Majority endorses Chief Justice’s recommendation of five Judges appointment to Supreme Court

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Majority has endorsed the decision of Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo to recommend five Judges to the President for appointment to the Supreme Court.

Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, speaking at a press conference at Parliament House in Accra, said the Chief Justice had mooted a proposal to expand the Supreme Court to 20 judges for efficiency and effectiveness.

This was contained in a recent letter from the Chief Justice to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo recommending some five justices to be considered for appointment to the Supreme Court of Ghana.

‘I must emphasize that, the letter is not conclusive of what Article 144(2) of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana provides in the appointment of justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana,’ he stated.

‘I understand that the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) was consulted on the expansion proposal, and they agree in princip
le. I also understand that others have also been consulted.’

This, he said, had triggered varying opposing views from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Afenyo-Markin said the primary objection to the recent recommendation for appointment to the Supreme Court was on the back of a justification that, even judges in the Supreme Court of the United States (US) with their larger population were not up to 10 and for that matter, any such recommendation was an attempt to ‘load’ the apex court of Ghana.

For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Afenyo-Markin stated that, unlike the US Supreme Court, in Ghana, a litigant had unfettered rights and access to the Supreme court.

He said it was also important to underscore the fact that, an appeal to the Supreme Court operates as of right which is provided for under Article 131 (1) (a) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana except matters of Parliamentary Elections dispute settled by the Court of Appeal.

He said this was settled by the Supreme Cour
t in the case of Sumaila Biebel v Adamu Dramani Sakande.

He said what must also be noted that the jurisdiction of Ghana’s Supreme Court incorporates other jurisdictions such as Original jurisdiction as provided for under Article 130 of the constitution of Ghana, Enforcement Jurisdiction, Review Jurisdiction as provided for under Article 133 (1) of the constitution of Ghana as well as Appellate jurisdiction as provided for under Article 131 of the constitution, Supervisory jurisdiction as provided for under Article 132 of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

He said he attempt to create an unrelated comparison of Ghana’s judicial system to other jurisdictions such as the United States and others was a recipe for an absurd conclusion.

Touching on the argument regarding the packing of the apex court, which was being foisted on Ghanaians by the NDC, Mr Afenyo-Markin said it was important to point out that, apart from Justice Paul Baffoe Bonnie and Justice Gabriel Scott Pwamang, all the other justices of
the Supreme Court were appointed by the sitting President (Akufo-Addo).

‘There seems to be a missing link in their comparison of both jurisdictions. What they are not telling us, however, is that both Supreme Courts exercise different and distinct jurisdiction in terms of mandate and power,’ he said.

He said for emphasis, the total number of Supreme Court judges in all the 50 US States was hovering around 340; adding that on the average each State Supreme Court had six Justices.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said the fundamental difference was that Ghana had only one Supreme Court with Districts, Circuit and High Courts distributed to the various sixteen Regions in Ghana.

He said what must be noted however was that it was possible for a case to move from a District Court to the Supreme Court either on appeal or an interlocutory reference to the supreme court for interpretation of a constitutional provision as was done in the case of Raphael Cubagee v Michael Asare Yeboah.

‘As it stands now, Nigeria, has increased the
number of its Supreme Court Judges from 20 to 24 to manage the workload for effective dispensation of the cases before them,’ he stated.

‘It is worth emphasizing the fact that, even in the United Kingdom, only 80 to 100 cases are heard in a year by their Supreme Court, which has a limited jurisdiction as compared to Ghana.’

The Majority Leader said the Supreme Court of Ghana received 900 cases in 2021; adding that at the end of 2021, they were able to hear six hundred cases.

He said the decision of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana to recommend Justices for appointment to the Supreme Court comes on the back of multiple cases the Supreme Court is always saddled with.

‘It is instructive to note that, since independence, we have allowed institutions to grow. Even before 2019, Ghana had only 10 Regions. As we speak, we have an additional six making it sixteen.’

He said the argument by the NDC that the nation’s Supreme Court was being packed or heaped was untenable having regard to its multifaceted j
urisdictions unlike the United States and UK.

He said that the apex court of the land must be allowed to go through reformation through expansion in terms of numbers.

‘This is because, the minimum number of Supreme Court judges as set out in the 1992 constitution is evidence of the fact that, the framers of the constitution in their wisdom had anticipated that, there will be a future need to increase the number of judges in our Supreme Court, this is the reason why, they settled on a minimum number and not a maximum number as provided for in the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana,’ Mr Afenyo-Markin stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NPP Presidential Ticket: We are innovators, problem-solvers and generational thinkers – Dr Bawumia

The Vice President and the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has touted the presidential ticket of the Party, describing the pair as a combination of the ‘youth, innovators, problem-solvers and generational thinkers’.

He said the NPP Presidential ticket was the sure bet to catapult the country to higher heights in terms of development and job creation.

‘We are superior in performance to the NDC’s record in areas of road infrastructure, railways, education, health, digitisation, among others,’ Dr Bawumia stated.

The NPP Flagbearer, Dr Bawumia, made these remarks during the official unveiling of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh as his Running Mate for the 2024 Election in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Dr Bawumia said the NPP’s Presidential ticket was a well-oiled machine to lead the Party to victory in the December 7 Election.

Dr Bawumia expressed confidence in his running-mate to complement his efforts in securing victory saying: ‘ I have high respect for him, he is a problem-solver, a genera
tional thinker and I have absolute confidence in him.’

Dr Bawumia hinted at plans to launch the Party’s 2024 Election Manifesto next month, which would be the blueprint for the policies and aspirations of the Party.

Earlier, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, the MP for Assin Central and former flagbearer aspirant, called for unity in the Party and appealed to those with grievances to forgive one another to ensure a united front for a resounding victory on December 7.

He also asked the leadership of the Party to respect the grassroots supporters to ensure they worked for the Party.

The theme for the Party’s campaign is, ‘ Bold Solutions for the Future’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Election 2024: No candidate should be restricted from campaigning – Minister

Alhaji Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper East Regional Minister, says no candidate should be prevented from campaigning in any part of the Region in the upcoming 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

According to him, some people in the Bawku Municipality and its environs tried to prevent candidates in the impending elections from campaigning, and cautioned such persons to desist from the act, saying ‘We will not tolerate that’.

Alhaji Dr Salih gave the caution when he addressed Bissas at the outdooring ceremony of a new Bissa Chief, Kir Salifu Mahama Awinaba, in the Pusiga Traditional Area.

The Minister’s statement was hinged on the prevention of posters of the New Patriotic Party’s Flag bearer, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in some parts of the Bawku enclave, except for the Party’s Parliamentary Candidates and Candidates from other political parties.

‘Information reaching us indicates that some miscreants are saying that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Presidential Candidate of the NPP will not be given room
to campaign in this area.

‘You can only close your ears and eyes, but nobody can prevent Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from campaigning. And nobody can stop any Parliamentary Candidate from campaigning,’ he said.

Alhaji Dr Salih added that some politicians who wore NPP T-shirts with pictures of Dr Bawumia were threatened, ‘Please, if you continue to do that, it will be a threat to our infant democracy,’ he cautioned.

He reminded residents in the area that Ghana was a democratic country, and that anyone who aspired for any position must be given the opportunity to campaign in any part of the country without any hindrance.

The Minister, who chairs the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), assured the people of the area that REGSEC would ensure that there was peace and harmony in all parts of the Region for all candidates to campaign.

On the importance of the Chieftaincy institution in nation building, the Minister said Chieftaincy could be used to mobilize the people for the development and commended the Chief of Pusi
ga for allowing the Bissas to choose from among themselves a leader.

Alhaji Dr Salih said there could not be development without peace and urged the newly enskinned Chief to ensure peace continued to reign in the traditional area.

‘Pusiga has the potential of being a significant place in the Upper East Region, and it is my expectation that all of you will support Pusiga Naba to ensure that peace will continue to reign in this traditional area,’ the Minister said.

He also commended the Chiefs and people in the Bawku enclave for maintaining peace in the area for the past three months and hoped that the same peace would be maintained for the government to add to the development projects in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Minority calls for inquiry into alleged 11,000 recruits to security agencies

The National Democratic Congress Minority Caucus in Parliament has called for an investigation into Interior Minister Henry Quartey’s alleged announcement of 11,000 recruits to security agencies.

According to a statement issued by Mr Mahama Ayariga, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central and copied to the Ghana News Agency said: ‘…The media reported that the Interior Minister said the 11,000 recruits into the security agencies announced by the Government will come from a preexisting list of youth applicants and those who are not part of the list will not be considered.’

‘…It was reported that the NPP government shared 30 slots each to their Parliamentary Candidates in the forthcoming elections to distribute to their party foot soldiers. The Minority in Parliament had called for a probe of that,’ the statement added.

According to some media sources, ‘the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance has indicated that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the gover
nment will begin clearing the backlog of applicants who had applied to join the various security agencies under the Interior Ministry, beginning Monday, July 8, 2024.’

However, Mr Ayariga claimed that several years later, after the private sector had suffered a crippling blow and unemployment had created a very despondent youth, the NPP decided that announcing 11,000 recruitments into security agencies would calm the youth’s nerves.

‘But the refusal to use a fair and transparent process to carry out the recruitment might fuel more anger against the political class. ‘We must fight for youth with no political connections to be given a fair and equal opportunity as citizens,’ it quoted Mr Ayariga as saying.

The statement went on to say that the events would be the alleged biggest scandal in Ghana’s security sector recruitment history.

‘What is about to happen is potentially the greatest scandal in Ghana’s security sector recruitment history. This rogue exercise must be resisted,’ it said.

Citing the recent
youth uprising in Kenya, the statement stated that it had allegedly prompted the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to announce the recruitment with youth in mind.

‘The banking sector collapse alone cost Ghana more than 20,000 jobs directly and indirectly. The bank workers lost their jobs. Service providers to the banks lost their jobs. Businesses and individuals who relied on their investments with the banks to run their own micro and small-scale industries saw a collapse of their businesses and hence their employees’ lost jobs as well,’ it alleged.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akufo-Addo introduces Dr Bawumia and Dr Opoku Prempeh to Asantehene, as leaders

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, introduced Dr, Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice -President and Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister, to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and Asanteman, as the representatives of the NPP in the December general elections.

He said Dr Bawumia as the flag-bearer and Dr Opoku Prempeh as his running mate, carried the capacities to ensure that the NPP broke the eight in the next elections.

President Akufo-Addo said his government would work to ensure a smooth transition of power after the elections to ensure the continued transformation of the country.

He said Dr. Opoku Prempeh had been unanimously accepted by the National Executive Council of the NPP and the generality of the ranks and file, as a good match for Dr Bawumia.

They will both represent the party and work together with all party members and supporters to bring victory to NPP in December.

President Akufo-Addo recounted the good works of Dr. Opoku Prempeh in all the sectors he asked him to work an
d lauded his commitment to making the Free Senior High School Policy work.

He called on Asanteman to give him and the flag-bearer support to win the elections.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu on his part advised Dr Opoku Prempeh not to make Dr Bawumia regret choosing him as his running mate.

He must humble himself and work under him to ensure the development of the country

He also called on the NPP to explain their policies, vision, and achievements well to the public.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu pledged the commitment of chiefs to partner government to bring development to the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Don’t let Bawumia regret his decision in choosing you- Asantehene advised NAPO

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has advised Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the 2024 Running Mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) not to disappoint the Party’s Flagbearer Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for choosing him.

‘Don’t let Bawumia regret choosing you. Do whatever he tells you. Be humble and follow his teachings,’ the revered King said.

The Asantehene offered this advice during the official introduction of NPP Running Mate, Dr Opoku Prempeh, to him at the Manhyia Palace, in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Touching on the perceptions of arrogance tagged on Dr Opoku Prempeh, the Asantehene said while people may label Dr Opoku Prempeh as arrogant, he knew it wasn’t true.

‘People say he is arrogant, but as my son, I know it’s not true. So, do the right thing. Do what is right and ensure all is well’ the Asante King stated.

Otumfuo also charged the NPP to explain their vision clearly to Ghanaians ahead of the December general elections to elicit their support.

The traditional ruler extended his gratitude to President Akufo-A
ddo, Dr Bawumia, and the entire Elephant family for choosing Dr Opoku Prempeh as the running mate.

The Asantehene urged the NPP Flagbearer to mentor Dr Opoku Prempeh to perform effectively and to meet his expectations and inform him (Otumfuo) if he deviates or behaves.

‘Train him and when he goes wrong, tell me and I will advise him accordingly,’ the Asantehene stressed.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Minority boycotts vetting of Minster of State-Designate at Energy Ministry

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Minority Caucus has boycotted the vetting of Mr Herbert Krapa, the Minister of State-designate at the Energy Ministry.

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader and NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembele stating the position of the Minority at the public sitting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament before walking out, said the Caucus had taken note of indecent attempts by the Majority side to short circuit and circumvent the due process required in the vetting of the President’s nominee for the position of Minister of State at the Ministry of Energy.

He noted that the long-standing parliamentary practice required that persons nominated for appointment by the President shall be published in a newspaper of national circulation to inform and request memoranda or representation from the public.

‘This ordinarily means that the public ought to be given reasonable notice and adequate time to submit memoranda or make representations to
the Appointments Committee,’ he stated.

‘These requirements have totally been breached. The Minority is at a loss as to the rationale for the indecent haste on the part of the Majority, particularly as there is a subsisting Minister of Energy and the nominee is already a Deputy Minister of Energy.’

Mr Buah noted that last week, it took a strong pushback from the Minority to call off the vetting of the same nominee just a day after the referral by the Speaker to the Appointments Committee to ensure that the appointment was advertised.

He said the Minority wishes to serve notice that it would not be part of any hasty process deliberately designed by the Majority to deny the people of Ghana participation in the work of the Appointments Committee and Ghana’s democracy.

He said consistent with the Minority’s earlier position, the Caucus would not participate in the vetting of any ministerial nominee that adds to the already bloated size of this Akufo-Addo/ Bawumia Government.

‘Again, the Minority cannot suppo
rt the President’s nomination for the Minister of State at the Ministry of Energy at a time when Ghana is going through very difficult periods, including the crippling economic crisis, food insecurity, debt default, corruption, state capture and wasteful expenditures.’

The Deputy Minority Leader reiterated that the Minority once again called on President Akufo-Addo to downsize his government to signal to the people of Ghana that, at the very least, he was in tune with feedback and appreciated the challenges resulting from the bad economic policies of his government.

He said it could not be the case that while the Government asks the people to tighten their belts, those in government would have no belts at all.

Mr Buah said under the circumstances, the NDC Minority Caucus could not in good conscience participate in the vetting of yet another injury-time ministerial nominee.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Thousands besiege Jubilee Park in Kumasi as NPP unveils NAPO

A sea of cheering supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) thronged the Jubilee Park in Kumasi to witness the historic unveiling of Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh as their running mate for the 2024 general elections.

Drawn from all the 43 constituencies across the region and beyond, the supporters who were in their multitudes stormed the Jubilee Park adorning their blue, white and red colours to support the Energy Minister as the party formerly presented him to Ghanaians.

It was a convergence of the complete hierarchy of the party from the polling station to the national executives as well as all organs of the party from all the 16 regions.

Also in attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Madam Frema Osei Opare, the Chief of Staff among other leading members of the party.

For hours prior to the arrival of the flagbearer and his running mate, the jubilant supporters stood on their feet singing and dancing to party songs to herald the entry of the two most important persons on the day.

ot even the intermittent rains would disperse the crowd who demonstrated sheer solidarity to the pair entrusted with the huge responsibility of leading the ruling party into the 2024 general elections.

As expected, a thunderous noise ushered Dr. Bawumia and Dr. Prempeh to the venue amidst wild jubilation among the crowd which kept swelling by the minute.

President Akufo-Addo who was the last to arrive before the commencement of the programme emphasised the need for members of the party to put aside their differences and rally behind the two for a resounding victory.

He touted the strengths of the flagbearer and his running mate which he said were what Ghana needed to accelerate its development.

He said Dr. Opoku Prempeh had excelled as sector Minister for both Education and Energy, stressing that his ability to handle those key miniseries spoke volumes of his potentials to become the Vice President we all wanted.

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Dr. Bawumia also praised the qualities of his running mate and justified why he stood
tall among the pool of equally capable candidates.

He said Dr Opoku Prempeh was a problem solver, generational thinker and that he had absolute confidence in him for the task ahead.

‘We are now a well-oiled machine for the 2024 campaign, having completed all internal elections,’ Dr. Bawumia indicated.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh said he was humbled by the decision of the flagbearer to settle on him as his choice for running mate, which was also overwhelmingly endorsed by the National Executive Council.

He announced his readiness to work closely with all the structures in the party to ensure a resounding victory for the NPP, adding that he expected the people of Ashanti to back him on this journey.

He reminded the crowd that victory would not come on a silver platter and urged them to iron out all differences to approach the campaign with a united front.

Source: Ghana News Agency