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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Review Of PRINT MEDIA - 31st July 2003


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DAILY GRAPHIC – THURSDAY, 31ST JULY, 2003

1. VEEP INVITES INVESTORS – PG. 16

According to the paper, Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has urged investors, industrialists and business entities to take advantage of the country’s strategic location in the West African sub-region, its political stability and peace and invest in it.

He was speaking at the launching of the 9th Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra yesterday.

He said the fair would open the floodgates in facilitating the country’s role as the main and attractive partner for trade, investment and development in West Africa and Africa as a whole.

The fair is slated for February 26 to March 8, 2004 at the Ghana Trade Fair Centre.

It is expected to attract about 1,300 local and foreign exhibitors, trade visitors, businessmen and women from Ghana and 10 other countries

2. EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF ECOWAS TODAY – PG. 16

An extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on the Liberian crisis will be convened in Accra today.

Official statement issued in Accra said, several of the heads of state in the West African sub-region are expected to attend the one-day summit which will be hosted by President Kufuor.

3. THE MAY 9 STADIUM DISASTER TRIAL SIX COPS FREED FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE – PGS. 1 & 3

The paper reports that, an Accra High Court has acquitted and discharged the Six Senior police officers standing trial for their involvement in the May 9, 2001, stadium disaster that claimed the lives of 127 soccer fans.

A seven-member jury unanimously declared the six persons, Asare Naami, Edward Fakye Kumi, Francis Aryee, Frank Awu and Benjamin B. Bakomora, all Assistant Superintendents of police and Chief Superintendent Nana Koranteng Minta not guilty on 127 counts of manslaughter.

Mr. Justice Yaw Appau, the presiding judge, said the prosecution failed to prove a case against the officers who were acting within the confines of the law to protect state property.

4. MURDER OF YA-NA, 40 OTHERS TIDANA SUGRI ALSO ACQUITTED – PGS. 1 & 3

Yidana Sugri, alias Red, the first accused person standing trial for his alleged involvement in the murder of the late Ya-Na, Yakubu Andani ll, the Overlord of Dagbon was yesterday acquitted and discharged.

According to the paper, the prosecution could not prove a case against him.

The Court, presided over by Mr. Justice Yaw Appau, said the reason given by the prosecution for the charge of conspiracy against Sugri was flawed because it failed to mention the names of the other people who it alleged conspired with him to kill the late Ya-Na.

The same court last week acquitted and discharged the second accused, Iddrisu Jahinfo.

THE GHANAIAN TIMES – THURSDAY, 31ST JULY, 2003

1. CHRAJ TO “PROBE” OFFICIALS….ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT SET UP – PGS. 1 & 3

The paper reports that, CHRAJ has established an Anti-corruption Unit to vigorously pursue its anti-corruption agenda in the country.

For a start, the unit is to commence investigating persons against whom adverse findings of corruption and embezzlement of public funds have been made in the Auditor General’s report.

Mr. Emile Short, Commissioner of CHRAJ, announced this at the launching of the 10th anniversary celebration of the commission in Accra.

He called for the separation of the Attorney-General’s (A-G) office from the Justice Ministry in order to give the A-G an autonomy.

According to him, the A-G should exhibit neutrality in his duties in order to prosecute public officials without fear or favour in cases of embezzlements of funds.

2. GHANA RECORDED 64,120 HIV CASES BY DECEMBER – PG. 3

According to the paper, the country’s HIV/AIDS cases hit 64,120 in December last year, and the figure is projected to increase to about 1.36 million in 2014 if urgent measures are not adopted to curb the spread of the menace.

Mr. Eric Boadu, Programme Officer of the Population Impact Project (PIP), University of Ghana, said this at a day’s workshop on HIV/AIDS in Accra.

3. PRESIDENT LAUDS SINGAPORE’S EFFORTS – PG. 3

Mr. Foo Kok Swee, High Commissioner Of Singapore to Ghana, yesterday paid a farewell call on President Kufuor at the Castle, Osu.

Mr. Swee is leaving Ghana after three years of duty tour.

President Kufuor described Singapore as a shining example for the entire world, considering the strides it had made.

According to him, it was commendable that a country which had no natural resource could develop its human resource to the current stage.

THE GHANAIAN CHRONICLE – THURSDAY, 31ST, JULY, 2003

1. ?700M SHOE DEAL ROCKS CEPS ….STAFF SAY SHOES WORTH FAR LESS – PGS. 1 & 3

According to the paper, cost of a thousand five hundred pairs of shoes and socks supplied to some officers of CEPS has raised serious questions over the whole transaction.

The quality of the items vis-?-vis their prices have compelled some of the officers who received them to complain vehemently, calling for a probe into the whole transaction.

Each pair of shoes was supplied to CEPS at ?450,000 while a pair of socks cost ?35,000; thus a total amount of ?727.5 million was involved in the whole contract.

But according to the Deputy Commissioner of CEPS, Comfort Sarfo Boohene, who is the head of CEPS purchasing committee, “the transaction was done within the rules governing purchasing in CEPS and that all the rules were complied with.”

It chose the best negotiated price based on the information available to it.

The ?450,000 and the ?35,000 were the lowest, and prices ranged from ?510,000 downwards.

2. MINORITY BOYCOTTS HEALTH INSURANCE BILL DISCUSSION BACKPAGE & PG. 3

The paper reports that, the Minority in Parliament is reported to have boycotted the sittings of the health and finance committee of the House on the national health insurance bill, which started yesterday.

According to Mr. Sallas Mensah, minority spokesman on health, the minority had taken this position in order to ensure that the interest of Ghanaians are protected.

He said that they have suggested to government to devote a percentage of the national revenue as seed capital for the scheme, instead of imposing additional tax burden on the people.

“It’s going to compound the woes of the Ghanaian.”

He said the bill is not well thought out and if care is not taken it would rather compound the problem that it seeks to correct.

DAILY GUIDE – THURSDAY, 31ST JULY, 2003

1. BOMB BLAST….4 NPP SUPPORTERS NABBED – PGS. 1 & BACK PAGE

Four NPP supporters have been arrested in Ho, Volta region capital, in connection with a bomb explosion at the residence of the party’s regional organiser, Johnson Avuletey, in the early hours of Tuesday July 29, 2003.

Deputy Volta Regional Police Commander said the suspects are being kept at the Anyirawase Police cells because of congestion at the Ho police station.

The four were picked up following investigations into the case.

The Police described the devices as “Molotov Cocktail” a kind of petrol bomb used during the Russian revolution.

THE INDEPENDENT – THURSDAY, 31ST JULY, 2003

1. RAWLINGS STIRS UP CHIEFTAINCY TENSION AT WA….ROOTS FOR NA YAKUBU, DESPITE SUPREME COURT INJUNCTION – PGS. 1 & BACK PAGE

According to the paper, the popularity of the NDC in Wa, the Upper West Regional Capital is waning.

Majority of the townsfolk who, one way or the other, have a lineage with the four royal houses in Wa are angry with Rawlings and the other NDC functionaries who recently accompanied Rawlings to the Upper West Region on a familiarization tour.

He caused a major stir when he tried to incite one of the royal houses against the NPP.

According to some aggrieved residents Rawlings paid a courtesy call on one of the factions involved in a royal litigation – Na Seidu Yakubu of the Wa Kpaaha gate, to whom Rawlings offered his unflinching support as the rightful occupant of the Wa skin.

The youth of Wa were shocked that a former head of state could ignore an interim injunction by the Supreme Court restraining any of the four gates from putting itself forth as the traditional head of Wa, and claim that he (Rawlings) recognizes one of the factions as the legitimate ruler.

The Wa palace is now under a 24-hour lock and surveillance with no activity in it.

THE ACCRA DAILY MAIL – THURSDAY, 31ST JULY, 2003

MAJOR DESTABLISATION MOVE UNCOVERED. SERIAL KILLER TO “CONFESS” – PGS. 1 & 3

A series of "reports" on Ghana's security briefings have been put out on the internet and copied to Ghanaian media houses and others elsewhere.

The sample copy attached at the end of this article speaks for itself. Though it has a ring of verisimilitude to it, but it is false.

ADM's investigations have revealed that no such meeting has taken place, but instead the intelligence services themselves are aware of the new cyber "psy-ops" taking place and targeted at the security and intelligence agencies to discredit them and create the necessary disaffection that could then pave the way for people with destabilization plans to take advantage of whatever confusion would ensue.

The venerable state-owned Ghana News Agency (GNA) has also been targeted. Two days ago it had to issue a disclaimer distancing itself from a story on the Yendi Skin crisis attributed to it on the internet.

The disclaimer said, "The Ghana News Agency on Monday repudiated a story on the Ghana Web that alleged that the plot to kill Ya Na Yakubu Andani Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional Area, was planned at the office of the former Minister for the Interior, Alhai Malik Alhassan Yakubu. The agency is investigating how it was credited with such a despicable story."

In an even more sinister development, ADM in researching this story was told by a highly placed source that the intelligence services have intercepted plans by some un-named "human rights lawyer" to "aid" Charles Quansah, the convicted serial killer to change his story and "confess" to having accomplices. The accomplices would be none other than the un-named 15 cabinet ministers that ex-Flt. Lt. Rawlings says he knows participated in the murders.

"The strategy", said the source "is to get Quansah to insist on an identification parade for him to point out his 'accomplices', but because he would have already mentioned certain names, they would be included in the identification parade."

Once Quansah picks out his "accomplices", the onus would then be on them to clear their names in a court of law. The NPP government would become so hamstrung by the "scandal" that losing Election 2004 would then be a foregone conclusion.

ADM was also informed that the rift within the NDC is getting deeper because Rawlings is insisting on imposing his wife on Professor Mills as his running mate and for once, the Professor is showing some clout and saying no.

The Professor, according to the source, has even sent some mild protest on that and other issues to Rawlings and is threatening to back out should the "harassment" continue from the Rawlings camp.

It used to be the Obed versus the Mills camps, but now the Rawlings camp has also stepped into the breach.

It is no wonder that Rawlings has decided to embark on his own national campaign, independent of what Mills the presidential candidate is doing.

Recently one such campaign trip to Keta came unstuck when Rawlings was denied the opportunity of "inspecting" the Keta Sea Defence Project as a sitting president would..

The sample "SECURITY REPORT EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE

The above was held on 4th October 2002 at the Castle Osu, Accra. In attendance were:

1. Dr Addo Kufour, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister Of Interior
2. Nana Akuffo Addo, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
3. Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs
4. Mr K. Mpianim, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
5. Lt. General Seth Obeng, Armed Forces Chief of Staff
6. Nana Owusu Nsiah, the IGP
7. Mr Francis Poku, National Security Co-ordinator 8. Mr Owusu Ababio, presidential Security Coordinator

Dr Addo Kufour briefed members on the behaviour of the Presidential Security Guards. The reports he has received indicate that there is no discipline amongst the Presidential Security Guards.

That these developments are very serious because the lives of the President and the ministers are at risk.

That if the guards could give information to newspapers about their grievances then their behavior is very serious as State Security is concerned.

Nana Akuffo Addo in his contribution said they should cast their ninds back to Dr Busia's Administration when Acheampong was appointed as Commander of the Southern Sector.

That the then Security Network advised him that Acheampong was a dangerous man and that he should not apoint him. He did not take their advice and appointed him.

Acheampong seized this opportunity to overthrow him from office. That to recruit someone as Presidential Guard his background should be studied to know his loyalty to the party before recruiting him. That he believed this has not been done.

In his contribution, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey said that care should be taken in the selection of the guards.

That they should be selected from among the loyal members of the NPP for training to take over from the present ones drawn from the police units.

In his contribution, the National Security Coordinator, Mr Francis Poku said that as soon as he read the news he called his men and briefed them about the newspapers' reports. He called his personnel of the BNI to investigate and find out those who are responsible for this information for the necessary action to be taken against them.

In his contribution, the IGP said as soon as he read the news he immediately asked the CID to investigate and find out those who are responsible for the information so that appropriate action is taken against them.

Mr K. Mpianim, Chief of Staff said information he received indicate that the former President is using Kwesi Pratt Junior to publish articles in his papers which would incite the Armed Forces and the public against the Government.

That the information available to him indicate that Mr Pratt has been visiting the former President very often.

That he Mpianim has written to the acting Minister of Interior so that his ativities and movements should be monitored.

That he should not be allowed to enter any military installations. Dr Addo Kufour in his response said that he has already given instructions to his commanders to that effect, Dr Addo Kufour said the report he has received from the BNI indicate that some of the heads of Private Security Organisations are members of the NDC.

That it is because of this that they were issued with licence to operate. that the Security Personnel of these private organisations are members of the former CDO which is a wing of the NDC.

That based on this report the government has set up a supervisory board to review all applications and current licences of all Private Security Organisations in the country.

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