Wa NIA cries for official vehicle, permanent office

Wa Municipal office of the National Identification Authority (NIA), operating from a section of the premises of GRA continued to record high number of people trooping in for registration while the registration was ongoing.

However, the running of the outfit is not without challenges that affect the smooth running of the outfit just like many other public institutions.

In an interview with GhanaWeb, the Wa Municipal Director of NIA, Mr. Khalid Mohammed Suadique, mentioned the lack of an office vehicle to aid in the effective discharge of their duties as one major challenge facing the outfit.

On efforts taken to solve the problem, Mr. Khalid disclosed that the office had reached out to the Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Dr. Hassan Rashid Pelpuo, two months ago to help the office secure a pickup vehicle but was yet to hear a response from him.

He furthered that his outfit has also written to the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, a week ago, to also inform him of the situation they encounter due to the lack of an office vehicle.

“Again, just few days ago on the 28th of March (2023), I wrote to the Wa MCE too informing him of our lack of office vehicle which is not helping our operations at all. Getting a vehicle will go a long way to help with our work,” he added.

Mr. Khalid Mohammed Suadique also raised concerns over their continuous usage of the temporal facility given them at the premises of the Ghana Revenue Authority which he described as inadequate and not conducive for their work.

According to him, as a municipality with the highest number of registrants amongst its peers in the region, it is important the outfit gets its own facility spacious enough for the execution of its mandate.

“Currently, we don’t have our own office as we operate from the premises of the GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority). I must say the space we operate from is not enough if we should get a good spacious place as our office, that’ll facilitate our work greatly,” Mr. Khalid stated.

Meanwhile, registrants of the Ghana Card at the Wa Municipal National Identification Authority (NIA) office in the Upper West Region who are yet to receive their cards can now soon do so as the outfit is about to take delivery of the printed cards, according to the Municipal Director.

He revealed the office is set to take delivery of the items this week barring any unforeseen circumstance.

He disclosed that the office had a backlog of over 2000 unprinted Ghana Cards due to the GH¢100 million debt owed the technical partners of the NIA making it difficult to access the blank cards needed for printing of the Ghana Cards.

According to the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the government has succeeded in paying the GH ¢100million debt owed the technical partners of the NIA to release the over three million blank cards locked up in bonded warehouses for printing and distribution.

He said 80 million Ghana Cedis had so far been deposited and that the remaining 20 million Ghana Cedis would be paid by close of the day – Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – to lead to the release of the blank cards from its seizure by the technical partners due to the non-payment of the debt.

The Finance Minister gave this assurance when he led the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Jean Adukwei Mensa, as well as the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Prof. Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah, to Parliament to brief the House on the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2022, and the registration of Ghanaians for the Ghana Card.

The Executive Secretary of the NIA had earlier revealed that even though his outfit was capable of printing the over 500,000 backlog of the NIA cards, that could not be achieved since their technical partners had declined to release the blank cards required to do the printing due to the debt owed them.

On the back of this, the Wa Municipal Director of the NIA, Mr. Khalid Mohammed Suadique, speaking to GhanaWeb April 1, 2023, confirmed that the wait for the printing of the Ghana Cards was over as all the backlog had been printed adding, “ours will be delivered from next work barring any unforeseen circumstance.”

Many people who have registered for the Ghana Card are frustrated for not being able to get the card months after the registration.

This will therefore come as a relief to many as the Ghana Card is reputed to become the most important asset for every Ghanaian citizen.

Source: Ghana Web

‘You have tattoos all over your body yet you are condemning pork’ – Kumchacha slams Sonnie Badu

The General Overseer of the Heavens Gate Ministries, Rev. Nicholas Osei, popularly known as ‘Kumchacha’, has joined the list of people disputing Sonnie Badu’s claim that pork is evil.

Kumchacha, who claims to be an avid lover of pork, slammed Sonnie Badu for spewing negative remarks about the delicacy which according to him is permissible to mankind by the Bible.

Sharing his thoughts on the RockHill Chapel founder’s claims, Kumchacha said the former is in no capacity to judge consumers of pork when he has a lot of tattoos on his body.

He said Sonnie Badu based his claims on the book of Leviticus but left out the part that speaks against the numerous tattoos he has on his body.

“What Sonnie Badu said was quoted from the book of Leviticus. He quoted Leviticus 11. But he failed to add verses 19-28, which speak against tattoos. It said we shouldn’t draw tattoos of either the living or the dead on our bodies. He was able to talk about the part of Leviticus which focuses on pork but left out the part which spoke against the tattoos he has all over his body.

“In Deuteronomy, the Bible permitted God’s people to eat pork. I want to tell Sonnie Badu that even the pork isn’t enough for us. We are not getting more of it these days. Pork is for the rich,” Kumchacha told Kingdom FM’s Fiifi Pratt.

Meanwhile, some members of the gospel fraternity have disagreed with Rev. Sonnie Badu’s claims.

Earlier, gospel singer, Celestine Donkor described as frivolous, Sonnie Badu’s claims that pork exposes one to demonic attacks.

“We cast demons out of human beings. Does it mean that humans are demonic? I don’t believe it, to be honest, I don’t. you can tell someone to go and trim his hair because the bushy hair has covered his sense. It doesn’t make sense. If you say because someone eats pork he or she is possessed, it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t,” she stated on United Showbiz.

Some netizens have alleged that pork is usually highly patronized by Christians.

In an earlier phone-in discussion on CastleFM, a caller said,

“Right now, among Christians the meat that they patronize the most is pork so when they close from church and you happen to be at a marketplace and you see the way they’ve lined up buying the pork it is not easy at all.

“I believe that it is not consuming pork that will make Christians go astray because there are Christians who have never eaten pork before but that person might not be having a good spirit.”

Source: Ghana Web

‘How I finally got over my son’s death’ – Davido opens up

Nigerian superstar, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido has finally spoken about his son, Ifeanyi’s death.

One can recall that Davido and his wife Chioma lost their son after he drowned in a pool at his father’s residence in Banana Island, Lagos State, in October 2022.

The artiste who has since been silent on the incident spoke on Sunday in an interview with CNN.

The Fem crooner revealed that the support he got from sympathizers aided his recovery.

He said several persons, including artistes and politicians, flooded his Instagram with direct messages during the incident.

He said: “Personally, with me, the support I got from people was one of the things that helped me stand up again.

“At some point, I couldn’t open my Instagram for weeks. One day, I just checked it and I saw messages from every kind of person in the world, from politicians to sportsmen, to other musicians, to presidents, I was like, ‘you’re fine, you see everybody is rooting for you.’

“That was one thing that really made me strong enough to stand up again, get back in the studio, and do what I love.”

Source: Ghana Web

Paul Danquah: The openly gay first son of JB Danquah of the Big Six

Born on May 25, 1925, as Joseph Paul Walcott, the first son of one of Ghana’s Big Six, JB Danquah was known as an openly queer person. His mother, Bertha May Walcott, was British.

Living with his life partner, Peter Pollock, in the United Kingdom, the British-Ghanaian pursued his acting career, becoming particularly known for his role in the film, A Taste of Honey, which was adapted from the 1958 play of the same name, written by Shelagh Delaney.

A tweet by @Qyvst, who promotes activities of people of the LGBTQ+, said that “Paul’s life partner was Peter Pollock, a man with the looks of a film star, part-heir to a thriving family steel company. They both lived in London, where Paul enrolled in law school, took on several roles in films, and showed interest in the arts.”

The tweets also indicated that the details shared “heavily relied on author Nana Ama’s account of PD’s life and on books written about Francis Bacon.”

According to details sampled online, Paul Danquah later became a barrister and a bank consultant.

More specifically, he was called to the Bar in Ghana in 1966, having previously been called to the Bar in the UK.

Along the way, Paul Danquah placed his studies on hold to pursue acting and was featured in more films and popular television shows, such as “Danger Man,” and “The Avengers.”

He eventually resumed his studies, during which time he completed his law courses.

In the late 1960s, Paul became the World Bank’s first sub-Saharan African employee and moved with Peter to Washington. While in DC, Paul was again called to the Bar.

“Together, they hosted gatherings for luminaries of the arts and literary world. People like Jimmy Baldwin, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone,” the tweet added.

In 1962, during a visit by Maya Angelou, the American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist, visited Ghana and developed a lifelong friendship with Paul Danquah.

One of the nieces of Paul confirmed that the relationship that existed between the first son of JB Danquah and Maya Angelou was so strong that she was a regular at programs organised by Paul.

Paul had been known for hosting gatherings for luminaries of the arts and literary world, with people like Jimmy Baldwin, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone attending.

Confirming the lifestyle of Paul Danquah, Francis Bacon, one of the best painters of the twentieth century, told Michael Peppiatt’s (in his book on Francis) that he shared a flat with two friends at 9 Overstrand Mansions, Battersea from 1955 till 1961. During the time, he said they both visited Tangier in Morocco frequently and finally settled there in the late 1970s.

He affirmed that he spent time with Paul and Peter in Tangier, “The reason lay in the easy camaraderie and tolerant understanding of the other two men, who were bright, fun-loving, and at ease with their homosexuality.

“Both colourful characters. Rich and with vague, unfulfilled artistic yearnings.”

Peter, Paul’s partner, passed in 2001, something Nana Ama Danquah confirmed. This, she added, was after she asked her uncle, Paul, during a phone conversation shortly after the death, how long he they had been together.

“Fifty-six years,” he replied. She was awed by the courage and integrity it must have taken for her uncle to be proudly Black and openly gay during times when both were considered liabilities.

After Peter’s passing, Paul remained in Tangier until he eventually passed away in 2015 at the age of 90.

Source: Ghana Web

Improved liquidity could see FSF support banks’ recapitalisation efforts

Dr. Richmond Atuahene, a banking consultant, has suggested that the GH¢15billion Financial Stability Fund (FSF) – which was set up to provide liquidity support to the banking sector following the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) – can instead be channeled to support banks’ recapitalisation, especially locally-owned banks.

He said due to excess post-DDEP liquidity and information asymmetry in the banking system, banks may not be as severely constrained as they would otherwise have been; therefore they may not require significant liquidity support from the FSF.

Citing the example of Jamaica, he said: “… the establishment of a Jamaican Financial Sector Support Fund of US$1.2billion to support banks and other institutions that participated in the Jamaica domestic debt exchange was not utilised to support stability of the financial sector because there was no need for a financial stability support fund.

“Ceteris paribus, or all things being equal, the Bank of Ghana could use the same fund for capital support looking at the magnitude of capital losses to the Ghanaian-owned banks which will be required to recapitalise after DDEP capital losses,” he explained in a paper on the subject, co-authored with financial consultant K.B. Frimpong.

Despite falling to GH¢157.9billion at the end of December 2022 from GH¢174.8billion in the previous month, the industry’s total deposits had grown by 30.4 percent on an annual basis; thus driving total assets to GH¢209.4billion.

Also, the industry’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) – adjusted for the regulatory reliefs, was 15.7 percent in December 2022 and was well above the minimum of 10 percent. It was reduced from 13 percent in December 2022 as part of measures by the central bank to mitigate the DDEP’s impact on lenders.

Nonetheless, there have been heightened need to recapitalise, spearheaded by foreign banks operating in the country.

A fortnight ago, Standard Bank and First Rand Bank – both based in South Africa – have revealed their plans to recapitalise their operations in Ghana. Standard Bank has reportedly reserved 1.5 billion South African Rand (ZAR) – approximately US$81million for impairments – to account for possible losses resulting from the DDEP.

Also, Nigerian-owned Zenith Bank has revealed that it set aside US$267million to account for its holdings of bonds in Ghana, with the lender saying the debt programme has resulted in significant impairment expense.

At a press briefing at the end of the most recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Ernest Addison stated that work continues to progress on finer details of the fund.

Already, the World Bank has pledged US$250million toward ensuring solvency – not liquidity support – for the banking system. This is in addition to a 2.5 percent provision in the 2023 budget for the fund.

Source: Ghana Web

Mahama murder: Police ignored leads to arrest potential killers, free my client – Lawyer to jury

Lawyers of the Second Accused person, Asabke Alangde, who is standing trial together with Gregory Afoko, has accused the police of ignoring leads that could lead to the arrest of the potential killers of the late New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Upper East Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama.

According to the lawyer, events leading to the acid incident on the late Adams Mahama on May 20, 2015, clearly exonerate his client, Asabke Alangde.

Gregory Afoko, a farmer, and Asabke, the Station Master of the Bolga-Kumasi-Ayamfure Lorry Station, have been accused of pouring the acid substance on the late NPP chairman leading to his death on May 20, 2015.

They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy and murder and the trial has ended. But the parties are addressing the seven member jury prior to judgement.

Lawyer Andrew Kudzo Vortia, Counsel for the second accused has urged the jury to unanimously enter a not guilty verdict for his client.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, today is your our day,” Lawyer Vortia acknowledged, that it is “the say the destiny of the accused persons are on your hands.”

Counsel before enticing the jury with his address, rhetorically asked “What are we here for?” then went a step further to answer by saying “somebody is dead and he died unlawfully.”

Counsel said for that unlawful death, Gregory Afoko and his client, Asabke Alangde have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

Counsel said the Prosecution was expected to establish the role each played in the crime but from all the 16 witnesses the prosecution paraded, it was unable to prove the role of accused persons conspiring to commit the crime.

Lawyer Vortia said, “Nobody saw them (accused persons) physically” committing the act and that “it is not enough to say because A1 (Afoko) bought a drink for A2 (Asabke) so they conspired.”

*Down memory lane*

Counsel asked the jury to pay attention to the testimonies of the Investigator, Chief Inspector Augustus Nkrumah who was asked to tell which of the two accused poured acid on the accused.

Counsel said, the investigator’s response was that, “our investigations could not establish who poured the acid.”

He then asked the “Members of the jury what evidence do you need to come to a unanimous verdict?,” before saying “You don’t need evidence from anywhere.”

Taking the jury down memory lane, from the crime scene, Lovers-Inn, Afoko’s residence and the Hospital, counsel said the Prosecution called 16 witnesses and “you heard their responses from their cross-examinationsfrom counsel of A1 and A2.

*Witnesses*

Touching on the evidences of Awafo Akeresia and Baba Apayaa, the 3rd and 4th Prosecution Witnesses, counsel said, in their evidence, they said the meeting at Lovers-Inn came to a close around 10pm when A1 gave a list to A2 and same was disputed by the accused persons.

Counsel added that, they said they (accused) left earlier especially for A1 to administer a drug to his late father.

“It is not in evidence that they left the drinking spot to the commission of the crime and that moment was the only time the two were seen together,” counsel pointed out.

*Potential killers*

Counsel said they (Tofiq Murtala and Hajia Zenabu Adams (PW1 and PW8) respectively, made mentioned of two party activits who were slapped by the deceased at the Estee Hotel before he drove home prior to the incident.

Counsel sai those two could be the possible lead to the murder but the police failed to follow up.

Counsel again said, a brother of the deceased who almost crushed the deceased for crossing a gutter with a pick up could also be a potential killer and police failed to follow up.

Lawyer Vortia again told the jury that, a business partner of the deceased in Burkina Faso whom they had dispute over a contract could also be a possible lead but that was also ignored by the police.

Counsel said, Tofiq Murtala, “is the protagonist as I will described him and was the confidant and driver of the late Adams and said he was called to meet the deceased at the hospital.

Counsel pointed out that between PW1 (Tofiq) and PW8 (Hajia Zenabu Adams), they did not mentioned the names of the accused and questioned the one hour it took them to get to the hospital.

“Between this one hour what has been happening between them (Tofiq and Hajia Zenabu)? Nothing was investigated and it is possible a conspiracy theory,” counsel noted.

Counsel said apart from Asigri Quinn (PW2) and Zuwera Isaka, (PW5), the rest of the witnesses say they did not hear the deceased mentioned the names of the accused.

*Contrasting evidence*

Counsel again pointed out to contrasting testimonies of Asigri Quinn and Zuwera Isaka, both prosecution witnesses who are said to be the ones that assisted the late Adams to the hospital after the incident.

However while Asigri Quinn said he heard the deceased mentioned names of the the accused when the man was reciting quranic verses which he did not understand, Zuwera who could speak and understand Arabic language said she did not hear the deceased mentioned names.

Baffled by the situation, counsel pointed out to the jury that, if “Quinn who is a Christian admitted that he can’t speak Arabic but heard the names of A1 and A2 and while the PW5 (Zuwera),a Muslim and can speak Arabic said she did not hear,” then “this is very interesting.”

*Evasive witness*

While urging each of the jury to pay attention to the evidence of the wife of the deceased, counsel took time to point out the inconsistencies in her evidence.

“She said the husband came home around 11: pm and saw him in his car saying ‘help me help me,’ how on earth will she ask that question when she has not even open the door of the car and to know the extent of injury?” counsel wondered.

Counsel added that when asked about who the late husband said poured the acid on him, her answer was “some boys poured acid on him.”

Counsel intimated that apart from Tofiq, Quinn, Zuwera and Hajia who said they heard of the deceased mentioned names, none of them mentioned the number of officers available at the hospital when the names were mentioned.

Lawyer Vortia pointed out that, the wife of the late Adams “was invasive when being asked if the doctors heard the names of the accused persons.”

Counsel said when asked whether she saw Quinn, Zuwra and Mariama at the hospital, her response was that “she wasn’t sure if those who claimed to be on the bed side were there.”

Counsel said the witnesses was untruthful to the court and urged the jury to ignore her testimonies.

*Doctors, nurses are investigators*

Counsel said at the hospital, doctors and nurses are like investigators and whatever they hear, they would put it or placed it on the folder of their patients.

“No doctor was called to nail or absorb the accused persons and the investigators did not do their work well and the benefit goes to the accused,” counsel to the jury.

He added that “No one who is on a dying bed will speak lies and go to hell but will rather speak the truth and go to heaven,”

Lawyer Vortia urged the jury to take note of the inconsistencies of PW1, PW2, PW5 and PW8 (Tofiq, Quinn, Zuwera and Zenabu Adams) respectively.

It was counsel case to the jury that, DSP Agbenyo, (PW12), who visited the deceased on his dying bed, said “the police could not speak to the deceased” because he could not speak at the time they visited.

*Hearsay evidence, prosecution’s failure*

“Did the prosecution managed to provide enough evidence to prove the guilt of accused?” Counsel rhetorically asked.

But answering the question himself, he said “My answer is absolutely no,” adding that DSP Agbenyo (PW12) who was at the hospital said the deceased did not mentioned any names

Counsel again said, DSP Agbenyo also said “when he received the call from Tofiq, Tofiq did not mentioned names to him immediately but rather it was at the hospital that Tofiq gave him the names.

He told the jury that DSP Agbenyo (PW 12) narrations to the court was hearsay and was based on what he was told by Tofiq, Quinn, Zuwera and Mrs Hajia Zenabu Adams.

*Investigator failed miserably*

Touching on the evidence of the Investigator, Chief Inspector Augustus Nkrumah, PW16, counsel said “he failed miserably.”

According to counsel, “his handling of the gallon and cup was poor especially as an experienced investigator for 26 years “could not come out with finger print evidence to nail the accused.”

Counsel while rating his evidence to the court, counsel said the investigator failed and scored him F9.

Counsel again wondered how an investigator of such a serious matter could only “spend 3 days in Bolgatanga to investigate this case while “I (lawyer) used 4 days.”

*Investigation could not established who poured acid*

Counsel said “When PW16 (Investigator) was asked specific question during cross examination about who poured the acid on the deceased, the investigator could not tell.

Counsel said, his answer was that, “Investigations could not established who poured the acid on the deceased (referred to thw May 30, 2022, page 8- of the Investigator’s testimony under cross examination).

Counsel told the jury that, “What this means is that it was not A1 (Afoko) and A2, (Asabke)” who poured the acid on the late Adams.

Counsel said his client (A2) was promised by the deceased that he (deceased) was going to build a house for him “if they (NPP) won the elections in 2016 which they won.”

“How could he have done such a thing?” Counsel wondered.

*Why A2 left Ghana?

Counsel told the jury that, when PW1 (Tofiq) called his client on phone after the news broke in town, he (Tofiq) threatened that he (Asabke) would be killed like the way they killed his friend by the youth.

Counsel said truly to what Tofiq told his client on the phone, they (youth) also burnt down his drinking spot and kidnapped his son.

“All these happened within 12 hours,” counsel recounted before asking “Ladies and gentlemen what would you do?”

In his own answer he said, “I will flee and that’s what he (Asabke) did,” to justify why his client absconded to Ivory Coast and was later arrested on January 2019.

Counsel said from the evidence on record A1 (Afoko) and A2 (Asabke) have denied their involvement, “they have said the same thing 8yrs after in court without wavering.”

“I will go on to say that the prosecution has filed miserably to establish a case against the accused before you.

“I urge all of you to come out with a unanimous verdict to acquit and discharge the accused,” urged the jury.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reports that, the Prosecution led by Mrs Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney, would take her turn on April 3, 2023, to address the jury before the court presided over by Justice Afua Merley Wood, a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Source: Ghana Web

Rightify Ghana takes on Captain Smart over misogynistic comments about US Vice President

Rightify Ghana, a human rights organization in Ghana has called out Ghanaian journalist and the host of Maakye on Onua TV, Captain Smart for hurling insults and verbally abusing the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris.

According to the organization, it is unethical, misogynistic, and unprofessional how the journalist abused Kamala Harris on his live show although most of his allegations against her falsely misinformed.

Captain Smart accused the presidency of being senseless and swore on the last drop of his blood as well as ‘bloodshed’ before LGBTQ will be accepted in Ghana.

He also threatened to mobilize the youth against government ministers and called President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a “fake Christian” and the vice president a “fake Muslim” all in one breath.

In the opinion of Captain Smart, he addressed Kamala Harris “…You are a disgrace to womanhood. Your mother gave birth to you because your father had sex with your mother.”

Among many other abusive words, he added that Ghana has a culture, and then questioned the colors used to light up the Jubilee House when the US Vice president visited.

The Vice President of the United States of America, Kamala Harris, arrived in Accra on March 26, 2023, with her husband Douglas Emhoff for her state tour of the country.

Source: Ghana Web

Your contribution to Ghana’s development enormous – Bawumia hails Methodist Church

Vice President Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia has praised the Methodist Church for not only building the religious and spiritual lives of Ghanaians but contributing immensely to the economic, social and educational development of the country.

Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Obuasi Diocese of the Methodist Church in the Ashanti Region, he acknowledged the role of the Church in the country’s development, while urging them to do much more.

“The Methodist Church Ghana plays an invaluable role in nation building. It is one of the major churches in Ghana which has contributed its fair share in education, agriculture, health, employment, and the propagation of the Gospel.

I must acknowledge that the Methodist Church of Ghana’s contributions to national and socio-economic transformation have been enormous.

By national development, I am not only referring to the physical infrastructural contributions such as Educational Institutions, Hospitals etc, he said.

He added that his Muslim father permitted him when he was a child to partake in the activities of the church due to the transformational potential of the church

Source: Ghana Web