Judges do not receive Exgratia – Justice Sackey Torkornoo

Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, the Chief Justice nominee, Friday reiterated that Judges do not receive Exgratia when she appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament for vetting.

Mr Patrick Boamah, a Member of the Appointment Committee, and MP for Okaikoi Central, wanted to know the nominee’s view on the payment of exgratia to the Executive and the Legislature, which also affected the Judiciary.

Mrs Justice Sackey Torkornoo noted that consistently the Association of Magistrates and Judges had responded to the question of exgratia for judges and made it clear that judges did not receive exgratia.

‘We continue in office; we don’t go anywhere until we retire. We don’t have a cycle and, therefore, the discussion of exgratia is not actually applicable to us,’ she stated.

The Provision of the 1992 Constitution, where the name of Judges was mentioned, dealt with how their salaries were set, she said, and that Article 71 created room for a Presidential Committee, which did that.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in April, nominated Justice Torkornoo as Chief Justice to avoid any vacuum following the?retirement?of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NPP flagbearership: Kwabena Agyepong picks nomination form

Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Friday picked the nomination form to contest the Flagbearer position of the NPP.

The former General Secretary of the NPP said his picking of the nomination form marked the beginning of great things to come.

He promised to usher in ‘A New Dawn’ on Ghana’s political landscape anchored on the restoration of cherished values of service, sacrifice and selflessness, which he called the ‘Triple S Doctrine’.

Mr Agyepong expressed a passion to see to the transformation of the country, promising to cut waste by leading a lean, effective and efficient government machinery primed to deliver meaningful development to the underserved population.

He advised NPP delegates to choose wisely, looking out for ‘thinking leaders’, those with innovative ideas and a clear understanding of where they wanted to take the country to.

He implored the delegates to trust his capacity and fortitude to take difficult and uncomfortable measures needed to reverse Ghana’s economic decline.

Mr Agyepong urged them not to mortgage their future for a pittance and denounce any monetary and material overtures and inducements.

He called on other flagbearer aspirants to accept his call for an open debate, adding that, Ghanaians were entitled and deserved to examine and know what each of the aspirants stood for.

‘Our ideas, policy priorities and preferences, our temperament and character all matter. If you want to lead the people of Ghan, then you should be humble enough to submit yourself for scrutiny by the people,’ he added.

He expressed confidence in the Party’s National Executives and Elders to ensure that the upcoming Presidential Primaries were conducted in a spirit of fairness and equity devoid of manipulation, coercion, favouritism and utmost respect for the Party’s Code of Conduct regarding same.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Residents call on Government to gravel Zopeliga- Zanlerigu Road

The Zopeliga Community in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, has called on the Government to level their earth road with gravel, to ease movement.

According to the residents, the road that had lost all its top gravel had not been rehabilitated since it was constructed more than 20 years ago and had developed many potholes, impeding vehicular movement.

They said drivers had now resorted to the use of their farms’ lands as diversions since the roads are so deplorable.

They made this appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), at Zopeliga, Upper East Region.

An inspection by the GNA revealed that parts of the road had been eroded and some of the bridges constructed had not been levelled with gravel, compelling vehicles to via off from the main road onto people’s farmlands.

Mr Norbert Yambire, a resident, said the situation could be dire when the rains set in and called for urgent action by the government

‘We have had few rains but when you look at the road it is evident that things would get worst because the place is already muddy and vehicles have started diverting into our farmlands and this would soon create confusion between us as we cannot watch our crops being destroyed,’ he said.

Mr Maxwell Divom, the Assemblyman of the Zanlerigu-Dagliga electoral area, said the deplorable road was not only impeding vehicular movement and impacting negatively economic activities but the main bridge linking the two communities needed urgent maintenance.

He said the concrete floor of the bridge had developed some cracks and needed urgent attention as it posed a danger to the lives of residents and travellers.

Mr Divom said he had reported the concerns of the residents to the District Assembly and though the District Engineer came and assessed the bridge and admitted that there was a need for work to be done, they were yet to see that happening.

Ms Agnes Anamoo, the District Chief Executive, said the Assembly had been informed of the plight of the residents and travellers but the unavailability of funds at the moment was causing the delay in fixing the road.

She said her outfit was employing all efforts including seeking for external support to fix the road and the bridges.

Source: Ghana News Agency

British retail sales rebound in April despite inflation pressure

British retailers saw sales return to growth in April as shoppers continued to spend despite continued high inflation, according to official figures.

Supermarkets were among retailers to report higher sales despite food inflation remaining close to a 45-year-high.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that retail sales volumes increased by 0.5% last month, following a fall of 1.2% in March.

Economists had only predicted an increase of 0.3% for the month.

However, the ONS added that sales volumes were down 3% on the same month last year, although shoppers spent more due to higher pricing.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: ‘Retail sales grew, partially rebounding from a poor weather-affected March, with jewellers, sports retailers and department stores all having a good month.

‘Despite continued high food prices, supermarkets also recovered from the fall in March.

‘However, these were partly offset by a drop in the amount of fuel sold, despite prices also dropping.’

Non-food retailers reported that sales grew by 1% in April, after March’s wet weather had knocked high streets.

This included strong sales in watches and jewellery, while sports equipment was also in high demand.

Meanwhile, department store sales increased by 1.7%, as they recovered from a 3% fall in the previous month.

Elsewhere, sales volumes at food stores increased by 0.7% for April.

It comes despite the ONS revealing earlier this week that food inflation has remained at high levels, with prices up 19.3% in April compared with the same month last year.

Rises for supermarkets and other high street stores were partly offset by the lower demand for fuel, with petrol stations and forecourts reporting a 2.2% decrease for the month.

Lisa Hooker, leader of consumer markets at PwC, said: ‘Overall, the trajectory remains positive, with the best quarterly improvement in retail sales volumes since August 2021.

‘With this month’s sales likely to be helped by the coronation and additional bank holidays, we expect the positive momentum to continue in the short term.

‘However, retailers will be hoping that the current green shoots are not dampened by higher interest rates or other macroeconomic challenges over the summer.’

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: ‘Sales should improve further as we enter the summer months, especially with inflation starting to ease and consumer confidence slowly stabilising.

‘Government must ensure it does not sabotage this momentum by adding cost pressures onto retailers from new policies, as these will mainly serve to push prices back up for people up and down the country.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Cardinal Namdini resettles two communities to pave way for large scale mining

The Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Shandong Gold, a Chinese mining firm, has resettled two communities in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region to pave the way for large scale surface mining in the area.

The two communities; Digaare (Accra site) and Biung, were originally occupying the lands leased by the Government to the Chinese company to engage in large scale mining for 15 years.

The mining company built 121 urban type services fitted and well laid concrete residential buildings for the two communities, reticulated electric power, improved water supply and sanitation and improved community roads access.

Social amenities such as well-equipped school infrastructure with disability friendly Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, recreational and healthcare facilities, teachers and nurses’ accommodation, mosques and churches, graveled roads connecting houses among others have also been provided.

Provisions have also been made for future development around each household while lands have been secured for the residents to engage in agricultural activities.

These were revealed when a delegation from the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the company and its operational areas as part of an agreement between the mining company and the national news wire.

The visit, led by Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, GNA, was to get first-hand information about the company’s operations and the impact of the activities on the communities to ensure accurate reportage.

Mr Kofi Adusei, the Community and Social Responsibility Manager, Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited, said the resettlement was done in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act of 2006, Act 703, and Minerals and Mining Compensation and Resettlement Regulations of 2012, L.I. 2175.

These enjoin mining companies to resettle all persons who would be affected by their operations.

He said although most of the facilities provided were not in the old settlements, it was the policy of the company to contribute to the improvement of its operational communities.

As part of the resettlement plan, a livelihood restoration programme was introduced where farmers were provided with agriculture extension services, Mr Adusei said.

He said farm inputs and implements, and tractor services were also provided to improve their agriculture productivity, to reduce the vulnerability the resettlement had exposed them to.

‘With the help of a local NGO, called the Widows and Orphans Movement, we identified some vulnerable people within the affected area, and we provided vulnerable assistance interventions,’ he said.

‘These include enrolling them onto the National Health Insurance Scheme, providing them with monthly food ration and cash, and medical services through counseling to help them to settle well in their new environment.’

‘We also trained some in livelihood restoration and we gave the families animals such as goats and chicken to rear. So, in all, we supported about 200 farmers with regard to the livelihood restoration programme and 12 vulnerable households.’

The mining company would continue to support the communities through interventions when it officially began operations in 2024, Mr Adusei said.

The area is a green field and is expected to generate 150 million tonnes of ore to give five million ounces of gold within the 15 years.

Currently, the company is investing about US$520 million to construct its infrastructure base including the operational offices and staff accommodation, processing plants, tailings storage facilities among other things to allow for full mining operations to begin 2024.

Apart from engaging more than 800 Ghanaians in the construction phase, the company had also invested US$6 million to construct 25.3 kilometers of roads connecting Bolgatanga to the mining site.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AU Day: Morocco pushes for unity, South-South cooperation

The dream of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) to build a united Africa was resurrected when the Kingdom of Morocco observed series of ceremonies at its capital, Rabat, on Thursday, to commemorate the 60th ‘Africa Day’ celebration.

‘Africa Day’, which is observed annually by all member states, celebrates the establishment of the OAU, now the African Union (AU) in 1963.

The Kingdom held series activities aimed at echoing Morocco’s legacies and contributions towards the liberation of the continent decades ago and pushed for the integration of Africa in line with the vision of the founding fathers of the then OAU.

Morocco is also advocating for the deployment of Africa’s own expertise and resources to solve challenges confronting the continent while boosting trade, knowledge sharing, and cooperation within the continent.

A special ceremony was held at Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Rabat Thursday, which assembled an array of dignitaries from across the continent for the historic celebration.

The event was characterised by speeches from dignitaries, who were unanimous in their call for the unification of the continent and the promotion of South-South cooperation particularly in the areas of intra-Africa trade.

There was also a photo exhibition at the Ministry, showcasing historic moments that details how Morocco spearheaded and coordinated Africa’s liberation efforts.

In a documentary titled: ‘Morocco and the liberation movements in Africa’, Morocco documented its instrumental role in Africa’s emancipation and the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to forge strategic and mutual partnerships with African countries.

The events for the commemoration were crowned at the King Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat, where patrons were thrilled with cultural performances from selected African countries, including Ghana with a key message: ‘unity in diversity’.

Thereafter, participants were offered the opportunity to taste selected local dishes of some African countries, that displayed their rich cuisine.

After securing independence in 1956, the Kingdom of Morocco, under the able leadership of the late King Mohammed V, convened what became known as the Casablanca Conference in 1961 to mobilise prominent African leaders at the time towards the unification and total liberation of the African continent.

The North African country subsequently provided diplomatic and military support to Africa’s liberation movements and provided shelter for some African leaders, including Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Amilcar Cabral (Guinea Bissau), Moussa Traore (Mali), and Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe).

The OAU was subsequently established in 1963 as a pivot to achieving a self-sufficient continent that could compete successfully at the global stage.

Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, who chaired the activities, said the late King Mohammed V made Morocco the home of liberation of African countries.

He said Morocco’s concentration was to build an Africa that could develop solutions for its own problems while boosting inter-country collaboration.

Mr Bourita said it was important for Africa to enhance the value of its cultural identity and indicated that ‘the flame of memories of the struggle should not be allowed to die’.

‘We need to develop Africa, build bridges that stay together, he said, adding: ‘we must build an Africa that brings solution to its own problems’.

Mr Mouhamadou Youssifou, the Dean of African Ambassadors to Morocco, appealed to African countries to support the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the agreement should enable the continent to take millions of its citizens out of poverty while reducing dependency on countries outside the region.

Mr Youssifou also called for measures to be put in place to ensure that the opening up of the continent for trade would not be to the advantage of ‘great’ conglomerates and multinational firms.

Source: Ghana News Agency

UB students urged to be impactful wherever they go

Students in the University of Buea, have been called upon to create an impact wherever they find themselves. This was the main message passed during the launch of activities marking the 30th anniversary of the institution.

The three-day event kicked off on May 25, characterized by sporting activities, community human investment, an open day, an alumni conference, exhibitions, a historical overview of UB, fundraising for projects earmarked, research, and outreach activities.

“Today, we celebrate where we come from, where we are, and where we want to be” Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga, the Vice-Chancellor said in his welcome address.

The pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Dorothy Limunga Njeuma was equally present. She was lauded for birthing what is now “an institution of reference”.

The University of Buea was first a University Centre before being transformed into a full University in 1993. It had just four faculties: Arts, Education, Science, and Social and Management Sciences. Today, it has 11 establishments (eight faculties, two colleges, and one school).

The 30th anniversary of the University is being celebrated under the theme: “University of Buea: impacting the future together through Innovative solutions”. Activities will take place at the University’s main campus.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Corpse of woman finally out of mortuary after two years dispute

The corpse of a woman, Mme Kuissu Wouaffo Clarisse disputed for over two years by her son and a certain Eric Nodou she was married to for over 16 years has finally been removed from the Aluchem hospital mortuary on Thursday, May 25, 2023, and laid to rest.

A bill of about FCFA 6 Million was settled before the removal.

According to the deceased’s son, the delayed burial was due to Eric Nodou’s refusal to let her corpse be buried on his piece of land.

“The main issue is that he wants to absolutely bury his mother on my land, which is impossible. Again his mother tricked me to pay her bride price to another man she lied to and presented as her father. The man I paid the bride price to was instead her mother’s boyfriend (lover). She also lied to me about her age and so many things. I had no idea and only learned of these afterward. I had to file for annulment of the marriage but she died in the process.” Explained Eric Nodou, the deceased’s husband.

Son of the deceased insisted that his mother was the one who ensured the construction of the house she was living in with her husband for 16 years, with little contribution from the man.

“He claims, the money used to construct the house was his, presenting documents of expenses. It was my mother’s money in his possession. He only had access to those documents. It is my mother’s house he can’t dispute that. My mother must be buried in the bedroom of this house,” he said.

It was after the intervention of the Police and Gendarmes that Mme Clarisse was finally laid to rest in the bedroom of the said house in Logbessou, Douala V. sub-division.

Eric Nodou in question has no child with his late wife.

Source: Cameroon News Agency