General News of Sunday, 19 May 2013

Source: GhanaWeb

In the news this week…

As expected, the media during the week were awash with a series of controversial issues ranging from politics, social, sports to crime. Here is a highlight of the major news items last week.

IGP storms Kumasi

The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, during the week travelled to Kumasi to get firsthand information on the worrying security situation in the Ashanti regional capital.

Three people have in the past week been killed in the region from two different shooting incidents. On Monday, May 13, residents in Atwima Boko, a suburb of Kumasi reportedly lynched two suspected armed robbers.

In a latest development, Police in Asokwa are investigating an incident in which unidentified persons set a Mercedes Benz saloon car belonging to the chief of Asokwa a suburb of Kumasi, Nana Fe-Baamoah II, on fire in front of his palace.

The attackers also left a written note at the door to the palace telling the chief to expect further attacks.

Minister raises concern over Job 600

The Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, also expressed doubt over the ability of the contractor working on the Job 600 to complete work by the June deadline.

“I was told that by the end of June this year they will complete the work. I have my doubt, in view of the magnitude of work left,” he was quoted as saying.

Alhaji Dauda expressed the doubt after the consultant on the project, Michael Krakue, the Chairman of ADK Consortium, had stated that the work would be completed by June this year.

Earlier, the consultant had proposed to take the minister to the first and 11th floors for inspection, but the minister insisted on inspecting floors other than those proposed by Mr Krakue.

The inspection of the other floors revealed that not much work had been done on those floors.

KPMG to audit pink sheets for free

International auditing firm KPMG on Wednesday agreed to audit the contentious issue of the number of pink sheets filed by the petitioners free of charge.

Justice William Atuguba, president of the panel of judges hearing the election petition at the Supreme Court, announced to the court after they resumed from lunch break on that fateful day.

In conveying the message, he described the offer as a “certificate of good news”.

A sense of gratitude filled the court audience as the Judge asked the court registrar to “duly acknowledge [KPMG]” for the gesture.

He described their decision as “noble” and “patriotic” and asked that counsel and witness emulate their gesture by preceding the second half of court proceedings "without acrimony”.

Officials of KPMG were in court to acknowledge the Judge’s satisfaction of the “good news”

Mahama lauds election petition

President John Mahama on Friday said the decision by his arch political opponent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to resort to the court to challenge the 2012 presidential results will strengthen, rather than put Ghana’s democracy in danger.

President Mahama told the visiting Asanteman Council, led by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Flagstaff House that: “People think the nation is being buffeted by some uncertain as a result of this court case; I do think that it strengthens our democracy”.

He said: “…Even though we had a dispute or somebody contests the results of the election, he has decided to go to Court and we are giving the Court the opportunity to listen to his grievance to find out whether it is genuine or not, and I think that it goes to strengthen our democracy that Ghana continues to show the way in terms of good governance and democracy and constitutional rule of law”.

President Mahama is the first respondent in the petition.

The Electoral Commission (EC) and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) are the second and third respondents respectively.

Tsatsu’s application thrown out

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by the Respondents in the election petition case to haul into the dock, other witnesses for cross-examination.

The application was first made by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, Lead Counsel for the Third Respondent.

The court was expected to rule on the matter on Tuesday May 14, 2013, but at the beginning of that day’s hearing, the President of the nine-member panel of Justices, William Atuguba ruled that: “Since similar applications by the first and second Respondents have been fixed for May 16, 2013, it is just and proper, without any diminishing to expedition to consolidate and/or take them all on the 16, May 2013”, adding that: “This motion is accordingly so adjourned”.

Dr. Bawumia has until now been the star witness in the case.

The NDC’s Lead Counsel intended to call into the witness box the Member of Parliament for Tano North Freda Prempeh, Berekum East MP Dr. Kwabena Twum Nuamah and a polling station officer at Savelugu in the Northern region.

The three named persons attached their affidavit to that of the three main petitioners in the case, thus the NDC's insistence that they be called into the witness box.

In their attached affidavit, the three NPP members said there was cancelation of some results in their Constituencies.

Gov’t starts daily press briefing at Flagstaff House

Government on Monday announced to start holding daily press briefings at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

A statement signed by a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr. Felix Kwakye Ofosu, said the move forms part of efforts to deepen the government’s public engagement.

It said the daily press briefings will start at 11am every weekday to reflect the government’s commitment to fulfill the fourth pillar of the governing National Democratic Congress’s 2012 manifesto which promised transparent and accountable governance.

Mr. Kwakye Ofosu explained that the daily press briefing which will be addressed by the Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Mahama Ayariga will afford Ghanaians the opportunity to have insight into activities, policies and programmes of the Government.

Robbery at GFA

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) was hit by a serious scandal involving the missing of an amount of $63,000, Ghana Sports can reveal.

The incident has led to the Black Stars Bus driver being arraigned before the Accra High court.

Black Stars Bus driver at the GFA, Mr. Sammy Nartey, was handed two separate cash cheques to withdraw an amount of $63,000 and GHS9,000 from the Bank in the name of the Football Association.

According to reports, the driver made some other errands after withdrawing the money from the Bank before reporting back to his bosses at the GFA thinking that he had kept the monies safely in his ‘letter box’.

To his dismay, he found out upon arriving at the premises of the GFA that only the GHS9,000 was in the Bus and that the $63,000 had been stolen.