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Government considering abolishing death penalty

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted that the government will consider the removal of the death penalty from the country’s statute books.

He said the suggestion by Amnesty International (AI) that five out of the six offences that qualify for the death penalty could easily be removed through the parliamentary process was something worth considering by the government.

The sixth offence, which is treason, could only be removed by referendum which is an entrenched clause.

President Akufo-Addo gave the commitment when members of the Ghana section of AI paid a courtesy call at the Jubilee House yesterday.

“I want to signal to you that definitely the ideas you have put forward on that [death penalty] are interesting, and I will have a close look and if indeed the consensus within government goes down on that path, so be it. Rightly, the issue of treason is different,” he added.

Amnesty International suggested that the death penalty was an affront to the fundamental human rights of the people and could easily be replaced with life imprisonment without parole.

Death Penalty

President Akufo-Addo noted that the abolition of the death penalty had attained global discussions with a lot of countries coming to terms with it.

“I think that the solutions they are proposing is ingenious, in that five out of six offences can be dealt with by statutory enactment,” the President posited.

He gave an assurance that the ministers of justice and for the interior, and the heads of the various security agencies would brainstorm and bring some suggestions to cabinet for a decision.

He was of the view that when the issues were laid before Parliament, it should go not as a party issue with party whips but it should go on a free vote so that people could express their views and not be driven by the whip of the majority party.

The President noted that the removal of the death penalty was a matter that should be the individual responsibility of Members of Parliament.

Prisons

President Akufo-Addo said the congestion at the country’s prisons was unacceptable and noted that while resources were being sought to build new ones, moves would be made to assuage the conditions.

As of January 28, 2020, Ghana prisons’ population was 14,824 as against the total capacity of 9,945.

Pardon and amnesty

President Akufo-Addo noted that the government was considering the possibility of increasing non-custodial sentences and that very soon it would make a pronouncement on it.

That, he said, was because it would not only ease congestion but enhance reforms and rehabilitation, and avoid a situation where people with minor offences were confined and exposed to hardened criminals.

Case

A member of AI Ghana, Mr Martin Kpebu, who made the case for the abolition of the death penalty, added that there had been a Supreme Court pronouncement on the issue and that the highest court of the land suggested an Act of Parliament to deal with it.

Another member of AI International, who spoke on the congestion in the prisons, Mr Samuel K. Agbotsey, commended the President for granting amnesty to 1,076 prisoners.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

NEWS

4 Kids burnt to death as fire guts 4-bedroom house in Amasaman (PHOTOS)

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Four children were burnt to death as fire gut a four-bedroom house in Amasaman Fise in the Ga Central District of the Greater Accra Region.

The four kids were sleeping in a room in the four-bedroom house when the incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

According to an eye witness, the mother of the kids had locked them up and left for church when the incident occurred.

 

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NEWS

NDC kicks against firm to print ballot papers

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised concerns over the printing of ballot papers by state-owned Ghana Publishing Company.

The NDC believes there is a likelihood of conflict of interest as it says the Chief Executive Officer of Company, David Asante of Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) fame, has a soft spot for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking on Akoma FM‘s morning show GhanAkoma, a Deputy General Secretary for NDC, Peter Boamah Otokunor, told host Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “we the NDC have issues on the reason Ghana Publishing Company wins the bid to print ballot papers for the Electoral Commission because the CEO for the same firm printing ballot papers for the 2020 elections is a staunch NPP member”.

He, further, stated that “on this premise, there is the tendency that transparency and neutrality might be questionable and could dent the credibility of the election verdict”.

During the panel discussion on the show, a former Municipal Chief Executive for Obuasi, Kwasi Ofori Agyemang, also described the situation as uncomfortable for the NDC.

“I will urge the NDC to deploy hard and vigilant party members to police the printing of the ballot papers to ensure zero double crossing which may whet people’s appetite to rig the elections.”

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NDC youth curse Ken Agyapong Over False Accusations Against Ato Forson – VIDEO

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Some angry members of the opposition NDC in the Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency in the Central Region have invoked curses on the MP for Assin Central, Ken Agyapon for accusing their MP, Ato Forson of being behind the plot to kill the MP for Agona West Constituency Cynthia Morrison.

According to the angry Youth, Hon. Ken Agyapon sat on his NET2 TV station and alleged that Hon. Ato Forson contracted the alleged suspects to assassinate Mrs Morrison who’s also the Minister of Gender, Children and Social protection when in fact Hon. Ato Forson is innocent of the crime.

To demonstrate their displeasure over the false allegation against their MP, the group led by Nana Kweku Dadze, beseeched the dreaded river god of the town to deal ruthlessly with Ken Agyapong.

Powerful deity of our land we beseech you today in the name of our MP Hon. Ato Forson. Some persons including Hon. Ken Agyapong has resorted to every means possible including making false allegations to destroy our MP and cause him to lose his seat. We summon Hon. Ken Agyapong to you (deity) deal with him mercilessly. Whenever he plots with others to come to Ajumako Enyan Essiam to cause mayhem in order for Hon. Ato Forson to be defeated may they never reach this town when they board a vehicle. Whenever he speaks evil of Ato Forson may he suffer paralysis and be numbed. We are not saying this only by way of mouth. We present to you(deity) our fowl and goat as a token for you to act on our plea to you. We ask you(deity) to summon and ask him why he’s doing this to Hon. Ato Forson.”

Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong speaking on the alleged plot to kill Hon. Cynthia Morrison on ‘The Seat Show on Net 2 TV last Monday claimed the suspects told the police during interrogations that they were contracted by Ato Forson to perpetuate the thwarted crime.

He alleged that Paul Ofori Amoah, the Agona West Parliamentary Candidate of the NDC, only signed the cheques which were found in the hotel room of the suspects but every step of the alleged operation was orchestrated by the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam.

“…The boys mentioned Cassiel Ato Forson’s name to the police, why is it that the police would not like to speak the truth? Ato Forson gave the boys to the parliamentary candidate Paul Ofori Amoah. Truly speaking, the parliamentary candidate is very calm but Ato Forson did that. He should come out and challenge me.”

Agyapong, who is the MP for Assin Central, had earlier stated that some ‘powerful individuals’ within the opposition NDC had contracted the suspects who were to assassinate the gender minister.

The suspects were arrested by the police at a hotel within the Central Region where they were said to be plotting the thwarted murder.

 

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