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We are shocked at the Supreme Court timelines for the Election Petition trial- Spokesperson


Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, a Spokesperson for the Petitioner in the Election 2020 Petition case, says she was shocked at the roadmap set out by the Supreme Court.

According to the former Minister of Justice, she was in court for “pretrial and case management, unfortunately that was not what happened”.

She said they were in court today to ascertain how the trial was going to be conducted.

Speaking to the Media after the court proceedings, Mrs. Appiah Oppong said “there was no discussions on how the case should proceed, so we are quite shocked.

“We only have just one day to prepare our witness statements. I have filed a review application over the interrogatories and others applications, which had not been attended to.”

She said all those processes would go a long way as to how the trial would be conducted.

“All the objections raised by us is grounded in law. Processes that we have sought in court had not been dealt with. How do we start the trial?

“If we were not prepared, we would not have come to court. We are going to read the orders and know the next line of action which addresses the issues raised in our memorandum of issues,” she said.

Timelines enumerated by the Supreme Court are as follows: (1) The petitioner and witness shall file witness statements with exhibits if any by the noon of Thursday, January 21, 2020.

(2) The witness statements shall be served on the counsel for the respondents by the close of Thursday January 21.

(3) The respondents and the witnesses if any shall file their witness statements with exhibits if any by the close of the day on Friday, January 22, 2020

(4) (a) The first and second respondents shall file submissions on the preliminary objections raised to the petition by 12 noon of January, 22.

(b) The Registrar shall ensure service of submissions by close of Friday, January 22.

(c) The Petitioner shall file any response to the submission of the preliminary objection by Monday, Jan 25.

(d) The Registrar shall ensure service of the petitioner’s response by close of Monday, January 25.

(e) Ruling on the preliminary objection will be incorporated in the final judgement of the court.

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Allow the President to take decisions-Prince Mba tells Think-tanks and Communicators


Mr Prince Bagnaba Mba, President of Forum for Equity has called on Civil Society Organisations and media communicators to allow President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make his Ministerial appointments devoid of ‘unnecessary’ interference.

He said, the appointment of Ministers and other government officials was the prerogative of the President in consultation with the Party hierarchy, which the communicators needed to stay away from.

Mr Mba who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on names likely to be considered for Ministerial positions said it was the preserve of the President to superintend over their appointments.

After the general election and the victory of the President, some civil society organizations and Think Tanks have bombarded the President with calls of dropping some former appointees from the government without tangible reasons.

He said while some may be making legitimate allegations, others were seemingly making such proposals out of hatred for the officials in question.

“It is rather unfortunate that some of communicators on the airwaves have decided to settle personal scores by telling unsubstantiated lies. Governance at the highest level is getting a better team based on merit and track record and for some obvious reasons, geographical spread is considered”.

He said Ironically, the most critical think tanks were behaving like literary critics doing a book review without recourse to the generality of factors.

“There is therefore the need to consolidate the achievements of the past four years with a team of hardworking and honest Ghanaians.

It’s only the best that is good enough for our collective good and goals, so the free flow of character assassination by some electronic media communicators should cease forthwith.”

Mr Mba congratulated President Akufo- Addo for winning the best President of Africa adding that: “Like Aggrey, Nkrumah and Azikwe, you have become Nana Akufo Addo of Africa.”

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Mahama’s lawyers creating “media spectacle” for Election 2024-Oppong Nkrumah


Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, one of the spokespersons for President Akufo-Addo in the 2020 Election Petition, has contended that lawyers for former President John Mahama are creating “media spectacle” with the intention of making him gain “political clout” for the 2024 Election.

He said the former President’s lawyers’ theatrics during court proceedings were also meant to delay the election petition and potentially infringe the provisions of C.I 94, which has limited adjudication of a Presidential election petition to 42 days.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, in a media interview after the pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, said those theatrics would give the former President an urge over other presidential hopefuls, who would want to run for the flagbearership of the NDC’s ticket in the 2024 elections.

“On the first day when we came, our colleagues on the other side started off with an interlocutory application, asking for leave to go and amend.

“And so they started delaying the 42 days clock. That was granted. The afternoon before we appeared in court, they filed another interlocutory application and so our colleagues are seeking to delay the process and get a media spectacle ongoing for months,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah added that the impression being created by lawyers for the petitioner that they did not have witness statements was untenable since they have had enough time to put it together.

“They are continuously trying to put impediments in the way of the proceedings. Nobody choses witnesses for him. Mr. Mahama listed five persons as witnesses and that presupposed that he knows who they are, and what they are going to say as witnesses on his behalf,” he said.

The NDC’s Flag bearer for the 2020 presidential election, John Dramani Mahama, through his lawyers, filed a petition at the country’s apex court on December 30, 2020, to challenge the 2020 election results, which the Electoral Commission, declared Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s presidential candidate, as the winner and President-elect on December 9,2020.

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Supreme Court cautions Tsatsu, Ayine over certain gestures in court


Chief Justice Kwasi Anim Yeboah, has cautioned Mr Tsatsu Tsikata lead Counsel in the Election Petition trial and Dr Dominic Ayine, former Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General, over their conduct in the courtroom.

The Chief Justice (CJ) cautioned Dr Ayine, over his gestures after the Court had made certain orders to the respective lawyers in the matter.

In the case of Mr Tsikata, the CJ said “Mr Tsikata, you are senior member of at the Bar and I do not like the way you conduct yourself through your gestures.”

Dr Ayine then apologised to the Court.

Mr Tsikata argued that the time lines of the Supreme Court was unjustified, saying the Court should have listened to their review application on last Tuesday’s interrogatories, which the Court dismissed unanimously.

“Justice must not be sacrificed for expediency,” he said.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on Tuesday dismissed a motion from the petitioner calling on the Election Commission to respond to some questions they consider will help narrow down the issues set out in the petition for trial.

When the case was called on Wednesday, lawyers of the petitioner were not available.

When the panel enquired of them, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who represented John Mahama, said they were at the Court Registry filing some processes.

Moments later, Mr Tsikata arrived and informed the Court that, they were at the registry filing their memorandum of issues.

He also informed the Court that, they had filed a review application against the Court’s Tuesday ruling.

The Chief Justice and other panel members namely Justice Yaw Appau, Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, Justice Nene Amegatcher, Prof Nii Ashie Kottey, Justice Mariama Owusu and Justice Gertrude Torkornu, later retired to their chambers to consider the memorandum of issues.

Mr Mahama, the Petitioner was however not in court when the matter was called.

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NPP asks Speaker Bagbin to remain impartial as it maintains majority


The Majority Caucus, made up of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Group and Independent MP, have maintained that they form the Majority Caucus in Parliament, and its leader is the Majority Leader of the House.

Accordingly, they expect their colleagues from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to respect the position, even if it is one person that gives them the supremacy in terms of numerical strength.

Additionally, they called on Speaker Alban Bagbin to hold this view as such so that there would be consistency in how they are addressed.

At the press conference on Wednesday, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu insisted that he was the Majority Leader; and the NPP Side, with the Independent MP, Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako is the Majority Caucus.

The Majority Leader was not happy with the position of the NDC Caucus on the Speaker’s declaration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Independent MP as constituting the Majority Caucus.

He was also not happy with the NDC MPs position on the subsequent sharing of equal seats on the Appointments and Business Committee, which were to be chaired mostly but NPP MPs.

“He must be Father for All”, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu said, in an apparent reference to the Speaker’s background as a former Member on the side of the opposition NDC.

Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Deputy Majority of the NPP Caucus, argued that per the rules of the House there were only two sides the Majority and Minority and that the Majority Leader becomes the leader of the House.

He recalled in 2009 the issue of who constituted the majority or minority was put to the test by Ms Yaaba Nkrumah, who was then CPP member for Jomoro and took the position that she never wanted to be on either side.

He said Mr Alban Bagbin, then the Majority Leader of the NDC, in arguing invited the Speaker, Justice Joyce Bamford Addo to rule under the provisions of the Standing Orders which required MPs to be part of a caucus and accordingly, Ms Nkrumah opted to be with the minority caucus.

Mr Afenyo-Markin also argued on January 7, 2009, at the time MPs were being sworn-in the NDC as the party had 114 as against NPP’s 107 seats with one independent joining to make 108 while the NDC was joined by PNC and independents MPs to get 116 seats making them the majority caucus.

He said at the time the fact that PNC and independent MPs opted to join them, the NPP did not argue over the issue but sat at the left-hand side of the Speaker and accorded the NDC and its allies the due that they form the majority.

“So, we find it very difficult to appreciate the sudden wavery and inconsistency on who is majority and majority group….Our Standing Orders are clear, our practice and conventions have fortified the position of the Standing Orders.”

Mr Afenyo- Markin, said his colleagues at the opposite side of the House as people with “obstructionist agenda,” adding “…NDC is full of mischief, and wants to frustrate Government business.”

With new Ministers of State yet to be announced following the last general elections, which the NPP won and their vetting yet to take place, the NPP Caucus said “it’s obvious that NDC does not want Ministers to be approved hence their actions.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said the NDC MPs are trying to “to forcefully have equal representations” on The Appointment and Business Committees on 138-137 ratio which translate into 50-50”.

On Tuesday, 19th January 2021, NDC NPP opposed the Composition of Appointments Committee saying that they as “the majority” needed more people on the Committee but they have lost the debate through voice vote.

Also, the NPP MPS were not happy with a statement by Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, for wishing would-be government appointees well as they prepare for the public hearing of the Appointment Committee in the coming days.

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Re-appoint Ashitey as Greater Accra Regional Minister- NPP Coalition


Coalition of the Greater Accra Regional New Patriotic Party Voluntary Group Leaders (CGARVGL) has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to retain Mr Ishmael Ashitey, as the Greater Regional Minister for his excellent leadership style.

‘‘He is the only Minister who within the last four years alongside his ministerial functions has dedicated some of his time and resources to the course of Party volunteers in the region,” the Group said.

The Region, the Coalition said, needed a selfless, respectful, faithful and an accomplished politician who cut across the political circles and approachable to lead the region.

The Group said the Region was unique hence an experienced and capable individual was needed for the position.

The Group said the former Regional Minister, who had been a three-term legislator of the Tema East Constituency between 1996 and 2008, served as the Regional Chairman of the Party from 2009-2013, where the Parliamentary seats were only nine and based on his experiences, the seats had been increased from nine to 14 in the 2012 general elections.

It said he had been given a second term from 2013 to 2017 where he had increased the seats from 14 to 21 out of a total seat of 34 in the 2016 General Election.

Nana Yaw Baah, President for the NPP Young Patriots for Victory Group, called on the President to consider all the “good deeds” of Mr Ashitey and re-appoint him for the Region to continue to enjoy its peace and for progress.

He said between 2017 and 2020, the Region had enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere, which led to the creation of nine Municipal Assemblies to fast-track development and transformation of the entire Region and solved the rampant chieftaincy disputes, which had held back the development of the Ga-Adangme fraternity.

‘‘Before his tenure of office, there were land disputes and chieftaincy disputes in Teshie and La but he had put measures in place and helped to bring peace to the region. We are supporting him and pleading with the President to retain him as the Regional Minister,’’ he said.

Nana Baah said despite the names that had come up for nominations, it would be beneficial for the former Regional Minister to be retained to enable him to continue with his duties because they had seen his capabilities and that he had not finished with his works and had more to do for the Region.

Mr Issac Kwame Sarpong, the Coordinator for Patriotic Youth Movement and Secretary of the Coalition, asked Party members not to blame the former Regional Minister for the number of seats that the Party had lost in the just ended General Election but “the Regional Party Leadership, which failed to listen to him when he warned them of the dangers ahead of the party in September last year.”

The Group is made of 120 “patriotic sub groups” that have in the last 12 years volunteered support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

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Election Petition: Supreme Court sets January 26 for commencement of full trial


Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has set January 26, 2021, for the commencement of the full trial of the 2020 Election Petition.

The seven-member panel decided on issues for the trial, which include whether or not the petition disclosed “any reasonable cause of action.”

Secondly, the Court will determine whether or not no candidate obtained 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast.

Thirdly, it will ascertain whether or not the second respondent (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) obtained more than 50 per cent threshold with or without Techiman South.

Again, the Court will ascertain whether or not there were violations of law in the conduct and declaration of the 2020 Presidential Election.

Finally, the Court will ascertain whether or not allegations of vote padding affected the results of the 2020 Presidential elections.

The Court has set timelines for the parties to file their witness statements – the Petitioner is to file witness statements by close of tomorrow, Thursday, January 21, while the respondents are expected to file theirs by close of Friday, January, 22,2021.

The Court did not hear the review of the ruling on the application of yesterday’s interrogatories and adjourned it to January 28.

In his petition, Mr Mahama contended that no candidate won the 2020 Presidential election and, therefore, the declaration of President Akufo-Addo, as the winner of the election by the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, was “Null and void”, unconstitutional and of no legal effect.

The Petitioner argued that as per the results announced by Mrs Mensa on December 9, 2020, no candidate got more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.

He held that the EC Chairperson announced the total valid votes cast as 13,434,574, minus the results of Techiman South with President Akufo- Addo obtaining 6,730,413 of the votes, representing 51.59 per cent of the votes, while he (Mahama) got 6,214,898, representing 47.366 per cent of the votes cast.

It is the case of Mr Mahama that per the figures, the actual percentage for President Akufo-Addo minus Techiman South ought to be 50.098 per cent and not 51.595 per cent as announced by the EC Chair.

He also argued that his percentage minus Techiman South should be 46.26 per cent and not 47.366 per cent.

Mr. Mahama, also argued that, Techiman South, had a total voting population of 128,018 and if that was added to the total valid votes cast as declared by the EC, it would be 13,434,574 plus 128,018 (13,562,592).

He said it was erroneous for the EC to state that even if all the votes in Techiman South were added to the petitioner’s votes, President Akufo-Addo’s votes would remain the same at 6,730,413, now yielding 49.625 percent whiles the votes of the petitioner would increase to 6, 324, 907, now yielding 46.768 percent.

Accordingly, the EC Boss‘s claim in the purported declaration that, adding all the 128,018 votes in Techiman South to the votes standing in the name of the petitioner would not change the results, was “clearly wrong”.

President Akufo-Addo and the EC, in their respective responses, argued that the petition was “incompetent”, “lacked merit” and “raised no reasonable cause of action.”

They further contended that the petition did not meet the requirements of a Presidential Elections Petition as stated in Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution and same was, therefore, incompetent.

They said because the petition made no allegations of infractions in the election at any of the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres.

The EC argued further that the petition was “incompetent” because, it did not contest “the lawfulness of votes,” obtained by any candidate in any polling station where the election was held.

The EC admitted that Mrs Mensa inadvertently read the figure representing the total number of votes cast as the one representing the total number of valid votes cast and also gave the percentage of the votes garnered by President Akufo Addo as 51.59 per cent instead of 51.295 per cent.

It, however, averred that the EC corrected the errors on December 10, 2020, and even stated that “the corrections and clarifications did not affect the overall results as declared.”

The EC, therefore, held that Mr Mahama’s “deliberate” reliance on the figures declared on December 9, last year, to make a case that President Akufo-Addo did not obtain more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast was “misleading, untenable and misconceived.”

For President Akufo-Addo, the corrections by the EC to the declaration on December 9, were done within the powers of the EC and same did not breach any law.

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NPP, NDC have equal slots on Appointments and Business Committees of parliament


Both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have pulled equal slots on the Appointment and Business Committees of Parliament.

Each has 13 members on the Appointment Committee and 10 members on the Business Committee.

The Business Committee is chaired by Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonss, Leader of the NPP Majority, with Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin as the Vice.

First Deputy Speaker and MP for Bekwai Joseph Osei-Owusu, chairs the Appointmwent Committee, and the Vice Chair is Mr Afenyo-Markin.

The numbers of each Side and the names on the committees were contained in the report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Membership of the Business and Appointments Committees of the House, which was approved by the House on Tuesday evening.

The approval of the report was in accordance with Article 103 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 151 of the Standing Orders of the House.

Per the report, NPP and NDC Caucuses have 10 and 13 members each on the Business and Appointments Committees of Parliament.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, presenting the report of the Committee stated that pursuant to Order 151 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House, the Committee met and composed the Business and Appointments Committees in accordance with Orders 160 and 172.

He said during the deliberations the Committee was guided by the formula adopted by the House on Friday, 15th January, 2021 for the composition of the membership of committees.

He explained Article 103(5) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 154 of the Standing Orders of the House required that the composition of the Committees shall as much as possible reflect the different shades of opinion in Parliament.

Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Deputy Majority Leader, in seconding the motion, raised some preliminary matter anchored on Standing Orders 172, 154 and 109(3).

He argued in regard to the membership of the appointment committee vis-à-vis the conclusion of the report and the fact that the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who chaired the committee, by the language of the Standing Orders, did not have a voting right as member of the committee.

He said if the language of the Standing Orders should suffice then the appointment committee which had membership of 26 would be left with 25 members that had voting rights.

He further argued that having regard to the membership of 25 then the appointment committee can be composed of 13 members for the NPP and 12 for the NDC.

Mrs Ursula Owusu- Ekuful, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah and Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah are some NPP MPs on the Appointments Committee.

Mr Haruan Iddrisu, Minority Leader, Alhaji, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, Minority Chief Whip, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Sampson Ahi, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Alhassan Suhuyini, James Agalga and Francis Xavier Sosu are on the NDC bench of the Appointments Committee.

The appointments committee recommends to Parliament for approval of persons nominated by the President for appointment as Minister of State, Deputy Minister, Members of Council of State, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court and any other persons specified under the constitution or under any other enactment.

The Business Committee determines the business of each Sitting and the order in which it is to be taken.

The current Parliament of Ghana has no clear majority as each party has 137 seats.

The NPP Side together with an MP on an independent seat constitutes the Majority Side of the House.

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Mr Mahama files motion asking the EC to admit error in Presidential election results


Former President John Dramani Mahama

The 2020 Presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has filed a motion at the Supreme Court asking the Electoral Commission(EC) to admit it made errors in the declaration of the 2020 Presidential results.

Mr Mahama filed the motion on January 18, 2021 ahead of the pre-trial of the Election Petition.

The Former President is seeking an annulment of the Presidential election results and a re-run of the election between him and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, second Respondent in the petition.

Hw is also praying the Court to order the 1st Respondent, the Electoral Commission, to proceed to conduct a second election between the petitioner and the 2nd respondent as the candidates,, as required under Articles 63 (4) and (5) of the 1992 constitutions.

The motion is requesting the Electoral Commission through its Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa within three days from the service to admit that the purported declaration of the Presidential Election results, on December 9, 2020, was broadcast live on radio, television and other electronic media.

It also wants the EC through its Chairperson to admit that she has made no other purported declaration in respect of the Presidential Election results of December 7, 2020.

The motion sought from the EC to admit that while making the purported declaration of the Presidential Election results of December 7, 2020, on December 9, 2020, it stated that the “………total number of valid votes cast was 13,434,574 representing 79 per cent of the total registered voters”.

It also wants the EC to admit that while making the purported declaration of the Presidential election results of December 7, 2020, on December 9, 2020, it stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the Second Respondent in the Election Petition obtained 6,730,413 votes, representing 51.595.per cent of the total valid votes cast.

The motion wants the EC to admit that the purported declaration on December 9, 2020, that “currently the election results we have declared exclude that of Techiman South Constituency”.

“That Mrs Mensa the Chairperson of the EC, the First Respondent, gave a figure of 128,018 as the voter population of Techiman South Constituency,” it said.

According to the motion, adding the voter population of Techiman South Constituency to the total valid votes of 13,434,574 valid votes announced by Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, amounted to total valid votes of 13,562,592.

The motion indicated that the Second Respondent’s votes as announced by the Chairperson of the First Respondent in the declaration of December 9, 2020 – 6,730,413 – amounted to 49.625 per cent of 13,562,592.

That when the percentages of the valid votes cast and standing to the names of each of the Presidential Candidates as announced by Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, on December 9, 2020, are summed up, they would yield a total of 100.3 per cent.

That Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, in her purported declaration on December 9, 2020, stated that the results from Techiman South Constituency were not yet available.

That Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, in her purported declaration on 9th December 2020, stated that even if all the 128,018 votes of Techiman South Constituency were added to the votes standing to the name of Petitioner, that would not change the results.

That Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, refused to accept a letter (Exhibit B) written by the NDC to her in which the NDC, through its authorised and accredited agents, raised concerns and notified her of material errors in her collation of the results of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election.

That a purported “correction” of figures in the declaration made by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, was by virtue of an unsigned Press Release of First Respondent on December 10, 2020.

That the purported “correction” issued in an unsigned Press Release of First Respondent on 10th December 2020, stated that the total valid votes cast was now 13,119,460.

That the purported “correction” on December 10, 2020 changed the number of votes claimed to have been obtained by the other Presidential Candidates in the purported declaration of 9th December
2020.

That in respect of the purported “correction” and subsequent “correction” of the “corrections”, Mrs Mensa, the Chairperson of First Respondent, has never sought to confer with the agents of candidates.

It said the sum total of valid votes attributed to each candidate in the purported “corrections” of December 10, 2020 were different from the sum total of valid votes that were recorded on the summary sheets (Form 10) published by First Respondent.

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Events in Parliament were chaotic and reprehensible-Bishop Mante


Most Rev Gabriel Mante, Bishop of Jasikan Diocese of the Catholic Church has said the events of January 8th to elect a speaker for the eighth parliament was chaotic and reprehensible, sending the august house into a tipping end.

He said the events could have gone nasty and plunged the country into the abyss of irreparable conflict.
Bishop Mante said these on the 42nd Plenary Assembly of the National Catholic Laity Council at the Diocesan Formation and Counselling Centre at Kadjebi-Nsuta in the Oti region.

He observed that many conflicts on the African continent stemmed from political misunderstanding, misrepresentation and over-zealous quest for power saying that was where the events in parliament was gravitating to.

He said leadership failure at the time was responsible for the chaotic proceedings on the speakership election.
He said Members of Parliament, who were culpable should be sanctioned to serve as deterrence in the future.

He said justice must be applied evenly across the board.

He said the slim split on the majority-minority is an attestation of consensus building, tolerance and working in the interest of the state and not political colouration.

On COVID-19, Bishop Mante urged people in the Region to ensure that they followed the World Health Organisation’s safety protocols of, social distancing, masking up and sanitization of hands to stem the disease from escalating.

He said collective efforts were crucial to defeat the pandemic and called on Ghanaians to cooperate with health officials to ensure COVID-19 country.

He said the “God that was gracious to the country, when the pandemic engulfed the world would see us through,” and guarantee the safety of all students as they re-open to learn after 10 months of inactivity.

He therefore called on Christians to unite together and pray unceasingly to terminate the disease in the spirit.

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2020 Election Petition hearing enters day two tomorrow


Supreme Court

Supreme Court’s hearing of former President John Dramani Mahama’s Election Petition, challenging the validity of the winner of December 7, Presidential election enters day two, with the commencement of a pretrial.

On January 14, this year, (day one) the Court granted President Mahama’s motion for leave to amend his petition.

The court presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, directed the petitioners to file the amended processes on January 14, 2021.

The seven-member panel further directed the respondents, namely, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Electoral Commission to file their responses by January 15, 2021.

In his petition, Mr Mahama contended that no candidate won the 2020 Presidential election and, therefore, the declaration of President Akufo-Addo, as the winner of the election by the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, was “Null and void”, unconstitutional and of no legal effect.

The Petitioner argued that as per the results announced by Mrs. Mensa on December 9, 2020, no candidate got more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast as required by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.

According to him, the EC Chairperson, announced the total valid votes cast as 13,434,574, minus the results of Techiman South with President Akufo- Addo obtaining 6,730,413 of the votes representing 51.59 per cent of the votes, while he (Mahama) got 6,214,898, representing 47.366 per cent of the votes cast.

It is the case of Mr. Mahama that per the figures, the actual percentage for President Akufo-Addo minus Techiman South ought to be 50.098 per cent and not 51.595 per cent as announced by the EC Chair.

He also argued that his percentage minus Techiman South should be 46.26 per cent and not 47.366 per cent.

Throwing more light on the calculations, Mr. Mahama argued that Techiman South, had a total voting population of 128,018 and if that was added to the total valid votes cast as declared by the EC, it would be 13,434,574 plus 128,018 (13,562,592).

Arguing further, Mr. Mahama said it was erroneous for the EC to state that even if all the votes in Techiman South were added to the petitioner’s votes, President Akufo-Addo votes will remain the same at 6,730,413, now yielding 49.625 per cent whiles the votes of the petitioner will increase to 6, 324, 907, now yielding 46.768 per cent.

Accordingly, the EC Boss claim in the purported declaration that adding all the 128,018 votes in Techiman South to the votes standing in the name of the petitioner will not change the results, was clearly wrong.

President Akufo-Addo and EC in their respective responses argued that the petition was “incompetent”, “lacked merit” and “raised no reasonable cause of action.”

They further contended that the petition did not meet the requirement of a Presidential Elections Petition as stated in Article 64(1) of the 1992 Constitution and same was, therefore, incompetent.

They said because, the petition made no allegations of infractions in the election at any of the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centers.

The EC argued further that the petition was “incompetent” because, it did not contest “the lawfulness of votes,” obtained by any candidate in any polling station where the election was held.

The EC admited that Mrs. Mensa inadvertently read the figure representing the total number of votes cast as the one representing the total number of valid votes cast and also gave the percentage of the votes garnered by President Akufo Addo as 51.59 per cent instead of 51.295 per cent.

It, however, averred that the EC corrected the errors on December 10, 2020 and even stated that “the corrections and clarifications did not affect the overall results as declared”.

The EC, therefore, held that Mr. Mahama’s “deliberate” reliance on the figures declared on December 9, last year, to make a case that President Akufo-Addo did not obtain more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast was “misleading, untenable and misconceived.”

For President Akufo-Addo, the corrections by the EC to the declaration on December 9, were done within the powers of the EC and same did not breached any law.

Generally, at pre-trial hearings, cases are either resolved or prepared for full trials.

Either side can file or set a date for filing motions; including a motion to dismiss the complaint or to prevent certain evidence from being used at trial.

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Let’s support Akufo-Addo to deliver in Second term


…Paul Twum Barimah tells Members of Parliament

The Member of Parliament for Dormaa East, Paul Apraku Twum Barimah has advised members of Parliament of the New Patriotic Party to support President Akufo Addo to deliver in his Second Term.

Speaking in an interview, Honorable Twum Barimah said the president can only deliver to the satisfaction of the people of Ghana when he is ably and strongly supported by the majority caucus in Parliament.

He urged his colleague members of parliament in the NPP to desist from blaming one another regarding who voted against the president’s nominee as speaker of parliament and unite in preparation for the task ahead.

Honorable Twum Barimah indicated that winning the 2024 general elections is key and that should be the target and that would depend on the performance of the president and the party in terms of prudent management of the economy and the livelihood of the people of Ghana.

The President needs us and we must not let him down. We need to avoid settling personal scores and executing the blame games. The president has begun selecting his appointees and we need to support him in that regard.

If we don’t rally behind the president we might lose the trust of the people and that will work against us. Our constituents are monitoring us in Parliament and we don’t have to let them down.” He stated.

By Adu Koranteng

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Probe allegations against me-Akatsi South MCE


Mr Leo Nelson Adzidogah

Mr Leo Nelson Adzidogah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Akatsi South, has appealed to the party to investigate the issues raised against him by some Constituency Executives of the party in the Municipality.

Some three Constituency Executives have accused Mr Adzidogah of putting the fortunes of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Municipality in the balance.

The agitating Executives include, Mr Patrick Xormenyo Agboyibor, Deputy Akatsi South constituency secretary, Mr Mensah Kadzaku, Constituency Youth Organiser and Mrs Veronica Sakpaku, Constituency Women Organiser.

Mr Adzidogah, who contested in the 2020 elections as a Parliamentary candidate for Akatsi South, made the appeal in a statement in reaction to calls by the three aggrieved Constituency Executives to President Akufo-Addo not to re-nominate him as the MCE for the area.

He said an investigative team would ascertain all the facts after the petitioners failed to use the laid down structures of the party in addressing their grievances and chose to publicly address the issues.

Mr Adzidogah also said the investigation was critical during the period as “you prepare to re-nominate your representatives to serve the various Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).”

“The result of this investigation would help inform any decision you will take in respect of my bid for re-nomination,” the statement said.

He expressed hope that his innocence would be positively established to expose the wicked agenda of the petitioners, who he claimed, were on a mission to destroy the gains the party had so far made.

Mr Adzidogah stated he would be available to support the investigation team with all information needed to complete the process.

The three executives, in an eight page petition letter titled “Petition to kick against re-nomination bid of Mr Leo Nelson Adzidogah as Akatsi South Municipal Chief Executive (MCE)” and copied to the top hierarchy of the party among other issues, said the MCE had formed allies with some National Democratic Congress (NDC) members.

They accused Adzidogah of providing government contracts to NDC members while their supporters were left in the dark.

The petitioners also raised misappropriation of 2020 campaign funds and improper disbursement of party logistics, the diversion of government fertilizers to neighbouring Togo for sale, disregard for party elders and founders in the Municipality.

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Independent Presidential candidate in 2020 election calls for unity among supporters


Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker

Mr Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, the Independent candidate for the 2020 general elections, has called for unity among his supporters to move the party forward.

He said, “As a United One Ghana, we must stand firm, we must commit ourselves for the common goals and for the good people of this country in order to build a new Ghana.

“We are here; we are not leaving than to change Ghana. This is what we stand for all of us, the good for all, for the next generation. This is why we are calling for you to come and join us so that we can eliminate the two dominant parties,” he noted

Mr Walker was speaking at a get together organized for the supporters at his residence in Accra during the weekend.

Mr Walker said politicians, who embezzled state funds, must be prosecuted and not allowed to walk free.

“Criminals against sovereign country has no way for limitations. Corruption against sovereign country has no different limitations. For instance, Australia Finance Minister has been jailed, Madagascar, Mozambique they have all been investigated, Ghana is no different, we can do same,” he said.

He said the 2020 election was the first time an independent presidential candidate created history and was able to match the two political parties in some of their strong holds to win votes.

“This is the first time an independent candidate created history in the last elections. It is a clear indication of Ghana, for the first time an independent candidate, self- funding was able to stand up with the two dominant parties. We are all grateful that an example has been set.

“History has already been made, the foundation has also been laid and we are here to build and to stand firm that these two political parties in this country, which has dominated the political scene for the pass 40 years and their works are there for all of us to see.”

“They haven’t done it, they didn’t. I don’t think they are now going to do it. It is about self-serving interest, self-serving pockets, we shouldn’t allow them to continue.”

Mr Asiedu urged the youth to help in the fight to end corruption in the country.

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Chiefs and Queen mothers of Nadowli-Kaleo congratulate Bagbin


The Chiefs and Queen mothers of Nadowli-Kaleo District in the Upper West Region have congratulated Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on his election as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

“We are proud of you, Mr Speaker, and we pray for God’s guidance and protection for you, may your tenure as Speaker be successful and one that would be remembered for all the good reasons in our proud history as a country”, they said.

Addressing a News conference at Kaleo on behalf of the Chiefs, Queen Mothers and the entire people of Nadowli-Kaleo District, Naa Abayema Kandemekpie II, the Chief of Kanyini, noted that Mr Bagbin’s 28 years of experience in Parliament had placed him in a better position to play the role of a Speaker as the public would expect in this material moment.

He said Bagbin who had also become the first person from Northern Ghana to occupy the position of the Speaker also brought hope to the people especially the youth that it was possible to dream big and work hard no matter where you come from.

Naa Kandemekpie II noted that as a Parliamentarian, Mr Bagbin’s influence brought a lot of development to Nadowli-Kaleo District and the entire Upper West Region.

He expressed optimism that with his new position as the Speaker of Parliament, he would do more to bring development to the people of the region.

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Bagbin: I won position of Speaker by majority vote


Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin says it was a majority vote that propelled him into the position of the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

In his maiden address to the 275 member House in Accra on Friday, the 63-year- old immediate past Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, declared his legitimacy to the nation’s third highest office.

He said: “The message in the votes of 136 in favour of Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye, as to 138 for Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, with one spoilt ballot, …propelled me to this high office of Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.”

He repeated a mantra of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that “The battle is always the Lord’s, adding “glory be to the Most High God,” which attracted an applause from both sides of House.

The 63 year old immediate past Second Deputy Speaker, MP for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency, Upper West Region, for 28 years used the occasion to caution the Members of Parliament(MPs) to be civil and disciplined in their deeds and utterances in their parliamentary work.

His caution stems from unruly and rowdy behaviour of some members of the House during the election of the Speaker last week, which attracted military presence onto floor of the House.

He tasked the leadership of the house to investigate those incidents to prevent their recurrence and to save and redeem the sunken image of the august House.

Speaker Bagbin noted his almost three decades service to the House on the ticket of the current opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) but assured the House that he would remain fair, firm, impartial and resolute in the discharge of his duty as Speaker.

He pledged also to respect the dictates of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and the will of the people of Ghana.

With a Parliament of 138 members that constitute a majority (NPP side) and 137 representing the NDC Minority, Speaker Bagbin stressed on the need for more “consensus building, cooperation, dialogue and accommodation”, in the transaction of Parliamentary business and to satisfy the aspirations of Ghanaians.

“Let me also say a few words about the office of Speaker as envisioned under our Constitution. While past practice might lead some to think otherwise, the truth of the matter is that, the Speakership is not a partisan-political office. Regardless of which party nominated or voted to elect him or her, and regardless of his or her previous political background, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana occupies a nonpartisan, impartial office.

He added: “There is no NPP Speaker or NDC Speaker; there is only a Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.

“Unlike my counterpart in the American House of Representatives, the Ghanaian Speaker is not a Member of the House.

“The Ghanaian Speaker presides over but does not participate in proceedings of the House; and he or she has no vote, not even a casting vote, in matters before the House. In fact, the Speakership in Ghana is designed to be even more impartial and more apolitical than the Speaker of the House of Commons in Westminster. It is indeed to ensure that the Speaker remains impartial in presiding over the affairs of this House and Parliament that his election is done by secret ballot.

“The independence and impartiality of the Speaker is particularly evident from one line in the Speaker’s Oath. That line is not found in the Presidential Oath, the Oath of Vice-President, the Oath for Ministers of State and Cabinet, or the Oath of a Member of Parliament.

…. “That last phrase, “without fear or favour, affection or ill will”, defines the office of Speaker as an impartial, nonpartisan office. I assure you I don’t take this Oath lightly at all.

“Speaker Bagbin referred to having harmoniously with Speakers of diverse political backgrounds, including on one occasion supporting the nomination for re-election as Speaker of the 4th Republic, a well-known figure of the New Patriotic Party.”

He however made it clear that the office I now occupy is an impartial, independent, and apolitical office, akin, in that regard, to the position of a Justice or Chief Justice.

He pledged to live by the Oath he swore on the occasion of his new office and said he would respect, obey and abide by the will of the House.

“I am fully committed to being fair and impartial. But I am also fully committed to being firm, he said, adding, “We must work together for the betterment of Ghana and Ghanaians.

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NPP’s side constitutes the Majority in Parliament-Speaker Bagbin


Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on Friday afternoon declared that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Caucus and the Independent MP for Fomena Constituency constitute the Majority in Parliament.

“What we have now, you have the New Patriotic Party wing or caucus in Parliament, together with the Independent Member of Parliament from Fomena, and they now constitute the Majority Group,” the Speaker announced to cheers and singing from the NPP Side.

With almost clad in white, the NPP side, sitting at the right side of the Speaker, signifying they were in the Majority, rose to their feet, singing” a popular Ghanaian gospel song, “Mo mo mo, adea woaye ama me, momo momo mo adae woaye ama me, me ntumi nka….,” to wit, “Congrats, congrats; I can’t appreciate enough what you have done for me.”

The decision to announce the NPP side as constituting the Majority, Speaker Bagbin explained that it was based on a formal communication by Mr Andrews Asiamah Amoako, MP for Fomena, who was elected as independent MP to the House, in which the MP notified him (the Speaker) of his intention to do business with NPP Side in Parliament.

Until the Speaker made the announcement, the Side that would be declared majority had been bristly since the last December general elections produced 137 parliamentary seats for each of the two parties.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) was declared winner by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the presidential polls, and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling party shared the parliamentary save one seat won by an independent candidate.

Both parties had made claims to having majority, with the matter heightening as to who would be elected Speaker of Parliament, a non-partisan position of who would chair proceedings of the House.

During the election of the Speaker, there were rowdy and unruly scenes in the House, with NPP side rooting for Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the immediate past Speaker, and Mr Bagbin, immediate past Second Deputy Speaker for NDC Side, who carried the day.

The fate of the House as to which side would constitute the Majority had being hanging, as a drawn out negotiation ensued with both parties wooing the Independent MP.

The Independent MP, who was dismissed from the NPP prior to the December 2020 general election and subsequently dismissed from Parliament based on communication from the NPP to the Speaker of Parliament, won the parliamentary election in the Fomena Constituency.

Since his election, he had indicated that he would work with the NPP Side in parliament, and as the wrangling between the NPP and the NDC went as to which Side would be declared Majority, with the NDC insisting that there would no majority, the Fomena MP, who was elected as Second Deputy Speaker for the Eighth Parliament, finally wrote to inform Speaker Bagbin of his intension to associate, and do business with NPP Side.

‘The House will accord him the space to do as he stated,” Mr. Bagbin stated, after he referred to the communication from the Fomena MP.

Meanwhile the Fomena MP, has informed the House, during the correction of Votes and Proceedings that his surname is Amoako, and not Asiamah as advertised.

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Akatsi South NPP Executives demand the removal of MCE


Some New Patriotic Party (NPP) Executives in the Akatsi South Constituency in the Volta Region have called for the removal of Mr Leo Nelson Adzidogah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area.

They accused the MCE of championing divisions and sidelining some current and old Executives as well as elders of the party.

The three aggrieved constituency Executives in an eight-page petition to the top hierarchy of the party appealed to President Akufo-Addo to nominate a different person to occupy the position of MCE.

The Executives seeking the removal of the MCE are Mr Patrick Xormenyo Agboyibor, Deputy Constituency Secretary, Mr Mensah Kadzaku, Constituency Youth Organiser, and Mrs Veronica Sakpaku, Constituency Women organiser.

They argued, among other issues, the failure of the MCE, who was the 2020 Parliamentary candidate of the NPP, in meeting all executives to discuss ways to distribute resources and logistics during the campaign season.

They alleged diversion of party logistics from their intended purposes led to the party recording low Presidential results from the Constituency.

They also said the MCE had formed a strong cabal with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Constituency by giving government contracts, protocols and scholarships to members of the NDC to the neglect of their party supporters.

“The MCE only focuses on fighting his enemies rather than fostering unity among the rank and file of party supporters,” it added.

The MCE, Mr Adzidogah, when contacted by the GNA dismissed the allegations levelled against him by some of the executives and said a full report would soon be made available.

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NPP likely to constitute majority in Parliament – Kyei Mensah-Bonsu


Mr Osei Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu

Mr Osei Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu, Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Caucus in Parliament, has said his side is likely to constitute the majority because the independent member for Fomena has decided to pitch camp with the NPP.

He explained that both the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were split with 137 members of Parliament (MPs) each, with an independent MP as the decider.

At a press conference in Accra in reaction to an earlier press briefing by the NDC Caucus in Parliament, Mr Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu insisted that the rules of Ghana’s Parliament recognised the two sides; the majority and minority caucuses.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also clarified that given the circumstances the House found itself, the person who bore the trump card was the independent MP and that wherever he decided to pitch his camp would determine who constituted the majority.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Leader of the NDC Caucus, at a press conference, had said despite the fact that Mr Andrews Amoako Asiamah, the Independent MP for Fomena, having written officially to do business with the NPP Caucus, did not make the NPP side the majority in Parliament.

Mr Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu also revealed that when the Leadership of both NDC and NPP Caucuses met the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin three days ago, he made it clear to them that where the Fomena MP decided to pitch camp would determine where the pendulum would swing.

He said fortunately at that meeting the Fomena MP was around and the Speaker asked him to write officially, which side he intended to align with so he could make the declaration at the plenary when the House resumed on Friday, January 15, 2021.

Mr Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu insisted that the election of the Speaker on January 7 was by consensus as result of the consultation among the leadership.

He revealed that when the leadership met the Speaker as part of the consensus building, the NDC caucus proposed that in the formation of the various Committees there should be consensus, but which he said the current Standing Order of Parliament did not support.

He however stated that he was not opposed to minority parties chairing some of the Committees of Parliament, adding that it was a practice in the established democracies and in the axiom, which states “a parliament is a strong as its committees”.

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Stop paying gratuities to more than one term MPs- Group


Ghana Parliament

Pressure Group, National Redemption Volunteer, has called for the State to halt the payment of gratuities to Members of Parliament who have returned to the House on more than one occasion.

It also called for the same for members of a second term government.

Mr. Richmond Owusu-Frimpong, National Chairman of the Group, who made the statement at a news conference in Accra on Thursday, said such rituals not only put constraints on the State but also deprived it of the necessary resource for development for the citizenry.

Mr. Owusu-Frimpong, therefore, called for immediate steps to be taken to amend Article 71 of the Constitution, which guaranteed such remuneration.

“This is unacceptable in the 21st century Ghana. We, therefore, demand that the large ex-gratia paid every four years to parliamentarians be halted immediately and the monies spent for the betterment of our rural folks,” he said.

Article 114 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “a person who has served as a Member of Parliament for a period of not less than four years shall be eligible for the payment of gratuity to him or his personal representative as shall be determined by the President acting in consultation with the committee referred to in Article 71.”

Article 71 office holders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, and Justices of the Supreme Court.

The rest; are Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees, and public servants.

Mr. Owusu-Frimpong also noted that the continuous appointment of chairpersons of state institutions such as the Electoral Commission, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Auditor-General, by the President created room for suspicions and mistrust.

He, therefore, called for such powers to be given to Parliament or an independent body.

“Article 70, should be amended to handover the appointment of the Electoral Commissioner, Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Auditor-General to Parliament or a different body instead of the President.

“This will end the suspicions and disagreements that the government is using state institutions to harass its political opponents and restore citizens’ confidence in them.��

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