OKESS ’93 Year Group visit Retired Teachers, Needy colleagues

The 1993 Year Group students Association of the Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School (OKESS 93) have paid historic visit to the Garden City of Ghana to spend time with some of their teachers who have retired from active service and sick colleagues.

The Association, known as Ahenemma 93, is in Kumasi to celebrate 30 years since its members completed school to deliberate on the Association’s future.

The members, who came from all over the world to celebrate the reunion, will have a four day packed programme from Friday through to Monday.

Friday, which was the Assembly of members, was also used to entertain the membership with live band music at Sunset hotel, one of the highly patronised entertainment spots in the Kumasi Metropolis.

The year group is celebrating the reunion on the theme ‘creating opportunities together in unity. ‘

President of the Association, Mr Osei Boateng kirpal, who addressed the members, was impressed about the level of commitment demonstrated by the members for the reunion activities.

He said the Association as part of its programmes has assisted its Alma matar by building a bread factory and equiping it with set of bakery items.

He indicated that the idea to construct the bakery stemmed from the school spending so much to purchase bread for breakfast for its students.

As part of the programme, members of the Association visited some members who were sick and teachers on retirement.

The Association gave all the people it visited some quantity of assorted food items and cash donations.

Osie Kyeretwie Secondary School is in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital and highly honoured for its sporting activities.

The 1993 Year Group is one of most active year groups of the school with a membership of about 150.

Some of its members are senior security officers in the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Services, lawyers, Journalists, business persons, clergy and sports instructors.

The group has been described by the mother Association as unique and caring. It has had its first election to select leadership of the Association which has a tenure of two years.

Source: Ghana News Agency

EC, judiciary and police not promoting good democracy enough in Ghana – LINSOD alleges

In a statement prepared by Lawyers in Search of Democracy (LINSOD) for a public lecture organized by “Care for Free and Fair Elections – Ghana” on the occasion of International Democracy Day on Friday, September 15, 2023, LINSOD alleges that by some of their conduct, the Electoral Commission, the judiciary, and the Police are not promoting good democratic practice enough in the country.

The statement advises Ghanaians not to be deceived by anything to the contrary, which they shall hear from these state institutions. The statement urges the named institutions to change some of their attitudes if they want the people of Ghana to believe that the institutions are actually interested in good democratic practice in the nation, and want democracy to thrive.

Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT OF LAWYERS IN SEARCH OF DEMOCRACY (LINSOD)

ON THE OCCASION OF A PUBLIC LECTURE ORGANIZED BY “CARE – GHANA”

TO MARK INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY

Necessary Protocols:

On behalf of “Lawyers in Search of Democracy (LINSOD),” I wish to express our gratitude to the organizers of this event – “Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana” for inviting us to this function, not only as observers but to also make a statement. The occasion is “International Democracy Day,” and the theme is “Unpacking Ghana’s Democracy to Consolidate the Gains.” This occasion is all about democracy, which is a government by the people or by their elected representatives. For democracy to thrive there must be free and fair elections, and elected officials must rule by law.

The question is whether we are practising true democracy in Ghana. How are we faring? If our governments and state institutions do not allow our Constitution and laws to work effectively, our democracy shall remain a joke. Presently in Ghana, there is a limited voter registration exercise ongoing at the district offices of the Electoral Commission, thereby leaving out a huge expected number of qualified voters in areas that are very far from the registration centres. All the political parties in the country with the exception of the ruling New Patriotic Party have complained, protested to the EC, and filed an action in court against the EC for refusing to take the exercise closer to expected registrants. And yet, the EC is adamant and continues to act with impunity.

Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution gives the right to every citizen of Ghana, who is above 18 years, and of sound mind to register as a voter if the person so desires. Article 45 of the Constitution mandates the Electoral Commission to compile the register of voters and undertake programs to expand the register periodically to give ample opportunity to all qualified voters to register. The Electoral Commission’s own Constitutional Instrument, C. I. 91 as amended by C. I. 126 requires of the Commission to designate voter registration centres in a manner that shall be suitable and accessible to potential registrants to be able to register freely and easily.

By its decision to confine the limited registration to only its district offices, it is clear that the Electoral Commission is acting in contravention of the 1992 Constitution and its own C. I. 91, and acting to disenfranchise a large number of otherwise qualified Ghanaian citizens. This is voter suppression. All opposition political parties have complained and filed a suit at the Supreme Court of Ghana. Many prominent Ghanaians including Chiefs have also complained and cautioned the Electoral Commission in vain. Some individuals have brought human rights actions against the Commission in the high courts of the country. But in all of these, the Commission remains unbothered.

The Commission is wrongly hiding under Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution to act in any manner that the chairperson and other Commissioners like. The Commission is therefore lawlessly evading the service of court processes with overbearing pride. The judiciary, and particularly, the Supreme Court, which in this case, appears to be the only institution Ghanaians have some hope in to call the Electoral Commission to order and compel it to respect our Constitution and laws, does not appear to consider the cry of the people as urgent, and perhaps necessary, enough to act swiftly. The Court has strangely given a date in October to hear an application for an injunction against the Commission. By the date given, Oct. 17th, the Commission will have long completed the exercise which the application intends to injunct. Who does that?

In these circumstances, we cannot say the Electoral Commission and the judiciary are helping to promote democracy in Ghana. If the Electoral Commission shall require of Ghanaians to present only a Ghana Card as identification of citizenship in order to register as a voter, although the Commission knows too well that the Ghana Card has not been issued to every Ghanaian, and the Commission knows also that there are other ways to determine the citizenship of Ghanaians than the use of Ghana Card alone, then the Electoral Commission is obviously not promoting democracy in Ghana. Ghanaians must not be misled if we hear anything to the contrary.

If we must believe that the Electoral Commission is indeed, interested in promoting democracy in Ghana, then the Commission must desist from acting with impunity if the people of Ghana complain about some of their decisions and activities. The Commission must be prepared always to act in the best interest of the people. If the judiciary wants citizens to believe that it is interested in seeing Ghana’s democratic practice develop, the courts must conduct themselves objectively for people to have confidence in them, and not see their judgments as always in favour of the government. The Supreme Court, for instance, must always leave a window open during a legal vacation to attend to urgent constitutional matters, such as the present one against the Electoral Commission.

For democracy in Ghana to thrive, state security agencies must perform their duties fairly and objectively for and towards all citizens and political parties without bias. They must allow citizens to enjoy their rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution freely without intimidation and being brutalized. In the 2020 general elections, eight innocent citizens were murdered in cold blood. Many of these murders were believed to have been carried out by the Military, or people in military uniforms, which were deployed in the 2020 elections. The police were unable to protect the unfortunate victims, whose only fault was their strong desire to participate keenly in the elections. Three years down the line, nobody has been arrested or held accountable for these crimes.

The use, very often, of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 941) by the police to change the routes of intended demonstrations of citizens, or stop such demonstrations entirely, is draconian, and an infringement on the fundamental rights of citizens. We are seeing this happen presently in the intended demonstration against the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and his deputies when the police are doing everything possible to frustrate the demonstration. Also recently, we heard some senior police officers on tape, discussing the possibility of getting the Inspector General of Police sacked in order to have a new one appointed, who shall ensure that the ruling New Patriotic Party retains political power in the 2024 general elections. A police service, characterized by these activities, and with the heavy perception of being in bed with, and doing the bidding of, the ruling political party cannot claim to be working in support of democracy in Ghana, and we must not be deceived.

Mr. Chairman, in concluding my short statement, may I commend “Care – Ghana” for the wonderful role it is playing in our democracy. The organization of this event is an ample illustration of its determination to support Ghana’s democratic practice. I wish to equally commend other CSOs, which are playing similar roles to make our governance system work better. I would like to encourage all of these CSOs to move beyond the organization of public talk shows and begin to institute court actions against government and state institutions to challenge any undemocratic practice and abuse of citizens’ rights whenever necessary. We must not leave this to political parties only. In recent years, it is only the NDC or its members that have been embarking on these challenges, and this is not very healthy for our forward march.

On this note, I wish to thank Care-Ghana again for the opportunity given to LINSOD to make this statement, and I thank all of you for listening. I pledge the support of LINSOD in any future collaboration towards our common objective to promote and sustain our democracy.

Source: Ghana Web

Danish Ambassador expresses satisfaction with maritime Special Forces cooperation

Mr Tom Norring, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, has expressed satisfaction about a well-functioning cooperation on maritime Special Forces between Ghana and Denmark.

‘The capability to respond militarily in this country is becoming more and more important and even if this should never be the preferred course of action, it could very well be the necessary course of action.’

Mr Norring made the remarks at the graduation ceremony to mark the closure of the second session of the Basic Operative Capability Course (BOCC) for Special Boat Squadron (SBS) Operatives, conducted in Ghana.

Mr Tom Norring, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana

He commended the Ghana Navy and the SBS, an elite special forces unit in the Navy to combat piracy, trafficking, and others for a functioning cooperation between the two countries.

‘It satisfies me to see the continued well-functioning cooperation between our countries on the maritime Special Forces. I know that the Danish Frogman Corps has put many resources in, to successful building of the SBS capability.’

Mr Norring remained optimistic that the SBS was fully committed to training and maintaining a strategic asset that remained essential to Ghana’s ability to react to threats.

‘It is also encouraging to realise that since last year, the SBS camp has been raised and inaugurated with two Defender Class Boats from our American partners plus a range of their equipment for the Special Forces.’

This, he said, puts demands on the Navy and the SBS itself, where long-term education schemes should be in place to secure the longevity of the forces along with timely maintenance of equipment and infrastructure.

He also tasked the new Special Forces Operatives to be there for each other, ‘respect the society and people, that you in the final instance are working to protect.’

In his address, Rear Admiral Adam Yakubu, the Chief of Naval Staff, who was also the Guest of Honour, expressed appreciation to their American and Danish partners for their support.

A total of nine trainees have successfully graduated from the 26-week training course.

Twenty-nine officers from the Ghana Navy volunteered for the BOCC, out of which 21 potential trainees passed the pre-course.

Nine others left the course by the tradition of ‘ringing the bell’ with two others also passing away.

Source: Ghana News Agency

FACTCHECK: Did IGP Dampare serve as Atta Mills’ aide-de-camp at any point?

The claim that current Inspector-General of Police (IGP) George Akuffo Dampare served as a one-time aide-de-camp (ADC) of late John Evans Atta Mills has come up in recent times in the wake of a leaked tape probe by parliament.

The police chief, when he appeared before the Samuel Atta Akyea-led committee took time to explain how he rose to become IGP in 31 years having joined the Ghana Police Service as a recruit in 1990.

Throughout his narration of his journey as a police, he stressed a number of achievements he chalked individually or as leader of a group plus his academic pursuits which he believes along with ‘miracles,’ made his rise through the ranks one purely based on merit.

Incidentally, his role as ADC to late Atta Mills was missing in his personal narration.

It was and remains absent in his official profile as published on the site of the police service as well as copies supplied to the media, a copy of which was published by GhanaWeb.

Who is an aide-de-camp?

In strict terms, an ADC is a military officer acting as a confidential assistant to a senior officer.

But in terms of political presidential definitions, they are senior military of police officers who are assistants to the president and or vice president.

The president has a senior military office as his ADC in his capacity as Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, whereas the Vice President has a police ADC in his capacity as head of the Police Council.

Where was Dampare when Mills was Vice President

Mills served a Vice President between 1996 and 2000 under late Jerry John Rawlings.

According to Dampare’s professional trajectory; in 1996 he had became a Chartered Accountant and had applied for promotion and became Superintendent of Police. Which means he skipped the Deputy Superintendent of Police post.

From the position of constable and within 6 years, he had risen to become Superintendent of Police (as of 1st June 1997), he remained at that post for the remainder of Mills’ tenure as Veep.

In a pointed question by a member of the committee, Peter Toobu (himself a former police officer) Dampare addressed the issue of his status as an ADC to Atta Mills.

He stated that he had served in the role for a period of 18 months, stressing that serving in the role did not in any way mean he was politically aligned to Mills’ party – the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Anyidoho speaks on ADC Dampare

The most recent ADC to Mills claim was made by Koku Anyidoho, a former spokesperson of Mills.

In a tweet earlier this week, Koku highlighted Dampare’s qualifications and meteoric rise in the police service linking same to Mills’ decision to supposedly appoint him as an aide-de-camp without any lobbying.

“Listening to IGP Dampare eloquently speak about his qualification & meteoric rise in the police service, I now know why Vice President Mills chose him as aide-de-camp without any lobbying,” he tweeted.

It is worthy of note that Anyidoho did not serve in the presidency when Mills was Vice President but years after he had become president.

Verdict:

That Dampare served as an ADC to Atta Mills is TRUE based on his confirmation to the invetigative committee.

Dampare also listed a number of former IGPs who had served in similar capacities before their rise to the top of the police heirarchy.

Source: Ghana Web

‘I will suggest you shut up, you look prettier with your mouth closed’ – Tonto Dikeh slams Naira Marley

Popular Nollywood actress and politician, Tonto Dikeh, has strongly criticized singer and music executive, Naira Marley, over his recent statement regarding the death of his former signee, Mohbad.

Recall that Naira Marley finally broke his silence on Mohbad’s death on Friday, days after posting a heartbreak emoji on his Instastory in response to the tragic news.

In his post, he raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the singer’s death, inquiring about the events leading up to his demise, the ailment he was diagnosed with before receiving an injection, and why an autopsy was not performed after his passing.

This clearly didn’t sit well with Tonto, and she took to her Instastory to criticize him for his questions, even though he had been repeatedly called out by the deceased singer for sending people to allegedly harass and assault him.

Recall that before Mohbad’s death, he had stated that Naira Marley should be held responsible if anything happened to him.

In light of this, Tonto Dikeh lambasted Naira Marley for claiming innocence when he is not complicit in the case. She also scolded him for attempting to deceive her and other Nigerians.

Her words,

“Is Naria Marley playing with us?

What the Fk is that letter you posted? Who are you asking questions? Where is Larry sam you sent to frustrate mohbad with cutlazz(and people were thinking it’s cane…Look well)… I will suggest You better SHUT UP(you look prettier with your mouth closed anyway) and keep dancing on Snapchat while we seek justice..

The last thing you will want to do is TAKE (US) MOHBAD’s FANs FOR A FOOL”

Source: Ghana Web

Fire destroys several shops at CMB market in Kantamanto

Fire has razed down several shops at the CMB market in Kantamanto, Accra in the early hours of Sunday morning on September 17, 2023.

According to a Citi News report, the fire’s source, which is currently unknown has destroyed wares worth million of Ghana cedis.

A video posted by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) captures firefighters at the scene trying to stop the fire from wrecking further havoc.

Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, ADO1 Alex Nartey said several flammable objects were found at the scene of the fire when personnel arrived.

He however added that by the time the fire was put out, several shops at the CMB market area had been completely destroyed.

Meanwhile, some traders within the market were dismayed by the development as they recounted their losses.

The latest fire incident at the CMB market is the second one recorded in recent years after the first incident occurred back in 2020, destroying over 150 shops within the market area.

The Fire Service has occasionally cautioned traders to ensure that the right electrical appliances are being used in their stores in order to avoid such incidents.

Source: Ghana Web

2019 video of Elmina chief explaining why police take ‘funeral donations’ resurfaces on social media

The Paramount Chief of the Elmina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, has defended police against serial accusations of being corrupt.

He admits that police officers often receive monies from members of the public but explains that such monies cannot be classified as bribes but rather as funeral donations.

He explained, in a video clip that has gone viral on Twitter (now X) that it was not for nothing that policemen wore black uniforms, that it was because they are constantly mourning.

“The policemen who are standing here, they are our protectors. I repeatedly beg Ghanaians to stop sullying their reputation with claims that they take bribes.

“As I end my address, no policeman takes bribes. Policemen don’t take bribe. They wear black uniforms so whatever you give them is akin to funeral donations,” he stated to laughter.

The video has elicited lots of reactions as people mock the police and applaud the chief’s sense of humour.

Police have serially ranked low in corruption perception reports even as the current police administration says it is working to cleanse that bad public perception.

Source: Ghana Web

Fire guts several shops at CMB market in Accra

Fire has razed down several shops at the CMB market in Kantamanto, Accra in the early hours of Sunday morning on September 17, 2023.

According to a Citi News report, the fire’s source, which is currently unknown has destroyed wares worth million of Ghana cedis.

A video posted by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) captures firefighters at the scene trying to stop the fire from wrecking further havoc.

Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, ADO1 Alex Nartey said several flammable objects were found at the scene of the fire when personnel arrived.

He however added that by the time the fire was put out, several shops at the CMB market area had been completely destroyed.

Meanwhile, some traders within the market were dismayed by the development as they recounted their losses.

The latest fire incident at the CMB market is the second one recorded in recent years after the first incident occurred back in 2020, destroying over 150 shops within the market area.

The Fire Service has occasionally cautioned traders to ensure that the right electrical appliances are being used in their stores in order to avoid such incidents.

Source: Ghana Web