24.4.08

Alan is Dead Serious

Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant, Alan Kyerematen has slammed rumours of his imminent return to the party after his shocking resignation last week and maintains that his decision to quit the party still holds.

The former Trade and Industry Minister issued a statement this afternoon saying none should consider him as vacillating on his decision and “thereby displaying inconsistency in thought and judgment” because the issues he raised have not been addressed while talks aimed at having him rescind his decision have been inconclusive.

“I wish to state categorically that I have not rescinded my decision to resign from the party”, the statement said in part.

Alan said it appears that there is a calculated attempt engineered from certain quarters to create public disaffection for him, and stated that while it is true that no single individual is more important than the party to which he belongs, it is equally true that national interest is superior to the interest of any single party.

“In this regard, I will very soon give a firm indication about the role that I expect to play on the political landscape in the country, which I believe will bring hope and confidence to all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, religious or ethnic background.”

Alan quit the party exactly a week ago after alleging party members who backed his presidential bid were being intimidated and alienated by followers of Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP presidential candidate.

Read the full statement below:
PRESS RELEASE

I have monitored extensively media reportage and discussions over the past week, following my decision to resign from the New Patriotic Party (NPP). It is clear that there is a calculated attempt engineered from certain quarters, to create public disaffection against me for taking a decision based on principles, and to create the impression that I am vacillating on my decision to resign, thereby displaying inconsistency in thought and judgment. I wish to state categorically that I have not rescinded my decision to resign from the Party.

I am in the same vein compelled to indicate, that efforts aimed at mediation led by former Chairman of the Party, Mr. B. J. Da Rocha were inconclusive. The mediator's proposal was for a withdrawal of my resignation unconditionally, without a substantive discussion of the concerns raised in my letter as well as other concerns discussed with the Party Leadership on several occasions. I have disagreed with this proposal because in my humble opinion it does not resolve the matter on hand.

I believe it would be in the best interest of both the NPP and my good self not to have the general public continue to feed on this matter. Under the circumstances, to avoid creating further doubt in the minds of friends and foe alike, I wish to use this opportunity to re-affirm that my decision to resign from the Party still holds.

I wish to assure the rank and file of the NPP that I have had to take this painful decision purely based on the failure of the leadership of the Party to take concrete action to address fundamental issues within the Party which undermine its strength, and could seriously affect its fortunes in the forth coming General Elections.

I concede in all humility, that no single individual is more important than the Party to which he belongs, but we must also not lose sight of the fact that national interest is superior to the interest of any single Party. In this regard, I will very soon give a firm indication about the role that I expect to play on the political landscape in the country, which I believe will bring hope and confidence to all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, religious or ethnic background.

21.4.08

Archer in court over SSNIT contributions

The editor-in-chief of The Enquirer newspaper, Raymond Archer has been hauled before court for failing to pay the monthly Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions of his seven workers as required by law.
Mr. Archer who owes SSNIT, the complainant, up to GH¢8,093.66 has also been charged with issuing dud cheques to the complainant.

An Accra Weekend Court presided over by Mr. Mahama Iddrisu, a Circuit Court Judge, last Saturday sentenced the editor to a fine of GH¢5,673.56 or in default spend three months in jail.

The accused person, who was not represented by any counsel, pleaded guilty for failing to pay the SSNIT contributions of his workers but said he was not guilty for failing to pay the penalties accrued from his inability to pay the contributions.

When asked by the judge why he pleaded guilty to the first offence but not the second, which occurred as a result of the first offence, he said he had promised to pay the complainants, so did not understand why he had to be charged with the second offence.

The editor told the court, “I accept responsibility and will pay the money to avoid litigation” but indicated that a number of the workers were no more with the company and he did not have the time to go chasing them to make them pay the complainants.

Subsequently when the trial judge told him he would be sentenced since he had pleaded guilty to the offence of not paying his contributions under the Scheme, he pleaded with the judge to give him and the complainants some time to have the matter settled out of court.

Standing with his hands behind him, he said he paid some money to the complainant sometime ago and as a result would abide by his promise but the judge still sentenced him, saying that once he had pleaded guilty to the offence the law requires that he should be sentenced and therefore would not bend the rules in his favour.

According to Emmanuel B. Boadi, the SSNIT officer who presented the facts of the matter, Archer is the Director of Focal Media Ltd., located at Tesano, a suburb of Accra and was, as required by law, registered with SSNIT with establishment Reg. No. 202J1005.

Mr. Boadi told the court that on November 23, 2007 the complainant inspected the company’s book and discovered that since October 2006 the editor had failed to pay the contributions of GH¢673.50 of the seven workers under him, contrary to sections 22(1) and (2) of the Social Security Law of 1991 PNDC Law 247.

He said the accused person as well owed GH¢2,420.16 for delayed payment, contrary to Section 23 (1) of the law, making the total debt of the establishment as at October 2007 stand at GH¢8,093.66.

Explaining further, the prosecuting officer noted that a demand notice was sent to Archer to pay up by December 2007 and though the period had expired, he still had not paid the amount to liquidate his debts, in spite of calls for him to do so.

Meanwhile Archer has been granted a GH¢3,000 bail and is due to appear in court next weekend following his plea of not guilty for the penalty which had been slapped on him.


Source: Daily Guide

12.4.08

EC admits discrepancies in voter register

The Electoral Commission (EC) has officially admitted that there are discrepancies in the register of voters in the Ashanti Region. Consequently, the commission, in collaboration with the political parties, has formed a nine-member committee to look into the issue and find solutions to the problem to ensure that it does not occur again.



After Sunday’s Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra, the Director of Public Affairs at the EC, Mr Christian Owusu-Parry, said the committee was made up of two EC members, four representatives of the political parties and one representative each from the Ghana Statistical Service, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the security agencies reports the Daily Graphic newspaper. Recently, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) raised concern over alleged bloated voters’ registers in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.



Just after the EC had denied the allegations, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) said it had also received similar bloated figures from the EC. According to the register that the GCPP had, which it said was obtained from the EC under a cover letter with reference number CIEC.07/SF.13NOL2/100, dated June 14, 2007 and signed by Mr. Daniel K. Amanyo on behalf of the chairman of the EC, some of the figures from some constituencies in the Ashanti Region were as follows: Ejisu-Juaben, 155,042; Ejura-Sekyedumasi, 84,182; Kwabre East, 124,842; Kwabre West, 77,264; Asante-Akim South, 95,444; Asante-Akim North, 129,046. However, the register given by the EC at the IPAC meeting gave the following figures: Ejisu-Juaben, 78,170; Ejura- Sekyedumasi, 38,114; Kwabre East, 62,733; Kwabre West, 38,802; Asante-Akim south, 47,874; Asante-Akim North, 64,683.



Mr Owusu-Parry said the committee was to ascertain the source of the discrepancies, make recommendations in line with its findings, regulate its own procedures and examine related issues that might be referred to it. The political parties have been requested to submit the names of their four representatives so that the committee could start its work and finish it within two weeks.



When reached for his comments, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Ohene Ntow, welcomed the decision to set up the committee to go into the issue. "Although this is welcome I think it has taken too long in coming. All the same, it's good that finally we have a committee that involves all the political parties.



I expect that we will get to the button of this matter, clear the issues and quickly establish the veracity and credibility of the voters register," he told the Daily Graphic.The National Organiser of the NDC, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, said the party was satisfied that the EC had accepted that there were discrepancies in the voters register.



He said although the commission declined to give reasons for the inconsistencies, he was hopeful that the committee would come out with the cause and make recommendations as to how to avoid future occurrences. Source: Daily Graphic

9.4.08

John Mahama is the Chosen One

The National Executive Council of the National Democratic Congress has approved, unanimously, the choice of John Dramani Mahama, MP for Bole/Bamboi, as Professor John Evans Atta Mills' running mate for Election '08.

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, NDC Deputy General Secretary announced the decision of the NDC NEC moments ago at a rather brief press conference at the Kama Conference Centre, Nyaniba Estates, Accra.

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah said the choice was made in conformity with Article 44 of the NDC Constitution and after due consultation.

Prof. Mills is expected to outdoor his vice presidential candidate at a separate function yet to be scheduled.

John Mahama beat several others to the slot after the likes of Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, a lawyer; Mohammed Mumuni, Mill's previous running mate; and MP Alban Bagbin were rumoured as favourites.

Mahama Ayariga on the choice of John Mahama

“I believe that everybody accepts the fact of John being able and competent person to pair with Professor John Evans Atta Mills. He has so many qualities, he is an excellent person, he is an excellent material, an excellent gentleman, he has the composure and we believe that he is an excellent choice for running mate.

“I believe that if you listen to a majority of Ghanaians he is very acceptable to them as well and so those were the considerations that went into the choice of John Dramani Mahama as the running mate.
We are all very happy, as you can see the National Executive Committee has unanimously endorsed the choice of John Dramani Mahama, there has been no dissent at all and everybody is very happy and excited and the party is leaving this room very invigorated, very determined to work towards victory in 2008.”