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General News of Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Major Mahama Trust Bill discriminatory – Freeman Tettey

The former Deputy Director of the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police Service DSP Freeman Tettey, has slammed the Major Mahama Trust Bill describing it as discriminatory.

The Major Mahama Trust Fund bill which was passed by Parliament November 8, seeks to give the legal backing for the establishment of a fund to cater for the wife and two children of the Late Major Maxwell Mahama.

The late Major was killed under bizarre circumstances at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central region after he was mistaken for a thief.

In a Facebook post DSP Freeman Tettey stated that the bill must encompass all those who died protecting the country.

“Major Mahama trust fund Bill? I suggest it should encompass all those who paid the ultimate price in protecting this country and not for just one person. The bill is discriminatory,” DSP Tettey stated.

DSP Tettey is the latest person to criticise the bill after former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Martin Amidu called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to sign the discriminatory Major Mahama Trust Bill.

Prominent Ghanaian lawyer based in the USA, Professor Stephen Kweku Asare, has also urged the president not to sign the bill saying it will set a bad precedent.

In an article, Mr. Amidu said Mr. Akufo-Addo must think long before appending his signature to the Major Mahama Trust Bill.

“Mr. President, the Bill that Parliament passed for your signature suffers from several constitutional, legal and policy defects that should have been conditions precedent to its enactment. Portions of the Bill passed by Parliament for your signature are inconsistent with and contravene the 1992 Constitution in several material particulars.

“It also seriously undermines and puts to naught several provisions of the Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105) as revised, and Regulations made thereunder to compose and regulate the conduct of the Ghana Armed Forces.”

“Mr. President, the speed with which the Major Mahama Trust Fund Bill was laid on 24th October 2017 and passed by Parliament on 8th November 2017 without citizens being given the chance to make any inputs into its constitutionality and legality ought to be sufficient reason for you, who promised participatory democracy to the electorate, to make haste slowly in signing this Bill.

“Major Mahama was killed on 29th May 2017 by Ghanaian citizens who at the time could not have known his official identity, let alone his name and tribe. The perpetrators committed a criminal offence for which they must face the consequences under the Constitution and laws of Ghana, which presumes them innocent until proven guilty.

“Mr. President, the appeals you are receiving from patriotic citizens (some of whom have been your ardent supporters over the years) is an indication that the Bill was treated as though it were one under a certificate of urgency, without adequate invitation to the public to make inputs to ensure acceptability by the mass of Ghanaians and particularly a substantial portion of the membership of the Ghana Armed Forces when enacted.

“Mr. President, Lieutenant-General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka, Captain C. Y. Borkloe, Captain A. K. Avevor and Sergent Osei Grunshie fell during the insurrection of 17th April 1967. They had been preceded by Pte. Adjoba Grunshie; Pte. Lawrence Mensah; Cpl. Lassey Sewoatsri; Sgt. Abudulai Allasan; Pte. Arnold Kwao and Cfn. Daniel Odame who died on the 24th February, 1966 Revolution.

“These events happened during a military regime but it took the National Liberation Council (NLC) and the Ghana Armed Forces almost three and four years respectively to pass the General Kotoka Trust Act, 1969 (NLCD 339) not for Gen. Kotoka alone but all the gallant men who fell during the two events.”