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Speaker Of Parliament Chastizes President For Not Consulting Him On Council Of State List



Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has chastised the Office of the President for failing to communicate three particular names on his recently-released list of Council of State nominees to his office first, as part of the constitutional requirement to consult Parliament on such, before publication in the media of those nominees.

On Monday, 1 February 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, pursuant to Article 89(2) of the Constitution, appointed eleven people to form the Council of State.

They include: Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Juabenhene; Archbishop Justice Ofei Akrofi, Mr Sam Okudzeto, Mr Stanley Blankson, Prof. Ato Essuman, Alhaji Aminu Amadu, Dr Margaret Amoakohene, Mrs Georgina Kusi, Mrs Alberta Cudjoe, Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton VI, and Alhaji Sule Yiremiah.

A statement issued by the Ag. Director of Communication at the Office of the President, Mr Eugene Arhin, to that effect, said: “The President, subject to consultation with Parliament, has also appointed, in accordance with Article 89(2)(a)(i)(ii) and (iii), Georgina Theodora Wood, a former Chief Justice, Lt. Gen. J.B. Danquah, a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces, and Nana Owusu Nsiah, a former Inspector-General of Police, to the Council”.

“The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, is ex-officio a member of the Council, in furtherance of Article 89(2)(b)”, the statement added.

It said the “composition of the Council will be complete with the election, due to be held on 12th February 2021, of the regional representatives, in accordance with Article 89(2)(c)”.

However, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu expressed qualms about the President’s failure to first notify the Speaker and also “consult” Parliament on the appointments specified in by Article 89(2)(a)(i)(ii) and (iii) of the 1992 Constitution, of a former Chief Justice, former Chief of Defence Staff and former Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

“They must respect the institution of Parliament and your good self [Speaker] so that we are not reading from one Eugene Arhin, we are hearing it formally from Mr Speaker as official correspondence from the President of the Republic because the Council of State has a role to counsel him; we should know those who are counselling him so that we can assess whether they will be giving him good or bad advice”, Mr Iddrisu complained on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, 2 February 2021.

In defence of the Office of the President, Okaikoi Central MP Patrick Boamah, said: “The rules of the house are clear on communications to you [Speaker] and the house as stipulated under Order 51. With your kind permission, I would read: ‘Communications from the President to the house hall be made to the Speaker by written message signed by the President or in the absence of the President, by the Vice-President or a minister acting by command of the President. Mr Speaker, the leader, my good brother Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, raised issues with regard to article 89 and there are two segments in that provision – even three that are relevant to his apprehension. 89 (2) deals with the category of persons that the President must appoint in consultation with your good self and the house and 89 (2)(b) were the names that we’ve seen that the President has released to the public and they are not within the category of persons that the President ought to consult the house on”.

However, Mr Bagbin said: “The concern of the Minority Leader, is with 89(2), which reads: ‘The Council of State shall consist of (a) the following persons appointed by the President in consultation with Parliament. (i) one person who has previously held the office of Chief Justice (ii) one person who has previously held the office of Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces of Ghana (iii) one person who has previously held the office of Inspector-General of Police’”.

“I have not received any communication from the President in this respect neither verbal nor written; formal nor informal and, so, the Minority Leader is right in drawing the attention of the house to this and I’ll direct that this be conveyed to the Office of the President that the proper thing be done. … It’s proper that we do these consultations before we go public. That is the right thing to do”, Mr Bagbin admonished.

He pointed out that “the publication with regard to 89(2)(b) is in the right direction but with 89(2)(a), I think the office of the President got it wrong and I so direct that that be communicated to the office of the President”.

“Anytime that I get the communication properly channelled to me, I’ll let Parliament be aware and we’ll convey our views to the President”, he said, adding: “The President is not bound to accept whatever we’ll say; that you can be sure [about].”

Source: ClassFmOnline


Manasseh Azure Rejects Government’s Vaccine Offer – Explains Why



Journalist Manasseh Azure Azuni has revealed that he has passed up an opportunity to get a jab of the coronavirus vaccine today as the country rolls-out an elaborate programme to get citizens vaccinated against the deadly virus.

According to Manasseh Azure Awuni he received an invitation from the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) as part of the selected journalists expected to receive the jab today.

Writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Azure said while he is eager to get a jab, he is willing to defer it so that those with underlying health conditions who need it urgently can get the opportunity to be vaccinated.

He said: “I’m relatively young and do not have any known underlying health condition. I know many active or retired journalists are old. I also know journalists who are young but have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to the vagaries of Covid-19.

“With the limited doses available, I don’t think it is right to go and get the jab while those who need it more than I may not have the opportunity”.

Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, March 1, 2021, became the first person in the country to take the much-awaited coronavirus vaccine that arrived sometime last week.

The President’s jab which was telecast on national television was among other things done to allay fears of a section of the public regarding the effects of the vaccine. It was also to demonstrate the confidence the president had in the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Ghana acquired 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India on Wednesday, February 24, becoming the first African country to do so.

Designated persons to take the vaccine will begin the exercise on Tuesday, March 2. The roll-out of the vaccine is expected to break the transmission of the virus which has seen a surge in Ghana over the last couple of weeks.

Source: GhanaWeb

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NDC MPs Summon Ursula, Amewu, And Godfred Dame To Re-appear Before Vetting Committee For Further Questioning



Five ministerial nominees out of the 30 so far vetted have been deferred by the Minority MPs on Parliament’s Appointments Committee to reappear for further questioning.

They are Communication MInister nominee, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Railway Minister nominee, John Peter Amewu; Roads Minister nominee, Kwasi Amoako-Attah; Attorney General and Minister of Justice nominee, Godfred Dame and Health Minister nominee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has been accused of being discriminatory in the closure of some radio stations.

The nominee during her vetting two weeks ago said, the NCA acted in accordance with the Electronic Communication Law of 2008 in shutting down radio stations.

She stated, “Ursula has not closed down any radio station…it was by operation of the Law…the NCA conducted an audit exercise which indicated that 144 radio stations had committed several infractions which necessitated that they are sanctioned”.

Also, the NDC MPs cited flaws in her answers regarding the Kelni GVG CMP deal.

This Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) contract was set up with the objective of providing a means of verifying the information provided by telecom companies for tax revenue purposes in accordance with the law.

She, however, justified the implementation of the programme, claiming that it has helped the country to boost its tax collections from the sector.

The Hohoe MP, John Peter Amewu will be answering questions pertaining to the PDS contract and the beating up of a bailiff in his constituency.

During his vetting, Mr Amewu took responsibility for the botched PDS deal owing to the fact that he was sector Minister at the time.

However, he denied any involvement in the incident with the bailiff, claiming that he only found out a week after it has happened.

Godfred Dame has also been summoned to answer additional questions pertaining to a petition filed against him by the family of Gregory Afoko.

Source: MyJoyOnline

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Mahama To Take Coronavirus Vaccine At Police Hospital Today



Former President John Dramani is expected to be at the Police Hospital today March 2, 2021 to take the Coronavirus vaccine.

Reports suggest he’ll take his jab at 10am this morning.

On Monday, President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia took their first doses of the vaccine to shore up public confidence in the vaccine.

Below is the list of priority persons for vaccination

Group 1 

  • Persons most at risk and frontline State officials
  • Healthcare workers
  • Frontline security personnel
  • Persons with underlying medical conditions
  • Persons 60 years and above
  • Frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary

Group 2

  • Other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies
  • Water and electricity supply services
  • Teachers and students
  • Supply and distribution of fuels
  • Farmers and food value chain
  • Telecommunications services
  • Air traffic and civil aviation control services
  • Meteorological services
  • Air transport services
  • Waste management services
  • Media
  • Public and private commercial transport services
  • Police Service
  • Armed Forces
  • Prisons Service
  • Immigration Service
  • National Fire Service
  • CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority
  • Other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature

Group 3

Consists of the rest of the public, that is all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.

Group 4

This final group will include pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18, and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available according to the President.

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