Wednesday, August 16, 2017

VICTOR SMITH IS USELESS - ANYIDOHO

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has taken a swipe at colleague party member - Victor Smith - describing him as someone who speaks like a ‘useless man.’

 “Victor Smith should not sit on the touch-line and behave like a useless man. If he is man enough, he should jump into the arena and join the fight and stop talking from the talking touch-line,” Koku Anyidoho fired on Okay FM in Accra yesterday.

Mr. Smith, who is the immediate-past High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, had queried the national executives of the NDC for inviting former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B.K. Amidu, to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him (Amidu), and failing to invite former President Jerry John Rawlings - who he believes was also bringing the name of the party into disrepute.

Victor, former Eastern Regional Minister, said it would be unfair to summon Martin Amidu before the NDC Disciplinary Committee and leave out ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, as many believe the utterances of these two stalwarts caused the NDC a lot of problems. 

The former envoy’s comment was in reaction to the two members of the NDC - Evans Amankwaa and Abigail Mensah -  who petitioned the party’s hierarchy to take disciplinary action against Mr Amidu, citing his endless epistles and public utterances that had brought the NDC into disrepute.

 Quoting Article 47 of the party’s constitution, the two are convinced that the conduct of Mr Martin Amidu is in breach of the party’s constitution. 

According to Mr Smith, “Personally, I think it will be difficult that the party leadership will summon Martin Amidu over his utterances that bring the party into disrepute without calling on ex-President Rawlings. You can’t call one party stalwart and leave the other; that will be really bad. We need to look for a better way of dealing with this situation,” he told Accra-based Kasapa FM.

Currently, two failed NDC parliamentary candidates want the party’s leadership to discipline Mr. Amidu for saying among other things, that then President John Dramani Mahama had appointed Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) in order for her to rig the 2016 general election for the then ruling party.

Mr. Smith, who was once spokesperson for former President Rawlings but got fired through a text message, did not understand why Mr. Amidu should be invited by the party but Mr. Rawlings - the founder of the NDC - should not.

Mr. Smith’s utterance appeared to have irked Mr Koku Anyidoho, who felt the former High Commissioner was trying to dictate to the party’s executives on the issue.

“I am not afraid of him; every time you sit on the touch-line and want to indict the National Executives,” an incensed Koku Anyidoho slammed Mr. Smith, adding, “So Victor Smith, if he is man enough and brave, he can petition the party against Rawlings at the headquarters.”

He continued, “We are getting sick and tired of him; he is not an executive member of the party and he should stop disturbing our ears. He should petition against Rawlings and stop the useless fight he is propagating in the party, trying to indict the national executives. He has said things but I have chosen to ignore him.

“If he is a man with enough courage and brevity, he should go ahead. If he is a man enough he should go into the ring and fight and stop indicting national executives on the touchlines. If he is a man I am challenging him to petition against the former president and we will look into it. He is not an executive member of the party…..he should stop disturbing our ears.” 






Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NDC ATTACK DOGS LOOSE SAYS AMIDU

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Former Attorney General, Martin A.B.K. Amidu has described two top opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) officials as ‘attack dogs’ who are engaging in what he called ‘monotonous acts of character assassination.’

According to the former AG, the NDC National Organizer, Kofi Adams and the party’s deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho are deliberately making unfounded allegations against him.

He said they should take notice that he would not be cowed.

Mahama Surrogates 
He said all those attacking him since he started anti-corruption crusade in the party belong to what he called “Mahama Surrogate NDC Faction.”

“I am for peace but if the Mahama surrogate NDC faction wants war it will be taboo to the values of the core NDC grounded in the 4th June and 31st December Revolutions for me to run away from it,” Mr. Amidu said in his latest news release.

“They ought to be warned that their modus operandi will not lead to reasoned dialogue and reconciliation with me but may push me to invoke my right pursuant to Article 2 and 130 of the Constitution so that the Supreme Court may settle once and for all whether or not under Article 55 of the Constitution a political party can gag a citizen from defending, and upholding the Constitution demonstrated with a Supreme Court judgement simply because he is perceived to be a member of that political party.”

Persistent Lies
He said specifically that Koku Anyidoho and Kofi Adams have continuously claimed that he (Amidu) was on the payroll of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government but said he was unperturbed.

“The strategy of the NDC has been to unleash the National Organizer and Deputy General Secretary of the NDC not to answer the pertinent issues raised in my article but to, as usual, attack my person and assassinate my character, honour and integrity.”

Inactive Role
Mr. Amidu, per his argument, appears to be on his way out of the NDC when he asked “Can someone from the NDC tell Ghanaians how active I have been in the NDC and how many times I have attended or been invited by the National Executive, Regional Executive, Constituency Executive or Branch Executive since 1st January 2012 to any meeting or activity of the Congress? None whatsoever!”

“I met some of the executives only when the founder, President Rawlings, has invited me to join his side of the delegation when the executive or visiting foreign delegations have an appointment with him. I am and will remain on the side of the man of honour, integrity and anti-corruption warrior, President Jerry John Rawlings, who stands at the core of the NDC defending the 1992 Constitution,” adding “I will never, ever be on the side of the incompetent, corrupt and looting John Dramani Mahama Government and its surrogates of the so-called New NDC.”

“Is it now that the NDC is waking up to the fact that I am a party member who should not pursue constitutional rights against the inept and corrupt Mahama Government?”

Breach of Trust
Mr. Amidu repeated his claim that former President John Evans Atta Mills (deceased) breached the longstanding trust between them in the heat of what has now become the infamous Woyome GH¢51.2 million scandal.

He said the late President’s betrayal played a role in his resignation from the NDC government as AG.

Mr Amidu said it was only when he showed then Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga the letter naming all those involved in the Woyome scandal that “the Government stopped spreading the false allegation that I did not name the gargantuan criminals.”

“As for Koku Anyidoho’s recent timid insinuation that I may be on the payroll of the NPP, it is an old and tested lie taking its roots from the ganging up from the first publications of the NDC rented press starting from 3rd January 2012, accusing me of favouring the NPP and prosecuting NDC supporters and financiers,” he fired, adding “I had intelligence back then that Koku Anyidoho as the Communications Director at the Presidency was the conduit that was used to orchestrate the personal attacks and character assassinations, because I was exposing those involved in Woyomegate.”

He said, “Only bootlickers and corrupt officials fear to speak the truth to fellow citizens and to power. I had no skeletons in my cupboard to be blackmailed with so there was nothing to worry about. That is the benefit of integrity and uprightness in public office.”

EC Boss Allegation
He said his suspicion that then President John Mahama had brought in Charlotte Osei as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (NDC) to rig the election for the NDC was never challenged when the party was in power but could turn around to say they were going to investigate him (Amidu) when they (NDC) have become powerless in opposition.

“The Mahama Government was in power and controlled the policing apparatus of the Republic, but because it knew that I was speaking the truth it dared not to investigate or ask me for substantiation of the allegation,” he said, adding “So how come that out of government the incompetent John Dramani Mahama surrogates in the NDC, which was not the appointing authority under Article 217 of the 1992 Constitution, now have the audacity to ask me to produce evidence on an incompetent appointment they did not make?”




EC BOSS REJECTS AFARI-GYAN MANSION OVER GH¢1M DEMAND

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 14, 2017

Details are emerging that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, demanded GH¢1 million to renovate a bungalow before she could occupy it as her official residence.

Sources say the building, located behind the El Wak Stadium, closer to the Cantonments Post Office and the Lands Commission in Accra, does not appear to be dilapidated but the current EC boss allegedly wants the taxpayer to spend a whopping GH¢1 million for its renovation alone.

The architectural designs are showing that the building, which was used by former EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, might have to be pulled down and reconstructed to meet the taste of the new chairperson.

The unnamed staff of the commission who want Ms. Osei impeached, have claimed that the chairperson brought a bill of over GH¢1 million as the cost for the renovation.

“The chairperson has submitted an estimate of over GH¢1 million for the renovation of the official bungalow without recourse to the commission or appropriate staff in the commission,” they said in the petition to President Akufo-Addo, which has since been forwarded to the Chief Justice (CJ) for the necessary action.

Currently, Mrs. Osei is said to be occupying the bungalow reserved for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) – where she previously worked as head – and does not appear to be moving out anytime soon, if the renovation at the EC facility is not done.

Already, the Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Corporate Service, Georgina Opoku-Amankwaa, whom Ms. Osei has accused together with Amadu Sulley – the Deputy in-charge of Operations – of sabotage, has claimed in her defence that her boss said the building was not fit for her status.

“She chose to live in the accommodation provided by the NCCE claiming that the official residence her predecessor used is not fit for her status,” Ms Opoku-Amankwaa said in her response.

“It was recently that she requested for a total refurbishment of the official bungalow. I was later informed by my director of finance that she submitted a bill and architectural drawings which indicated demolition and rebuilding the entire structure,” the Deputy Chairperson added.

Rebuttal
The EC chairperson has always maintained that she was never given an office to operate from as the head of the commission, but her claim has been rebutted by Mrs Opoku-Amankwaa.

“The claim by the chairperson that she was never given an office is false. An allegation like this gives the impression that the commission was created after the chairperson was appointed. Since 1992, the commission had been chaired by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan for over two decades,” the deputy said.

“Mrs. Charlotte Osei was appointed after a successful retirement of the then chairman. Upon assumption of office, she was given the office of her predecessor. This office is situated in the same premises of the two deputies. Strangely, she refused to take up the office, claiming that she had a security audit conducted by a security detail from the Office of the President and indicated that the office was not fit and safe for her occupation,” the Deputy Commissioner averred.

Human Resource Directorate
She continued, “Rather, she disorganized the whole Human Resource Directorate by choosing the directorate’s office as a place of her preference. Since this office is just next to her former office as NCCE chair, she found it convenient for use. She accordingly instructed the then Director of Human Resource who was occupying that office, to vacate the office for her use.”

She claimed that the chairperson, after taking over the HR Department, allegedly “contracted her own artisans to do a complete makeover fitting with shower cubicle fittings and furniture in the office. A bill covering the works done was submitted for reimbursement but was subsequently withdrawn after it was vehemently opposed for non-compliance of the procurement process.”

She continued, “I wish to state emphatically and unequivocally that I was not privy to any of these arrangements, although this lies within my realm of responsibility. She (chairperson) preferred to deal with the directors.”

Chairperson’s Response
Mrs. Osei has parried the allegations and said in her preliminary statement that “The estimate for renovation of a house indicates the level of work required to be done in the house.

“It is not a contract and there is no breach of the law occasioned by submitting an estimate. It is in fact, the Deputy Chair, Operations (Amadu Sulley), that is in breach of the process reflected in his actions in 2015 when without recourse to the chairperson, the Deputy Chair (Operations) verbally authorized a director to undertake repairs to the chairman’s official residence for the use of the said director.

“Upon submission of the estimate of works done, it would have been expected that the Deputy Chair CS, (Mrs. Opoku-Amankwaa), who oversees administration, would have started a proper procurement process for the renovation of the chairperson’s residence,” she explained. She added, “To date, no work has been initiated and the chairperson is still unable to move into the official residence, two years after appointment.

“In the same vein, the chairperson was never provided with an office three months after joining the commission. She had to initiate the moves herself to get suitable office premises and furnish it personally.

Probe
Last week, the Chief Justice reportedly wrote officially to the embattled EC chairperson to respond to the allegations that could lead to her impeachment.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the letter from the Office of the Chief Justice was delivered on Friday, August 4, and the two other commissioners –  Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku-Amankwa – have equally been written to, to react to the petitions against them, seeking their removal from office as well.

Legal Impediment
However, before the formal preliminary investigation commences, a private citizen, Ayamga Yakubu Akoglo, has filed a writ at the Supreme Court, seeking to prevent the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, from going ahead to investigate the EC boss.

The plaintiff wants the suit, which also cites the Attorney General, to declare the action being initiated against the EC boss by the Judicial Council as unconstitutional, void and of no effect.

He is claiming that the issues raised in the petition against Mrs Charlotte Osei had nothing to do with her core functions as prescribed under Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution and as a result, did not warrant her removal per Article 46 (1) of the Constitution, describing the petition as ‘defective.’

Legal experts say that if a prima facie case is established against any of the commissioners during the preliminary investigation, the Chief Justice, per the rules, will then set up a committee to fully investigate the issues and a report submitted to the president.

A litany of allegations have been leveled against Mrs. Osei, including spending GH¢3.9 million to partition an office, receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the previous government, spending about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) had authorized her to use only $7.5 million, as well as attending Cabinet meetings under President John Mahama’s administration, among other things.

The said $14 million contract was allegedly awarded to her crony without the PPA’s approval.


PILGRIMS NOW LEAVE TAMALE

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, August 12, 2017

At long last the much-awaited aircraft to airlift prospective pilgrims from the Tamale Airport touched down yesterday evening to the delight of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.

They had kept wake in Tamale since their arrival there on Thursday for the Hajj 2017 flight to Saudi Arabia.

The delay of the flight caused untold hardships for the stranded pilgrims, their relatives, the vice president and the National Chief Imam, who decided to stay on until the departure of the first batch of the pilgrims.

A few hours before the touchdown of the aircraft, Dr Bawumia, Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu and the Northern Regional Minister visited the over 500 pilgrims to give them pep talks.

The Chief Imam, after praying for a successful resolution of the problem, encouraged them to take heart as the pilgrimage comes with occasional challenges.

Dr Bawumia, on the other hand, explained that an aircraft which was on its way to airlift the pilgrims developed a technical problem and had to return to its Jeddah base.

He announced to the relief of the stranded pilgrims that a replacement was airborne and was due to touch down any moment from then. Indeed, it did not take too long for the aircraft to touch down.

In its explanation earlier, the Ghana Hajj Board, through its Head of Communications, explained that they had suffered a last-minute delay in the airlift of 506 pilgrims from Tamale to Madina, Saudi Arabia.

The board corroborated what the vice president had said to the effect that the company handling the airline called NAS Air or FlyNas, which aircraft was supposed to touch down in Tamale Thursday evening to airlift the first batch, said it had suffered a technical hitch and therefore could not make the trip from Jeddah.

Although some of the pilgrims had complained about not being sufficiently informed about the reason why they had not been able to make the trip, the Hajj Board’s Head of Communications, Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomda, mentioned that the board told the pilgrims in clear language that the cause of the delay was from the airline and not the board.

“As at 1:30 pm word had come from Jeddah that an aircraft was airborne for Tamale to lift the first batch,” Alhaji Gomda said, adding, “We are expecting the plane to touch down this evening (Friday) by 6:30 pm.”

He also said that the Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, had sent a strongly-worded correspondence to the management of the airline expressing concern about the turn of events.
The communications director said Sheikh I.C. Quaye specifically requested the airline to consider doubling the second flight to cater for the shortfall.

“They have embarrassed us and we have every right to register our protest about the way they have treated us,” he said.

At the flagging off ceremony last Thursday, Sheikh I.C. Quaye had said, “We have made all the necessary arrangements for your comfort; we have entered into agreement with various housing and food agents and agencies who will provide and meet all your needs.”

According to him, buses had been provided to convey pilgrims from Harab to Mecca and that the packages include three square meals for all pilgrims.

Sheikh I. C Quaye hinted that President Akufo-Addo had vowed to put an end to the seeming annual sufferings encountered by pilgrims. 

He indicated that a welfare team had therefore been put together to ensure the general welfare of pilgrims and to give assistance to the aged and the weak, with all their medical assistance.
An advance team had been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to prepare the grounds and receive pilgrims on arrival at Madina and Mecca.

Sheikh I. C. Quaye advised the pilgrims to observe the laws of the Saudi Kingdom and also pray for the country, as well as its leaders for God’s guidance. 

He urged pilgrims to avoid traveling with any prohibited items such as narcotics.

“We want all of you to go to Mecca and perform the hajj with comfort and ease and while in the holy land; be keepers of one another, stay in unity and promote a common cause.”

The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, expressed his gratitude to the various chiefs, traditional rulers, Imams and opinion leaders in the region for their effort to ensure a successful hajj.





EC BOSS RECRUITS MAHAMA BOY FOR TOP JOB

By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, August 12, 2017

It Is emerging that Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, hired James Afedo – one of former President John Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicators – as her Communications specialist ahead of the 2016 general elections. 

James Afedo was a lackey of Stan Dogbe, the trusted aide of then President Mahama, and was being paid $2,500 monthly (about GH¢10,000).

He was among the NDC faithful, who formed the ‘Movement for Mahama,’ to champion John Mahama’s 2012 presidential aspiration – which he won controversially. Afedo was the group’s spokesperson.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that when the eC boss’ attention was drawn to Afedo’s connection with the NDC, she brushed it aside, and goaded him on to work for her, raising suspicions about the alleged agenda to fix the election for the NDC.

Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Martin Amidu, has claimed that Charlotte osei’s appointment was to aid in rigging the 2016 election for John Mahama.

The allegations of engaging the NDC man first surfaced in the petition filed by some unnamed staff of the commission who are seeking to trigger impeachment proceedings against Mrs. Osei.

Currently, the EC boss and her two deputies – Amadu Sulley, in-charge of operations and Georgina opoku-Amankwa, incharge of Corporate Services – have been trading accusations and counter accusations since the petition was sent to President Akufo- Addo.

Another petition has roped in the two deputies over allegations against them, and a committee to be set up by the Chief Justice is expected to investigate the three – including Mrs osei – after the president had forwarded the petitions to Sophia Akuffo (the Chief Justice).

The petitioners have claimed that the money being used to pay the consultants is a grant from the USAID and that it was being done without recourse to the Ministry of Finance.

“The Commission procured grant from USAID as part of the support of the 2016 General election. This facility was signed by the then Minister of Finance. By Article 175 of the 1992 Constitution and in line with Section 5 of the Financial  Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654), these grants constitute Public Funds. “As part of the implementation of this grant the Chairperson, Mrs. Charlotte osei, without the commission’s approval, unilaterally recruited a Personal Assistant and a Communication officer and paid them $1,500 and 2,500 United States respectively.

This was done without clearance from the Ministry of Finance,” the petitioners averred.

However, in her preliminary response, the eC boss shot back at her accusers, saying, “The Chairperson and the commission did not require the permission of the Ministry of Finance to utilize funds agreed with the USAID in the manner agreed by USAID in the Funding contract.

“All expenditure of donor funds is carried out in line with the policies of the donor agency. The petitioners would have to provide further proof of this requirement and show how in disbursement of other donor funds the commission has sought the permission of the Ministry of Finance.” 

She said, “The Chairperson followed the rules of the funding agency to the letter,” adding, “The Chairperson does not need the approval of the commission to appoint temporary staff and consultants deemed necessary and agreed in the Grant letter.

“Indeed, as part of the basket of donor support provided to the commission for the election, it was agreed by donor partners that the commission would require a communications consultant and that a personal assistant should be recruited for the Chairperson to support with managing the heavy workload of the election year.”

DAILY GUIDE understands that several pieces of advice to the EC that it was not prudent to appoint an NDC communicator as a Communications Consultant for the commission fell on deaf ears.

“The specialist was the person who was putting together the numerous press releases in the heat of the election and handing them over to the commission’s spokesperson to deal with the media,” a source claimed.


Friday, August 11, 2017

DOG FIGHT IN NDC…OBEN JOINS FRAY

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, August 11, 2017

The recent ‘epistle’ penned by Valerie Sawyerr, a former Deputy Chief of Staff that sought to castigate former President Jerry John Rawlings and Martin A.B.K. Amidu, former Attorney General, has caused a major confusion in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The ensuing impasse has become so intense that some political analysts have expressed apprehension about the future of the leading opposition party - which just left government.

There are currently two visible warring factions – the camps of Rawlings and Mahama - who are busily trying to outdo each other in their respective bids to take control of the party before the 2020 general election.

Valerie, who enjoyed a cozy working relationship with John Mahama in a move akin to a proxy war, appeared to have set the tone when she accused former President Rawlings, founder of the NDC, and Martin Amidu of helping to send the NDC into opposition with their unjustified criticisms against the party.

Ms Valerie Sawyerr, whose father - Harry Sawyerr (of blessed memory) - served Rawlings as Education Minister, attacked the NDC founder for creating the impression that he is not corrupt, before turning her attention to Mr. Amidu, whom she described as ‘pompous with over-bloated ego.’

‘Saint’ Rawlings
In the ensuing confusion, a former NDC National Chairman, Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah - who left the party to form the now defunct Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) in 2006 and returned to the NDC in 2011 - has jumped into the fray, praising Valerie for the audacious move to attack Rawlings.

Obed said he sent congratulatory message to Valerie for standing up to the former president.

“It is good for the country…people should speak their mind,” he said.

Dr. Asamoah, who served as the Foreign Minister and later Attorney General and Minister of Justice under President Rawlings, wondered, “Why should the division in the party be deepened because someone has spoken her mind?”

Dr. Asamoah, a former close pal of Rawlings, said on Joy FM that many people in the NDC were not happy with the manner in which the former president was criticizing everything in the party.

"Everybody else is a crook; he (Rawlings) is a saint. That is his attitude... no human being is a saint. Everybody else has his difficulties here and there but I must say that by and large, he (Rawlings) is way above average in terms of honesty and integrity. At least he tries more than the others. Everybody is in good standing to criticize; that has been my philosophy -  anybody should have his freedom to speak his mind."

Mills Control
He said the former president, per his actions, wanted to control the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, that was why he selected him; but when the Prof. became somewhat unyielding after winning power, it did not settle well with Mr. Rawlings.

"In many ways it was quite obvious to me that he (Rawlings) wanted Professor Mills because he felt he could control him but when Prof Mills got the leadership and then won power, he [Mills] played an independent role and I think that didn't sit well with him [Rawlings], and that is why he started attacking him."

"People should not just worship people just because they happen to be Mr A or Mr B. I hate hero worship, particularly when it goes to the extent of ignoring the falls and mistakes of the person."

Sacking Rawlings
Alhaji Iddrisu Bature, an NDC activist, who runs the pro-opposition The Al-Hajj newspaper, has called for the sacking of the NDC founder from the party because he claims Mr. Rawlings is indispensable.

He said on Citi FM that “He Jerry (Mr. Rawlings) has forfeited any legitimate right to remain the founder of the party. When the party ahead of 2016 election advertised that it was going to hold a rally at Mantse Agbona and he was the special guest, he issued a statement he is not going to be a part of it, because he has not been invited. Rawlings has forfeited his right to remain the founder of the NDC. Nobody is above discipline in any party.”

NPP Example
Bature, who criticized the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for suspending leading members of the party, has now seen wisdom in the NPP action, saying that the NDC should follow the NPP’s example of cracking the whip in order to instill party discipline.

“President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP have demonstrated that nobody is beyond discipline in any political party. They took disciplinary action against high ranking members of their party and yet convincingly won the election. NDC can do the same; nobody is beyond sanctions in NDC, not Jerry Rawlings, not Martin Amidu,” Bature, a friend of the Mahamas, charged.

NPP Payroll
Koku Anyidoho, a deputy General Secretary of the NDC, has gone to the extent of saying Mr. Amidu was on the payroll of the NPP after the former AG had accused then President Mahama of appointing Charlotte Osei as the Chairperson of the EC in order to rig the 2016 elections.

Rawlings Camp
Those clearly in the camp of former President Rawlings have not hidden themselves and have been firing from all cylinders
Michael Teye Nyaunu, former MP for Lower Manya Krobo who is a longstanding Rawlings ally, ripped into Valerie Sawyerr, saying she stooped so low to call the NDC founder names.

“As a matter of fact, when the revolution was founded, where was she and what role did she play to the extent that she could now insult the founding father like this – I am disappointed in her,” he said.

Poster Girl
Dela Coffie, an NDC activist who is fast becoming a torn in the flesh of ex-President Mahama, lambasted Valerie Sawyerr for daring to attack the party’s founder asking, “Valerie, what exactly is the motivation for this your needless shenanigans against the Rawlings family?”

He continued, “As a true party activist, I feel like chewing you up and spitting you out as you did to Rawlings. But then again, I sympathise with you largely on humanitarian grounds - the fact that you are an old maid who might be having mid-life issues. 

Valerie, you can choose to be the poster girl for crass behaviour. You can even choose to be whorish for all I care, but next time you write a critical essay, make sure it is against gods with clay feet or you end up dancing naked in front of the intelligent public.”

A group calling itself "Friends of the Rawlingses" also waded into the fracas, chastising Valerie for ranting and even claimed that her position as deputy Chief of Staff was earned unmeritoriously and undeservedly.

A statement signed by the group’s convenor, Ibrahim Hardi, posited, “We are assuring this pretender, that if she doesn’t respect the late Harry Sawyerr, who gave all his heart and support to the founder, former president Jerry John Rawlings, during his working days, and allows jealousy to consume her, we will not look back again but treat her with the disdain she deserves.”



DVLA SUED OVER DRIVER’S LINCENCE CONTRACT

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, August 11, 2017

An intense legal battle is ensuing between the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and Foto-X Limited - a private firm - over a contract between the two parties for the production of new driving licence.

Foto-X Limited filed the writ because according to the company, the DVLA has prevented it from working on the issuance after a contract had been signed between them in August 2012.

Special Damages
As a result, Foto-X wants the High Court (General Jurisdiction) to order DVLA to pay special damages for the customized equipment and software which it procured from Germany pursuant to the signing of the contract.

The company wants another order for the recovery of the amount spent on modifying the premises of 
Foto-X in anticipation of the contract as well as general damages for breach of contract, cost on full indemnity basis, including legal fees and any reliefs as the court may deem fit.

Plaintiff’s Case
According to Foto-X - which is being led by Axis Legal - sometime in 2006, it bid and won an internationally competitive contract with the DVLA to design, install, maintain and service the system of personalizing and producing temporary and full driver’s licence for the public.

The plaintiff averred that having performed its obligations satisfactorily under the 2006 contract, it bid again in 2012 and was awarded a further contract with the DVLA for a similar job to be done.

“Per the 2012 contract, the plaintiff was to provide consultancy services for the design, installation, maintenance and servicing of the system for personalizing and producing driver’s (learner and permanent), material supply, personalization and production of driver’s licences,” according to the company.

Scope of Work
The plaintiff maintained that the scope of work under both the 2006 and the 2012 contracts mainly entailed “the plaintiff having to replace with an upgraded version of the system it had put in place and operated from 2006 and additionally to supervise and undertake the eye test, data capture, printing and issuance of the Tecolas card driver’s licence, all geared towards the ultimate issuance of driver’s licence applied for by the public.”

According to Foto-X, the 2012 contract was for 10 years, commencing not later than the effective date of the contract signed on August 2, 2012; and an estimated value of $9,976,209.50 was to represent the investment to be made by the private firm for the implementation of its contractual obligations.

80% Revenue
“In consideration of the plaintiff’s investment, the plaintiff was entitled an amount equivalent 80% of all revenue received from applications and issuance of driver’s licences by the defendant during the life time to the contract,  while the defendant was entitled to 20%,” plaintiff averred.

It stated that the contractual relationship between the parties constituted the plaintiff into an investor which obligation under the contract was to invest $9,976,209.50, adding, “The plaintiff’s earnings were accordingly derivable from its receipt of its percentage share of fees paid by the public for licence applications and its ancillary services.”

German Manufacturer
According to the plaintiff, pursuant to the execution of the contract, it engaged the services of a German firm called Muhlbauer ID Solutions, to manufacture and customize a system for the production of Ghanaian Driver’s Licence and paid significant sums for the production and delivery.

During the production stage, Foto-X claimed it kept the DVLA constantly informed, got its approval and even travelled twice with officials of the state agency to Germany to get firsthand knowledge about the products.

Unilateral Action
Plaintiff said two years later - on September 9, 2014 - the DVLA “unilaterally sought to amend the terms of the 2012 contract by reducing the duration of the contract from 10 years to 6 years and also alter the purview or scope of the contract existing obligations such as to exclude the eye testing and learner’s licence after the customized system had been approved by the defendant at the manufacturer’s factory in Germany.

“Since this botched attempt by the defendant to review the contract and diminish the quantum of rights of the plaintiff, the defendant has deliberately and persistently frustrated the plaintiff from performing its contractual obligations.”

Foto-X averred that it took  the fully-paid 
equipment from Germany which had been customized to only produce Ghanaian Driver’s Licence on the instructions of DVLA and added that it “has no way of even salvaging the cost of its production and thereby mitigating its losses in this vein.”

DVLA’s Defence
The DVLA has filed a defence and counterclaim against Foto-X through the law firm, Joe Attipoe and Associates, Jologg Chambers, insisting that the DVLA would deny “each and every allegation of material facts contained in the plaintiff’s statement of claim.”

The DVLA also claimed that the plaintiff was getting the 2012 contract signed without providing any explanation for the variation in figures.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

AMIDU HITS BACK AT DRUNKEN-LIKE VALERIE

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Former Attorney-General, Martin A.B.K. Amidu has served notice to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that he cannot be cowed into submission in the party in view of the recent avalanche of attacks directed at him.

He said the sudden attacks on his person and that of former President Jerry John Rawlings, founder of the party, are coming from people from the ‘Mahama Faction’ (in reference to former President John Mahama who just sent NDC into opposition) in the NDC.

Reacting to an epistle by a former Deputy Chief of Staff, Valerie Sawyerr in which she accused Rawlings and Amidu of helping to send the NDC into opposition, the former AG said he was not in any position to relent on his crusade to ensure a corrupt-free party.

Amidu said he is not bothered about any attempt to initiate disciplinary action against him in the party for speaking his mind following a petition filed by two failed NDC parliamentary candidates to get him checked.

Party Surrogates
“Clearly the John Mahama faction, their surrogates like Valerie Sawyerr and the petitioners who admit to being failed parliamentary candidates at the last elections and other mentors within the NDC think they can frighten core NDC members like myself with threats of disciplinary action,” Mr. Amidu said in a statement yesterday.

He said the open letter by Mahama’s darling girl, Valerie Sawyerr, who was Senior Policy Adviser and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit under the Mahama administration, was ‘incoherent’ and ‘disjointed’ and described the writer as throwing ‘drunken-like diatribes.’

“I was not surprised that the petition followed immediately after Valerie Sawyerr’s lying, incoherent, disjointed and drunken-like diatribes against former President Rawlings and me,” he said.

Corruption Crusade
According to Mr. Amidu, his fight against corruption, particularly in the NDC, intensified with the Alfred Agbesi Woyome infamous GH¢51.2 million dole out case.

“The Woyome/Waterville case underpins all my actions in the Supreme Court and writings since 2012 and I do so in defence of the Constitution and laws of Ghana, which are superior to the NDC Constitution.”

“Only strangers would be ignorant that my war against the Mills/Mahama Government is rooted in the looting of GH¢51.2 million by the Government and Alfred Agbesi Woyome. I have fought and will continue to fight against the looting and protection provided to Alfred Agbesi Woyome by the Mahama Government since the Supreme Court’s review decision against the Government represented by the Attorney General and Alfred Agbesi Woyome by John Mahama’s Government.”

Outstanding Payments
“There are still payments by Agricultural Development Bank cheques issued by Woyome to former Government and party beneficiaries to be retrieved for the State purse. And where is the Attorney General whom the Supreme Court declared to have unconstitutionally authorized the payment of the loot of the public purse to Woyome?”

He said “So, in as long as the values and principles of the 1992 Constitution which gave birth to the NDC Constitution are undermined by an NDC Government, I will continue to defend the national constitution.”

“I will continue to always put Ghana first before party as demanded by the 1992 Constitution. Let those who oppose the fight against corruption in the NDC and who also dislike probity and accountability which I stand for with former President Rawlings do their worst.”

“It is for that integrity that on 31st December 2016, I was chosen by the Founder to light the perpetual flame for the fallen heroes of the 31st December Revolution. I cannot betray that cause and the 1992 Constitution out of which the NDC was born.”

Initial Attack
Valerie Sawyerr, whose father served Rawlings as Education Minister, had first attacked Mr. Rawlings for creating the impression that he was not corrupt before turning her attention to Mr. Amidu whom she described as ‘pompous with over-bloated ego.’

She made an astonishing claim that the former Attorney General at one point attempted to assault then President John Evans Atta Mills, saying “Barely a week or so after that, you were relieved of your post as Attorney General after attempting to assault a sitting Head of State?”

 “… and what is Comrade Martin Amidu also babbling about? Martin, did I not tell you that your pomposity, over-bloated ego and sense of self-importance constitute your Achilles heel?” she queried.

Resignation
Ms. Sawyerr had challenged the former AG to resign from the NDC since she said Mr Amidu was no longer working in the interest of the opposition party, saying “Respectfully Martin cut the crap! You have achieved your aim … the NDC is in opposition. I challenge you to resign from the NDC since you no longer promote the cause of the NDC. Or do you also subscribe to the agenda to destroy to take over? The agenda that is based on the premise that it is easier to take over the NDC when it is in opposition!”