Disqualify our former General Secretary from contesting Madina primaries – UFP petitions NDC

The United Front Party (UFP) has petitioned the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to disqualify its former General Secretary, Prince Moses Zakaria from contesting in the Madina Constituency parliamentary primaries of the largest opposition party.

UFP in a statement dated Wednesday, March 29, 2023, and signed by its leader and founder, Dr Nana Agyenim Boateng said the character of the former secretary who remains on the record of the party as a member raises concerns of disloyalty.

“We also wish to, as a Party, warn and urge the NDC not to entertain persons such as our former General Secretary, Mr. Prince Moses Zakaria, who we hear intends to contest for the Parliamentary seat of the people of Madina on the ticket of the NDC.

“Mr. Zakaria, our immediate-past General Secretary, was dismissed for anti-Party conduct due to his affiliation with and leaking of sensitive information to the NPP. Until we removed him as a General Secretary of our Party, he worked against the NDC.

“We also do not have any record of him having officially resigned from our party as a member. It is for this reason that his nomination was a shock to us as a party.

“Such character and conduct from an individual who in our books remains a member of our Party gives cause for concern and leads to situations of party disloyalty, part of which is being witnessed with the current challenges of the Minority Group in Parliament.

“The NDC must not allow and tolerate such individuals, as it our duty to restore and reward values of truth, integrity, honesty, loyalty, and selfless service, to our body politics.

“As a Party, we have officially Petitioned the NDC leadership in respect of this matter and are available to provide further evidence if need be,” the statement said.

The National Democratic Congress is currently in the process of electing its flagbearer and parliamentary candidates for the 2024 general elections.

The party has slated May 13, 2023, to conduct the keenly-awaited primaries.

According to UFP, its support as one of the smaller political parties in the country remains with the NDC.

Source: Ghana Web

Dafeamekpor gives details of final drafts of anti-LGBTQI bill

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has refuted the assertion of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 (Anti-LGBTQI bill) has been ‘substantially modified’.

According to him, the final draft of the anti-LGBT bill which has now been laid before Parliament, remains essentially the same as the draft submitted to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews on Thursday, monitored by GhanaWeb, the MP added that the only variation is the change in the name of the bill and the reduction in the number of years for offenders to 3 years to match the existing sentencing laws.

“That (the claim the bill has been modified) is a big lie, the president has been misadvised. The Attorney General brought an advice in the form of a memo just like the other 150 persons and CSOs who have sent memos.

“The president says there have been substantial changes, we proposed the bill, if we say “Proper Human Values” and it is changed to “Human Sexual Rights and Family Values” is that significate? That is immaterial.

“We proposed five years as penalty but the existing laws say it should be three… and that is not any drastic change because you will still be imprisoned for engaging in conducts like this,” he said.

The MP went on to list some of the clauses in the final draft anti-LBGT bill, which Parliament is expected to debate and pass today, Friday, March 31, 2023.

“If you go to clause 3, a person commits an offence if the person:”

A. Names or purposes to marry a person who is of the same sex as that person.

B. Knowingly marries or purposes to marry anybody who has undergone gender or a sex reassignment except in the case of a person who has undergone a surgical procedure to correct a biological anomaly including intersex.

C. Marries or purposes to marry any animal or an object.

Source: Ghana Web

Dangote industries completes $650 million bond listing

The listing of Dangote industries’ N300 billion ($651 million) Series 1 and 2 bonds on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) has been completed.

Olakunle Alake, the chief executive officer of Dangote Industries Limited, expressed his delight at the listing during the closing-gong ceremony held at the Exchange on Wednesday to commemorate the listing of the bond.

Alake, who was represented by the group’s chief financial officer, Mustapha Ibrahim, stated: “We are pleased to have demonstrated the depth and liquidity of the domestic capital market while reflecting the strong quality of the issuer, despite the realities of the global market.”

Ibrahim added that the listing of the bond attracted a diverse group of investors, including domestic pension funds, asset managers, and insurance companies, demonstrating investors’ faith in Nigeria’s credit reality.

The listing is the biggest issuance of local currency bonds on the capital market so far this year.

Jude Chiemeka, divisional head of Capital Markets at the NGX, applauded the listing of the bond, which provides corporations with the opportunity to raise capital.

The listing of this transaction on our platform facilitates not only a more liquid capital market but also a more robust ecosystem by demonstrating our capacity to facilitate large transactions.

He added that NGX remains committed to fostering similar transactions via digital gateways such as this and a confident market where corporations and investors can realize their respective goals.

Source: Ghana Web

Policy development for downstream aluminium industry commences – GIADEC

Preliminary discussions to establish a policy framework and implementation plan for the country’s downstream aluminium industry have begun.

Led by Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), the plan is expected to positively impact final processes in the production and sale of aluminum products.

GIADEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ansah – speaking to the BandFT at a downstream aluminium industry workshop at Senchi in the Eastern Region, said the policy and incentive framework will support and guide comprehensive development of the downstream industry.

“Key elements and inputs in the downstream policy framework will include tax and tariff regime, and power production (green power) vis-à-vis ethics and best practices in the industry,” Mr. Ansah indicated.

The corporation says the need for a downstream policy framework has become critical, as it has completed work on an upstream master-plan and is ready to leverage the country’s existing bauxite reserves of 900 million metric tonnes to drive full commercial exploitation.

Ghana currently imports significant volumes of aluminium products, but GIADEC says its downstream policy framework will seek to curb these imports and encourage local companies to produce while respecting rules of the African Continental Free Trade Area and those of the ECOWAS protocols.

The downstream industry is expected to drive industrial transformation through the utilisation of primary aluminium produced in the country.

Development of the downstream industry involves retrofitting VALCO, with approximately 300,000 tonnes of aluminium to be available to the integrated aluminium industry annually. This will be an increase from the 40,000 – 50,000 tonnes currently produced yearly.

“It is important that the policy enables Ghanaian companies to thrive and ensure the country does not become a dumping-ground for cheap aluminium from elsewhere, looking at the huge prospects we have in the immediate future,” Mr. Ansah noted.

A Senior Research Officer at the International Economic Development Group (ODI) – formerly Overseas Development Institute, Derrick Abudu, said a road map for a fully-fledged downstream aluminium industry will take up to about 2035 to realise.

“The roadmap spans from now up to 2035, with targets including an energy deal that will subsidise power cost to the aluminium sector for a competitive cost structure (power entails 30 percent of cost of production), attraction of investment by 2030, and much higher targets by 2035,” he disclosed.

The ODI said the downstream could generate up to US$200million revenue annually in smelting, and create about 20,000 jobs along the value chain.

Speaking at the event, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Jinapor, said government’s optimism on the contribution of a fully-integrated aluminium industry to the country’s socio-economic development cannot be underestimated.

He tasked GIADEC and key stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the country’s aluminium resources are fully harnessed to enhance growth and development.

Source: Ghana Web

Call for the removal of Police Anti-Armed Robbery Squad unit in Wa intensifies

Following the killing of a 27-year-old Abubakar Shahid from Dondoli, a suburb in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region earlier this month by the Police, there are growing calls for the removal of the Police Anti-Armed Robbery Squad (AARS) that allegedly killed the deceased.

Abubakar Shahid was allegedly shot and killed by the Police Anti-Armed Robbery Squad on suspicion of being a member of an armed robbery gang said to be terrorising residents in Wa and its environs on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

This led to a serious protest by the family, residents from Dondoli as well as the municipality who flatly denied the allegations and called for an independent probe into the case to exonerate the deceased who they said had never involved in any criminal act prior to his unfortunate passing.

Calm has since returned to the municipality after the IGP sent a delegation led by the Director General of Police in charge of Operations, COP Christian Tatteh Yohuno, to calm the family while assuring them of carrying out thorough investigations into the case.

The IGP has since set up two independent committees to properly probe the matter to bring it to a closure.

However, GhanaWeb’s checks across the municipality among the youth has revealed incessant calls to ensure the AARS whose operation resulted in the killing of the deceased, Abubakar Shahid, and causing a lot of pains and discomfort to residents is moved away from the municipality or even out of the region.

They describe members of the unit as unprofessional and trigger-happy officers who take delight in flogging and punishing people for nothing. They alleged that the modus operandi of the AARS is using machetes to whip people sitting at night in their neighborhoods to enjoy fresh air before going to bed due to the extreme high temperature currently being experienced in that part of the country.

They accused members of the Police unit of their weird dressing during their night operations that makes it difficult to differentiate them from thieves or ordinary persons.

A resident, Abdul-Fatawu said, “We know that in modern standard policing, one can go undercover in any form or way to carry out investigations. But to have Police officers going out on night operations without wearing police uniforms, with most of them wearing ear rings, dreadlocks and masks on. So how do people know you are indeed Police officers when you stop them somewhere? What kind of policing is that? Are we in some kind of state of emergency in this town?

“We are now in the warmest time of the year and the whether here is always hot even at night. So most people look for some fresh air at night before going to sleep. But these members of the Police Anti-Armed Robbery Squad would often visit such neighborhoods sitting in relaxation and start assaulting, whipping people with their cutlasses and asking them to go inside and sleep as though the town was having a curfew of a sort. When we ask questions, they usually claim the commander here has no control over them unless only the IGP. They are always terrorising the people other than protecting them. How can the Police go on an operation in town without wearing uniform but are spotted wearing ear rings, dreadlocks, beard, masks and so on? We are calling on the IGP to remove them from the region as the regular Police officers here can protect us and provide order for the people,” another resident, Isaac Kofi registered his frustration to GhanaWeb

Saaka Mahama also bemoaned, “It’s disheartening and disgusting to say the least, how these officers are treating people in Wa. These Anti-Robbery unit guys treat people like animals. Before the recent killing of Shahid who everybody in town know as a good mannered person, responsible man and never a criminal, people were already complaining about their unprofessional conduct towards people. Because they wear masks and don’t wear uniforms, it’s difficult to identify them as Police especially when one of them offends you in anyway you cannot report the fellow. Who do you even report to, since they claim they’re not under the control of the Regional Commander? Another issue is that their presence tends to give thieves an upper hand as people may mistaken thieves as the Police who mostly usually dress as ordinary persons. We are pleading to the IGP, the Interior Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery and the National Security Minister to move this Police unit from the municipality.

Meanwhile, our attempts to hear from the side of the Police Command were unsuccessful.

But reacting to the calls, ACP Mr. Gabriel Prince Waabu, Upper West Regional Police Commander, in an interview with GhanaWeb’s regional correspondent, Ilyaas Al-Hasan, pooh-poohed the assertions.

According to him, all the members under the Anti-Robbery unit are Police officers just like all other Police units arguing that the demand is tantamount to requesting for the removal of all Police officials from the municipality.

He argued that the existence of the unit has significantly brought down cases of armed robbery and break-ins within the municipality.

He accused those engaging in the night sittings as mostly being the elements that are weed smokers and phone snatchers.

He wondered why people would stay up outside late in the night without caring about the whereabouts of their kids at that time.

ACP Prince Waabu charged the media to help in educating the masses to be cooperative with directives of the Police.

Source: Ghana Web

Police do not need the consent of complainants to grant bail to criminal suspects

When a criminal offence is committed, the offence is said to have been committed against the State, even though some individual or group of individuals may have suffered as a result of the crime. The criminal law is designed to check violation of the law as well as to protect the rights of the individual. Even though the commission of a crime may lead to bodily injuries to a person

or loss of some personal rights, the Ghanaian criminal law allows only the Republic to prosecute the offender.

Private prosecution of crime has been abolished under Article 88 of the 1992

Constitution. Criminal prosecution is now the sole prerogative of the Republic, represented by the Attorney-General. In most criminal offences, individual victims are directly aggrieved or affected by the criminal acts, but they do not have the right to prosecute their offenders. For instance, victims of rape,

defilement, assault, stealing, unlawful damage to property, and several other offences suffer loss of personal rights.

However, a victim of crime has no recognized standing in the criminal process. A criminal trial is not a contest between the accused and the victim. Rather, a criminal trial is a contest between the accused and the Republic of Ghana. This is why criminal prosecution is conducted in the name of the Republic. Article 125(1) of the Constitution provides that justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary.

Criminal trial has a public character. In the case of Baah versus The Republic [1991] 1 GLR 483, Justice Kpegah cautioned that the sanctity and character of the criminal trial as a contest between the accused and the Republic must be maintained. What this means is that no individual has the right to institute a criminal action against an accused person. Where the prosecutor is of the view

that a criminal suspect should not be prosecuted, the victim or complainant cannot compel the prosecutor to prosecute.

The law permits a victim of crime or any other person to report the crime to the police and where necessary to act as prosecution witness. Beyond this, the victim has no other role to play in the prosecution of the offender. A complainant or victim of crime has no right to have the alleged offender prosecuted. Equally, the criminal victim has no right to join the trial as a party, or appeal against the judgment of the court. No matter how obvious the interest of a complainant may be, the criminal prosecution is at the instance of the Republic, and the complainant cannot determine what should, or should not, be done in the case.

In the case of Mbrah versus Johnson, [1973] 2 GLR 213, Justice Edward Wiredu stated the position of the law at page 218 as follows:

“In criminal prosecutions by the Republic, a complainant may have some interest,

but he or she is principally and invariably merely a witness. She cannot decide in which court the prosecution of the case is to be conducted. Her interest in the fairness of the trial is submerged into the dominant interest of the Republic and in fact her witness allowance is paid out of public funds depending on the number of the attendances. His or her interest is not one which would entitle him or her to appeal against the decision of the court, if he or she feels aggrieved. The accused on the other hand is a principal party.”

The criminal process is regulated by well-defined rules, principles and norms of justice which must be strictly adhered to by all the players involved in the process. A disturbing anomaly in the Ghanaian criminal justice system is where the police deny criminal suspects bail merely because complainants are opposed to the grant of bail. It is unfortunate that some police officers allow

themselves to be controlled, manipulated and directed by complainants. It is very common to see complainants practically dictating and telling the police what to do and what not to do to criminal suspects.

Complainants and victims of crime are very important players in the criminal process.

However, they only serve as witnesses in the criminal process. Complainants do not control the criminal process. No complainant has the right to have an offender arrested, detained, prosecuted or punished. A complainant cannot instruct the police to arrest, detain or not to grant bail to a criminal suspect. The police do not need the consent of the complainant before they release a suspect on bail.

It is wrong for the police to ask a criminal suspect to beg or plead with the complainant before bail may be granted. To grant bail or not forms an important part of prosecutorial power and discretion. The discretion to grant or deny bail must be guided by law. Bail cannot be denied on fanciful and whimsical grounds. The grounds on which a person may be granted or denied bail are well known. The suspect must be prepared to appear to stand trial; he should not interfere in

police investigations while on bail; there must be independent sureties to execute the bail bond; and the suspect must have a known and fixed place of abode.

Where legal grounds exist, the criminal suspect is entitled to be released on bail. It is unlawful for the police to keep a criminal suspect where there are no compelling legal reasons for denying him bail. It is improper for the complainant to ask, instruct or induce the police to deny bail to the criminal suspect. It is a professional misconduct for a police officer to deny a person bail merely because the complainant disagrees with the grant of bail.

Source: Ghana Web

Police set to begin investigation into the demise of actor Yul Edochie’s first son

Popular Nollywood actor, Yul Edochie has reported the death of his son, Kambilichukwu Edochie, to the Lagos State Police Command, according to reports.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development in the early hours of March 31, 2023.

It was reported that Kambilichukwu died on Thursday morning after developing a seizure and was rushed to the Mother and Child Hospital in Lagos.

However, contrary to earlier reports that the 16-year-old boy died in the presence of his parents, it has been disclosed that he passed on while in school.

According to the police, the matter will be forwarded to the State’s Criminal Investigation Department for investigation.

Meanwhile, condolences are pouring in from sympathizers and the showbiz fraternity in commiseration with Actor, Yul Edochie and his first wife, May.

Source: Ghana Web

Volta region will have a special place in the next NDC government – Duffuor

An aspiring presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has assured the people of the Volta region that the next NDC government will prioritize the region’s development.

Speaking to delegates in the Anlo Constituency in the Volta region on Friday, Dr. Duffuor intimated that previous NDC administrations did little for the region despite the unwavering support and loyalty the party enjoys from its people.

He believes the neglect party people and the entire region has suffered is to account for the recent electoral successes the ruling New Patriotic Party has chalked in the Volta region.

“In 2025, we [NDC] would come back but we need your votes, Volta. The 204,000 votes you gave them [NPP] in 2020 we would not agree, whatever we should do to correct the wrongs we would do,” he said.

The former finance minister used the opportunity to appeal to the people of the region not to abandon the party while assuring them of a better treatment should he win the flagbearer race and ultimately become President.

“Don’t get angry because for years we abandoned you, it will not happen again when we get power in 2024. Volta will have a special place in the ranking, you will be at the top,” Dr. Duffuor assured.

He further indicated that his administration if given the mandate will prioritise the agric and tourism sectors as a catalyst for the region’s development in order to reposition it as the world bank of the party.

Dr. Duffuor is promising to strengthen the party’s base by building regional and constituency offices across the country where workers in the offices working for the party will be adequately paid.

Dr. Duffuor’s team is expected to visit Keta, Ketu South and North and the Akatsi North constituencies to round up day two of his campaign.

Source: Ghana Web