Welcome to Ghana Pundit: The Home of Politics and Intelligent Analysis


Grab the widget  Tech Dreams

Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Zuma confident on Zimbabwe future

President Robert Mugabe hosted a state banquet for Jacob Zuma
South African President Jacob Zuma has said the problems in Zimbabwe's unity government are not "insurmountable".

He has held talks with both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on his first official visit to Harare as president.

Mr Mugabe, looking in good health, admitted to "teething problems" in the power-sharing administration but said these were to be expected.

Mr Tsvangirai's MDC party accuses Mr Mugabe of acting in bad faith.

The long-time opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its activists continue to be harassed even after it joined the government in February.

It hopes Mr Zuma will put pressure on Mr Mugabe to rein in his hardline supporters, especially in the security forces, who it says are trying to derail the unity accord.

Mr Zuma is the current chair of the Southern African Development Community, the body which helped to broker the power-sharing deal.

"The remaining issues are not insurmountable and can be overcome. The most difficult path has already been travelled," Mr Zuma said at a state banquet hosted by President Mugabe.

Mr Mugabe said the "teething problems" have "not detracted us from our agreed common vision to establish peace, turn around the economy and work to deliver the services expected of us by the generality of our people".

Mr Zuma also held an hour-long meeting with Mr Tsvangirai and is expected to meet both Zimbabwean leaders again later on Friday.

He is also due to make a speech at the Harare Agricultural Show.

Mr Zuma's two-day visit came after renewed speculation about the health of Mr Mugabe, who is 85.

Zimbabwe officials have denied reports that Mr Mugabe is ill, labelling them the product of "sick and evil minds".

A spokesman for Mr Zuma's African National Congress party said he planned to be more outspoken about Zimbabwe's problems - a contrast to the "quiet diplomacy" of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki.

"President Zuma will be more vocal in terms of what we see as deviant behaviour," Gwede Mantashe told reporters.

h Africa's President Jacob Zuma has told Zimbabwean leaders the problems facing their fractious unity government can be overcome.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai set up a coalition government in February to end a political and economic crisis, but have been feuding over implementing their agreement.

Zuma began a two-day visit to Zimbabwe on Thursday -- his first since becoming president in May -- aimed at keeping the power-sharing deal on track.

Recovery in once relatively prosperous Zimbabwe is important for South Africa given the millions of Zimbabweans driven to seek work in their much wealthier neighbour by a decade of economic decline and political crisis.

In a speech to a dinner hosted by Mugabe late on Thursday, Zuma said any outstanding disputes on the agreement brokered by his predecessor Thabo Mbeki could be resolved through mediation.

"The remaining issues are not insurmountable, and can be overcome. The most difficult path has already been travelled," Zuma said. He offered the help of the Southern African Development Community, which he currently chairs.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai's parties are wrangling over the appointment of top officials -- including the central bank governor and attorney-general -- over Western sanctions targeting Mugabe and over the pace of reform.

Zimbabwe says it needs $10 billion in foreign reconstruction aid, but has had little success in attracting it. Western countries want to see the government working effectively and implementing faster reform.

Although Zuma is expected to take a tougher approach to Zimbabwe than Mbeki, accused by critics of siding with Mugabe, political analysts believe he is unlikely to get the feuding parties to agree and will press them to keep talking.

"President Zuma is not coming as prosecutor or judge to the inclusive government, but will meet the principals to evaluate the progress of the agreement so far," Tsvangirai was quoted as saying by the state controlled Herald newspaper.


A married Zimbabwean nurse working in a British mental health hospital has been suspended from work after being accused of hrhodaaving sex sessions with one of her patients, Britain's biggest selling tabloid newspaper,The Sun has reported.

Mrs Rhoda Makambaire who earns £30 000 a year is accused of having sex sessions with a mentally-ill and brutal patient at Broadmoor mental health hospital in Berkshire where she is employed as a mental health nurse.

The Sun, which sells over 4 million copies everyday, says the patient involved in the sex scandal is rapist, Kelly Edney (29) who also has convictions for arson, assault and hoax bomb calls.

Mrs Makambaire, of Bracknell, Berks, is a mental health specialist nurse on the dangerous and severe personality disorder unit.

Mrs Makambaire and rapist Edney allegedly romped on the mental hospital's Epsom Ward - for patients who are deemed incurable or show no signs of remorse.

On being quizzed by police Edney said he had full and oral sex with the nurse.

Another nurse was also arrested. She is accused of keeping watch as Edney and the mum of one had sex.

Kelly Edney: dangerous offender admitted having sex with Mrs Makambaire (photo: The Sun)

The nurses, in their 30s, were quizzed by cops under the Sexual Offences Act.

They were suspended along with a third nurse who allegedly knew about the affair.

Edney was yesterday moved from Broadmoor to top-security Rampton hospital, Notts.

His room was sealed off while officers removed sheets and clothing for forensic checks.

The rapist, who also has convictions for arson, assault and hoax bomb calls, allegedly told cops he had full and oral sex with a nurse.

Broadmoor in Berkshire was last month slammed for high suicide rates and failure to protect patients. Bosses are horrified by the latest scandal.

An insider said: "It doesn't get much worse than this."

Edney, of Bridgwater, Somerset, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Police and Broadmoor confirmed the investigation but refused to comment further.

Mills’ Man In Premix Diversion

Two persons were on Thursday arrested by the Elmina Police in the Central Region for their alleged involvement in the diversion of premix fuel in the area. The two, according to Daily Guide sources, mentioned the name of a National Premix Committee Member, Kobina Badu popularly known as Maanoma, as the brain behind the act.

Maanoma, who was rewarded by President Atta Mills with the position, is a well-known NDC man who once described former President John Agyekum Kufour as a leader who did not have the welfare of fishermen at heart during a People’s Assembly held at Sekondi about a year ago. "Mr Kufour, do you think the sea is like a lorry park which will need renovation when it is damaged?" he questioned the former President at the People’s Assembly in Sekondi.

Information gathered by the paper indicated that Maanoma usually collects four drums of premix fuel from all the premix outlets from every consignment they receive in the region and sells it at GH¢45.00 per gallon instead of GH¢26.00 due to the insufficient premix fuel being distributed under the NDC Government. The source said he collects the four drums with the explanation that it is a protocol decision and that everybody must oblige and later sends the premix fuel to the Marine Park at Elmina to sell.

Sources said luck eluded him when a taxi driver operating from Bronyibema to Elmina and another guy he had sent to collect the premix from Ampanyin Landing Beach Committee were arrested at Elmina Marine Park with the booty. Daily Guide learnt that after interrogation, the two mentioned Maanoma as the brain behind the diversion of the fuel.

They were detained at the police station and later released upon instruction from the Regional Minister, Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, Daily Guide learnt. According to the information, the Regional Minister said it will be a dent on the Mills Administration if the incident gets to the public, thereby ordering the police not to release any information to the press.

Due this ‘order from above’ the Elmina police are now refusing to open up to the press. Meanwhile, a well-known NDC man who was alleged to have lodged the complaint at the Elmina Police station, a certain Texas, also refused to comment on the issue when contacted. Fishermen in Elmina are now calling for the head of Maanoma who is now at large.

All efforts to speak to Maanoma and the Regional Minister proved futile as their phones were off. Further investigations conducted by DAILY GUIDE revealed that the premix committee members in Cape Coast normally take two drums of the premix fuel from every consignment and later sell the rest to the fishermen, even if it is not sufficient.

Source: Daily Guide

NDC Big Shot: Rawlings & Pratt Are the Same

In a dramatic turn of phrase, and obviously out of frustration, a senior member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has told The Mail that his party’s founder, Mr Jerry John Rawlings is the same as Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jr. editor of the Insight newspaper.

Reacting to statements by both Rawlings and Pratt recently, the senior NDC member, pleading strict anonymity said “they are the same in character, but different in personality…I think their arguments are based on personality clash not ideas or anything … They come out openly when they see that something is not going as they think, they are the same…” he said. Would both Rawlings and Pratt take this observation as a compliment or as something pejorative?

Since becoming President nine months ago, Professor Mills and his government have been on the receiving end of Mr Rawlings’ lashing tongue. Last week he was at it in Kumasi and Mr Pratt has also been at it telling it as it is to the NDC founder to shut up! “But honestly,” the top NDC official said, “I am not comfortable with the way they both react to matters…they may have their own views, which is respectable, but sometimes you may be right but how you put out the statement, might make you wrong… Kwesi Pratt’s own is a personal attack.”

Mr Pratt has been on a series of radio discussion programmes hitting back at Mr Rawlings for describing Presdient MILLS AS WEAK AND SLOW. Mr Pratt, who has been categorical and strident in his attacks, said Ghanaians voted for President Mills and not for Rawlings so he should leave the President alone. According to Mr Pratt, Rawlings wants President Mills to rule according to his (Rawlings) style and dictates, that is why he has been taking unfair swipes at the President. In a seemingly counciliatory tone towards his former quarry, Mr Pratt said Rawlings attacked ex-Presdient Kufuor the same way and now wants to do the same to Presdient Mills.

Mr Rawlings has been accusing Presdient Mills of having failed to deliver on his promise of providing dynamic leadership for the nation, adding that Presdient Mills had surrounded himself with people who were taking advantage of his slow approach to the running of the state.

But Mr Pratt said, the country does not need a “dragon or lion” President, it needs a President who will use the constitution to rule. On Mr Rawlings outbursts, the NDC top official said, “I think he wants the NPP back to power, if not, all these comments would have stopped, he can call the President and advise him, but not go public on issues…he is rather giving the opposition more arms to fight us and when we go down, Mr Rawlings must know that the NDC is one and we all go down together.”

Sounding despondent, he asked: “Does he know what his comments bring to the presidency…does he think the NDC is all about Rawlings?” Mr. Rawlings’ comments, he said, also show disrespect to the presidency. As to whether Mr Kwesi Pratt Jr. and Jerry John Rawlings are the same, the jury may not need any length of time to arrive at a verdict…
Source: The Mail

Suspected Murderer Arrested In Minister’s House

A suspected murderer, Kwesi Adu, is reported to have been arrested in the living quarters of the deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon Eric Opoku.

Hon. Opoku who confirmed the incident on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ also disclosed that he knows the suspect “as a die-hard NDC sympathizer who helped the party in the 2008 elections.” He, however, pointed out that he was not at home at the time of the arrest of the suspect.

It would be recalled that on PEACEFM’s Kokrokoo show last Thursday, August 27th, one Yaw Adomako Baafi, an NPP activist and a panelist on the show, leveled allegations against Hon. Opoku, as having a hand in the death of Kwame Nyame, an Evangelist.

An allegation he had previously made a couple of weeks ago.

Kwame Nyame, the Evangelist, is said to be a relation of George Boakye, the man who ousted Hon Eric Opoku as MP for the area.

Hon Opoku was accused of buying a gun, which was used in shooting the deceased.

The Deputy Minister hurriedly called into the show to refute the allegations as baseless and a figment of the panel members’ imagination.

Narrating events that took place on that fateful day, Felix (the Dep. Minister’s driver) said Kwesi Adu came to the house claiming he (Adu) had information that “the minister wanted to meet with him and give him money, so he had come to wait for him.”

However, some few moments after, the police came to the house and effected his arrest at about 8:30pm.

Meanwhile, the P.R.O of the Tema Police, Chief Inspector Olivia Turkson quoting the Sakumono Police said, the police were informed on Friday, 28th August, around 9:15pm, that a suspected murderer was hiding in the Deputy Minister’s residence, upon which they besieged the house and subsequently made an arrest.

“The suspect has been transferred to the Brong Ahafo Police Command in Sunyani, for further investigations as i speak to you now,” she added.

The case against Kwasi Adu took on a new dimension and became even murkier, when a close associate of the deceased and an eye-witness to the shooting incident at Sankore, Eric Asubonteng, refuted reports that Kwame Nyame died as a result of political indifferences in the area.

According to him, the deceased passed away as a result of a relationship turned sour between Kofi Asamoah, an NPP sympathizer, and a lady known as Kesewaa.

Kesewaa is now said to be in another love relationship with Kwabena Noah, a known NDC activist and an ally of the suspected murderer, Kwasi Adu.

According to him, it all began when the woman, identified as Kesewaa left Kofi Asamoah whom she was dating and went in for Kwabena Noah who was also in another faction.

Kesewa claims she was on her way home from church on that fateful day when the gruesome murder occurred. She debunks the assertion that the death of the deceased had to do with her love affair with Kofi Asamoah, and rather attributed it to a long-standing political dispute in Sankore between the NDC and the NPP prior to the 2008 General Elections.

In an interview on the same platform, Kesewaa confirmed having been lovers with the deceased but stressed however, that the affair ended some two years ago.
Source: John Nyaaba/Alex Ofei(peacefmonline)


It has emerged that the Ohene Ntow family, did not just continue to squat at official Government bungalow, whilst out of government, but he enjoyed 24-hour National Security Guard Protection as well, whilst his wife turned the house into a shito production and export factory.

A National Security source within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government told The Enquirer that Ohene Ntow’s family used the government bungalow to produce and export Shito, Dawadawa, Kokonte powder, and Tom brown for commercial export to Europe and other destinations, in the name of a company called Onyspring Enterprise Ltd.

There is also talk of alleged abuse of workers, some of who had rent deduced from their salary because they were given accommodation in the house to facilitate their work.

At some point, even National Security Guards in charge of the Ohene Otow Household were also complaining of abuse, resulting in the near-gunning down of the NPP General Secretary by an agent, who could not contain the conduct of Ohene Ntow.

Another horrifying revelation coming from impeccable agents of National Security is the fact that Nana Ohene Ntow, the NPP General Secretary lived under the same roof with his wife for three years without talking to each other.

According to records kept by the Secretary agents, Nana Ohene Ntow usually arrived home around 3.00am as most of the responsibility was left on his wife. The two no longer live under the same roof.

Sources said the situation was so bad that sometimes the family lived in darkness for several days because Mr Ntow was not available to buy units for their prepaid meter.

“Sometimes because of their troubles, the woman also won’t buy and we the guards are left working in the dark,” one of the guards stationed in the house told The Enquirer, adding, “The woman usually left utensils outside after work, sometimes attracting mosquitoes, dogs that we had to be chasing overnight.”

Multiple guards confirmed to the Enquirer that workers were dismissed on monthly basis. According to sources, the Ntow family ‘shito’ factory boasted of four commercial grinding machines, for grinding fresh Tomatoes, Onion, Pepper, Ginger etc. The enterprise also boasted of two KIA buses, one Saloon car and one transporter bus, which usually sent the finished products to the airport.

The household itself also had two four-by-four cars and three saloon cars. The security Guards told The Enquirer that one day, a young man and his girlfriend had a fight in front of the home of the Ntows, so he called the National Security Minister, Francis Poku and said he faced armed robbery attack so he needed at National Security Guard and not police.

He was then given 24-hour security around 2005, which was later reduced to a shift system from 6.00pm to 6.00am daily. Three months before the 2008 elections, whilst he was still illegally living in the bungalow, Mr Ntow is said to have said that threats could intensify so he was again given 24-hour security protection by three armed National Security agents.
Source: The Enquirer

Rawlings defends attacks on Mills

Former President Rawlings
Former President Rawlings

Former President Jerry Rawlings has defended the scathing attacks he he has been launching on President Mills.

Addressing cadres a week ago in Kumasi, Mr Rawlings criticized the president for being too slow in ordering investigations into heinous crimes committed under former President Kufuor.

He warned if President Mills does not sit up, he might end up being a one-term president.

Mr Rawlings’ comments have been criticized widely, including some sympathizers of the NDC who think the former president is getting out of hand with his constant attacks on the government.

He previously made similar remarks about the president when he hosted a delegation of National Democratic Congress leadership from the Volta Region, and on another occasion chiefs from the same region.

But those comments, Mr Rawlings, has defended.

“What we’ve gone through... (which) is something I have been trying to get across to our colleagues for a long time now, is that you cannot defend freedom and justice and for that matter democracy if people don’t have the capacity to define what is wrong,” he said.

He added; “we have very glaring examples of misdeeds that took place with human rights abuses, killings, and yet we give priority to materialistic things like investigating Ghana@50. Does that mean that human life can be treated like chicken?”

Speaking on Adom 106.3 FM in Tema, Mr Rawlings said the sacrilegious killing of Issa Mobila in an army barracks, while soldiers who have been trained to defend justice watched, should have been given priority attention by the government.

“Here is a man who was picked up, tied upside down and whipped to death. Would you know if it took hours or days,” before he died?”

He said he wondered what became of an institution as disciplined as the military to have carried out such an act, wondering also whether others just stood by to watch the heinous crime.

The former president has also previously criticised the Mills administration of making a politically incorrect move in asking certain political appointees of the Kufuor administration to stay in office while he completed processes to replace them.

By so doing, Mr. Rawlings believes President Mills had allowed 'criminals' in the former government to continue to operate with imputnity.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Ghana: More CEO's fired

Government has dismissed the Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), Martin Mireku, and Esi Ano Sackey of the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

Sources at the Osu Castle told BUSINESS GUIDE that the two heads were handed letters last week instructing them to proceed on leave. Mr. Mireku has worked at the GTB since graduating from the law school several years ago while Ms.

Ano Sackey, former Country Manager of British Airways, was appointed by the previous government.Mr. Mireku went through proper interview process conducted by the Public Services Commission before his appointment as the head of the GTB.

Though some market watchers have raised concern about the lost of quality human resource, the Mills administration does not seem to be bothered about the current trend.

Recently, Professor Ken Attafuah, former Head of the National Identification Authority and Nana Obiri Yeboah, formerly of the National Service Secretariat were fired.At the beginning of this year, several notable names including Robert Ahomka-Lindsay of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Ras Boateng of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS), Ing Owura Safo of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and Daniel Gyimah of the National Investment Bank (NIB), who is currently facing trail for causing financial loss, were removed from office.

Others include Jude Adu-Amankwah of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), John Attafuah of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Prince Oduro Mensah of the National Sports Council.

Source: Daily Guide

Grace Coleman is dead

Inhabitants of Effiduase/Asokore constituency in the Ashanti region have expressed utter shock at the demise of Hon. Grace Coleman, former Member of Parliament (MP) for the area.

Reportedly, the former Deputy Minister of Finance under ex-President Kufuor’s first term of office passed away at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra on Thursday evening after a protracted illness.Reports indicate that the country’s former ambassador to the Netherlands under the late President Liman’s regime was on admission at the nation’s premier hospital for three weeks after she went into coma at home.

The late Mrs. Coleman, who represented the Effiduase/Asokore constituents in the august house of Parliament from 1996 to 2004, on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was cut off completely from the political scene due to protracted illness.Due to ill-health, the celebrated economist, who was billed to represent her constituents at the legislature for the fourth time had to back down, a development which saw the incumbent MP, Hon Frank Agyen, replacing her.
In a telephone interview with DAILY GUIDE, the NPP constituency secretary, Aseidu Fofie disclosed that residents of the constituency, irrespective of their political affiliation, were devastated by the news of the death of Hon Coleman.

He noted that the whole constituency, particularly Effiduase, went dead silent on Friday afternoon when news broke that Hon Coleman had passed on to the eternal world.Mr. Fofie, who predicted a well-deserving final funeral rite in honour of the departed legislator, said the NPP constituency executives were meeting to discuss a possible programme of activities as regards the death of their party guru.

Touching on the achievements and contributions of the late Deputy Finance Minister, he observed that the vacuum created by the demise of Hon Coleman would be difficult to fill.Meanwhile, Hon Elizabeth Agyeman, MP for Oforikrom, has told Hello FM, a Kumasi-based radio station that the late madam Coleman was a role model who would be missed forever, especially women parliamentarians.

She indicated that the late diplomat would not only be missed dearly for her compassion towards the cause of women and children, but also her rich counsel and guidance to MP’s, particularly female debutants.
Source: Daily Guide


The International Council for Clergy (ICC), at the weekend called on the government to start the crusade against corruption from its ranks, in order to have the moral authority to stamp out the national canker without fear or favour.Archbishop Dr George Slezer Ofori-Atta, Presiding Archbishop of the ICC, who made the call in Accra, said corruption was inimical to the development of any nation.
“When allowed either conscientiously or inadvertently to operate in a free environment at whatever level, it (corruption) becomes very destructive,” he stressed. The Archbishop was giving a keynote address at the 14th Public Ministerial Ordination and Consecration of nine members of the clergy.
The ICC, which is an Association of Independent Ministers and Churches, affiliated to the Council of Black Clergy in Philadelphia, USA.Archbishop Ofori-Atta’s speech touched on five thematic issues covering Democracy, Corruption, Education, Justice and the Church.
He noted that democracy is about the welfare of the people and so the overnight acquisition of wealth by politicians tends to raise a lot of public concern.Archbishop Ofori-Atta noted that democracy goes with leadership and accountability, adding that good leadership reflects the quality of life of the people and not necessarily policies.
He appealed to the government to respect the independence of the Judiciary and strengthen institutions like the Ghana Police Service, the Bureau of National Investigations and the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice to improve on the country’s justice system.
“We (ICC) pray the government therefore to let equity, justice and fair trial for everybody thrive in our society.“We have been witnesses of situations in this nation where the Executive arm of Government was seen getting involved in issues of the judiciary.”
Archbishop Ofori-Atta condemned the violence that was associated with the Akwatia parliamentary re-run and asked people aspiring to leadership positions not to entertain fisticuffs to achieve their political ambitions.“The politician as a leader must be seen dong what is right and that means setting good example and not inciting people to fight.”
Touching on education, he said the current reforms of the educational system should be devoid of partisan politics.“The back and forth issue on the three or four years Senior High School (SHS) education should be devoid of any political colourisation.”Archbishop Ofori-Atta said the debate should not be based on the duration of the SHS system but rather the viability of the reforms.
He asked the government to motivate teachers to give of their best in order to arrest the poor academic standards, citing the abysmal performance of students of the recent Basic Education Certificate Examination as example.
Archbishop Ofori-Atta expressed concern about the practice of some ministers of the gospel, who out of ignorance or sheer negligence append their signatures on marriage certificates and other government documents when they are not gazetted or authorised to do so.He said the sanctity of the Church was being undermined by members of the clergy who championed material acquisition and engaged in demonic activities to perform miracles.
Bishop Floyd Hills of the US-based Advocate Give of Life Ministries, said no force on earth could stop ministers of God from fulfilling their divinely ordained mission on earth and asked them to move on if their calling is of God. Dr Richard Lewis of the Marvellous Light Church, also in the US was consecrated as Bishop at the ceremony.He observed that a minister of the gospel was greater than the President of the US and charged them to be truthful to their call.
Source: GNA


The Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) says it cannot investigate the allegations levelled against the Foreign Affairs Minister, Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, by the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG). "All the allegations made by the complainant, dated April 24, 2009, fall outside the mandate of the Commission and investigating the allegations would be tantamount to performing a function which is ultra vires to the Commission's mandate," it stated.
In its decision dated July 31, 2009, the Commission stated that it was unable to make any declarations on the matter, since it could not investigate the allegations. It, however, advised AFAG to "proceed to the appropriate forum, that is the Supreme Court, to seek redress accordingly".
The complainant had alleged that a forensic audit conducted into the operations of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), an institute which Alhaji Mumuni, then "...Minister of Employment and Social Welfare for the period January 1997 to December 2000," established “...That through the gross negligence and misconduct of Alhaji Mumuni, the state had lost a...15 billion old cedis through his involvement in the purported disbursement of monies to the NVTI alone."
According to the complainant, Alhaji Mumuni was alleged to have authorised the fraudulent release of amounts in excess of 19 billion old cedis from the Consolidated Fund (the nation's public fund reserves) into undisclosed accounts. The group also alleged that "Alhaji Mumuni, purportedly acting on the strength of an illegal appointment by President Mills as a temporary head of the Ministry of the Interior in January" 2009, at a time when he had not been properly nominated by President Mills as a Minister for the Interior, dismissed the lawfully appointed head of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), ACP Douglas Akrofi,"
The group also alleged that Alhaji Mumuni also unlawfully removed the acting Head of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA). According to its complaint, Alhaji Mumuni purportedly engaged in further unlawful conduct by unconstitutionally imposing curfews on Bawku, a town in the Upper East Region.
The group noted further that on the instructions of Alhaji Mumuni on April 14, 2009, the acting Director of the Legal and Consular Bureau of the ministry was purported to have terminated a headquarters' agreement between the government and Africa Legal Aid, a pan-African international organization.
The complainants were of the view that the termination of the agreement was done without providing "…reasons” and that the agreement was terminated when “no dispute had occurred to warrant the termination, no recourse to arbitration proceedings as directed by the mandatory provisions of the agreement...”
In its petition dated, April 24, 2009, AFAG, therefore, urged the Commission to declare that the acts and omissions of Alhaji Mumuni spelt out while serving as the Minister of Employment and Social Welfare in the year 1999/2000 amounted to corruption and an abuse of office and state resources. It also sought a declaration that the acts and omissions of Alhaji Mumuni spelt out were prejudicial to the interests of the nation and a further declaration that the acts of Alhaji Mumuni as temporary head of the Ministry of the Interior in January 2009, were an abuse of power.
Quoting extensively from various authorities including Supreme Court rulings, the commission in its findings, signed by its registrar, Mr William Ansah, said the allegations were outside its mandate. On the complainant's second allegation which centred on the alleged illegal appointment of Alhaji Mumuni, by President Mills as temporary head of the Interior Ministry, the Commission noted that investigating the allegation would be to recommend the removal of Alhaji Mumuni as Minister if it found him unqualified for the position of Minister, who was nominated by the President and approved by Parliament. "
To do so would amount to an usurpation of the powers of the President and Parliament. Even the Supreme Court would have been cautious in entertaining such a complaint if it were invited to do so, vide: Ghana Bar Association Vs Attorney General and another (1995-96) 1 GLR 598-662 SC, Edward Wiredu JSC," it noted.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sacked Nigeria bank chief launches legal challenge

By Tume Ahemba

LAGOS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - A senior Nigerian bank executive sacked by the central bank last week has asked a federal court to reinstate him and demanded 50 billion naira ($333 million) in damages, court papers showed on Friday.

Nigeria's central bank fired senior executives at Afribank , Finbank, Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank and Union Bank last Friday and injected $2.6 billion into them, saying lax governance had left them so weakly capitalised they posed a systemic risk.

The legal challenge by former Intercontinental Bank chief Erastus Akingbola is seen as a litmus test of whether initial reforms by central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi can develop into more substantial changes in economic policy and corporate governance in sub-Saharan Africa's number two economy.

Sanusi vowed on Thursday to prosecute any executive found to have broken the law following the massive bailout, as challenges to his efforts to recover $5 billion of bad loans mounted.

Akingbola has asked a Federal High Court in the commercial capital Lagos to grant him a 'perpetual injunction restraining' the financial sector regulators from interfering in his duties as Intercontinental bank's chief executive.

The ex-bank chief, whom local newspapers reported on Friday had fled to London after the anti-corruption police declared him wanted, has also asked the court to grant him 50 billion naira in damages.

He argues the audit of the bank's books by the central bank 'did not comply with the requisite enabling statutes, due process of the law and the rule of natural justice.'

Presiding Judge Abdullahi Mustapha set the hearing for Aug. 28, but the case could take months before a ruling is reached.

Analysts have said the move by Sanusi, who took office just two months ago, could be the start of a long-overdue clean-up of corporate governance and banking regulation in Nigeria.

But his efforts could also be hamstrung by drawn-out wrangling among powerful corporate and political interests, particularly if bankers or tycoons decide to challenge the auditors' assertions in Nigeria's sluggish courts.

(For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://af.reuters.com/ )

(Editing by Randy Fabi) ($1 = 150.33 Naira) Keywords: NIGERIA BANKS/COURT

(Reuters messaging:tume.ahemba.reuters.com@reuters.net, Lagos Newsroom +234 1 463 0257)


Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.

The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.

'Sacked bank chief flees Nigeria'


One of the five bank chiefs who were sacked by the Centr al Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week has fled into self-exile to avoid harassment, instead of giving himself up to the anti-gr aft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the private Thisday newspaper reported Friday.

The paper said Mr. Erastus Akingbola, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of In tercontinental Bank who was in London when he was sacked, returned to Nigeria Monday, but suddenly left again on Wednesday thr ough one of the neighbouring countries, following the arrest of three of the other four CEOs by the EFCC.

â?Akingbola did not literally flee the country. He had to leave to avoid being harassed and detained by the security operatives. You can see the way his colleagues are being harassed and intimidated by the EFCC,'' Thisday quoted an unnamed aide of the former bank chief as saying.

Three of the five sacked CEOs â" Union Bankâ?s Bartholomew Ebong, FinBankâ?s Okey Nwosu and Afribank Nigeria Plcâ?s Sebastian Adigwe â" along with the 16 top official of their subsidiaries, are still being detained by the EFCC.

Cecilia Ibru, the former CEO of Oceanic Bank, has yet to report to the EFCC.

The CBN blames the CEOs for the instability in their banks and ''for acting in a manner that was detrimental to the interest of their depositors and creditors''. It has also injected over 400 billion naira in to the banks to shore up their capital.

On Wednesday, the EFCC gave all the debtors to the affected banks a seven-day ul timatum to pay up or face prosecution.

Akingbola has already challenged his sack in court.

NIGERIA:EFCC set to arraign sacked banks’ chiefs.

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may arraign the chief executives and executive directors of the five banks that had their boards dissolved last week by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) before the end of the week.

A CBN source told Business Hallmark that the apex bank had already submitted all relevant documents necessary for the prosecution of the ousted banks’ chiefs to the anti graft agency. According to the source, “The truth is that as the CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, was holding the press briefing to inform the world about the boards’ dissolution, last Friday, the EFCC had received the documents that would lead to the prosecution of the affected officials”.

Confirming the intervention of EFCC in the case, the spokesperson of the agency, Femi Babafemi told Business Hallmark on phone Tuesday, that the body had waded into the matter and is trying to investigate whether the sacked bank MDs flout any law in the discharge of their duties while in office.

According to Babafemi, the agency will also beam its searchlight on the banks’ debtors.

He however claim ignorance of any move to arrest the former bank chiefs this week, claiming that investigation is still going on.

However, Business Hallmark sources revealed that the five former bank chiefs are to be arraigned in court this week, barring any intervention from powerful quarters.

It would be recalled that Mallam Lamido Sanusi had stated at the briefing that the apex bank “had not accused anyone of infraction yet. But if we find out that the affected sacked banks’ officials were involved in insider related abuses, we intend to prosecute them.”

The chief executive officers that were axed by the CBN and are likely to be arraigned this week include, Mrs Cecilia Ibru(Oceanic Bank), Mr. Barth Ebong(Union Bank), Mr. Erastus Akingbola (Intercontinental Bank), Mr. Sebastian Adigwe (Afribank) and Mr. Okey Nwosu (Fin Bank).

Industry analysts believe that the EFCC’s action is aimed at forestalling attempts by any of the sacked bank chief executives to challenge the CBN’s action in court.

Nigeria: Sacked banks chiefs set for court


Cecilia Ibru
Cecilia Ibru
The sacked Managing Directors of five banks affected by the new reforms by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), their executive directors and managing directors of some of their subsidiaries who have been in detention will be arraigned in a federal high court between tomorrow and Wednesday.

According to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charges would be filed in court against the bank chiefs tomorrow while they may be arrai-gned between Monday and Wednesday.

The bank chiefs to be arraigned include Mrs. Cecilia Ibru of Oceanic Bank International, Berth Ebong of Union Bank, Sebastian Adigwe of Afribank and Okey Nwosu of Finbank.

The fifth managing director, Erastus Akingbola of Intercontinental Bank has been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency which has vowed to use the Interpol to extradite him.

Mrs. Ibru will be facing charges of money laundering and about 120 other offences which the EFCC said contributed to the illiquidity and other problems faced by the bank.

She is being accused of using a company, Waves Project Nigeria Limited owned initially by her children and later handed over to her former domestic aide to launder N15 billion which was taken out of the bank coffer under suspicious circumstances and transferred abroad.

THISDAY gathered that among the charges that may be preferred against Mrs Ibru and others are insider trading, fraudulent abuse of process of award of facilities and fraudulent manipulation of capital market.

Details on Ibru’s controversial transactions through the Waves Project Nigeria Limited available to THISDAY showed that as at 2006, the company was co-owned by Obaro and Bivi A.O Ibru and one Simpson Okoro. By 2007, the Ibrus relinquished their ownership to Nana Bedell and Dele Oye. Nana’s real name is Nana Bedell while her marital name is Abdulahi.

However, to facilitate the movement of cash through facilities from Oceanic Bank, Ibru, THISDAY learnt, allegedly opened five different files for Nana, her former domestic aide with five different names. According to THISDAY investigations, Ibru had opened the files with such names as- Nana Abdulahi, Nana Shetu Bedell, Nana Shetu Priscilia Bedell, Priscilia N. Abdulai and Nana Udenwa.

With these names, Ibru was alleged to have taken out money to the tune of N15 billion on the pretext of facilities extended to the company owned by the various names. The loans have been found by the CBN examiners to be non-performing. At one point, Ibru, it was alleged withdrew cash of N47 million from the bank coffer and made cash payment of N247 million into Nana’s account. Another withdrawal of N78 million was also recorded as being made from the same account.

EFCC, THISDAY gathered will formally file the preferred charges on Monday while the detained back chiefs would be arraigned on Tuesday.
Also, the 226 individual bank customers whose names were included in the list of debtors to the five banks affected by the on-going reforms initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been put on a watch-list by security agencies at all airports and border posts.

The anti-graft commission working with other security agencies at the nation’s international airports and land border posts have also been instructed to ensure that none of the 226 debtors whose names were published by the CBN as owing Oceanic, Afribank, Finbank, Intercon-tinental and Union Bank various loans which were found to be non-performing by CBN examiners travel out of the country.

The bank debtors are said to be under restriction from leaving the country until they settle the loans and get clearance from the EFCC. THISDAY gathered that a few of the debtors who were not aware of the directive had been turned back at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos while trying to travel out of the country.

Source: Thisdayonline.com

Confusion over Gabon candidates

Andre Mba Obame
Andre Mba Obame could be boosted by the ethnic vote

Two days before elections in Gabon to replace the late President Omar Bongo, at least five out of 23 candidates have said they are pulling out of the race.

They say they will now back Andre Mba Obame, a former government minister.

But several other candidates denied media reports that they had also withdrawn in favour of Mr Obame.

The favourite to win Sunday's poll is Ali Ben Bongo, the son of the former president who ruled Gabon from 1967 until his death in June.

Some of the candidates have complained of voter registration irregularities, including Bruno Ben Moubamba, who has gone on hunger strike in protest.

He, however, denied reports that he was one of those who had withdrawn from the race and was supporting Mr Obame.

Following overnight talks, one of those pulling out of the race, Anna Claudine Assayi Ayo, said that "consultations resulted in a secret vote and the designation of Andre Mba Obame [as candidate]".

Mr Obame was the interior minister under President Bongo.

He was a senior member of the ruling Gabonese Democratic party (PDG) until deciding to run as an independent after it selected Ali Ben Bongo as its candidate.

He, and some of those who withdrew from the election, are from the Fang ethnic group - Gabon's largest - and correspondents say this could help him pose a serious challenge to Mr Bongo.

However, the anti-Bongo vote still looks set to be divided, while the PDG candidate enjoys the advantage of having the best-financed campaign.

Gabon is a major oil producer but most of its 1.4 million people live in poverty.

The late President Bongo was facing charges of corruption in a French court when he died.

Cunting begins in Gabon election

Counting in Libreville
The capital, Libreville, was said to be tense during the day

Counting has begun in Gabon, following an election to choose a successor to President Omar Bongo, who died after 41 years in power.

Scheduled polling closed at 1700GMT but some stations continued to accept votes after that as they had opened late.

Turnout was said to be be high with long queues at some polling stations.

President Bongo's son, Ali Ben Bongo, is favourite to succeed but the poll has been marred by the pullout of a number of candidates.

Five of the 23 withdrew on Friday and another, Cassimir Oye Mba, pulled out on polling day.

He said he did not want to vindicate a "calamitous electoral process which doesn't look like being clean and credible".

He was one of the major rivals, along with Andre Mba Obame.


In the capital, Libreville, the atmosphere was described as tense throughout the day.

Supporters of Ali Ben Bongo in Libreville, Gabon
Ali Ben Bongo hopes to win over a divided opposition

One voter in the Louis district, Tony Rapariga, told AFP: "If Ali wins, we will burn everything. You will not find even 10 of his supporters here. It's impossible for him to win."

The results of early counting are expected within hours but the full tally is not due for a few days.

There have been more than 300 observers overseeing the vote.

Ali Ben Bongo has promised to boost what he says is the prosperity that Gabon enjoyed during his father's years in power.

But his rivals say there has been endemic corruption and favouritism in Gabon.

Omar Bongo was one of the world's richest men, with a string of properties in France.

He was an unflinching ally of France and a key element in French influence in Central Africa.

BBC Africa analyst Martin Plaut says that Ali Ben Bongo is seen as less closely linked to the French elite than his father, despite being educated at the Sorbonne.

He is also somewhat detached from ordinary Gabonese, struggling to speak local languages with real fluency, our correspondent says.

Gabon is sub-Saharan Africa's fourth biggest oil producer and Africa's second biggest wood exporter, although most of its 1.4 million people live in poverty.

Ghana Pundit Headline News

E-mail subscription

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pan Africa News

Graphic Ghana


Peacefm Online - News with a vision

The Times - World News

The Times - Africa News

Pambazuka News :Emerging powers in Africa Watch

AfricaNews - RSS News

The Zimbabwe Telegraph

BBC News | Africa | World Edition

Modern Ghana

My Blog List