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EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

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EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

Five Ghanaians in the Diaspora have filed a contempt case against the Electoral Commission (EC), the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, and the six other commissioners for failing to operationalise the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA), 2006 (Act 699) which gives Ghanaians in the Diaspora the right to vote from abroad.

The five — Dr Kofi Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christian Sillim — want the Accra High Court to commit the EC and its commissioners for contempt for not implementing an order from the High Court that ROPAA should be operationalised within 12 months.

The order was part of a judgement delivered by the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Yeboah, on December 18, 2017, in which the EC was ordered to operationalise ROPAA by laying before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument (CI) that would set out the modalities for the implementation of the law.

In the event that the EC had any justifiable reason and was “unable to comply with the order”, the court ordered it to publish the justifiable reason(s) 30 days before the expiration of the deadline and also appear before the court to explain the reason(s).

Contempt application

In their application for contempt filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr Samson Lardy Ayenini, the five Ghanaians averred that the EC had “failed, refused or neglected to respect and comply” with the specific orders of the court.

That, they argued, was in spite of numerous letters that they wrote to remind the EC of the impending deadline.

“The first respondent (the EC) and its commissioners have, with impunity, continued their contemptuous acts of not complying with the said judgement and its specific orders directed at them personally, even though the time for complying has elapsed,” they averred.

According to the five applicants, the only way to ensure that the EC complied with the court’s orders was for Mrs Mensa and the other commissioners to be “committed to prison for contempt”.

“I am not guilty of contempt”

Mrs Mensa has, however, refuted claims by the five applicants that she and the EC had acted contemptuously.

In her affidavit in opposition, she contended that she was not the Chairperson of the EC at the time the court gave the order in December 2017 and that since her appointment, she had taken steps to implement the orders of the court.

“Having been seized with the orders of the court after my appointment in July 2018, and ensuring that steps are taken in complying with the orders of the court, I, through my lawyers, filed for an extension of time within which the operationalisation of Act 699 would take place.

“I deny that in the performance of my official duties as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana I have acted wilfully with the view to bring the administration of justice into disrepute or disregard,” she averred.

Background

The five Ghanaians sued the electoral management body on the basis that it had “gone to sleep” and refused to implement Act 699, 11 years after it was passed.

The “deliberate refusal” or inaction of the EC to implement the act, they argued, had robbed them of the chance to vote in three general elections (2008, 2012 and 2016) and other public elections.

They also contended that it was discriminatory for the EC to continue to register a category of Ghanaian citizens studying abroad or working in Ghana’s missions/embassies abroad to vote in public elections and referenda without including them.

In the judgement, which upheld the case of the five Ghanaians, the court held that the EC was deliberately dragging its feet and had made its mind not to implement Act 699 any time soon.

It was the court’s view that the EC failed to give any cogent reasons for the delay, describing the delay as “grievous, unreasonable and unjustifiable’’.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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Ban on fishing: Government lying to us – Fishermen wail

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Ban on fishing: Government lying to us - Fishermen wail

Ban on fishing: Government lying to us – Fishermen wail

Some canoe owners and fishermen in Cape Coast in the Central Region have accused government officials of owning Chinese fishing vessels used for inappropriate fishing on the coastal sea and lying to them on the ban on fishing.

The practice according to the fishermen, this has contributed to the excessive harvesting of fish posing danger to the fishing industry in the area.

In an exclusive interview with MyNewsGh.com, the fisher folks said despite government’s one month ban on fishing, some Chinese fishing vessels are still in the business of fishing.

They further called for a ban on the use of Chinese fishing vessels on the sea.

Government has imposed a one month ban on all fishing activities in the country with effect from May 15 to June 15, 2019.

The closed season is meant for all fleet comprising of canoes, inshore boats and trawlers, revealing that there is no truth in government’s explanation of measures put in place to increase fish stock.

They also accused the government of compromising some stakeholders and chief fishermen along the coastal areas to agree to observe the closed season.

According to the aggrieved fishermen, the increment of outboard motors and premix fuel as well as ban on fishing has collapsed the fishing industry and called on the government to do everything possible to revive the fishing industry as soon as possible.

Source: mynewsgh.com

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Parliament to haul Gender, Interior Ministers over 3 missing girls

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Parliament to haul Gender, Interior Ministers over 3 missing girls

Parliament to haul Gender, Interior Ministers over 3 missing girls

The Chairman of Parliament’s Gender, Children and Social Protection has said the Gender and Interior Ministers will be hauled to brief the nation on the status of the three missing Takoradi girls, when House resumes.

Dr. Kojo Appiah Kubi is hopeful the nation will be given a good briefing by the Gender Minister, Cynthia Morrison, especially the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.

”They superintend the operations of the Ghana Police Service and should be able to speak to the issue,” he told Raymond Acquah on news discussion show, Upfront on Thursday.

The Gender Minister in January this year spoke of strong indications that the girls -Ruth Quayson, Priscilla Blessing Bentum and Priscilla Koranchie- who are reported missing between August 2018 and January 2019, are still in Ghana.

She said although human trafficking has not been ruled out in the disappearance of the girls, there is a strong likelihood that the Nigerian kidnap syndicate believed to be keeping them, has not taken them out of the country.

A lot has happened since then so Dr Appiah Kube wants the two Ministers to update the nation.

Police CID boss gaffe

The Gender, Children and Social Protection committee chair wants the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to focus on finding the missing Takoradi girls.

Dr. Kojo Appiah Kubi says communication from the police on the matter has so far not been impressive causing families to be worried amidst calls for the CID boss to step aside.

“Certain things have happened in the matter regarding the involvement of the police being in the public domain, with press conferences that they have held, which did not augur well for the image of the Police Service.

“Certain statements were made which were not very good which shouldn’t have been made…the police should be acting more than talking,” he said.

The police have over the past months been engaged in a frantic search for the girls with other parts of the country similarly hit by kidnappings and abductions.

The main suspect in the kidnapping, Samuel Udoetuk-Wills is currently serving an 18-month jail term after he was found guilty by the Takoradi Hugh Court for escaping from lawful custody in December 2018, following his first arrest.

“We know where the girls are,” CID boss Maame Tiwa Addo-Danquah told reporters at a news conference last month. While confident of wrapping up the saga, the CID boss urged patience and assured the public “they are safe…very soon they will be brought back home.”

Then, families of the missing girls questioned why the police failed to disclose the information to them before going public.

The Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, criticised the action saying it was wrong for the investigating authorities to have disclosed information about the whereabouts of the three missing girls.

That information, which was put in the public domain by the CID boss she said, could put the lives of the girls in danger.

Weeks later, under-pressure Maame Tiwaa beat a retreat saying she was misunderstood when she announced three kidnapped girls had been located.

She told Accra-based Atinka TV, she ‘wanted to give the families hope’ by that announcement.

The Commissioner of Police has been criticised not only by her former boss Bright Oduro but many other people with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) giving her a 14-day ultimatum to find the girls or step down.

The MP for Atwima Kwawoma constituency in the Ashanti Region said it is not out of place for people to demand the head of the Maame Tiwaa.

“It is their right to demand that. My advice will be for us to be circumspect and wait a little bit,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged the public to rather volunteer information to assist the police find the kidnapped girls rather than make calls for the CID boss to step aside.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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NPP elects regional executives for new regions today

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NPP elects regional executives for new regions today

NPP elects regional executives for new regions today

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is today holding elections in all six newly created regions to select regional executives for the party.

The decision to elect new officers for the new regions including North East, Ahafo, Bono East, Western North, Oti and Savannah, was decided on during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at their headquarters.

The party has said that all the necessary preparations had been made for the elections currently ongoing in the respective areas.

Speaking to Citi News ahead of the elections, the Deputy New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen said the party machinery is battle ready to carry out a successful process.

“We are battle ready as a political party, all the national representatives have arrived at the various centers. You’ll see all the posters, everything flying around, last minute campaigning going on, so that is the summary of what is happening and the bottom line is that, we are battle ready.

Nominations for the polls opened on Tuesday, April 23, and closed on Friday, April 26, from the respective Regional Elections Committees.

Applicants seeking the regional executive positions paid a non-refundable nomination fee of GHC1,000.00 for the Chairperson position and GHC500.00 for other positions.

Vetting for the regional conferences took place from April 29 to 30, and vetting report presented on Thursday, May 2 after which the qualified candidates were cleared to contest in today’s elections.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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