustained various degrees of injury and are currently receiving medical treatment. Supporters of Nii Kweku Fosu III and Nii Larbie Mensah, who are both claimants to the Ablekuma stool, engaged in shooting and arson last Saturday while marking the Homowo festival. Presenting the facts of the case, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Kofi Blagodzi, told the court that on August 25, 2012 at about 2:30 pm, the Greater Accra Police Command received several distress calls from residents of Ablekuma about indiscriminatory firing of gunshots by two rival chiefs and their followers at Ablekuma. The Command quickly dispatched a heavily armed Police team led by DSP Osei Agboya to proceed to Ablekuma to bring the situation under control. The police upon reaching Ablekuma, found two deceased persons identified as Wulomo Nii Tetteh Sarfo and Emmanuel Nartey with gunshot wounds near Nii Kweku Fosu’s palace. The entire palace was also vandalized with two vehicles parked in the compound burnt beyond repairs. Four persons who sustained gunshot wounds were also conveyed to the Police Hospital for treatment. The police retrieved 64 spent cartridges, one live catridge and 16 abandoned motorcycles suspected to belong to the culprits. Further investigations also disclosed that Nii Kweku Fosu III and Nii Larbie Mensah, 67 werer two rival chiefs all based at Ablekumah each claiming ownership of the Ablekuma township with their respective palaces and with their subjects. On August 25, 2012 all the accused persons decided to celebrate Homowo festival at Ablekuma at the same time using the same principal town route. Further investigation revealed the two chiefs who were well aware of the implications of their intended action, respectively hired the services of two armed thugs groups identified as “UN-Boys” headed by one Nii Ofori based at Sowutouwm and Djona Boys headed by one Moses also based at Djona , to assist them to celebrate the Homowo festival. The two rival factions eventually clashed at a spot called Ablekuma junction whilse sprinkling Kpokpoi. In the ensuing scuffle, Nii Kweku Fosu and his followers escaped to their palace but they were pursued by the other faction resulting in the exchange of fierce exchange of gunshots leading to instant death of two persons. One of the injured victims, Aventus Modestu, died on August 26, 12, at the Police Hospital. Earlier, Mr T. N. Ward Brew, counsel for Fosu, Abbey and Nartey told the court that Fosu was the substantive chief at Ablekuma in line of succession. According to counsel, his clients were the ones who were attacked adding he will lead evidence to prove his clients were the victims. He further maintained that it inappropriate for the police to accuse his clients of any offence. On his part, Dr Josiah Aryeh, counsel for Nii Larbie Mensah said the facts presented by the prosecution were contradictory to the real issues. He said he will lead evidence to prove the innocence of the accused person. Mr Blagodzi objected to the grant of bail but the court used its discretion and granted bail to the two rival chiefs.
AUGUST 30, 2012 (Page 3) FOR allegedly stealing $150,000 belonging to his subjects, the Chief of Banka in the Ashanti Region was today remanded in custody by the Fast Track High Court. Osabarima Twiampomah III was given the money in trust of the people of Banka by a mining company as part of its social responsibility but he allegedly diverted it for his personal use. The court, presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist, took the quantum of money involved, refused him bail and remanded him till September 5, 2012. Lawyer for the accused person, Mr Emmanuel Apokoh, prayed the court to grant his client bail because the $150,000 was part payment for a total amount of 530,000 which was expected to be paid to the community. According to counsel, the $150,000 was for his client’s personal use to facilitate his work as well as part of what he termed as “drink money.” However, a Chief State Attorney, Mr Matthew Amponsah opposed the grant of bail and argued that the accused person had no reputation to protect after denying his people means of development. He also pointed out that the chief might not avail himself for trial when granted bail. The facts of the case as presented by the prosecution were that in 2000, a Gulf Coast Resources Company Limited acquired a mining lease for a period of 10 years from the Mineral Commission to operate a gold mine at Banka. The mining lease expired in 2010 and upon expiration, the mining company applied to the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources for the renewal of its mining lease. Conversely, the Banka community, spearheaded by the accused person wrote a letter dated June 10, 2010 to the sector ministry challenging the renewal of the lease on grounds that the Gulf Coast Resources Company Ltd had failed to fulfill its corporate and social obligations to the Banka community for the past decade. Following this challenge, the management of the company entered into negotiations with the accused and the people of Banka and as a result, the company pledged to pay the Banka community $ 150,000 for its development activities if the accused person and the people of the Banka withdrew their petition against the renewal of their lease. The chief and his people obliged and accordingly withdrew their petition per letter dated January 13, 2011 authored on their behalf by the accused person and addressed to the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources. As a result of the withdrawal of the petition, the mining lease of the company was renewed for another 10 years with effect from 2011. Upon renewal of the lease, the Gulf Coast Resources Company Ltd transferred its rights to another mining company, called Banka Gold Ltd. O and out of the proceeds from the transaction Gulf Coast Resources Company Ltd paid the amount of 150,000 US dollars, to the accused for the people of Banka as promised earlier. According to the prosecution, the Mnanaging Director of the Gulf Coast Resources Company Ltd, Mr Ebenezer Baah Asare-Quansah, stated in his statement to the police that the $150,000 was for the Banka community but not for the accused person’s personal use. The prosecution said the money into the accused person’s bank account on June 14, 2011 and he acknowledged receipt on the same day. It said the contents of the accused person’s receipt indicated that he had received the money on behalf of the elders and people of Banka. Although the accused person had acknowledged receipt of the money, he failed to inform the people of Banka that he had received the $150,000. He also failed to release the money to the people of Banka but the beneficiaries got wind that the money had been paid to accused person. After a long wait and not receiving any form of communication from the accused person on the payment of the said amount, the elders of Banka approached him on several occasions but the accused person told them that the money had not been paid to him. Not satisfied, the elders reported the matter to the police and the accused was subsequently arrested. In his statement to the police, the accused acknowledged receipt of the money but maintained the money was paid to him personally for his personal use to defray legal expenses which he incurred while he was pursuing the matter with Gulf Coast Resources Company Ltd. The prosecution said it will lead evidence to prove the guilt of the accused person beyond reasonable doubt.
AUGUST 29, 2012 (Centre Spread) THE Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has directed judges to assert their independence in adjudicating electoral disputes in the December 2012 general election. “As the Judicial branch of government, we are always under close public scrutiny. As we carry out our constitutional responsibilities in this election year, we will be judged by the public. I, therefore, urge you to assert your independence and be guided only by the evidence tendered before you and the applicable constitutional, statutory and decisional laws of the land.” Speaking at the opening ceremony of a one-day training programme on election adjudication process for justices of the High Court and Circuit Court judges in Ghana, Mrs Justice Wood said “I trust that you will not under any circumstances succumb to extra judicial influences. As has always been the case, I pledge you my fullest support in this regard.” The participants who were drawn from across the country were taken through rules and regulations set out in the revised manual on election adjudication to build their capacity in order to efficiently deliberate and resolve electoral disputes that might arise before, during and after the 2012 polls. Topics treated included overview and objectives of the programme, parliamentary election disputes, discussion on election offences and general discussions on electoral laws of the country. The resources persons included Dr Bimpong Buta, a member of the Electoral Manual Committee; Mr Justice Jones Dotse, a Justice of the Supreme Court and Board Chairman of the Judicial Training Institute (JTI); Mr Justice S. Marful-Sau, a Court of Appeal Judge and Director of JTI, and Professor Kofi Kumado, a law lecturer. According to the Chief Justice, electoral justice was the medium for preserving, protecting, defending and enjoying electoral rights, adding “it offers opportunity to aggrieved persons those who believe their electoral rights have been compromised or violated in one way or the other to file complaints criminal or civil and obtain a fair, just and expeditious adjudication.” She further reminded the judges that the electoral justice system of which they were the lead actors represented the ultimate guarantee of free, fair and genuine elections and thus placed on them the onerous responsibility of ensuring that the entire electoral process conformed to Ghana’s legal framework. Mrs Justice Wood said the hallmark of any credible justice system was the timeliness with which criminal complaints and disputes were disposed of, judgments and decisions fully enforced. “In this regard, the timeliness, the transparency, objectivity, integrity, impartiality, firmness, diligence and professionalism with which electoral complaints and disputes are fully, effectually and finally resolved in order to place the final seal of legitimacy on the entire process is very important,” she said. She further reminded the judges that they had a constitutional duty to dispose of electoral cases expeditiously to avoid the accompanying mistrust and suspicion that went with delayed justice. The Chief Justice commended the judges for taking time off their recess “to respond to the call of national duty.” For his part, Mr Justice Dotse advised the participants to be mindful of their comments, adding “let your opinion be in your mind and state it in your judgment.”
AUGUST 28, 2012 (Lead story) A lawyer to one of the persons challenging the creation of 45 constituencies has petitioned the Chief Justice to empanel justices of the Supreme Court to hear the merit of the case during the legal vacation. Failure to do so, according to Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, would create avoidable chaos in the country, as according to him, the issue on the creation of new districts “has overwhelming public interest”. The other defendant in the case is the Attorney-General, who according to counsel had not filed a response to the suit as of yesterday. The EC for its part, has put in a defence denying any wrongdoing. The EC has come under attack from the Minority in Parliament and other members of the public, some of whom have filed similar suits challenging the legality of the creation of new constituencies. A similar suit which was instituted by an Accra-based businessman, Mr James Amarh Amartey, is also challenging the legality in the intention of the EC to create 45 additional constituencies. A suit filed on behalf of the plaintiff by his lawyer, Mr Ayikoi Otoo, contends that L.I. 1983 of 2010, which created new electoral areas and laid before Parliament by the Minister of Local Government and through which the new constituencies have been created, should be declared an absolute nullity. According to the plaintiff, the outcome of the December 7, 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections would be rendered invalid if L.I. 1983 of 2010, was not deleted. The leadership of Parliament and the Electoral Commission (EC) on August 14, 2012 agreed to withdraw CI 73 which was to establish 45 new constituencies on account of several fatal errors on the CI. The EC has replaced the CI 73 which had matured after 21 sitting days with an amended version which was expected to mature in 21 Parliamentary sitting days. Parliament is currently on recess and is expected to be recalled on September 3, 2012 for an emergency sitting on the matter. The new CI 73 has recorded only a day of maturity since Parliament is currently on recess. Mr Dame on July 6, 2012 filed a suit on behalf of an Accra-based businessman, Mr Ransford France, challenging the power of the Electoral Commission (EC) to go ahead with the creation of new constituencies without first laying before Parliament, a constitutional instrument indicating clearly the mechanism, formula or modalities by which it intended to undertake that exercise. Counsel is praying the court to perpetually restrain the EC from laying before Parliament any Constitutional Instrument creating new constituencies and or revoking the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2004 [C.I. 46], until it laid before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument which clearly sets out the processes to be adopted by the EC. However, the matter has not been listed for hearing because the courts are on legal vacation until October, 2012. “Whilst recognising the absolute imperative for a legal vacation by the Superior Courts of Judicature, we wish to respectfully indicate that the suit, the subject matter of this letter, is one with overwhelming public interest to the extent that the outcome of same would affect the electoral process in the Republic of Ghana this year,” the petition dated August 27, 2012, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, pointed out. “The plaintiff in filing his action, was motivated by the duty imposed on all Ghanaians to uphold and defend the Constitution through legal action, and in this context, ensuring a due compliance by the Electoral Commission with mandatory provisions of the Constitution in the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” it continued. “It is in the light of this that we respectfully pray Your Ladyship to exercise your powers under Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 ( C. I. 16) to empanel the Supreme Court to hear the merits of the Plaintiff’s action in the legal vacation,” the petition continued. Rule 1 of C. I. 16 provides as follows: “The sessions of the Supreme Court shall be held during term and at any other times directed by the Chief Justice”. “In view of all of the above, we respectfully pray you to exercise your powers under Rule 1 of C. I. 16 to empanel a court to hear the merits of plaintiff’s action,” counsel prayed. According to counsel, his plea to the Chief Justice had become necessary by the fact that failure to empanel a court to sit on the case will not only render the plaintiff’s action moot or nugatory but will also encourage further unconstitutional conduct on the part of the EC. Counsel continued, “It is pertinent to note that the Electoral Commission notwithstanding the pendency of the action, is continuing with the constitutional infractions complained of in the suit. If the suit is heard in regular term, chaos would undoubtedly result from non-adjudication thereof and that will not be in the interest of the nation.” Mr Dame maintained that the Electoral Commission would already have succeeded in creating the new constituencies and also well advanced in its preparations for the conduct of the elections if the Chief Justice did not empanel the Supreme Court during the vacation to hear the case. In the substantive suit, Mr France is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23, 51 and 296 (c) of the Constitution, the EC in the exercise of its functions and discretionary power in creating new constituencies, is required to make by Constitutional Instrument, regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution or any other law to govern the exercise of its discretionary power. He is praying the court to compel the EC, as required by Articles 51 and 296 (c) of the 1992 Constitution, to come up with a Constitutional Instrument which is consistent with the Constitution or any other law, regulations to govern the exercise of its discretionary power to create new constituencies including in particular, the specification of the formula and mechanism to be used in the creation of new constituencies, among other reliefs.
AUGUST 25, 2012 (Lead story) TWO days after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) decided to write to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to produce Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome to appear before it, the businessman has expressed his willingness to do so on his own accord. According to his lawyers, Mr Woyome would, however, not be willing to divulge information that would be prejudicial to the same subject matter currently pending before the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Reacting to a decision by the Chairman of the PAC to the IGP to arrest Woyome for failing to appear before the PAC on Thursday, to answer questions on the GH¢51.2 judgement debt, one of the lawyers for Woyome, Mr Musah Ahmed, explained that the defence team was not seeking to undermine the dignity and authority of the PAC as enshrined in the Constitution. “We are, however, willing to appear to lay grounds for postponement,” he said. Mr Ahmed said Woyome’s legal team fundamentally believed that once the issues were pending before the superior courts in the country, “it is our considered opinion that the committee will be doing justice to our client by deferring the invitation to our client for purposes of him giving evidence before the committee in respect of pending matter currently before the courts.” “I honestly doubt if the committee can proceed to ask our client questions without delving into the issues before the superior courts,” Mr Ahmed said. He said “under the circumstance, the interest of justice will be better served if the committee agrees with us by adjourning its proceedings until the final determination of the subject matter by the courts”. Last Thursday, Mr Woyome was summoned to appear before the PAC but he was unable to do so. “We received the summons to appear before the committee an hour before the time we were expected to appear before the PAC and under such short notice, there was no way we could have made it,” Mr Ahmed said in an interview. Meanwhile, a formal letter from lawyers of Woyome to the Clerk of the PAC of Parliament dated August 23, 2012 said “we have just been informed by the news media that your committee has summoned our client, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, under the hand of the Clerk of the Committee, to appear before it at 12 noon today”. “Kindly be apprised that we have acted for our client in this matter throughout and have exchanged correspondence with your committee but find it strange that you did not send us with at least a copy of the said summons to enable us to advise our client. Further enquiries from our client also drew a blank with the answer that he has not been personally served with any such summons,” the letter stated. It continued, “We have also verified from Messrs Peasah-Boadu & Co who confirmed that they received some correspondence from Parliament House around 11 am today. We would have thought that such summons, being significantly different from that of an invitation, will be served on our client personally and not by substitution.” “Be that as it may we do not think our client was given ample notice to enable him to prepare and appear before the committee in obedience to the summons,” adding that “we hope you will take the necessary steps to do what is consistent with the due process as required by law.” Mr Ahmed said although his client was willing to appear before the PAC, “we would not want our client to be subjected to questions, the effect of which will prejudice the outcome of the court case”. Meanwhile, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Doe Adjaho, has overruled the decision by the Chairman of the PAC to write to the IGP to produce Woyome to appear before the committee, writes Emmanuel Adu-Gyamera. Mr Adjaho contends that the PAC Chairman lacks the powers to cause the arrest of persons who refuse to appear before the committee. Quoting Order 151 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Mr Adjaho said it was only the Speaker of Parliament who had the power to issue a warrant for the arrest of an individual who failed to appear before a committee of the House. Meanwhile members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the PAC of Parliament are accusing Mr Kan-Dapaah of taking arbitrary decisions. The Member of Parliament for Yapei and a committee member, Amadu Seidu, said Mr Kan-Dapaah could not arrogate to himself the power to ask the IGP to drag Woyome before the committee without consulting the other committee members. Mr Amadu Seidu said he was expecting the chairman to call a meeting of members to decide what line of action to take after Woyome failed to appear for the third time, even after he was subpoenaed. "The chairman is not the committee, the committee is not the chairman,” he stated. However, Mr Kan-Dapaah has reacted strongly to comments by the First Deputy Speaker that he did not follow due procedure in ordering the arrest of Mr Woyome. Mr Kan-Dapaah told the Daily Graphic that even though he gave the order, he knew that the proper thing to do under that circumstance was to pass it through the Speaker. “I have forwarded the letter to the Speaker’s Office, since I know that that is how it should be done.” He said he was aware that the Speaker was not in the country and in that circumstance the mantle would fell on the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Adjaho. Mr Kan-Dapaah added that the committee had done its part and it would be up to the Speaker and her deputies to either instruct the IGP to issue a warrant to drag Mr Woyome before the committee or not.
AUGUST 24, 2012 (Page 3) STATE prosecutors today failed to turn up at the trial of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who has been accused of pitting Ashantis against Gas and Ewes. The MP, his wife, lawyer, Atta Akyea and sympathisers got to the court premises before 9:00 a.m. but the prosecution had not shown up as at 10:40 a.m. When the case was called after 10:40 a.m., Mr Akyea rose to his feet and informed the court that it was obvious the prosecution would not show up. He prayed the court to permit the MP to travel outside the country for medical examination which the court obliged. The trial judge, Mr Ebenezer Osei Darko adjourned the case to October 16, 2012. The MP has since April 17, 2012 being trundled between the Adjabeng District Magistrate Court where the magistrate declined jurisdiction; the Human Rights Court which granted him bail; the Fast Track High Court, which was billed to commence his trial and the Supreme Court where the prosecution had prayed it to quash proceedings at the Fast Track High Court. He was first put before the Circuit Court presided over by Mr Ebenezer Osei Darko on July 19, 2012 On July 4, 2012, the Supreme Court threw out the state’s application which prayed it to quash proceedings at the lower court hearing the MP’s case because according to the state, the court lacked jurisdiction. However, in a unanimous decision, the highest court of the land ruled that the action filed by the Attorney-General (A-G) was “unnecessary and extremely odd” because the law empowered the A-G to file a nolle prosequi to discontinue the processes at the lower court. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the state filed a nolle prosequi on July 6, 2012 to discontinue proceedings against the MP before the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist. Contrasting the commotion which erupted following his arrest on April 16, 2012, the MP was today arraigned on a low key at the Circuit Court charged with two counts of provocation of riot and offensive conduct. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted self recognisance bail after one of his lawyers, Mr. Frank Davis, had prayed the court to grant him bail because he was a man of repute, owned businesses and would comply with the bail terms. Mr. Davis also denied the prosecution’s assertion that the MP incited a particular group against the other. Counsel argued further that his client was not capable of declaring war and stressed that the MP did not own mass ammunition to do that. According to the lawyer, the MP would not cause war in his own country. A Principal State Attorney, Mr. Anthony Rexford Wiredu did not oppose bail and further pointed out that the accused person had so far conducted himself creditably. He explained that the MP appeared before the court on his own volition after he had been notified by the prosecution.
AUGUST 24, 2012 (Front page) AN Accra-based businessman, Mr James Amarh Amartey, has dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney-General to the Supreme Court challenging the legality in in the intention of the EC to create 45 additional constituencies. The plaintiff contends that L.I. 1983 of 2010, which created new districts and laid before Parliament by the Minister of Local Government and through which the new constituencies have been created should be declared an absolute nullity. According to the plaintiff, the outcome of the December 7, 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections would be rendered invalid if L.I. 1983 of 2010 was not deleted. The plaintiff, is therefore, praying the court to declare that the Representation of People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument 2012, C.I. 73 seeking to create 45 new constituencies, thereby increasing the existing constituencies from 230 to 275, currently lying in Parliament and yet to come into force as null and void. He is through his lawyer, Mr Ayikoi Otoo invoking the Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to declare that the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas And Designation of Units" Instrument, L.I.1983 of 2010, laid in Parliament by the Minister responsible for Local Government, and which came into force after twenty-one (21) days from the day it was gazetted, was made by the Minister responsible for Local Government, in contravention of Article 45(b) of the Constitution 1992. Article 45 (b) of the 1992 gives the EC the mandate to demarcate electoral boundaries for both national and local government elections. That function according to the plaintiff has been usurped by the Minister of Local Government and for that reason the plaintiff is further praying the court to rule that the said Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument L.I. 1983 of 2010 by the Minister of Local Government as null and void and of no legal effect. The plaintiff is arguing that the Electoral Areas unconstitutionally created by the Minister responsible for Local Government was equally null and void and of no legal effect. “National Elections (Presidential & Parliamentary), scheduled for December 7, 2012 would have to be conducted based upon C.I. 73 which has incorporated in it the Electoral Areas contained in the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument L.I. 1983 of 2010. That L.I. is unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect,” a statement of claim pointed out. . The background as provided by the plaintiff was that on October 19, 2010, the then Hon. Minister of Local Government laid before Parliament after Cabinet approval, the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument L.I. 1983. It said Pursuant to Order 77 of the Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana, the Hon. Speaker of Parliament referred the said Instrument to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and “in accordance with the provisions of Article 11(7) of the Constitution 1992, the said L.I. 1983 after 21 sitting days after being so laid came into force and became known as L.I. 1983 of 2010.” “ Following legal suits challenging the authority of Parliament to amend the said L.I. 1983 of 2010, some of the Electoral Areas so created by the said L.I. 1983 of 2010, were declared null and void and of no legal effect notably: Okane and 4 Ors v Electoral Commission and Attorney- General,  SCGLR 1136; Opremreh v Electoral Commission of Ghana & Attorney- General  SCGLR 1159; Charles Mate Kole & Another Vrs The Electoral Commission, The Attorney-Cerieral And Nene Teye Titriku I, Akuse-Amedeka Citizens Association in Writ No.Jl/4/2011 - Unreported Judgment dated June 13, 2012.” The Plaintiff contends that under Article 45(b) of the Constitution 1992, the creation of Electoral Boundaries was vested in the Electoral Commission and not in the Minister responsible for Local Government. “ The Minister responsible for Local Government in creating the district electoral areas under L.I. 1983 of 2010, purported to have derived his authority from subsections (3) and (4) of section 3 of the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462). Accordingly, the plaintiff argues that the act of the Minister for Local Government therefore in usurping the constitutional function of the Electoral Commission in the creation of Electoral boundaries or Areas with the laying in Parliament of the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument L.1. 1983 of 2010 was an act inconsistent with or in contravention of Article 45 (b) of the Constitution 1992 and therefore, makes the said L.1. 1983 of 2010, invalid.
AUGUST 17, 2012 (Page 20) A contempt of court suit brought against the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and six others has been withdrawn. Dr Afari-Gyan and the other six respondents namely Amadu Sulley, Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, Mrs Pauline Adobea, Ebenezer Aggrey Fynn, Mrs Rebecca Kabuki Adjafo and Mrs Sa-Adatu Maida, all commissioners of the EC were present in court. Mr Ayikoi Otoo, who instituted the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, Mr Richard Odum Bortier and Mr Daniel Quaye, announced the withdrawal at the Fast Track High Court’s sitting in Accra today. The plaintiffs, who are both residents of Nungua in Accra, had prayed the court to imprison the seven for contempt of court because they had in spite of a pending court action against the creation of new constituencies gone ahead to lay a paper before Parliament in further pursuit of their agenda to create the new constituencies. However, Mr Ayikoi explained that the discontinuing of the case was necessitated by the EC’s withdrawal of erroneous version of CI 73 for the creation of additional 45 constituencies. The EC withdrew CI 73 and replaced it with a corrected version after the House rejected the previous version on grounds that it contained many errors and inconsistencies. With the laying of the corrected version, prospective candidates of the various political parties who are preparing to secure the mandate to contest for the new seats will have to wait for another 21 parliamentary sitting days. Counsel for the respondents, Mr James Quashie-Idun disagreed with Mr Otoo’s stance and suggested it would have served a better purpose if parties in the case waited for the outcome of a ruling which was billed to be delivered at another High Court. The presiding judge, Mr Edward Amoako-Asante accordingly struck out the application as having been withdrawn and declined to award cost. Following the withdrawal of the suit by the applicants, the presiding judge, Mr Justice Edward Amoako-Asante accordingly struck out the contempt application which had prayed the court to imprison the respondents. Meanwhile, another Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr Justice K. A. Ofori-Atta has declined jurisdiction over a suit which prayed it order the EC to public CI setting forth the basis, processes and methodology by which it creates, reviews or alters the constituencies of Ghana having regard to the provisions in the Constitution. It advised the plaintiffs, Bortier and Quaye to go to the Constituency Boundary Dispute Settlement Tribunal, a specialized court which has been designated to hear boundary related disputes. The EC had prayed the court to stay proceedings and refer the matter which was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Mr Otoo to the Supreme Court for interpretation. According to the EC, the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs needed constitutional interpretation which was the sole preserve of the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the court held a different view and stated that the issues raised by the plaintiffs did not border on constitutional interpretation. The plaintiffs had also prayed the court to order the EC to take into account the mandatory provisions of Article 47 (3) of the 1992 Constitution in any future demarcation, review or alteration of boundaries of any constituency in Ghana so as to ensure fair representation as enshrined in the Constitution. They had also urged the court to declare that the EC’s principle that every district must have a constituency was not warranted by either the Constitution or any other law as well as restrain the EC from demarcating, reviewing or altering boundaries of the constituencies in future unless due process was followed.
AUGUST 15, 2012 (Page 19) A contempt of court suit brought against the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan and six others has been adjourned to Thursday, August 16, 2012. Two residents of Nungua in Accra, Mr Richard Odum Bortier and Mr Daniel Quaye, are praying the Fast Track High Court to imprison the seven for contempt of court because they had in spite of a pending court action against the creation of new constituencies had gone ahead to lay a paper before Parliament in further pursuit of their agenda to create the new constituencies. The other respondents are Amadu Sulley, Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, Mrs Pauline Adobea, Ebenezer Aggrey Fynn, Mrs Rebecca Kabuki Adjafo and Mrs Sa-Adatu Maida, all commissioners of the EC. At the Fast Track High Court’s sitting in Accra today, it emerged that Mrs Adjafo and Maida were absent because they had not been served and that prompted the presiding judge, Mr Justice Edward Amoako-Asante to adjourn the case to enable them to be served. The plaintiffs were represented by Mr Ayikoi Otoo while the EC was represented by Mr James Quashie-Idun. An affidavit deposed by Mr Bortier, said although he and the other plaintiff had filed a writ on May 28, 2012, seeking to stop the EC from going ahead with the creation of the constituencies, because due process was not followed, the EC has laid the Constitutional Instrument for the new constituencies before Parliament. According to the plaintiffs, after they had duly served the EC, the EC caused its Solicitors, Lynes Quashie-Idun & Co. to enter a Conditional Appearance and that it was “an indication beyond all reasonable doubt that the Commission and the Commissioners had, had notice of the Writ and Statement of Claim and were ready to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of this Court.” “Thereafter, the EC proceeded to file a Motion praying the “Honourable Court to stay proceedings and refer the Suit to the Supreme Court.” Another High Court, presided over by Mr Justice K. A. Ofori-Atta is expected to rule on the application to refer the matter to the Supreme Court on Thursday, July 16, 2012. The affidavit said “the Writ, Statement of Claim, Entry of Appearance, Motion to Stay Proceedings together with its Affidavit were all pending before this Honourable Court, when I heard that the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (the 1st Respondent herein) had evinced an intention to go ahead with the demarcation of new constituencies which he fully knew would affect the subject-matter of litigation.” “Our Lawyer, therefore, caused a letter to be sent to all the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission, warning them that once they had become aware of the pendency of the Action before the Court, any conduct on their part, which is likely to prejudice a fair hearing of the case or interfere with the due administration of justice would amount to contempt for which those interested in wrong would be shown that the law is irresistible,” it pointed out and attached copies of the letters as exhibits. It said nothing was heard from the EC until sometime on or about the July 17, 2012, when it appeared on the Order Paper in Parliament that, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) dealing with the creation of new constituencies entitled “Representation of People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument 2012” had been prepared by the EC. “I am advised by Counsel and verily believe same to be true that the Constitutional Instrument now numbered 76 of 2012 is the act of the Electoral Commission being a Subsidiary Legislation and not a Bill since Subsidiary Legislation are made by persons and authorities to whom Parliament had delegated its Legislative functions”, it said. “Thus, Constitutional Instrument No.76 was made by the Electoral Commission and it is therefore the Electoral Commission which could be held liable for the laying of the said Instrument during the pendency of the Suit No.HP9/2012 and not Parliament” the affidavit in support continued. According to the plaintiffs, the conduct of the respondents in laying of the Constitutional Instrument No.76 of 2012 in Parliament on July 17, 2012 more than nearly 3 months after the writ had been pending to the knowledge of the respondents and after their counsel had warned them of the possible citing for contempt, “have tended to bring the administration of the law into disrespect or disregard and to interfere with the cause of justice or prejudice, ourselves and our witnesses.” It said although the respondents were aware of the other relief seeking an order to restrain the EC from altering or creating new constituencies, except it had followed due process,” it had through the seven respondents proceeded to create new constituencies with abandoned nonchalance which conduct is aimed at prejudicing and interfering with the administration of justice.” “They intend to obstruct the work of the Court and deserve nothing short of imprisonment which course alone in the circumstances can purge their contemptuous behaviour,” the affidavit added. Consequently, the plaintiffs are inviting the court to demonstrate to the respondents that the law was irresistible “and that those in leadership position who decide to execute leadership by show of brinkmanship should be shown that the Courts do not possess feet of clay.”
AUGUST 10, 2012 (Page 70) THE late President J. E. A. Mills, then Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) will be given a full military burial on Friday, August 10, 2012. He passed on at the 37 Military Hospital on July 24, 2012 and has so far received full military compliments. The Mortuary was under 24-hour military guard from the day he died until this morning when he was reclaimed by family members and other government officials. The late President was taken out of the mortuary today around 7:00 a.m., sent to his private home at the Regimanuel Gray Estates on the Spintex Road and returned to the hospital where his hearse was led by a military constabulary to the Castle. A Constabulary is made up of military horse riders who wield flags. On arrival at the State House, Senior Airforce officers removed his casket draped in national flag and sent it to the specially designated place within the Banquet Hall of the State House where his body was laid for officials and the general public to pay their last respects. His body is currently under Catalflaque guard where military Colonels are taking turns to provide protection for his mortal remains until he is interred on Friday. On Friday, August 10, 2012, Brigadier-Generals of the Ghana Armed Forces will perform the role of pall bearers. They will be lined up on either side of the Presidernt’s hearse and move in slow movement to the grave side. A military band is expected to lead the Generals and the hearse while President John Daramani Mahama and his vice, Mr Kwesi Amissah Arthur, family members of the late President, the clergy, government officials and specially invited guests will escort late President to his final resting place. At the grave side, a firing party made up of soldiers will be lined up to offer the late President a gun salute after which prayers will be said, wreaths laid and his body eventually lowered into a grave by an electronic system. As part of the funeral plans, the family of the late President will perform the final rites after which the military will convey the casket to the Independence Square for the burial service. After the service, the casket will be taken through some principal streets of Accra to afford Ghanaians the opportunity to pay their final respects. The Brigadier-Generals will then take over the ceremony. A statement by the Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee, Mr Kofi Totobi Quakyi said the late President will be buried at a specially designated place in between Castle Drive and Marine Drive in Accra. It said, the place which was located just around the Osu Castle will subsequently be developed into a Presidential Mausoleum. The decision on the designated place for the late President’s burial was taken after thorough consultation with the family and on the recommendation of the Funeral Planning Committee.
AUGUST 10, 2012 (Front Page) BUSINESS activities in the corporate world have slowed down drastically as majority of Ghanaians continue to throng the Banquet Hall of the State House to pay their last respects to late President J. E. A. Mills. Staff of various commercial banks and telecom companies mostly clad in mourning cloths rendered services to a few customers. Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicated that customers, who usually visited these facilities, had a renewed interest. The new interest was to file past the body of the deceased President which has been laid in state since Wednesday, August 8, 2012 through to Friday, August 10, 2012. A bank staff, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on grounds of anonymity, said “it appears customers have lost interest in cash withdrawals following the death of the President.” The paper also gathered that most executives of the corporate world had thronged the Banquet Hall to pay their last respects to Prof. Mills, who passed on at the 37 Military Hospital on July 24, 2012. However, traders who hawked funeral cloths and other paraphernalia bearing the picture of the deceased President recorded colossal sales. A young man, who dealt in household items, was spotted busily putting together a sash bearing the picture of the deceased President for onward sale to customers. Some traders also adopted that technique and sold funeral paraphernalia in addition to their regular wares in order to cash in on the windfall. A six-piece funeral cloth which sold for GHC30.00 a week ago went for between GHC70 and GHC120.00. According to traders, although the cloth was in huge demand, limited stocks were available. Others had indicated that they had for the past 24 hours not succeeded in meeting the public demand. That, according to the traders, had contributed to the sky rocketing prices. The Makola Market, Okaishie, Opera Square and Rawlings Park were turned into funeral grounds as traders mostly clad in red and black apparel danced to dirges from loud sound systems. Sound systems blurred with loud music at 20-metre intervals. Different dirges in local languages mixed with each other creating uneven coercion because of the deafening sounds from the systems. A trader told the Daily Graphic that contributions were made to hire the services of spinners and further explained that each group decided to hire its own spinner and that according to her had accounted for the increased numbers of speakers at the market. A visit to some popular food joints in Accra revealed a handful of patrons eating with locked jaws. A patron said “but for my severe hunger, I would not have eaten. I have lost appetite because our President is dead.” A different scenario played out at drinking spots as mourners took solace in large volumes of alcoholic beverages. In all, the paper observed that any item aside funeral paraphernalia recorded lower sales.
AUGUST 9, 2012 (Page 32/65) A unique spectacle played out Wednesday morning at the 37 Military Hospital when rain showers appeared immediately the mounted squadron of the Ghana Army, flying aloft the flags, took the first step to accompany the hearse of late President J. E. A. Mills from the entrance of the 37 Military Hospital to the Castle. At exactly 8:20 a.m., the weather changed giving way to rain showers which fell for less than 10 minutes. Although it reportedly rained in some parts of the city and the country, those who witnessed the 37 Military Hospital spectable, described it as a good omen. The mounted squadron in ceremonial attire, accompanied the hearse which had earlier around 7:00 a.m. left the hospital to the private residence of the deceased President. The officers stayed behind with the horses and waited for the hearse’ arrival. Scores of mourners including hospital staff, patients and members of the general public stood at both sides of the road to observe the procession. Horns blurred with unique sounds to signify the death of an important personality. The continuous presence of the horses at the hospital premises gave observers the indication that there was the likelihood the hearse would be returned to the hospital. That indication attracted more mourners. It was a moment of sorrow and grief as tears rolled down the eyes of observers when the late President’s hearse arrived. The mournful scene at the hospital could be likened to the scenarios that played out at the hospital when the public thronged there after the bodies of 126 soccer fans had been deposited following the May 9, 2001 stadium disaster. Armed men were positioned at both the entry and exit points of the hospital to maintain law and order. Observers obediently stayed at bay and viewed the procession from a distance. The funeral of the late President also brought activities at the country’s judiciary to a halt. Only one court out of more than 10 courts sat at the Cocoa Affairs Court in Accra today as judges and staff of the Judicial Service had moved to the State House to pay their last respect to late President Mills. Meanwhile, majority of market women at Makoka, “Kwasia Dwaso”, Rawlings Park and the Central Business District of Accra wore black and red clothes to signify their mourning state. Some set up sound systems and played dirges at loud volumes, while majority sat behind their wares and solemnly pondered over the death of the President. In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the women who sold foodstuffs said they had recorded low sales while those who vended funeral cloths, pictures of the deceased President, DVDs of his life and achievements, and other funeral kit made a windfall. Food vendors were among those who recorded low sales. According to the vendors, most of their regular customers had declined to purchase food because they had lost appetite. The late President died on July 24, 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital barely 72 hours after celebrating his 68th birthday. He is expected to be laid to rest on August 10, 2012.
August 8, 2012 (Page 19) THE lead lawyer for the incarcerated Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mr Yonny Kulendi has described the Fast Track High Court’s judgment against the MP as unfortunate. The court, presided over by Mr Justice Charles Quist, on July 27, 2012 sentenced Adamu Daramani Sakande, to two years imprisonment for falsely holding himself as a Ghanaian in order to be elected into office as MP. The MP was found guilty and convicted on three counts of false declaration of office or voting, perjury and deceiving a public officer and is currently serving his term at the Nsawam Prison. Mr Yonny Kulendi, in a telephne interview with the Daily Graphic said the defence team would appeal the court’s decision immediately it laid hands on the judgment of the court. According to counsel, it was most unfortunate for the trial judge to order the arrest of the immigration consultant who prepared the renunciation papers for the MP when the MP expressed interest in contesting for parliamentary elections in Ghana. He said Stanley Poku tendered his immigration practicising licence to the court and further pointed out that he and another lawyer, Mr Egbert Faibille had visited Mr Poku at his office in London. According to counsel, Mr Poku who was billed to give evidence at the Supreme Court on behalf of the MP on October 18, 2012 had been gagged by the Fast Track High Court because he risked being arrested when he sets foot in Ghana. “Mr Poku is a recognized, and duly licenced immigraiton consultant in the United Kingdom. The court has tied our hands to call Stanley, who is billed to testify at the Supreme Court on October 18, 2012,” Mr Kulendi stressed and maintained that “Sakande’s move to get Mr Poku to testify has been dealt a death blow.” Touching on the court’s order which said the defence team should have led evidence to call his parents and grandparents to testify that he was a Ghanain was an issue which the court had already determined on July 8, 2010 during its ruling on a “submission of no case”. He said the court in its ruling on July 8, 2010 held that the MP held a valid Ghanaian passport which it termed as “Exhibit A” and was, therefore, a Ghanaian citizen. “It is, therefore, strange for him to state in his judgement that the MP was a Burkinabe and not a Ghanaian,” the lawyer stated. “The only issue left was whether or not he had renounced his British citizenship and that issue was also dealt with when the MP opened his defence,” Mr Kulendi said. Counsel said “the same trial judge had declined recommending the prosecution of a witness, who had confessed to have falsified minutes not withstanding application before him that the witness had committed perjury.” He said the court in that particular case argued that ordering the prosecution of the witness would amount to usurping the powers of the Attorney-General as enshrined in Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution. He said in a ruling dated November 16, 2011 in suit number ACC60/2009 and titled Republic vrs Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and 8 ors, upon an application by the defence that the court should recommend the prosecution of a witness, who had admitted forgery of documents. Counsel said Judge Quist in opined that “to order or recommend that a prosecution witness be charged with an offence is to l usurp the functions of the Ag as provided under article 88 of the 1992 Constitution.” According to counsel, it was, therefore, strange for the court to order the arrest of Mr Poku when there was no such application before him and especially when Mr Poku had not committed any offence. The MP was, on July 31, 2009, arraigned before the court charged with nine counts relating to his nationality, perjury, forgery of passport, election fraud and deceiving public officers to be elected as an MP. He was, however, exonerated on six of those charges on July 8, 2010 and subsequently convicted on three charges of false declaration of office or voting, perjury and deceiving a public officer. A cattle farmer, Sumaila Biebel 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 Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr Justice S. K. Asiedu ordered the MP to vacate his seat. It also declared that the MP owed allegiance to Britain other than Ghana and for that reason he could not hold a position as MP in Ghana. On March 18, 2010, the Court of Appeal sets aside the Fast Track High Court’s order to the MP to vacate his seat and held that under the law, all matters relating to electoral disputes were to be heard as electoral petitions and those petitions are to be heard 21 days after the results of the elections have been declared. In this particular case, the court held that the complainant had failed to meet that requirement. Aggrieved by the Court of Appeal’s decision, Mr Biebel went to the Supreme Court, which decided to take evidence from him. He has since completed his evidence and the court is expected to take evidence from Mr Poku on October 18, 2012.
August 8, 2012 (Page 16) A former Director of Communications of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Seth Ohene Ofori, has described the Vice President nominee, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as competent and capable of assisting the President to steer the affairs of the country. Describing criticisms of the President John Daramani Mahama’s, selection of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as his Vice President as “misplaced”, Mr Ohene explained that Mr Amissah-Arthur was a chief fundraiser who had contributed immensely to the achievements of the NDC. In a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Ofori further pointed out that the late President J. E. A. Mills had immense trust in Mr Amissah-Arthur. Mr Ofori-Ohene, who is also a former Press Secretary to the late President, stated that Prof. Mills had on a number of occasions described Mr Amissah as a gentleman, chief strategist and fund raiser. “I can attest to that,” he added and said it was, therefore, unfortunate for some Ghananains to criticize Mr Amissah-Arthur without any basis. “Mr Amissah-Athur was part of a whole policy process in the drafting of the manifesto for the NDC. He also followed the late Prof. Mills on his campaign rounds on many occasions. He is a true party man,” Mr Ofori-Ohene emphasized. Hammering the achievements of Mr Amissah-Arthur, Mr Ofori-Ohene held that the Vice President designate was an accomplished banker who had contributed immensely to the growth of the economy. He accordingly commended President Mahama for appointing Mr Amissah-Arthur as his Vice President. The Appointments Committee of Parliament is expected to vet Mr Amissah-Arthur on Monday August 6, 2012. In accordance with the 1992 Constitution, President Mahama was sworn into office on July 24, 2012 as President of the Republic of Ghana six hours after Prof. Mills had passed on. Mr Amissah-Arthur was born at Cape Coast, the capital of the Central Region of Ghana. He completed his secondary education at the Mfantsipim School where he obtained the GCE Ordinary Level in 1969 and the GCE Advanced Level in 1971. He proceeded to the University of Ghana at Legon where he obtained the B.Sc. in 1974 and M.Sc. in 1976, both in Economics. He lectured at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana between 1980 and 1988. Prior to this, he was in the same department first as a teaching assistant from 1977 to 1978 and then as an assistant lecturer in 1979. He was into politics until 1997 when he worked as a Consultant for the World Bank in The Gambia. He also served as a consultant for the Netherlands government Education project in Ghana. Mr Amissah-Arthur also worked as Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation in Ghana between 1998 and 2000. Between 2001 and 2002, he was on assignment for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. He also served as a special assistant to the PNDC Secretary of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwesi Botchwey in the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) government from 1983 to 1986. He became a Deputy Secretary for Finance in the PNDC government from 1986 and further continued as the Deputy Minister for Finance in then President J. J. Rawlings government after the establishment of constitutional rule from January 1993 until March 1997. Mr Amissah-Arthur was appointed Governor of the BoG in October 2009 by late President Mills. He held this position until July 31, 2012 when he became the Vice President-Designate.
THE Accra Circuit Court has sentenced an unemployed man to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for having anal sex with an 11-year-old boy. Benjamin Sam, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of defilement and was convicted on his own plea by the court, presided over by Ms Sedinam Agbemava. The victim (name withheld) lived at Chorkor while the convict lived at Mamprobi, both suburbs of Accra. On July 30, 2012 at about 1:00 pm, the victim went to the shore to play football with his friends. On his way home, Sam called him but the victim refused to heed to the call and immediately took to his heels. Sam chased the victim, caught up with him and pulled him to a wooden structure where he (convict) removed the victim’s shorts and had anal sex with the victim. After the act, the convict ordered the victim to leave the scene where the act took place. A group of good Samaritans, who saw the victim weeping, apprehended Sam and handed him over to the police after the victim had narrated his ordeal. Sam admitted the offence in his caution statement to the police and was put before court after investigations. The case was prosecuted by Chief Inspector A. A. Ahor. END.
August 3, 2012 (Page 3 Lead) A FORMER Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr A.B.K. Martin Amidu, is challenging the conduct of the government in agreeing to pay and making part payment US$1,300,000 to Isofoton S. A. Describing the payment as “unconstitutional”, Mr Amidu has accordingly dragged the Attorney-General, Isofoton S. A. and its agent, Mr Anane Agyei Forson to the Supreme Court. He is praying the Supreme Court to make orders against the conduct of Isofoton and Mr Forson for making claims against the Government of Ghana when they knew that there was no operative contract with the Government of Ghana within the meaning of Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution. Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution states that “ The plaintiff is also the jurisdiction of the High Court to have entertained Isofoton S. A.’s Suits No. BC23/2008 and BC24/2008 against state on grounds that Isofoton lacked the locus standi to commence that action. According to the former Attorney-General, Isofoton did not have the fiat to sue the government because it did not have any operative contract with the Government of Ghana. Mr Amidu’s contention was that: “on a true and proper construction of Article 181(3) and (4) of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Loans Act, (Act 335) the laying before and approval on August 1, 2005 of the terms and conditions of the Second Financial Protocol between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Spain for an €65 million Euros for the implementation of development projects and programmes in Ghana, did not nullify the effect of Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution that mandates further laying before and approval of any specific international business or economic transaction to which the Government is a party, even if payment had to be made from the said loan approval by Parliament.” According to him pronouncements by a Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa that the government was about to pay the balance of the alleged Isofoton S. A. judgment debt “while the matter was still pending on Appeal is a clear sign that the Government is incapable of pursuing and protecting the public interest in this matter fairly and impartially.” He further stated that the said pronouncement by Mr Ablakwa on July 7, 2012 has since not been denied by the Attorney-General’s Department. The plaintiff stated that he delayed the release of the suit which was filed on July 24, 2012 to the media “to honour the memory of my late personal friend of several years and President of this dear Republic of Ghana whose untimely death we all mourn. May He Rest in Peace”.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
August 1, 2012 (Page 64) A NUMBER of residents of Accra observed one week of the death of President John Evans Atta Mills at entertainment spots. Many youngmen and women thronged drinking spots to have shots of alcoholic beverages and dance to solemn music. Large numbers of mourners clad in black and red clothes were on the streets of Accra. Some of them sat in groups and looked sorrowful, while others danced endlessly to dirges from loud speakers. An elderly man spotted at a drinking pub at Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, was very drunk and out of control. Others wept uncontrollably. A number of mourners wore National Democratic Congress (NDC) branded T-shirts, while some households hung on their frontages huge NDC flags bearing Prof. Mills’s photograph. Some of the drinking bar operators the Daily Graphic spoke to said they had recorded huge sales since the day President passed on. According to them, they were hopeful of recording higher sales on the day the late President would be buried. There was huge traffic from the State House right through some principal streets of Accra.