State files 127 documents in SSNIT Trial

Accra- The State, on Wednesday, said it has filed 127 documents and a pen drive containing additional documents in a matter involving Ernest Thompson, former Director-General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and four others.

Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told an Accra High Court that the documents were filed as far back as September 24, this year.

The DPP, however, said she could not tell if all the five accused persons in the matter had been served with those documents.

The accused persons, through their respective lawyers, informed the court that they have not been served.

Defence counsels held that if the State, with all machinery at their disposal, took three months to file the documents then it was appropriate for the court to accord the accused persons with an equal opportunity and adequate time to prepare for their defence.

The DPP objected to the three-month period suggested by defence counsels saying they should be given six weeks to go through the documents and prepare for their defence.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie, gave the defence team eight weeks to go through the documents and prepare for their defence.

The matter was, therefore, adjourned to December 14.

Meanwhile the court has slated November 2, this year, to hear a motion filed by Caleb Kwaku Afaglo, former Manager of Management Information System at SSNIT.

Thompson is standing trial with John Hagan Mensah, an Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Manager of SSNIT and later Operational Business Suit Project Manager, and Juliet Hassana Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Business Systems and Silver Lake Structured Service Limited.

The rest are Caleb Kwaku Afaglo, former Manager of Management Information System at SSNIT, and Peter Hayibor, a General Manager / General Counsel for SSNIT.

Thompson and four others have jointly been charged with 29 counts of conspiracy, wilfully causing financial loss to the state and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They were said to have caused a loss of over 72 million dollars in Operating Business Suite Contract, which sought to provide state-of�the- art pension administration systems.

Afaglo has been additionally charged with defrauding by false pretences, possession of forged documents and altering of forged documents.

The matter follows investigations into the awarding of the controversial 72 million dollars Operating Business Suite contract for the development of a software to help SSNIT in its dealings with the pensioners.

The amount involved in the contract was initially 34 million dollars but it was later inflated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GHANA HOPE BREXIT WON’T DISTURB TRADE WITH UK – PRES AKUFO-ADDO

ACCRA– President Akufo-Addo has said that his government is expectant that the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will not have any adverse effect on Ghana-UK trade relations.

Speaking at the opening of the Ghana-UK Investment Summit 2018, Nana Addo said: The second concern is about the ongoing Brexit negotiations and its implications for Ghana’s trade policies. Even though we are understandably anxious about the nature of the consequences of Brexit, we are expectant that the outcomes of the negotiation, contrary to the opinion of the so-called economic experts, will not disturb our trade cooperation with the United Kingdom.

The proposed continental free trade area, which I am confident will be a reality soon provides another dimension that should enhance dramatically the possibilities of collaboration between Ghanaian and UK enterprises in exploiting trade and investment opportunities.

The UK-Ghana Investment Summit has been touted as the signal for a new strategic partnership to boost two-way trade and investment.

The two governments (UK and Ghana) launched a strategic partnership that focuses on economic development, job creation, investment, and trade.

The highlight of the business is at the summit, where more than 50 UK companies converge on Accra to discuss opportunities in Ghana with the government and private sector partners.

It is organized between the UK government, the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

In August 2018, the UK prime minister, Theresa May, paid her first visit as prime minister to Africa.

According to her, the visit was to deepen and strengthen its global partnerships as it prepared to leave the EU in 2019.

She met with the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

The UK Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin, also visited Ghana, where she announced a programme which she said would create jobs for Ghanaians, stimulate private sector investment and drive Ghana’s economic transformation.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Director advises teachers to be committed to duty

Nkoranza, (B/A)- Mr. OpokuDonyina, the Nkoranza North District Director of Education has urged the District’s teachers to be committed to duty and intensify efforts to raise the falling standards of education in the area.

He said teachers were role models for school children and advised them to be disciplined and eschew unhealthy behaviours that could badly influence pupils and students.

Addressing a durbar of pupils, students and teachers at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region to mark this year’s World Teachers Day, Mr. Donyina advised parents to also collaborate with teachers in the area to instil discipline in their children.

He said academic performance of pupils and students could improve if teachers had the compassion, love and care for them and observed that though teachers might be doing their best to teach the children good morals and urged parents to monitor the movements of their children in the homes and guide them to do their homework.

He emphasised that teachers alone could not shoulder the responsibility of teaching and pleaded with parents to also support and guide their children to read their books.

He urged Parents to develop interest in the education of their children by investing much of their resources into it than spending on frivolous activities.

Madam Diana Attaa-Kusiwaa, the Nkoranza South Municipal Chief Executive commended teachers for their selfless services and said quality education was a fundamental human right.

She expressed concern over the level of moral decadence among the youth in the area, noting that the drug abuse menace was seriously affecting the lives of the youth in the area.

Mr Samuel OppongAmoah, the Acting Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers also commended teachers for the service to the nation, but asked them to do more to enhance the academic performances of pupils and students.

In all, 14 deserving teachers made up of nine males and five females in the Municipality were awarded.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GNAT appeals to MMDAs to construct teachers’ bungalows

Nkoranza, The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to construct teachers’ bungalows in deprived communities to solve the residential accommodation problems facing them in the country.

This would motivate teachers to accept postings to work in rural communities to improve on the standard of education in those areas.

Mr. Ebenezer Asare-Baah, the Nkoranza District Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He noted that most teachers posted to rural areas refused due to lack of accommodation and bad road networks, and urged the MMDAs to tackle the problems.

Mr. Asare-Baah said with the provision of residential accommodation, teachers had no excuse to refuse postings to serve in rural areas.

More so, he added that the problem of lateness and absenteeism among teachers in deprived communities would also be addressed.

Mr. Asare-Baah regretted that during rainy seasons, many teachers serving in rural areas had to walk or ride bicycles for several kilometres to attend classes and expressed dissatisfaction about the contributions of Parent Teacher Associations towards the development of education in the Nkoranza Municipality and Nkoranza North District.

He observed that ensuring quality education was a shared and collective responsibility and appealed to parents to support teachers and expressed concern over high teenage pregnancies and alcoholism among students in the two areas.

Mr. Asare-Baah also advised teachers to upgrade themselves to be able to cope with the various educational reforms the country was going through.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Amputee footballers halt demonstration against Government

Accra� Members of the national amputee football team, Black Challenge, have halted plans to stage a demonstration against the government, over refusal to fund the team’s impending participation in the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup to be staged in Mexico.

The demonstration planned for Monday, October 15, was halted, following a last-minute intervention by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as discussions were ongoing between both sides.

The Black Challenge trip to Mexico has been in limbo over the past few days, as they struggled to raise funds to facilitate their participation despite commencing up preparation with a non-residential camping.

Ghana would play Argentina, France and Italy in a tough looking Group B at this year’s World Cup in Mexico from October 24 to November 5, 2018.

Ghana could face a 12-year ban from all international tournaments if it fails to partake in this year’s World Cup tournament, which will virtually deprive the Black Challenge of any international exposure.

Source: Ghana News Agency