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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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is President Mills really competent?

Ato: Are you very sure that our president is competent?

Adom: But he is only 10 months into his 4 year term.

Ato: Yes but have you seen any sign that he will be able to deliver on his

campaign promises?

Adom: Well, I cannot tell but he is being visiting the regions.

Dan: I think he visited the regions to find out what progress is being made there.

Ato: What progress? Can you sincerely say that the president has made some progress since he took office? Are you saying jobs have been created or are being created? Are you saying the fuel shortage has gone away? Are you saying those Ghanaians living on two dollars a day have seen improvements in their lives? And by the way did he see the millions of people who live in mud/thatched houses roofed with bamboo and raffia leaves in the villages? Are those Ghanaians and what is the president doing to change their conditions? Did he see the farmers who are still using cutlasses and hoes to plant and harvest their crops in this 21st century?

Adom: But he is a Law Professor.

Ato: Yes but how does that translate into good roads? How does that translate into hospitals equipped doctors, medicines and equipments? How does that solve the problem of housing and decaying infrastructures in the villages, towns and cities? How does that put food on the table for millions of Ghanaians who are suffering? How does that transform our agriculture sector so we do not need to import rice from China? How does that help business to obtain credit at relatively?

Adom: I think you are not being fair to the president. Do you expect him to do all these in ten months?

Ato: No but at least he has spent 25% of his time and what can we link him to? Can you tell me the kind of policy the president is pursuing has he even got a programme of action at all?

Adom: So what are you driving at?

Ato: What I am saying is that he is incompetent. He is incompetent like those before him with the exception of Nkrumah who really had vision and implemented it to help our nation. Where would Ghana had been had it not been those infrastructures and companies that Nkrumah established? I laughed when recently Kuffour said Africa's problems are due bad leadership. He had eight years to change the poverty statistics in the country and what did we see? As for Rawlings I don't want to talk about him. He ruled for 19 good years and what did we see in our energy, education, health and agriculture sector? He now wants Mills to do in one year what he failed to do in 19 years. If they are competent, capable and have vision to develop our nation then why are we still poor 52 years after our independence? I tell you they are only competent when it comes to stealing from the poor people of the land. Why didn't Mo Ibrahim award his price to Kuffour?

Adom: I think you have a point there. But I hope you are not suggesting that Mills is being stealing from us.

Ato: Even if he is not stealing from us his Ministers are. Have you forgotten Muntaka or Yankey and the rest? I don't really know if Africans have some genes that prevent our leaders from having a positive attitude towards development. But let us wait and see if the next three years will be any different from what we have seen so far.

GHANA: $850,000 fraud case takes another turn

The $850,000 fraud case involving two lawyers took another turn Thursday when the trial judge who had been authorised by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General to hear the matter told parties in the case that he had been restrained from further hearing the matter by a High Court judge.

The trial judge, Mr D. E. K. Daketsey, told the prosecution and the defence teams that he had been served with an order of injunction restraining him from hearing the case until the determination of a suit brought against him by the two lawyers.

According to the judge, the lawyers, Joseph Kwame Owusu Asamani and Ekow Amua-Sekyi, who are facing charges of forgery and fraud, sought the order from the Human Rights Court, presided over by Mr Justice U. P. Dery, last Friday.

According to counsel for the two lawyers, Mr James Agalga, November 12, 2009 had been fixed for hearing the motion for an order of prohibition directed at the judge whom his clients had accused of making bias statements against them.

The prosecution had stated that the two allegedly prepared a Deed of Assignment, unknown to the complainant, Gordon Etroo, scanned his signature on it, registered it at the Lands Registry and presented it to Howard Eric Ewen, the Managing Director of Keegan Resources, who also signed.

On March 18, 2007, the two allegedly forged a judgement titled 'Axex Company Limited versus four other defendants' and inserted an order by a High Court judge for the recovery of a mine known as Bonte Esaase Gold Mine.

According to the prosecution, the two lawyers, without the knowledge of Samuel Etroo and Mr Kwame Opoku, initiated a civil suit number BL35/07, as 'Kwame Opoku versus Sametro Company Limited'.

However, the two have not appeared before the court to answer the charges.

The trial judge, Mr Daketsey, who did not disclose the grounds of the injunction, said he had since been served with a writ of prohibition by the two lawyers.

The lawyers were said to have sought the order on the grounds that the judge was likely to show bias if he went ahead to hear the case against them.

The judge told prosecutors and defence lawyers that he had instructed his solicitors to contest the case because he had no personal interest or whatsoever in the case.

He also told the parties in his chambers that he felt aggrieved because the two lawyers had, on a countless number of occasions, refused to appear in his court to answer charges levelled against them.

Obviously aggrieved at the turn of events, Nana Ato Dadzie, who is counsel for the complainant in the case, told journalists that the common practice was for the lawyers to be in court to state why they were absent.

He said the case had had a chequered history because it took more than two years for the lawyers to be put before court.

He said the Attorney-General called for the docket for study and on October 22, 2008 she formally wrote to the court authorising it to proceed with the case, adding that the Chief Justice had also authorised the judge to hear the case.

Nana Ato Dadzie said although the two lawyers were at liberty to go for a prohibition order, he was of the view that such antics were calculated to frustrate the court process.

He also indicated that his client was an interested party and he, therefore, intended to join the suit the Human Rights Court.

He further indicated that the interest of justice would be served if all parties had their day in court.

No definite date has been fixed for the hearing of the criminal matter due to the latest twist.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

Bawku: Soldier strips suspects naked

Upper East Regional Minister Mark Woyongo
Upper East Regional Minister Mark Woyongo
Unless we beef up security, these sporadic gun fires will be heard for some time.
Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister

Two people have been arrested in Bawku Wednesday morning following a shooting incident.

Joy News correspondent, Joseph Osei reports a gunman caused panic after shooting into the air near a school around 8am on Wednesday.

Military personnel who moved into the area to restore calm, arrested two suspects and stripped them naked before parading them on the streets.

The situation is said to have caused uproar amongst residents.

According to eyewitnesses, the two persons were marched through the streets from the Bawku Hospital to the central police station which is several metres away.

Responding to the issues, Upper East Regional Minister Mark Woyongo confirmed the arrests but said reports that the two persons were stripped naked have not been corroborated by the police.

According to him, the Airborne Force Commander in the area had told him “34 rounds of AK47 ammunition” was found on one of the two persons arrested.

The alleged gunman is said to have invited his friend, who owned a motorbike, to pick him up but the two were arrested together by the military who had been patrolling the area.

The shooting in the town brings into question the adequacy of security and equipment to forestall violence there, a situation Mr Woyongo admits.

“Unless we beef up security, these sporadic gun fires will be heard for some time,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, Joy Newsrooms have been inundated with calls from persons claiming to be Mamprusis who say they feel discriminated and that the security agencies are being used against them.

In a response, Mr Woyongo said: “We are investigating some of these things,” adding “We will do all we can to assure everybody that we are not taking sides, we just want a solution to the problem.”

Source: Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Military Commander denies parading suspects ‘nude’

The Commander of the military force helping to keep the peace in Bawku, Capt. Frank Abrokwa, has denied stripping any suspects naked.
The Commander of the military force helping to keep the peace in Bawku, Capt. Frank Abrokwa, has denied stripping any suspects naked.

The Commander of the military force helping to keep the peace in Bawku, Capt. Frank Abrokwa, has denied stripping any suspects naked, contrary to claims he and his men paraded a suspect naked through the town on Wednesday.

The suspect was picked up by military officers along with a second person, after a shooting incident Wednesday morning and handed over to the police.

The MP for the area, Adamu Sakande and Salifu Bashiru, South Katinga assemblyman have told Citi FM the suspects were stripped naked before being paraded through town on the way to the police station.

However, the military commander told Joy News the allegations were false, explaining that the suspect who did the shooting was half naked on his arrest.

According to Captain Frank Abrokwa, the suspect resisted arrest as the soldiers attempted to get him to lead them to the source of the gun he wielded.

Early reports suggested he had attempted to shoot at two farmers who were on their way to harvest their sweet potatoes and upon missing them, called in the second suspect to come pick him up on a motorbike.

Captain Frank Abrokwa said as the suspect resisted arrest, his trousers got torn in the ensuing struggle with the soldiers, and since the area of his arrest was not motorable, the soldiers had no choice but to walk him through town to the police station.

Story by Isaac Yeboah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Stripping suspects naked is more acceptable than killing - Wayongo

Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Wayongo
Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Wayongo
If a soldier maltreats somebody in Accra, fine, we will have all the reasons to make all the noise but Bawku is a conflict area and they are trying to find ways of solving the problem… I think that some of these things are done to serve as a deterrent so that others will not repeat the same thing.
Mark Wayongo

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Wayongo says the stripping of some suspects naked publicly in Bawku is more acceptable than killing innocent citizens which those suspects were believed to be bent on doing.

“The people who were alleged to have been put through that treatment were going to shoot at people who had gone to harvest their potatoes and I think that that treatment was better than if they had killed those people,” he said.

Video footage from the volatile town depicts soldiers drilling two young men suspected to have engaged in unprovoked shooting in the Natinga area in Bawku, exacerbating the tension there. They were paraded naked in the streets and in some scenes the muzzle of a gun can be seen being pushed into the mouth of one of them.

The video together with earlier reports of the incident – denied by the military high command in Bawku – has caused some public outrage.

But Mr Wayongo, while regretting the conduct of the soldiers, believes the complaints are unjustified, given that the people of Bawku live under abnormal circumstances and conditions.

Conflict situation justifies maltreatment?

Myjoyonline Ghana News Photos |
One of the victims of the naked parade in Bawku
“If a soldier maltreats somebody in Accra, fine, we will have all the reasons to make all the noise but Bawku is a conflict area and they are trying to find ways of solving the problem… I think that some of these things are done to serve as a deterrent so that others will not repeat the same thing,” he told Peace FM’s Kwami Sefa-Kayi.

The regional minister who himself wascaught in a cross-fire in Bawku recentlyand had to fall flat on his belly to dodge bullets urged restraint, warning that over criticizing the soldiers could demoralize them.

“Let us not over-flog the issue, we don’t have to make the soldiers feel unwanted in Bawku, we don’t need to do things that will let them take a back seat. If the soldiers are disillusioned, if we discourage them operating in the area they will just fold their arms and sit down and we will have serious consequences.”

A protracted chieftaincy dispute between Kussasis and Mamprusis has retained Bawku as one of the most volatile parts of the country.

The conflict has defied efforts by successive governments to find a solution to theintermittent resurgence in violence which has claimed lives and property and also exacted a heavy toll on both the locals and people responsible for maintaining the peace.

The security personnel themselves have on some occasions been accused of taking sides with politicians accusing each other of fanning the conflict for purposes of political expediency.

Play the video footage here and see the treatment meted to the suspects in Bawku

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Soldiers' alleged conduct: Woyongo's reaction is 'regretable' - Akomea

Mark Woyongo, Upper East Refional Minister
Mark Woyongo, Upper East Refional Minister

The MP for Okaikoi South, Nana Akomea, has condemned the action of some public officials, especially Ministers, who appear to be justifying the reported misconduct of soldiers in Bawku.

Citing the utterances of Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, Nana Akomea said his pronouncements were “very regrettable and unfortunate...a terribly unfortunate statement to come from a minister.”

Mr Wayongo had told journalists following the release of a video footage showing suspects being manhandled by soldiers that stripping the suspects naked was a lesser crime compared to killing innocent people which the suspects were accused of.

But speaking on Metro TV's Good Morning Ghana Programme on Friday, Nana Akomea described Wayongo's comments as unfortunate and regrettable.

According to the MP, people are criticizing the military because of their public denial of the reported misconduct of some of their men, when in fact those allegations were later proven to be true.

He noted that such attempts on the part of officials to justify wrongdoing is what has fanned criticisms from the public, adding, the criticism are not what will demoralize the peacekeepers but their reaction to the issue.

“People are complaining about their conduct because of the denial and justification,” he stressed.

He added, however, that “If it is wrong, you admit it is wrong and take remedial measures. But if you don’t, the criticisms will continue and their conduct will be the issue instead of their peacekeeping efforts.”

Nana Akomea emphasized the need for the military to refrain from “sweeping their excesses under the carpet”, cautioning “that [that]attitude does not help the situation."

Source: Dorcas Efe Mensah/myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Military ordered to produce "killer" of Issah Mobilla

An Accra Fast Track High court Thursday ordered the Military High Command to expedite action for the arrest of Private Seth Goka, one of the army officers alleged to have played a role in the murder of the Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Alhaji Issah Mohammed, aka Issah Mobilla, for prosecution.

The case has been adjourned until December 2, 2009 by Justice Senyo Dzamefe to enable the Commanding Officer of the Military work expeditiously to produce Private Seth Goka.

He would be facing trial with two other colleagues - Yaw Appiah and Private Eric Modzaka.

The three accused persons have been charged for the murder of Issah Mobilla who sustained military wounds when transferred from the police cells to Kamina Military Barracks in Tamale under their custody.

The Prosecutor, Mrs. Gertrude Aikins, told the court that Alhaji Issah Mohammed handed himself to the police on 9th December 2004 after he was declared wanted for allegedly supplying the youth in Tamale with guns to foment trouble.

According to the prosecutor, Alhaji Mobilla died three hours after he was handed over to the accused persons who were on duty that day.

Mrs. Aikins further told the court that during the cause of investigations a report received from a Chief Pathologist revealed that the deceased died from a multiple wounds.

Story by Alfred Frempong

CHRAJ chides gov’t for pampering military

Emile Short
Emile Short

The Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has lambasted government over its failure to condemn in no uncertain terms alleged human rights abuses by the military.

Commissioner Emile Short told Joy News the government must be bold enough to whip the military in line when they go overboard.

His concerns come amidst reports of grievous human rights abuses by the military which led to the manhandling and stripping of two men naked in Bawku for allegedly shooting indiscriminately into the air.

Not long after the Bawku encounter, the military and some police men were said to have gang raped two women in Nalerigu in Tamale, where they were detailed to maintain law and order after some residents went on rampage over the murder of one of a colleague.

The incidents, especially the second, provoked a huge public outcry against the military.

Upper East Regional Minister Mark Wayongo believes the continued vilification of the military could demoralize them which might engender ‘blood bath’ in the region.

The vice president John Mahama in his goodwill message to the Moslems on the occasion of the Eid-ul Ad-har said the two incidents though regrettable must not be used to tarnish the hard won reputation of the military.

He opined the behavior of some of the military must be borne out of frustration after what appears to be an endless effort to bring peace to Bawku.

“The soldiers too have families and they have come to stay there interminably for years trying to resolve the conflict. Sometimes the frustration gets to them and they occasionally might behave out of context,” he said.

He said investigations have begun, but warned the perpetrators of that crime to desist from acts that will defame the military.

But CHRAJ appears not impressed with government’s reaction.

Emile Short said government may appear to be condoning the embarrassing acts if it fails to condemn out rightly the reported cases of human rights abuses.

“I think they need to be encouraged. They need to be given all the support, both logistics as well and moral encouragement that they need. But at the same time when they go overboard, it is incumbent on all of us in the public office to be able to draw their attention to those excesses and to ensure that they don’t happen. Otherwise it may appear to be condoning them. And I think that is wrong.”

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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