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Friday, March 13, 2015

Woyome was charged on two counts of defrauding by false pretence

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Marrieta Brew-Oppong  says the ruling which acquitted and discharged business man Alfred Woyome was "biased" and "wrongful in law".
The prosecution has therefore filed an appeal to set aside the John Ajet-Nasam ruling .Woyome was charged on two counts of defrauding by false pretence and causing financial loss to the state.
He was alleged to have swindled the state to the tune of 51 million cedis by making false representation to deceive public officers.
But after a legal battle which lasted a little over two years the presiding judge said the prosecution was unable to prove its case against the defence.
Justice John Ajet-Nasam berated the prosecution for executing a rather shoddy job and consequently freed the suspect.
The ruling triggered a huge controversy akin to when the story first broke. The Attorney General Marietta Brew-Oppong told the press she completely disagrees with the ruling and would take the appropriate remedial action after a thorough scrutiny of the verdict.
That scrutiny appears to have been concluded in good time and the AG is convinced the verdict was an aberration.
In a six-point grounds of appeal served on Woyome, a copy of which was intercepted by Joy News indicate in part that:
"That the judge erred in law when he stated that the prosecution had woefully failed to establish a case against the accused when he had established a prima facie case against him.
"That having called upon the accused person to open his defence, the judge had established a prima facie case against the accused person and his failure thereon to assess the defence of the accused person as against the evidence leveled by the prosecution is wrong.
"That the judge cannot be supported having regard to the evidence adduced at the trial.
"That the judge erred by displaying a biased assesment of the evidenceof the prosecution  and mounting unwarranted attacks on the prosecution.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ministry of Trade and Industry would be first customers of the Kantanka brand of cars

The Ministry of Trade and Industry would be the "first customers" of the Kantanka brand of cars when they are produced in commercial quantities, the sector Minister has promised.
Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah who made the pledge during the Kristo Asafo 34th Annual Technology exhibition, Sunday, also indicated he would buy one of the cars for his personal use, hoping that the vehicles would go through the necessary  local and international licensing institutions.
The exhibition brought together leaders from the major political parties as well as the technological and entertainment industries.
Dr Gabrah in his address paid glowing tribute to Apostle Kojo Sarfo and for the technological feats he has chalked over the years saying the achievements are in sync with government's Made in Ghana policy.
The president only recently outdoored a  Made-in-Ghana committee, chaired by Dr Gabrah to champion the production of made in Ghana goods.
 The minister said the successes of the Apostle is a testimony that a black man can be a master of his own affairs.
While promising a total government support for the Kantanka products, the minister also called for aggregate support from statutory institutions to ensure the technologies produced by Kantaka get international recognition.
The Minister expressed disappointments over comments that National Service personnel are not posted to the Apostle Safo School of Arts and Technology.
He promised to speak with the Education Minister as well as officials at the National Service Secretariat to ensure that in next postings the school benefits.
Unemployed Graduates
Dr Ekow Spio-Gabrah also charged members of the Unemployment of Association of Ghana to take advantage of the education being imparted at the School of technology.
He said those with linguistics background can be converted into technological genuises at the Apostle Safo school of technology.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Electoral Commission (EC) to consider a structured training system for all polling station agents

In order to avoid mistrust and controversies that characterized previous elections in Ghana, the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has advised the Electoral Commission (EC) to consider a structured training system for all polling station agents assigned by political parties during elections, before the 2016 election is held.

The Executive Director of IDEG, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, who gave the advice at a training programme for journalists in Accra a fortnight ago, further stressed that Civil Society groups, journalists and election volunteers should also be trained to help avoid a system where untrained or unqualified people were involved in the organization of elections.

While asking political parties to build consensus among themselves with some guidelines on the mandate of their polling station agents to bring about harmony, Dr. Akwetey also wanted the EC to motivate and provide resources for volunteers it engaged to give up their best.

Referring to a comment made by Justice William Atugba during the 2012 Presidential election petition hearing at the Supreme Court that: “Elections are won at the polling stations”, Dr. Akwetey observed this is a wakeup call to all political parties to train their polling station agents on their mandate, their roles and boundaries in an election.

According to him, some polling station agents used by the political parties did not even know their roles and limits. As a result, actions and inactions of such agents had often brought about confusion at polling stations among electoral officers, political parties and security officers.

The Executive Director observed that Ghanaians were losing the needed trust for state institutions mandated to do their work and this level of mistrust had often been visited on the EC that, led to tension and violation of electoral processes in previous elections.

Dr. Akwetey said there is enough space for all electoral weaknesses and lapses to be identified and discussed now and the necessary reforms adopted before the next general elections were held so as to avoid things that threatened the country’s democratic credentials that had been recognized by international bodies.

He said most of the electoral reforms made by the EC were purely administrative and called for an integrated electoral reform system that would involve all political actors.

This, he believed, could bring about a more improved and efficient system the Ghanaian people would trust.

Other critical issues IDEG’s boss raised included strengthening of state institutions like the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Police Service and making them impartial and professional to perform their duty, such as protecting the national interest of Ghanaians.

He also said apart from the EC, Parliament, Judiciary, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), National Media Commission (NMC) constituted core democratic institutions that should function as pillars on which the success of Ghana’s democracy rested.

However, Dr. Akwetey regretted that these institutions suffered from a serious deficit of trust as the political elite did not trust that these institutions would act impartially by serving all the people, regardless of the individual or group, or political affiliation.

IDEG was making a strong case for its critical proposals for electoral reforms to be considered for inclusion in the constitutional review process before the 2016 general elections.

According to the Executive Director, if these proposals were not adopted in the yet-to-be amended constitution, issues that characterized previous elections would show up in 2016.

But if adopted, there would be a lot of transparency, enhanced democracy and reduced voter apathy.

To this end, he advised Ghanaians to prepare their minds for potential violence in 2016 elections as his institute viewed the electoral process as “not democratic” stressing that the time to act in reviewing the electoral, governance and democratic issues was now since this could only be done throw constitutional review.

He called for the creation of more polling stations to decongest the about 46,002 existing polling stations across the country, a stop to delay in delivering voting materials mainly due to inadequate transportation, creation of multiparty fund, and the need to open up the Executive governance space to allow opposition/minority parties to also be included in the executive.

The programme was the second to have been held in Accra this year by IDEG to build the capacity of selected journalists on Institute’s proposals for electoral reforms and was on the theme; “Towards electoral reforms and the integrity of the 2016 elections”.

Dr. Akwetey believed it was not too late to still make inputs to the review process because if it was not done now, it would jeopardize the transparency and credibility of the 2016 elections and possibly lead to violence.

A Senior Research Advisor at IDEG, Mr. Kwesi Jonah, recalled that in the 1960s, Ghana’s Civil Service was the best in the whole of Africa but today, same could not be said of it, because at that time, there wasn’t much political interference, as is the case today.
He prescribed that for this to be addressed the public sector must be depoliticised, Civil Servants must be impartial, avoid all forms of narrow inward ideologies, restore professional values, restore efficiency and take advantage of technological advancement to be result oriented.

Maj. General Nii Carl Coleman, Chairman of Civil Forum Initiative was also a resource person, with Prof. S.N Woode, Senior Research Advisor and Prof. Kwame Ninsin, Scholar in Science at IDEG, as moderators.