Tuesday, December 06, 2016

WOYOME NEW DEAL STINKS

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Details are emerging about how a secret deal between Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the party’s reported bank roller, to enable him to execute a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project has been prepared.

The presidency is said to be neck-deep in the murky transaction - which pressure group OccupyGhana has described as another avenue to loot state funds - involving Mr. Woyome’s Anator Holding Company Limited.

The government, through Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, is allegedly putting pressure on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to fund the controversial public-private partnership arrangement; and it looks like the involvement of the SSNIT is what Anator Holding Limited is waiting for before going to the financial market to raise funds.

Woyome is asking for $8 million (GH¢35 million) from SSNIT, even though he owes the state GH¢51.2 million as money he fraudulently received as judgement debt.

A letter directing SSNIT to ‘strictly’ comply and take 24% shares in the bizarre SEZ project was signed by Ambassador William Ntow Boahene, a presidential staffer, on behalf of the Chief of Staff on October 4, 2016, and had said it was being done following the Attorney General’s advice.

The AG in its advice to the government prepared and signed by Deputy AG, Dominic A. Ayine on September 30, 2016, cautioned, “The Chief of Staff can issue directives with respect to SSNIT to take up the 24% stake in the project subject to compliance with the investment guidelines established by the National Pensions Act 2008.”

The AG had explained that “the issuance of governmental directives to a public body such as SSNIT does not necessarily violate the law.”

The letter indicated, “Where the Board of Trustees of SSNIT agrees with the directive to take up the stake, it would be advisable to conduct legal and financial due diligence on the proponent company in order to ensure that the public interest in the investment by SSNIT is protected.”

The letter accepting the presidency’s directive to SSNIT to be part of the project was written on August 19, 2016 by Albert W.S. Essamuah, Managing Director of Albert Essamuah Associates Limited, who are the Supervising Consultants of the project; and said they were appointed by the government through the Ministry of Transport under former minister, Dzifa Attivor and Anator Holding, proponents, to establish the Master Plan Implementation Office which comprises the legal technical and financial structure to organize, follow, and monitor the realization of the preliminary and implementation phases of the SEZ project.

The consultant then asked the Chief of Staff to issue an urgent directive to SSNIT through its Board Chairman, Joshua Alabi, to take up the 24% stake in the project on behalf of the people of Ghana because the trust had shown interest.

“By transferring the 24% stake holding of the government to SSNIT, the project transaction advisor, Ernst & Young, can progress with their work on raising capital for the project,” according to the letter.

$256m Stake
According to the consultant, the SEZ project has landed property totaling over 35,000 acres in Tokpo, Kablevu (963.42 acres), Todze (1,743.39 acres), Sogakope (2.7 acres) and in the          Sekondi-Takoradi petrochemical enclave (2,470 acres yet to be reclaimed); all together with a market capital value in their current user states over $256 million, adding, “It is expected that when the construction of the port commences, the value will escalate to over $25 billion.”

The consultant said that the Ministry of Transport and Anator Holding have jointly established an Escrow account from which verified payments will be made towards the project.

The consultant, in another letter dated July 14, 2016, written to the Lands Commission, assured it (commission) that Anator Holding has made arrangements for payment of compensation for land owners to be captured under the project.

They said Anator Holding would assign custody of the lands to UT Bank after the transfers had been done in the name of the Ministry of Transport.

The letter stated that Atuguba & Associates are the project’s local lawyers and that they would ensure that payments are made on the back of signed contracts to prevent future denials of compensation payments.




VOTE NDC OUT - AMIDU

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Former Attorney General Martin A.B.K. Amidu has said President John Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government are too corrupt to be retained in office.

According to the anti-corruption crusader, the time has come for Ghanaians to vote massively for a new government of integrity.

He cited a litany of corruption scandals involving President Mahama, saying “we are told this President is incorruptible, tell it to the marines.”

He said the only way for Ghanaians to retrieve GH¢51.2 million of state money illegally paid to NDC financier Alfred Agbesi Woyome is to vote massively against the NDC, who have been conniving with Woyome to keep the money.

Public Purse
“The representative democratic process provided for in our Constitution gives citizens the power to change corrupt governments and public purse looters like this President’s Government once every four years at the presidential elections,” Mr. Amidu said in his latest news release.

“Vote this President out on 7th December 2016 so that we do not need any further examination orally on oath of Woyome by me in person for you to get your money back. The new government will have the duty of getting your money back in the shortest possible time because of the confidence you would have reposed in it.”

“Do we wait another four years while a John Mahama Government drags its feet and shields the very lootees it has helped?” he quizzed.

Deceitful Gov’t
Mr. Amidu said, “If you vote the incumbent President back into power after 7th December 2016, I can assure you that no examination on oath by me will ever get your money back again,” adding “you will be re-electing a government that has been deceiving you about its intention to retrieve even a pesewa.”

“This is why if we want our money back plus every interest on it we must vote for a new President on 7th December 2016. Up until now, I have preferred to concentrate on the loot of GH¢51.2 million by the Government for Woyome with Austro-Invest, the incumbent Attorney General’s former client, and the Waterville case with over €47million unconstitutional loot by this Government again for Waterville.”

State Machinery
He said that anytime the issue of corruption had been leveled against the President and his assigns, the government machinery had come out strongly to defend the President, saying “the lies about the incorruptibility of this President do not hold up to scrutiny against the available evidence.”

“Let us look at examples of how the incumbent President has plundered the public purse. Do you remember SADA where the President’s own kinsmen and others who raped the public purse have never been dealt with? Why? Because the President could not see to its prosecution since the President is himself tainted by it.”

He recounted other projects such as the forestation of northern Ghana and the guinea fowls being reared for Upper East Region; projects that never existed.

Free Port Deal
The former AG also mentioned the Atuabo Free Port Agreement, saying “you cannot fail to see the corruption embodied in it with Government institutions like SSNIT, GHAPOHA and others being forced to contribute to the free carried interest which the foreign beneficiary was to pay to the Government of Ghana.”

He said even when President Mahama tried to act on corruption issues, he was selective in his approach, saying “this President pretends to prosecute only those he dislikes like Abuga Pele, the MP for Paga, and a few others,” adding “but he only uses the pretended prosecutions to whip his wayward Party members into line.”

$13 million
Mr. Amidu said as a condition for the President John Evans Atta Mills to sign what he called a controversial executive consent to permit the E.O. Group to assign its $300million shares to Tullow, the E.O. Group agreed to pay $13 million to the government for the development of the Western Region, and they called it corporate social responsibility and it was then Vice President Mahama who had ‘orchestrated’ the unlawful deal and said he (Amidu) refused to endorse the deal as Attorney General.

“It was Mahama who ensured that the $13 million was paid not to the Government of Ghana for the benefit of the people, but into private pockets, which the late President Mills was shocked to hear shortly before his death,” he said.



Monday, December 05, 2016

VOTE FOR CHANGE – NPP TELLS GHANAIANS

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 05, 2016

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has promised Ghanaians a corrupt-free government under him and implored the electorate to vote massively for him to win the December 7 presidential poll.

“I will not come into office and steal from you. I will not put all your money in my pocket. I am coming to serve you and give you honest leadership,” he said at the NPP’s final rally which was massively attended at the Ghana International Trade Fair Site at La, Accra, yesterday.

Nana Akufo-Addo promised, “If God grants us our wish, we will go there to serve you. We will bring policies that will move Ghana towards prosperity.”

The rally, on the theme, “The Battle is the Lord’s,” saw tens of thousands of NPP supporters from every nook and cranny of Accra poised to show the Mahama-led administration the exit this Wednesday.

Unlike other political parties which bus party members to rallies, Sunday’s event saw party members going for the event on their own volition.

Food vendors and persons selling party paraphernalia took advantage of the crowd to make good sales.

Massive Resources
Speaking passionately about his vision for the country, the NPP flag bearer told enthusiastic party supporters that Ghana has been blessed with massive resources but incompetence and corruption being exhibited by President John Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had stifled economic growth and thrown the nation into extreme hardship.

“These are hard times for Ghanaians. Parents cannot afford school fees; electricity bills are very high and everybody has been affected, but we will remove this hardship on Wednesday with our thumbs,” he said.

Flagship Policies
He reiterated NPP’s plans, including the restoration of nurses and teacher trainee allowances, introduction of free senior high school education, restore and put new life into the National Health Insurance Scheme and reinforce the adult education programme, among other things.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the NPP has plans to pump an amount of $1 million into each of the 275 constituencies annually to deal with issues of basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation, introduce the Zongo Development Fund as well as the rural industrialization programme where there is going to be ‘one district, one factory’ for the three northern regions.

Wind Of Change
“Within a few years, we are going to transform Ghana when we are given the mandate. The wind of change is blowing everywhere and we are taking the elephant to a historic victory,” he told the teeming party faithful who incessantly made the ‘change’ sign.

He accused President Mahama of leading his party people to engage in tribal and divisive politics saying, “In these last 48 hours, the NDC are going to make libelous and defamatory statements.

“Don’t pay heed to any of these things from the NDC. It is utter rubbish, lies and fabrication. We are going to tell them that that is not the Ghanaian way.”

Nana Addo said he was hopeful Ghanaians would vote for him and the NPP parliamentary candidates saying, “After the election, it is going to come from Madam Charlotte Osei’s own mouth that Nana Akufo-Addo is the president-elect.”

He assured Ghanaians that the NPP would go into the election in a peaceful manner, positing, “We will tell President John Mahama that ‘thank you and good bye!’”

Ghana Will Rise Again
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor predicted victory for the NPP in Wednesday’s crucial general election.

He said, “Ghana is going to rise again under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. We are at crossroads and we will do the right thing with the right leadership.”

He said but for the ruling National Democratic Congress truncating the forward march of Ghana, the country would have rubbed shoulders with other successful economies in the world.

Using the case of Joshua in the Bible, President Kufuor noted, “God has spoken. He says there is victory coming for the NPP and it is starting from Greater Accra, Eastern Region and Ashanti. We will take Brong-Ahafo and in the Central Region, I have a feeling we are taking there too.”

Mr Agyekum Kufuor said the NPP is the biggest party in Ghana currently and encouraged the supporters “to make our numbers count in the elections.”

He observed that the NPP is the only party that is capable of putting Ghana first adding, “It is a party of historic destiny. We used only six years to lift Ghana from extreme poverty to lower middle income status.”

He also said the NPP has the human resources to make Ghana better and urged Ghanaians to give them the mandate.

Woyomenomics
When he took his turn, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate of Nana Addo, accused Mahama’s NDC government of practising what he called, “Wayomenomics” and not proper economics (referring to the GH¢51.2 million paid to NDC financier Alfred Abgesi Woyome for no work done).

He underscored, “We are facing a defining moment in three days time on December 7, and the people of Ghana face a stark choice; it is a choice between competence and incompetence; it’s a choice between corruption and incorruptibility; it is a choice between a man of vision and a man who ‘cannot think far.’”

Dr. Bawumia added, “It is a choice about the future of this country and we have to go to the polls on December 7 and leave nothing to chance. We have to go and vote and stay there; count the ballots until Nana Addo is declared the President of Ghana.”

Juxtaposing the achievements of the erstwhile Kufuor administration to the current government’s, Dr Bawumia contended that change is inevitable because over the last four years, the NDC government under President John Mahama had demonstrated without any question that they are “the most corrupt government in the history of this country and are very incompetent.”

Dr Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana,  said it is worth noting that the NPP in eight years with resources of only GH¢20 billion under ex-President Kufuor, reduced taxes and moved the country from 3.7 percent to 8 percent in economic growth.

According to Dr. Bawumia, Ghanaians saw social interventions such as NHIS, National Youth Employment programme, free maternal care, school feeding programme, capitation grant, teacher training allowance, MASLOC, LEAP, Metro Mass Transit system (MMT) - all in eight years with only GH¢20 billion under Kufuor. 

He continued, “..and there you have this ‘edey bee keke’ government after eight years they have more resources than all governments from Nkrumah to Kufuor put together. They have resources of GH¢248 billion but they cannot pay for NHIS, National Youth Employment, school feeding programme, free maternal care programme, teacher training allowance, nursing training allowance; mass cocoa spraying programme has collapsed and today electricity is costing more than rent.”

He observed, “This is the government of John Mahama. That is the record and this is why we say if the NPP could build this economy with GH¢20 billion and you come and collapse it with GH¢248 billion, it shows without question that you are an incompetent government.” 





ROT AT MASLOC OVER TRICYCLE DEAL

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 05, 2016

The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), under the Office of the President, has been embroiled in a fresh corruption scandal.

MASLOC, which is a microfinance apex body responsible for implementing the government’s pro-poor credit scheme, recently awarded a contract for the supply of 1,000 motor tricycles to the tune of a whopping GH¢10,000,000.00.

It means that the NDC government, led by President John Mahama, who is seeking a re-election on Wednesday, is charging the taxpayer GH¢10,000 per tricycle when on the open market it is sold for GH¢5,000.

The contract was awarded on November 7, 2016 - just one month to the crucial general election - even though the Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, had written to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) as far back as May 4, 2016 for approval.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that three companies were given the contract to supply the tricycles and they were all said to be sole-sourced.

Documents showed that Crisjoe Company Limited, Spell Trust Limited and IEL Logistics Limited were the beneficiaries of MASLOC’s alleged inflated contract.

A letter written by Sedinam to the Chief Executive Officer of the PPA titled, “Request for approval to purchase vehicles using the restricted tendering,” said it formed part of MASLOC’s poverty alleviation agenda.

“The centre is by this application seeking the approval under Section 38 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and Amendment Act 914 to apply the restricted tendering method to procure specialized motorized tricycles,” the letter stated.

MASLOC then went ahead to list the three companies and described them as “reputable organizations duly registered in Ghana and have fulfilled their tax obligations.”

The letter indicated, “They are the only companies with these types of motors locally available and designed for passenger services.”

MASLOC also stated that “the urgency of the need for these motor tricycles limits our ability to source for other companies internationally,” adding, “The bucket sizes are bigger and this fulfills the requirements of our clients.

“On the open market, a tricycle is GH¢5,000.  MASLOC, just last week presented a sole-sourced contract to the National Procurement Authority to buy 1,000 tricycles for GH¢10,000,000! This means government has doubled the cost of one; when buying a thousand should even attract a bulk purchase discount,” a source said.



MORE NAMES MISSING ON EC REGISTER

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 05, 2016

Misunderstandings rocked the extended Special Voting again at many polling stations across the country yesterday, as many voters, including talk-show host, Kwame Sefa Kayi of Peace FM fame, could not exercise their franchise.

There was low turnout, compared to last Thursday’s, in an election for security agents, Electoral Commission (EC) staff and media practitioners, who will be on duty on Election Day - December 7.

The anomalies that characterized last Thursday’s poll could still not be rectified by the commission.

The incidence of voters being turned away because their names could not be found in the special register and for which reason the EC had to extend the exercise was still prevalent in yesterday’s exercise.

The EC has continuously given the assurance that it is ready to supervise ‘world-class’ elections on December 7, but the repeated incidence of possible disenfranchisement of voters as witnessed in the Special Voting is not convincing many that the Charlotte Osei-led election organizing body is really up to the task.

It was a baptism of fire for the new EC boss, as the process was a complete mess on Thursday, leading to the holding of an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to find a way out of the huge number of voters whose names were missing from the electoral roll.

The EC, after meeting all the stakeholders, decided to extend the special exercise after it became obvious that many voters, particularly security agents, were going to be disenfranchised.

The exercise was extended to ensure that the affected persons would be able to vote but it turned out to be a mess.

Kotobabi, Nima
At the Kotobabi Police Station, polling agents complained about many people not finding their names on the register and therefore unable to vote.

“I met a policeman who told me that he too was unable to vote because his name did not appear on the register,” according to an election observer.

“The earlier voting which saw a long queue was absent when I visited the place yesterday at about 9.30 am.”
The scene at the Nima Police Station was not different. The officials were idle while many media persons milled around the place.

The EC official there said that no new register was given to them and so persons who came with intent to vote could not do so.

Out of an expected 141 or so voters, only 10 had turned up at about 9.18 am yesterday.

Disappointed police personnel at the location - which serves as both divisional and district headquarters of the police - could not conceal their frustration.

The Nima Divisional Commander, ACP Vance Gariba, was engaged in an exercise with his officers to redirect National Democratic Congress (NDC) party supporters on motor bikes to an alternative route.

He did not want them to pass near the house of the standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, and create a problem. He certainly dreaded a repeat of the nasty scene which occurred over a fortnight ago.

At the Dansoman Divisional Police Command in the Ablekuma West Constituency, there was not much activity, as the number of voters had reduced drastically.

The situation at the James Town District and the Korle-Bu Police Stations in the Odododiodioo and the Ablekuma South Constituencies respectively were almost the same.

Sefa-Kayi
Popular broadcaster, Kwame Sefa Kayi, expressed frustration when he could not cast his ballot because his name had vanished from the list of special voters.
Sefa Kayi, a multiple award-winning host of Accra-based Peace FM's morning show - 'Kokrokoo' – programme, visited his designated polling centre at  Community 2 in the Tema West Constituency but was disappointed.

“My name has vanished,” he told Joy News yesterday.
"It's not just me...there are quite a number of us here and maybe I will go and try again on Wednesday,” the disappointed broadcaster indicated.

Dozens of security officers, media men and even the Electoral Commission's own officials, were unable to find their names on the special voters’ list, despite the second opportunity offered them.

Similar problems were recorded at Amasaman, Cantonments, La Dadekotopon in the Greater Accra Region and Tamale Central in the Northern Region.

EC’s List
The EC, in setting the rules for the extension of the Special Voting, released a total of 92,231 out of the 126,875 as voters who were able to take part in the first phase of the early voting that took place on Thursday, 1st December.

The EC’s Director of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, issued a statement indicating that the figure represented 72.69   percent of total turnout on December 1, maintaining that about 34,644 voters were eligible to vote in the extended exercise.

The EC gave the regional breakdown as Ashanti: 15,474 out of 19,710, representing 78.51%; Greater Accra: 16,474 out of 25,273, representing 65.18%; Volta: 9,672 out of 14,485, representing 66.77% and Central: 7,451 out of 10,358, representing 72.93%.

The rest included Western: 4,747 out of 7,016 (67.66 %); Eastern: 9,286 out of 12,995, which is 71.46%, Brong-Ahafo: 10,721 out of 13,716 (78.16%); Northern: 10,245 out of 13,134 (78%); Upper East: 6,327 out of 7,254 (87.20%) and Upper West: 1,828 out of 2,934, representing 62.30%.

“We wish to emphasise that the above figures are provisional at this stage,” the EC stated.





NPP CONCERNED OVER 2 DAY SPECIAL VOTING

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 05, 2016

The opposition New Patriotic New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed grave concern about the way in which the Electoral Commission (EC) handled the Special Voting reserved for security agents, EC staff and media practitioners who will be on duty on December 7.

Acting NPP General Secretary John Boadu, who released the statement yesterday, bemoaned the EC’s approach in solving the emerging problems.

“They were avoidable and bizarre errors that had compelled the commission to embark on an unprecedented second day of special voting.

He said the NPP had received information from credible sources within the commission that there might be a grand scheme to adjourn the general elections beyond Wednesday, December 7, saying “that would be a total disaster.”

“We will demand from the EC to give the greatest assurance to the nation by Monday that there will be no adjournment of polls after 5pm on December 7,” he said.

He said “the second day of voting is a probable plot to create confusion and avenues for manipulating the general elections, saying “We have read reports where security personnel, professionals trained in the art of discipline are expressing violent anger over their names been missing, frustrating them from voting. We do not want to imagine how bad things could get if this was repeated on December 7. We need the greatest assurance from the EC that this mess shall not be revisited on us on Wednesday.”

Mr Boadu, who is also the Director of Operations of the NPP campaign, stated that “the EC presented us with the complete register a while back, but it did not come up with the special lists, as well, as required by law. It took them days after our persistent requests before they supplied us with what we thought was the full lists of the Special Voters, Proxies etc. To our surprise, this was not the case as they kept updating the lists even after that, ending with this mess.”

He said, “We will not accept any situation where this mess is carried into the main voting exercise on Wednesday.”

“Everything must be done for every voter who shows up at the polling station before 5pm to vote. Again, nothing must be done to allow those who voted early or were listed to vote early to vote. We will not entertain any situation where the mess is carried forward to December 7.”




Sunday, December 04, 2016

BUGRI NAABU TO RETURN MAHAMA BRIBE

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, December 03, 2016

New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the Northern Regional Chairman of the party, Daniel Bugri Naabu, will return the alleged car and money bribe given to him (Naabu) by President John Dramani Mahama and his brother, Ibrahim Mahama.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Bugri Naabu accepted the bribe from President Mahama as a proof of his (Naabu’s) claim.

 “He himself has decided what he is going to do with it…that he will return the money, that is my understanding; that is what he has told me. That he is going to return the money. He kept the money for proof; but now that the matter has come out he intends to return the money.  He told me the story about this matter before it became public,” Nana Addo told a number of radio stations yesterday.

The NPP had dropped the bombshell at a press conference in Accra, alleging that the president and his brother (Ibrahim) tried to bribe Bugri Naabu with a brand new V6 Mitsubishi Pajero, GH¢500,000 with additional promise of a brand new V8 Toyota Land Cruiser and GH¢3.3 million for him to resign from the party and paint Nana Akufo-Addo as a dictator and “an anti-Northerner.”

“Around the same time, Ibrahim Mahama had tried to convince Bugri with money to leave the NPP to become a chief after Daniel Bugri Naabu’s uncle died, but Bugri refused,” the NPP had said.

Confirmation
Mr Bugri Naabu subsequently confirmed the attempted bribe by President Mahama and his brother.

He stated that “I don’t need bribe. If I needed bribe I would have pocketed the money they gave me and the cars and the promise of other money which is supposed to come. I would have done it.”

He claimed he was already wealthy when President Mahama was a student.

“When I started buying cars Mahama was a student at Ghana College (Ghanasco). He himself told me that I was having some cars and other things, and today you are presenting GH¢500,000 to me and a car. As for me I don’t need anybody to give me money.

“If John Mahama wanted to give me money, he would have given me money when he became the vice president. Is today that he knows that I need money? Today that you are failing you are calling me to come. I won’t come,” Bugri Naabu told journalists in Tamale.

Kyebi As Capital
Nana Akufo-Addo also rubbished vile propaganda by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) elements that he intends to relocate Ghana’s capital from Accra to his hometown, Kyebi in the Eastern Region, when he wins the December 7 election.

He described the allegation as ‘malicious’ and said all that the Mahama-led NDC government has been doing as the general election approaches is to divide Ghanaians along ethnic lines.

“They say when I come to power I will relocate the capital of Ghana to my hometown. What is the capital going to do in Kyebi? I have no intention in doing that at all,” Nana Akufo-Addo told Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM in Accra yesterday, adding that “it is a pity that this is the level of engagement they want to bring to Ghanaians. It’s like they don’t respect Ghanaians. What will make me, within a short period of presidency, move the capital from Accra to Kyebi because I am from there?”

The NPP leader took time to explain many policies the party intends to implement under his leadership when it wins the crucial contest on Wednesday, saying that job creation is his priority.

Smear Campaign
The NDC has been floating emails they claim are coming from Nana Akufo-Addo in which there are plans to relocate the capital to Kyebi where he was once a Member of Parliament (MP), but the NPP standard bearer said the speculations were false. “I don’t even send emails.”

“The capital of Ghana was brought to Accra from Cape Coast over 100 years ago. I’m shocked that someone will say that I’ll move the capital from Accra to Kyebi. This spurious claim is not different from what was leveled against President Kufuor by his detractors prior to the 2000 election, that he’ll take the sea from Accra to Kumasi in his home region when he wins power. It is petty that those we are contesting in this election will descend to this level of engagement. It is as though we don’t respect Ghanaians,” Nana recounted.

He wondered, “How on earth can someone say such a thing? How can it happen that in the short while that I become president, I’ll ignore this huge development in Accra and move the capital to Kyebi, because I came from the town.

“I think some people don’t understand that you come onto the scene to work for the progress of the country. If you are from Bole, does that mean you must only care about people from Bole?”

He also rubbished the claim that he was going to raise the status of the Okyenhene when he becomes president, saying, “I don’t understand why someone will come out with such malicious allegations; that I will elevate the position of Okyenhene just because of politics.

“I’m not trying to come to power to develop only Kyebi and make Okyenhene more powerful like it’s being alleged. My goal is to develop the entire country and introduce policies and programmes that will enhance the living conditions of Ghanaians.”

He said that the smear campaign against him by President Mahama and his party would never make him lose focus on helping to secure a better future for the country.

Police Selectivity
Nana Akufo-Addo berated the selective law enforcement being exhibited by the security agencies, particularly the police administration, and said it does not aid the consolidation of democracy in Ghana.

He cited instances where a cabinet minister’s brother openly declared that he has been killing people in Asunafo in the Brong-Ahafo Region but the police had not even invited him to establish the veracity of the claim.

He said the NPP is committed to ensuring a peaceful election but stressed that the party is going to be vigilant so that it is not shortchanged in the process.

Threat
He said that the president’s lack of vision with its attendant incompetence had unleashed bad governance on Ghanaians and killing the dreams of many people, especially the youth.

“Ghana is sitting on gold but because of bad governance by President Mahama, Ghanaians are suffering. His leadership style is a threat to the future of this country,” Nana Addo observed.

Show Boy
He said when given the mandate to lead Ghana, he would like to be remembered as a president who worked hard to bring prosperity to the country because a future NPP government will commit itself to total economic development, shaped by better policies and programmes.


“My aim is to create jobs in the city and across the country. People will laud me for that rather than changing the capital to my hometown. I will be nicknamed the ‘Show boy’ for that. That is what I want to do,” he said.



EC EXTENDS SPECIAL VOTING

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced the extension of the Special Voting exercise reserved for security agents, EC staff and media practitioners who will be on duty on Election Day - December 7.

The extension is being done as a result of the widespread confusion that marred the exercise on Thursday, leaving many eligible voters disenfranchised.

It was a baptism of fire for the new EC boss, Charlotte Osei, as the process was a complete mess, leading to the holding of an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to find a way out of the huge number of voters whose names were missing from the electoral roll.

There were widespread reported cases of stranded voters at many polling stations nationwide because they could not locate their names in the specially prepared register and had to be turned away in disappointment.

The commission’s Director of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzapkasu, issued a statement yesterday confirming that all the stakeholders in the election had agreed that a mop-up exercise should be done for the special voters tomorrow.

“The Electoral Commission wishes to announce that following a meeting with the top hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service and an emergency meeting of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on Wednesday, December 1, 2016, it has been agreed that in view of the challenges encountered during the Special Voting on December 1, 2016, the Special Voting should be continued on Sunday, December 4, 2016,” the statement said.

The commission said, “It was established that in numerous cases, the persons affected were those who could not take advantage of the earlier transfer window to transfer their votes to the constituency where they wished to vote. This was the reason why such persons were assigned by the commission to constituencies where they registered to vote and not where they will be assigned to work on Election Day or where they are currently deployed.”

According to Mr. Dzapkasu, “Some security agencies did not submit any list of officers at all to take part in the Special Voting. Consequently, there was no way such officers could vote in the Special Voting,” adding, “Persons who transferred their votes and whose names appeared on the Special Voters’ list but who could not vote on December 1, 2016 should be allowed to vote on Sunday, December 4, 2016.”

Mr Dzakpasu also said, “Persons who did not transfer their votes, but whose names appeared on the Special Voters’ list, can only vote in the constituency where they are registered. It is important to note that the opportunity to participate in the Special Voting is not an opportunity to transfer one's vote.

“Voters whose names are included in either the earlier list or the updated one provided to the political parties should be allowed to vote. It must be noted that the number of special voters on both lists are the same, except that the commission updated the earlier list by properly designating the constituencies to ensure that special voters vote only in constituencies where they are registered in line with the law.”

The EC man explained, “The EC would provide all political parties with a list of voters who voted on December 1, 2016. This is to enable them track those who are eligible to vote on December 4. Persons whose names are not on the Special Voters’ list would not be allowed to take part in Special Voting. The commission, therefore, urges the hierarchy of the security agencies to deploy such affected persons to work on Election Day, in areas close to the polling stations where they are registered, to enable them to vote on December 7, 2016. Such persons would be given priority at the polls to vote early.”

The EC also indicated, “All voters whose names are included in the Special Voters’ list are legally included on the Absent Voters’ list at their original polling stations. Therefore, their barcodes would be deactivated and they would be unable to vote on December 7, 2016. In order to guarantee the integrity of the ballots already cast on December 1, 2016, the commission will grant the agents of the political parties and the respective Returning Officers, access to the Biometric Verification Devices in the Police Armory on Friday, December 2, 2016 to reconfirm the number of persons who actually voted on December 1, 2016 before the device counter automatically resets itself to zero on Saturday, December 3, 2016.”

“The commission would provide new ballot boxes for the Special Voting on Sunday, December 4, 2016 and political parties would provide their seals for the additional ballot boxes. Political party representatives would be allowed access to inspect the ballot boxes in the Police Armory during the period between December 2 and December 7, 2016 when the ballots of the Special Voting exercise are counted and declared.”





Friday, December 02, 2016

PINK SHEET CONTRACT TRIGGERS MORE QUESTIONS

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, December 02, 2016

It is turning out that the contract awarded to Aero Vote by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the printing of the Statement of Polls and Declaration of Results Forms popularly called Pink Sheets appeared inflated.

Some local companies were said to be willing to execute the same contract for less but the EC ignored them and gave it to Aero Vote for GH¢7.2 million although the commissioner Mrs. Charlotte Osei had variously insisted they wanted a value-for-money transaction. 

Possible Intraction
Documents available to DAILY GUIDE showed that there was a possible breach of procurement in the whole selection process.

The actual tender at the opening was GH¢8.95 million which the EC announced Aero Vote – a company that was bankrupt as at 2013 but relocated to Ghana somewhere in November last year – as the winner but by the time it reached the public, the amount had changed to GH¢7.2 million.

Recently when the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) raised issues about the propriety of Aero Vote’s contractual obligations, the Communications Director at the EC, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu issued a statement condemning the NPP for raising what he deemed as ‘false’ alarm.

“It is false that Aero Vote was awarded a contract worth US$8.95 million for the printing of the Statement of Polls and Declaration of Results Forms. The contract awarded to Aero Vote by the Commission is way below US$2 million in value (GHS7.2 million),” he said among other things in the statement.

Deafening Silence
Strangely, the EC has not been able to explain to the public how they ended up with GH¢7.2 million as the contract sum after Aero Vote had quoted GH¢8.9 million at the opening of the actual tender.

According to the procurement rules, any transaction worth more than GH¢1 million should automatically go through the Central Tender Board for concurrent approval but in this Pink Sheet contract which the EC says cost the taxpayer GH¢7.2 million, it does not appear that rule was followed.

Besides, the EC Boss, a lawyer, is said to be the Chairperson of the commission’s Entity Board and the Central Tender Board was allegedly ignored.

Controversial Letter
The EC Boss, in a controversial letter to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in September asking the authority to re-open the process and admit Aero Vote to be part of the process, had laid emphasis on the issue of value-for-money as her basis for getting the company in.

Curiously, the EC as far back as October 2015 had written to PPA about the procurement of electoral materials including the pink sheets and had presented a list of companies that were going to be part of the process excluding Aero Vote.

However, eyebrows were raised last September, one clear year after the submission of the list, when the EC Boss wrote again to the PPA asking the authority to include Aero Vote in the process.

Aero Vote Existence
A source told DAILY GUIDE that he believed that as at October 2015 when the EC Boss was writing to the PPA to submit the list of companies to be engaged in the tendering process, Aero Vote was not even registered in Ghana.

 “Everything was given to the highest bidder. There was nothing like competitive prices as claimed by the EC Chairperson,” a source said, adding “the whole thing looked already fixed. You could see that the commission had made up its mind to award the contract to a particular company.”

Procurement Breach
The source further said that Aero Vote’s selection appears to be in conflict with the procurement laws because the tender laws says that every participating company must have two years account (balance)sheet but that cannot be said to have been done.

Documents available to DAILY GUIDE showed that apart from Aero Vote, three other companies namely Buck Press, Acts Commercials and Innolink all put in bids but what was presented by local giant Buck Press looked very affordable to the taxpayer but was overlooked.

Highest Bidder
Buck Press’ bid had a sub-total of GH¢3.582,830.00 at a VAT/NHIL rate of GH¢626,995.25 and a grand total of GH¢4.209,825.25 while Aero Vote had a sub-total of GH¢7.617,535.25 with a VAT/NHIL rate of GH¢1.333.068.67 and a grand total of GH¢8.950,603.92.

Acts Commercials presented a bid with a sub-total of GH¢7.753,005.00 at a VAT/NHIL rate of GH¢1.356,775.88 and a grand total of GH¢9.109,780.88 while Innolink submitted a sub-total of GH¢7.817,578.15 at a VAT/NHIL rate of GH¢1.368.076.18 and a grand total of GH¢9.185,654.33.

Spirited Defence
The EC Boss clarified the issues on BBC when she put up a spirited defence for Aero Vote saying “the company has always printed it (pink sheets) for us and has now relocated to Ghana which made their pricing better for us.”

However, the source contested Ms. Osei’s claim saying the company had never been engaged by Ghana in previous elections.

He said there could not be any extra cost as claimed by the EC because the tender documents showed clearly that the election materials will be delivered at their warehouse directly.