Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Govt has no obligation towards Woyome'

Alfred Abgesi Woyome

A Chief State Attorney yesterday told the High Court in Accra that the government was not financially obligated to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, because he was paid 3.6 million euros for raising funds for Waterville Holdings to construct three stadia for CAN 2008.
But the businessman refuted the state’s position and explained that, that money was paid to Mpowapak “and not Alfred Agbesi Woyome. The payment was in relation to structuring and not financial engineering.”
In seeking to punch holes into the evidence-in-chief of Woyome during cross-examination at the High Court’s sitting in Accra yesterday, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah Obuobisa, was emphatic that the state did not owe Woyome but he held a different view.
Woyome is standing trial at the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, for allegedly putting in false claims to receive GH¢51.2 million from the government in 2010.
He has since completed his evidence-in-chief, which sought to justify why he was entitled to receive the said amount, but Mrs Obuobisa told him that he did not source for funding for the government to merit that amount.


Rebutting Mrs Obuobisa’s statement, Woyome said he sourced funds as Alfred Agbesi Woyome for bids for the stadia construction project, which had been given concurrent approval by some state institutions.
The following transpired between Mrs Obuobisa and Woyome:
Mrs Obuobisa: After Mpowapak was fully paid for Baba Yara, El-Wak and Accra stadia, for  engaging in financial engineering services for Waterville, and the government of Ghana having paid Waterville all moneys, there is no claim open to you against the government of Ghana in respect of the three stadia.
Woyome: My Lord, that is incorrect. Mpowapak as a company has never sourced for funds for the three stadia. The issue on the stadia is not part of my claim to court.
Mrs Obuobisa: Tell us the role you played with respect to the three stadia
Woyome: The official role I played was in respect of purported annulment of the concurrent approval for the bid
Mrs Obuobisa: Are you saying you played no role as Alfred Agbesi Woyome in respect of the Accra, Baba Yara and El-Wak stadia?
Woyome: The specific role of Accra, Baba Yara and El-Wak stadia was not with the government of Ghana. It was with Waterville, which I referred to as HSBC fund sourcing
Mrs Obuobisa: In the expression of interest, which was advertised in the newspapers, it was stated that funding was to be on a turnkey basis. Are you aware of this?
Woyome: Yes my Lord
Mrs Obuobisa: And on a turnkey basis, companies that put in bid were to take care of their own funding, and that the government of Ghana will only come in when after the projects are successfully completed, and handed over.  The government will then be duty bound to pay the contract amount.
Woyome: That is not correct. The meaning of turnkey is that the project will be given to the government of Ghana as a complete project during hand over, but government pays via certificates of work done progressively.
Mrs Obuobisa: What you told the court about turnkey is definitely not, with emphasis on a capital D, not correct
Woyome: This is not correct my Lord
Hearing continues on November 3, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Court to rule on bail application for NSS Director on Nov 3

Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro

The Accra Circuit Court will on Monday, November 3, 2014 decide whether or not to grant bail to the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, who has been accused of allegedly stealing GH¢86.9 million belonging to the state.
He is, therefore, to remain in lawful custody until the next adjourned date.
A five-member legal team led by Mr Dennis Adjei Dwomoh put in a bail application after the prosecution had prayed the court to once again remand Alhaji Imoro for investigations to continue.
The presiding judge, Mr Francis Obiri, fixed November 3, 2014 for delivery of his ruling on the bail application.
He also directed the prosecution to send the accused person to the Police Hospital for medical care after Mr Dwomoh had informed the court that Alhaji Imoro suffered from asthma.
Alhaji Imoro has pleaded not guilty to one count of stealing, contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, Act 29 of 1960.
Interesting dimension
An interesting episode ensued when Mr Dwomoh complained of inhumane treatment meted out to Alhaji Imoro in the cells of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
Notable among them were the allegation that lawyers for Alhaji Imoro were not given ample time to have a conference with him; the refusal of BNI officials to allow the accused person to either eat home-made food or have access to warm clothing except blanket, and boxer shorts.
But the investigator in charge of the case refuted some of the allegations and explained that the accused person could commit suicide with his clothing.
He also told the court that the BNI had caterers who would prepare any special meal for the accused person if he so wished.
Considering the allegations levelled against the BNI by the defence team, the court directed that the accused person be transferred to either a prison or police custody.
Immediately after the court’s pronouncement, Alhaji Imoro beckoned his lawyer to the docket, and had a short inaudible discussion with him.
Lawyer Dwomoh, afterwards, reversed his earlier plea and told the court his client was okay staying in the BNI cells.
The court accordingly reversed its earlier decision and directed the state to place Alhaji Imoro in BNI cells, give him medical care, provide him with a special meal upon request, as well as allow him to have access to his lawyers and family members within working hours.
Voluminous documents 
Earlier, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr A. A. Annor, had prayed the court to remand the accused person because investigators were dealing with voluminous documents, and still in the process of interrogating witnesses.
“Our instructions are that because of the voluminous manner of documents and the need to contact certain people scattered throughout Ghana, it is the contention of the prosecution that granting bail at this juncture will result in interference with witnesses and evidence,” Mr Annor stated.
But his submission was met with fierce rejection from Mr Dwomoh, who tagged the prosecution’s prayer as a “broken record”.
He said it was unfortunate for the prosecution to hold such position and queried what would happen if investigations were to last more than a year or two.
According to the facts of the case, the BNI in July, 2014 began a nationwide investigation into the operations of the NSS with regard to the payment of monthly allowances to service persons.
It said investigations so far had revealed that for every month starting from September 2013, to July 2014, GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existing/ghosts service persons, resulting in a total loss of GH¢86.9 million within the period.
It came up during the investigations that the ghost names were generated at the NSS headquarters under the supervision of Alhaji Imoro.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ali-Gabass for court today

The medical doctor who allegedly sodomised a 16-year-old senior high school student will be put before court today. The mandatory 48-hour period within which the police can hold a suspect under investigation elapses today.
Therefore, investigators are mandated to arraign Dr Sulley Ali-Gabass by the close of work today.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr J. B. Darkwa, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the suspect was picked up on Wednesday for further investigations after Joy FM, a private radio station, had uncovered his act.
“We are continuing with investigations and it is likely we will send the suspect to court today, whether or not investigations are completed. We are enjoined by law to arraign suspects 48 hours after they have been picked up,” he added.
Meanwhile, three health bodies, including a regulator, have assured Ghanaians that they will not shield Dr Ali-Gabass from any legal process being pursued by mandated constitutional bodies in his alleged sodomy case.
A statement jointly signed by the President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei; the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira; and the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council (MDC), Dr Eli K. Atipui, and issued by the three bodies said the institutions would not only conduct thorough investigations into the allegation but also feed the public with the outcome of their investigations.
See more on the case here

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Case between Rawlings, Danso-Boafo: Terms of settlement to be known Oct 24

The Fast Track High Court has given former President J. J. Rawlings and an author up to October 24, 2014, to announce the terms of an out-of-court settlement over a suit barring the author from launching a book on the life of the former president.
Counsel for former President Rawlings, Mr Atta Akyea, informed the court that his team had sent a draft of its terms of settlement to the legal team of Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo, a former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
He said his team was yet to receive a response from the defendants.
Counsel for the author, Mr Alex Quartey, told the court, presided over by Mr Justice L.L. Mensah, that his side would file its response to the terms by the close of work last Monday.
Rawlings sues
Former President Rawlings filed the suit to restrain the defendant from launching a book he had written about him.
An affidavit accompanying the statement of claim accused the former diplomat of breaching a contract to get the former President’s approval of the final draft of the book entitled: “J. J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana.”
The book was to be launched at the Teachers Hall in Accra on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
According to the affidavit, Flt. Lt. Rawlings’ approval of the final work was a precondition for the publication of the book, and although Prof. Danso-Boafo duly sent a transcript of the book to him, he (Rawlings) had not yet approved of it because it contained inaccuracies and distortions of the reality.
It said former President Rawlings had “a proprietary interest in the book” and prayed the court to restrain Prof. Danso-Boafo from launching it.
The affidavit said if not restrained, the defendant would go ahead to publish the book which would eventually cause the plaintiff to suffer irreparable loss.
It said Prof. Danso-Boafo approached the former President sometime in 2006, and requested to write a book on him, to which he (Rawlings) gave his blessing on condition that he would approve of the final contents. 
It said consistent with the agreement between the two, Prof. Danso-Boafo released the manuscript to him when he completed his draft of the book. 
“On 1st March 2012, my office delivered a letter to the defendant/respondent, at all material times, Ghana's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, acknowledging receipt of the transcript of the book aforementioned.
“In the said letter, I was emphatic that I would hand over the transcript to a team of literary and legal experts to evaluate and recommend amendments where necessary, given the undeniable fact that the defendant/respondent's whole academic enterprise centres primarily on my person.
This is against the backdrop that the manuscript delivered to me by the defendant/respondent contained several inaccuracies, misinformation and slants which have the potential to poison Ghana's historical records and democratic evolution as well as bringing my name and family into disrepute,” the affidavit further stated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shatta Wale pleads for out-of-court settlement

Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr
Dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, otherwise known as Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr, has made a plea for an out-of-court settlement in a GH¢10 million defamatory suit brought against him by an event organising company, Charter House.
Charter House and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Iyiola Ayoade, dragged Shatta Wale to court on October 2, 2014 for defamation.
Further to that, counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, filed a motion for interlocutory injunction which prayed the court to restrain the defendant from further uploading and or making defamatory comments about his client.
At the Fast Track High Court’s hearing in Accra yesterday, counsel for the musician announced to the court that his client would prefer an out-of-court settlement, but Mr Faibille opposed the move, on the grounds that the defendant had not shown any sign of remorse to warrant the settlement.

Opposition to out-of-court settlement

Admitting that the defence team had last Friday written a letter asking for an out-of-court settlement, Mr Faibille argued that Shatta Wale had, after the institution of the suit against him, gone ahead to cause the publication of more defamatory materials on his Facebook page.
That attitude, according to counsel, was a clear indication that the defendant had not repented in any way.
Shatta Wale’s new video sought to portray that the plaintiffs filed the suit because they were cash-strapped.

Restraining order 

Following counsel’s submissions, the court, presided over by Ms Naa Adoley Azu, granted Mr Faibille’s motion for interlocutory injunction and subsequently restrained Shatta Wale and his agents from further publishing defamatory materials about the plaintiffs.
The court also urged the defence team to take steps to concretise their overtures for an out-of-court settlement.
It also directed it to file its defence in the event talks for the settlement failed.


Charter House and Mr Ayoade took legal action after Shatta Wale had accused them of being corrupt and thoughtless in his videos.
The videos also warned the plaintiffs to desist from denying musicians from other regions of Ghana the needed recognition.

Reliefs being sought

A writ of summons accompanying the suit has prayed the court to order the defendant to render an unqualified apology and retract each of the four separate videos.
The plaintiffs further urged the court to allow them to approve separate videos of the said retraction, which they said should remain on the defendant’s Facebook wall for a month.
They are also praying the court to order Shatta Wale to send the videos containing the said apologies to the media houses and online portals that aired the defamatory videos complained of, at his own expense.

Perpetual injunction

Further to that, the plaintiffs are seeking an order for perpetual injunction restraining Shatta Wale from publishing defamatory materials in future.
Shatta Wale was absent in court but was represented by his father. 
Hearing continues on November 3, 2014.

Monday, October 20, 2014

More power from Akosombo, Bui to ease load shedding

Contingency measures have been instituted by the Ministry of Energy for an additional 300 megawatts (MW) of power  to ease the burden associated with the frequent power outages in the country.
A crunch meeting was held at the Ministry of Energy last Thursday to re-evaluate the cutback of power generation at the Bui and the Akosombo power generation stations to find an immediate solution to the current power crisis bedevilling consumers.
“At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the Bui Power Authority (BPA) will begin adding daytime production of 100MW and 200MW at peak time in the short term, while the Akosombo Dam will open one unit, in addition to the four units that are currently generating power,” the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra at the weekend.
He said the Akosombo Dam last Friday began running on five units, instead of the four it had been operating in the past.
“These are temporary measures we are putting in place as we work to generate more power to relieve individuals and businesses of the power crisis,” he said.

Bui Power Authority

Mr Buah said the Bui Dam was generating 200MW due to the low water level in the dam but explained that under the circumstance, the BPA had been given the green light to generate additional 100MW.
“This is a decision to bring immediate relief to the very intense load shedding being faced now,” he said.
“It is expected that the Aboadze thermal plants that are currently down for maintenance works will be brought back into operation soon, so that the dams can be managed.
“There is no amount of words that can explain the difficulty that the people of Ghana are going through with this load shedding and its impact on industries and homes. We are doing everything possible to bring the situation under control,” Mr Buah said.

Power crisis

Ghana is currently grappling with a power generation deficit of between 550MW and 600MW, representing a third of the entire 2,000MW of power generated for distribution. 
The situation is troubling domestic and industrial consumers who have had to either cope with many hours of blackout or spend substantial amounts of money outside their budgets in fuelling their power generators.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) intends to introduce a new schedule of load shedding that will shut down power supply to specific areas for 24 hours, while other areas will enjoy power for 24 hours.
Current challenges in the power sector can be attributed to the drop in the water levels at the Akosombo and the Bui power generation plants, unreliable gas supply to thermal plants from the West African Gas Pipeline Company, the high cost of crude oil to power plants and regular maintenance schedules of power plants.

Energy situation in Ghana

In the past 15 years, about 1,000MW of thermal generation capacity has been added, resulting in Ghana’s current generation capacity of 2,125MW.
The Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant supplies about 1,020MW of energy, followed by the Bui Dam, which produces 400MW, with the Aboadze Thermal Plant producing 360MW and the Takoradi Thermal Plant 330MW.  
Kpong produces 160MW, while the country’s first solar plant at Punga in the Upper East Region produces 2MW, giving the country 2,272MW of combined electricity supply. 
 In spite of this, Ghana has continuously operated below capacity.

Power barges

Meanwhile, two emergency power barges are currently under construction to generate 450MW of power to beef up power supply in the country.
The two barges, each of which has 225MW capacity, are expected in the country by the end of the second quarter of 2015. 
Already, the first barge, constructed by Messrs Karadeniz Power Group/Karpower of Turkey, a renowned global power ship manufacturing company, has been completed and is expected in the country by the first quarter of 2015.
The second barge is expected by the second quarter of next year.
Additionally, the Kpone Tema Power plant, which will produce 110MW of power, is currently under construction and is expected to come on stream in 2015.