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Ghana’s constitution is the best, let’s make it work – Outgoing Chief Justice.



The Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo has praised Ghana’s 1992 Constitution as the best in the world and signalled that all efforts must be deployed to make it work.

The Chief Justice who retires on December 20, 2019, made the comment at a brief ceremony after her valedictory judgement earlier on Wednesday.

According to her, “Ghana has the best constitution in this world, and let us make it work for us” and that it was fashioned in a way that reflects the country’s history and aspirations.

She charged her colleagues on the bench to protect Ghana by safeguarding the constitution.

“So I charge my colleagues on the Supreme Court, please protect Ghana by protecting your function, your judicial function, particularly functions that are yours under the constitution,” she said on Wednesday.

Making the Constitution work means protecting it from all actions that will attempt to undermine it, Sophia Akuffo said.

She added that Ghanaians should not compromise the Constitution to the advantage of the executive or legislature, and charged the gathering to protect Ghana.

“Let us not compromise it to the advantage of the executive, or to the advantage of the legislature. Our constitution was configured as it was because of our peculiar history and that is why unlike many constitutions so much power was given to the judiciary and particularly the Supreme Court.”

“So let us uphold and protect that function. It’s not the power by itself, it’s the function that arises from the power and thereby we protect every citizen in this country,” Ms Akuffo warned.

Many have said Ghana’s basic law was outmoded and it was time for a comprehensive review 27 years after coming into force. Portions of the Ghanaian Constitution were amended in 1996 and efforts have since been made to review or amend other provisions with the recent being the botched amendment of article 243 (1) and the referendum on Article 55 (3).

Prior to this, an all-inclusive process was commissioned in 2010 to do a root and branch review of the Constitution but the Professor Albert Fiadjoe’s Constitution Review Commission’s report and its white paper continue to gather dust.

It is not clear if the CJ’s comment on the goodness of the Constitution is to suggest that the basic law is fine without a review or she was in principle extolling how useful it has been to Ghana’s success at practising democracy.

Valedictory Judgement

In a major development to Ghana’s laws, the Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision ruled that the maximum 48-hour power the police has to detain an arrested person in State custody without being granted bail or extension includes weekends, public holidays and periods of civil unrest.

The decision, made by Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, Justice Kwasi Annin Yeboah, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Justice Sule Gbadegbe, Justice Alfred Benin and Justice Nii Ashie Kotei is to take effect in six months’ time.

The judges further asked the judicial secretary to within six months make arrangements for overtime pay for officers of the courts, especially District courts, who will work on weekends, holidays for this purpose.

The seven-member panel also directed the Chief Justice, the Inspector General of Police, Registrars of the various Courts to ensure that the ruling of the Court is brought to the attention of all interested parties to ensure its enforcement.

It was Justice Sophia Akuffo’s valedictory judgement.

The decision follows an application by private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for an interpretation of article 14 clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution which states that;

“a person who is arrested, restricted or detained (a) for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of an order of a court; or (b) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana, and who is not released, shall be brought before a court within forty-eight hours after the arrest, restriction or detention.

Mr. Kpebu in his suit sort eight (8) reliefs from the Supreme Court. Amongst them was “a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of article 14(3) of the Constitution (1992) a Saturday, a Sunday, a public holiday, anytime during a civil unrest and any other day that the courts in Ghana cannot sit (e.g. during strike by judicial service staff or during a strike by any other stakeholder that will prevent the court from sitting) would be counted in reckoning the 48 hours within which a person arrested or detained on suspicion of committing a crime and not released must be brought before a court under article 14 (3) of the Constitution of Ghana (1992)”.



Akufo-Addo speaks on James Town clashes



President Nana Akufo-Addo has condemned the weekend clashes between supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Odododiodio constituency.

For him, those without a message resort to violence and intimidation.

Addressing a durbar organised by the Ga Traditional Council at James Town as part of his tour of the Greater Accra region, President Akufo-Addo called for total rejection of electoral violence before, during and after the general election.

The NPP parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Nii lante Bannerman pledged to promote peace and appealed to his opponent to do same.

What was supposed to be a peace walk on Sunday turned bloody when NPP youth clashed with their NDC counterparts.

Reports suggest that the NDC, after hearing their opponents had canceled a ‘float’ due to time clash, hit the streets only to be greeted with stones and beer bottles.

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Armed Robbers Play With Private Parts Of Our Wives – Nsuta Birim Drivers Cry



Residents of Nsuta – Birim in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti region have said some armed robbers in the area have resulted in putting their fingers in the private parts of women in the area.

The armed robbers who operate on the Nsuta-Birim-Jeduako road according to the residents do not only rob them but use their fingers on the private part of their victims who are women.

Speaking to OTEC News Kwame Agyenim Boateng, commercial drivers who work in the area said they have grounded their vehicles for the past one week due to the rampant robbery cases recorded in the area.

They disclosed that robbers in the past months have consistently attacked drivers and traders with sophisticated guns and machetes killing three persons with one sustaining severe machete injuries.

“We are tired of the armed robbery operations in the area, they beat men with guns and machete after “fingering” our wives,” one of the drivers cried.

“We had to park our cars for over one week due to how the robbers were chasing us on daily basis, we have reported the matter to Nsuta police on several cases but nothing has been done about the situation.”

The situation they added has brought untold hardship to them as traders can no longer go about their normal trading activities to supply foodstuffs and goods in both Birim and Jeduako Communities.

The residents have therefore called on authorities in the area to help curb the menace for peace to prevail in the area.

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Ghana Not Back To HIPC – Oppong Nkrumah



Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has debunked claims that Ghana has once again been ranked in the category of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

According to him, the numerous publications making rounds on social media purporting that the country has returned to HIPC is false.

Speaking at the Nation Building Updates on Tuesday in Accra, the Minister noted that because the country is approaching a general election in December, there is a deliberate attempt to discredit the work government has done since assuming office in 2017 to revive the economy.

He said “there are suggestions being spread particularly on social media that Ghana has been declared HIPC again and I am sure you would have noticed that a lot of persons are sharing materials on social media that the IMF or World Bank has declared Ghana HIPC or listed Ghana as one of the HIPC countries and it is a suggestion that the economy is not as good a shape that we claim it is.

“For the avoidance of doubt and because we have also mentioned that we are aware that some persons in the weeks ahead of the elections will seek to spread a lot of false information and fake news, it is important to quickly respond to it right here and right now. Categorically we say to you it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or has been added to the list of HIPC countries,” he added.

The HIPC was a group of 39 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang who qualified for financial assistance from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral, bilateral and commercial creditors between 1996 and 2001. It was designed to ensure the reduction in the debt levels of poor and indebted countries.

TheMinister emphasized that the HIPC was a programme limited to a particular point in time that Ghana and a number of African countries applied, benefited, exited and was done with it.

“The publication out there list the countries that participated and qualified for it. Currently, there is no HIPC programme for any country to qualify for so if anybody is spreading that and adding to it a narrative that suggest that Ghana is now a highly indebted poor country and has been listed on an IMF or World Bank publication as such.

However, the Minister encouraged the general public to disregard such publications. He also admonished the media to be circumspect and thoroughly conduct background checks before publishing news items.


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