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Breaking hot afternoon news today, June 25.

Wisdom4you 06/25/2020

1) Court orders EC to go ahead with voters registration exercise

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The National Democratic Congress sued the Electoral Commission at the Supreme Court over its decision to compile of a new Voters’ register ahead of the 2020 elections.

The opposition party has stated their stand against the decision by the election commission to compile a new Voters register but the EC insist that it will proceed with its decision.

The NDC was seeking an order to stop the EC from compiling a new voters’ register and an alternative order declaring as illegal the decision of the EC not to consider the old voter ID cards as a proof of citizenship for registering to vote.

The Supreme Court of Ghana has ordered the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the compilation of a new voters register. 

The ruling was decided by a 7-member panel presided by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.

According to the Apex Court, the EC is an independent body and will only be directed by the court if it acts contrary to law.

There was, however, a disagreement between the opposition NDC and the AG's office over whether or not the court allowed the use of the existing voters ID card.

The Apex court gave them a directive to make a choice on which of their two reliefs they wanted a decision on.

It is for this reason the NDC dropped the case which questions the power of the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters register.

Meanwhile, NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia in an interview with the media was confident the court had ruled in the party’s favour.

The counsel of the parties involved are waiting at the court premises for a written order for clarity on the ruling.

2) Voters register; Supreme Court judgement on proof of identity divides parties. 

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Defendants and plaintiffs in the voters register suit appear divided over the Supreme Court ruling on the proof of identity as the court directs the commission to go ahead with plans to compile a new register. 

Both parties have claimed victory following the Thursday ruling presided by the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.

Meanwhile, NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia has told the media the outcome is a vindication of their position.

“So we will get back to the office and we will address a full-blown press conference on the consequential matters arising. We feel vindicated because the court itself in an earlier ruling has clearly stated that the possession of an existing voters ID means that the holder is a citizen of Ghana who is qualified to be registered and to exercise his or her powers and so the court couldn’t go back on its own earlier ruling,” he said.

However, legal practitioner Yaw Oppong told Starr News the court order suggests that the new register should be done per the dictates of the electoral commission and their definition of proof of identity.

3) Ghana takes steps to appease Nigeria over embassy demolition

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The government of Ghana is continuing with strenuous efforts to appease the Federal Republic of Nigeria and quell a full-blown diplomatic row after a property belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Accra was vandalised last week.

 At a press conference held on Wednesday, June 25, 2020, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, said after studying evidence presented by both the Nigerian High Commission and the Lands Commission Ghana Government will ensure that the demolished building is restored to its original state, as soon as possible, at a cost to the people of Ghana.

Also, the Lands Commission has been directed to issue a letter to the Osu Traditional Council – which had sold the parcel of the land to a third party – stating that in August 2000, a formal offer was made to the High Commission of Nigeria with respect to the parcel of land in question.

According to the Ministry, the evidence adduced suggests that the offer was accepted by the High Commission and payments made, accordingly constituting a contract.

Further, the Lands Commission will be made to issue a Land Title Certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria to regularise its ownership of the property in question.

The Ministry had revealed that the inability of the Nigerian High Commission to obtain of Land Title Certificate presented a loophole in the whole affair.

The Government of Ghana will also engage the Osu Stool and all stakeholders on the impasse.

“Following the arrest of some persons connected to the breach of the premises of the High Commission of Nigeria, the Criminal Investigation Department will expedite action on investigations, given the delicate nature of the matter and its potential ramifications on Ghana–Nigeria relations,” Shirley Ayorkor Botchway promised.

Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, however, advised the High Commission of Nigeria to take appropriate steps to obtain building permits for any construction project.

She was emphatic that the Government of Ghana will actively engage the Nigerian Government at the highest level to address the impasse and help calm tensions in both countries.

4) I paid twice as much as my opponent but still lost- Mpohor MP

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The defeated Member of Parliament for Mpohor, Alex Agyekum says despite paying double the amount his other contestant, John Saanie paid to delegates during the recent New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries, he still lost. 

Speaking to Kwame Malcolm host of Radio.360’s flagship morning programme, Yensom in Takoradi, Hon Agyekum said some delegates have begun calling him to apologise.

"If it is development(in Mpohor) that delegates stood on to vote, then no one can fault me. delegates will not have any basis…from Mpohor, Dominase, Trebuom, Manso, Adansie line, Mampong, Abotare Yie to Edanwiredukrom I made electricity be extended there in 2014. In about 12 communities where there are no lights I have made them erect poles and only left with the cables. It was only one community that was inaccessible, Angu Domeabra; I used my common fund to hire a bulldozer to carve a road that tricycles (aboboyaa), taxis, tipper trucks ply; so for development, Kwame, delegates cannot fault me. At Dominase, the town used to be flooded, I collaborated with Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) using an excavator to divert Butre river and you are aware…so for development no one can fault me,” the embittered defeated MP lamented.

He also stated that he has helped in raising the morale of the members of the NPP in Mpohor during his tenure.

“no one can say as at Saturday June 20, the day of elections, the chances of the NPP as against other political parties were low. So if you sum up all these and assess the voting direction of the delegates, then it means they voted for other issues apart from development that they themselves can pinpoint…so if all I have enumerated are the key points that they will use to vote, then no one can find me lacking, reason I’m saying they may have voted for other reasons apart from development.

“Let me, however, say this though it is unofficial, it is glaring that when there is voting, monies exchange hands; and when it comes to that too, the delegates themselves will bear me witness, the motivation I gave them ” to use to buy water”; what my opponent(John Saanie) offered, I offered twice that amount so what could they have used to vote against me? Maybe someone will say such inducements are illegal but nobody in Ghana here will act like an ostrich that any voting at any level from the national level to the regional level to whatever; parties like NDC, NPP; if you are vying for a position you cannot say you will not pay something to delegates, at least something small for water(sic) so if someone will say because my opponent gave one and I gave half or quarter so that was what went against me in the voting, that is not the case.

“So let me repeat, Kwame, that maybe the delegates themselves will tell you what they based their vote on. Some have begun calling me saying they do not know what came over them and I tell them no one must say they were jinxed or spiritually captured by their hands being held to vote without they knowing what they were voting for and I tell them they have shown that they are ungrateful for all I did so someone must continue from where I have reached. I can only thank you and we surge forward by supporting the NPP” Hon Agyekum further lamented.

The defeated Mpohor Legislator who is also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth and Sports denied reports of he demanding for monies he paid delegates on voting day saying he would not have stooped that low and anyone who may have acted in such manner using his name was unauthorized by him.

The incumbent Member of Parliament of Mpohor polled 100 votes losing to John Saanie his contender who polled 192 in the June 20 primaries in Mpohor in the Western Region.

Source: opera.com
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