Senior Minister tests positive for Coronavirus- Osafo Maafo

Ghana’s senior minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an official announcement on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 Speaking at a press conference, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the senior minister is doing well and receiving treatment.

“Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo has been informed that his sample taken has returned positive for COVID-19,” Oppong Nkrumah said.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has since Saturday, July 4, 2020, been on self-isolation after coming close to someone who tested positive for Coronavirus . Seven more persons have died of COVID-19 in Ghana, increasing the death toll to 129, according to the latest Ghana Health Service report on July 6, 2020.

Also, 992 new coronavirus cases have increased the total case count to 21,077.

The recoveries have shot up to 16,070 with the active cases standing at 4,878.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo , the president of Ghana to begin a 14 -day self -quarantine measure after a member of the inner circle tested positive .

The President of Ghana outlied himself after coming into contact with an associate who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an official statement Saturday.
“President Nana Akufo-Addo will today begin a 14 day precautionary self-quarantine measure in compliance with COVID-19 protocols,” the Information Ministry said in a statement. “This is because a member of his close circle tested positive for the novel coronavirus.”
Ghana reported 19,388 coronavirus cases and confirmed 117 deaths.
Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The pandemic has killed more than 528,300 people worldwide, with an excess of 11.1 million confirmed cases and greater than 6 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Voters registration: applicants shying away from thermometer guns. Health officials hint at the La Nkwantanag municipality.

On the 30 of june, 2020 which happens to be the start of the new voters registration,  the work of the health officials is to ensure that all health safety protocols are adhered to,  while other applicants shy away from thermometer guns in the la nkwantanag municipality at the Gina polling station.

During the voters registration at the Gina polling station,  the health officials helped the applicants to cling to the health safety protocols including the washing of hands , checking of temperatures, wearing of nose masks before registering.  so far they are facing no challenges what so ever and all the applicants are complying to the safety protocols available.

Some applicants have the misconception that once the thermometer gun proves that your temperature is high then you are being affected by the pandemic, Here the health officials proved that it is just a misconception and urged each and every Ghanaian to register so they can take part in the upcoming elections.

The Supreme Court has declared as lawful the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to use the Ghana Card and the Ghanaian passport as the only identification documents that would allow a Ghanaian to register in the upcoming mass voters registration exercise.The court has, therefore, dismissed two legal actions that were seeking the inclusion of an existing voter identification (ID) card and a birth certificate as part of the identification documents

The first suit seeking the inclusion of an existing voter ID card was filed by the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), while the second one seeking the inclusion of the birth certificate was filed by one Mr Mark Takyi-Banson, in his capacity as a Ghanaian.
In a unanimous decision yesterday, a seven-member panel of the apex court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, also held that no law barred the EC from compiling a new voters register rather the compilation of a new register by the EC was in accordance with the powers granted it under Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution.The other members of the panel were Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Nasiru Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher and Professor Nii Ashie Kotey.
Article 45 spells out the functions of the EC, which includes “(a) to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law”.The court did not present reasons for its decision but ruled on each of the reliefs sought by the two plaintiffs.
The reasons for the dismissal of the suits, the court said, would be filed at the court’s registry by July 15, 2020.As a result of the decision, the highest court of the land has directed the EC to commence the voters registration exercise as scheduled. The EC has fixed Tuesday, June 30 to Monday, August 6, 2020, to register citizens for the voters roll.
The court also ordered the EC to conduct the registration exercise in compliance with the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment), 2020 (C.I.126), the law regulating the upcoming registration exercise, and Article 42 and Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution.Per C.I. 126, an existing voter ID card and birth certificate are not part of the identifying documents one needs to present in order to register and be issued with a Voter ID Card during the registration exercise.
Article 42 grants a Ghanaian the right to vote and also the right to register to vote, while Article 45 grants the EC the power to compile a voters register and also review it periodically.
Also, the Supreme Court ordered that any court in the country which is hearing a case challenging the upcoming voters registration exercise must rule on that case based on the decision by the apex court.
This means a suit challenging the upcoming registration exercise filed at the Accra High Court by Mr Ernest Norgbey, the NDC Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, is expected to be dismissed in compliance with the order by the Supreme Court.
Reliefs granted
The Supreme Court in its decision yesterday granted two reliefs (relief two and relief three) out of the eight reliefs sought by the NDC and dismissed the remaining six.
The two reliefs granted by the court were:
Relief two: A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, specifically article 51 read conjointly with Article 42 of the Constitution, the power of the 2nd Defendant (EC) to compile and review the voters register must be exercised subject to respect for and the protection of the right to vote; Relief three: A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article 42, upon the registration of and issuance of a voter identification card to a person, that person has an accrued right to vote which cannot be divested in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
The apex court held that relief two was granted “subject to the fact that all eligible voters must make themselves available for registration as directed by the EC pursuant to C.I.126.
With regard to relief three, the court held that it was granted “subject to a voter registration card issued to an eligible voter under the prevailing Constitutional Instrument, C.I 126.”
Per C.I. 126, the only means one can register and be issued with a voter ID card during the registration exercise is by presenting a Ghana Card or the Ghanaian passport.
A person without these two documents can, however, still register if two people who have already registered guarantee for him or her.
Reliefs dismissed
The six other reliefs of the NDC dismissed by the Supreme Court included the declaration that an existing voter ID card is valid for “purposes of identifying such persons in the exercise of their right to vote” (relief 4).
Another relief of the NDC dismissed by the court was relief eight, which was “an order directed at the 2nd Defendant (EC) to include all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant as one of the documents serving as proof of identification for registration as a voter for the purposes of public elections”.
In dismissing relief eight, the court held that it could not order the EC to do something unless the EC had acted unconstitutionally.
“It is refused and we also reiterate our decision in Abu Ramadan (No.2) where this court held that the Electoral Commission in performing their mandate under Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution cannot be compelled to act in a particular manner unless there is clear evidence that they have acted unconstitutionally,” the court held.
All the six reliefs being sought by Mr Takyi-Banson in his suit were dismissed by the apex court.The court continued by re-emphasising the fact that the Electoral Commission, in exercising their discretion in the discharge of their constitutional mandate in cleaning the voters register, should be deemed as authorised to be acting within the law and the regulations therein, and cannot be faulted even if it is considered that there is a more efficient mode or method available,” the court held



SUPREME COURT RULES ON NDC , EC CASE JUNE 23

The Supreme Court has fixed Thursday, June 23, this year to deliver its judgement on whether or not the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) decision to exclude the existing voter ID card as one of the source documents for registration during the upcoming voters registration exercise is constitutional.

Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is the plaintiff in the suit, is no longer pursuing one leg of its case, the one challenging the constitutionality of the decision by the EC to compile a new voters register for the 2020 general election.
Lawyers for the biggest opposition party yesterday abandoned that relief and rather decided to focus solely on challenging the decision of the EC to exclude an existing voter identification card as one of the identification documents to prove one’s Ghanaian citizenship to enable one to register in the upcoming mass voters registration exercise.
That was after the Supreme Court had pointed out to the lawyers of the NDC that the two claims could not stand side by side .

In March this year, the NDC filed a suit against the EC and the Attorney-General (A-G) on two grounds that, first, the entire registration exercise was unconstitutional because, per Article 45 (a) of the 1992 Constitution, the EC could only compile a voters register once and periodically revise it.
The second leg of the suit was that the decision of the EC to exclude an existing voter ID card as a form of identification for the registration would disenfranchise many potential registrants and, therefore, it was unconstitutional, as it violated Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, which gives a citizen of Ghana the right to vote and also the right to register to vote.
In view of the second leg of its argument, the NDC was seeking a relief from the Supreme Court ordering the EC to include an existing voter ID card as a form of identification for the upcoming registration exercise.

This means the NDC was, on the one hand, asking the Supreme Court to declare the upcoming registration exercise unconstitutional, and on the other also asking the court to order the EC to allow existing voter ID cards to be used for the same exercise.At the hearing yesterday, a seven-member panel of the apex court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Annin Yeboah, told the legal team of the NDC to select one of the two claims for the apex court to make a determination on it.Counsel for the NDC, Mr Godwin Kudzo Tameklo, settled on the relief that had to do with the challenge against the EC’s decision to exclude an existing voter ID as one of the documents which serve as prerequisites for one to register in the voters registration exercise.
The court, therefore, went ahead to strike out the relief regarding the claim that the registration exercise is unconstitutional.
“Relief one endorsed on the writ of summons is hereby struck out as abandoned,” the Chief Justice held.
Apart from the Chief Justice, the other judges who will determine the suit are Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Nasiru Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher and Professor Nii Ashie Kotey.

NDC’s argument
At the hearing yesterday, the court allowed the respective counsels for the three parties involved in the suit — the NDC, the EC and the A-G — to address it on their salient arguments supporting their respective cases.
In his submission, Mr Tameklo attacked the justification of the EC and the A-G to exclude an existing voter ID as a form of identification for the upcoming registration exercise.
According to counsel, it was legally wrong for the EC and the A-G to argue that existing voter ID cards were defective because the EC’s registration officers relied on a training manual which directed them to disregard proof for eligibility during the exercise.
It was his argument that the EC and the A-G had not provided any proof to that effect and, therefore, it could not be a basis for excluding those cards for the new registration exercise.
Counsel supported his argument with the fact that the Supreme Court, in the Abu Ramadan vs A-G case, had held that an existing voter card was, for all purposes, the best prima facie evidence of citizenship.
“The 2nd defendant (EC) has not demonstrated the legal basis why it exercised its discretion to exclude an existing voter card as a form of identification for the registration,” he submitted.
At that point, Justice Amegatcher asked counsel which existing voter ID card he was referring to.
Justice Gbadegbe also asked counsel not to lump all existing voter ID cards used for elections under the Fourth Republic as one.
According to him, voter cards issued under a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) revoked all other voter ID cards under an old C.I.
“Those existing cards become dead and cannot be resurrected,” the Chief Justice also added.
A-G’s argument
According to him, voter cards issued under a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) revoked all other voter ID cards under an old C.I.
“Those existing cards become dead and cannot be resurrected,” the Chief Justice also added.
A-G’s argument
For his part, a Deputy A-G, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, described the suit by the NDC as unmeritorious, procedurally and in substance.
Arguing on the procedural aspect, he submitted that the NDC initiated the suit at a time when the C.I. the party was complaining about, which excluded an existing voter ID as a form of identification for the registration, was not part of the laws of the country, as it had not been approved by Parliament.
According to him, the EC even withdrew the C.I. on about three occasions when it was submitted to Parliament, which showed that at the time the suit was filed, the C.I. was a proposed C.I. and not a substantive C.I.
It was, therefore, his case that the NDC could not complain about a constitutional breach in relation to proposals that were not yet part of the laws of Ghana.
Justice Amegatcher then said that if the court was to dismiss the suit on the technical ground raised by the A-G, the NDC could file again and the court would still have to determine it.
Justice Baffoe-Bonnie also asked the deputy A-G if something that threatened a breach of the Constitution could not be challenged at the apex court.
The Deputy A-G answered that per Article 2 of the 1992 Constitution, under which the NDC invoked the jurisdiction of the court, only an enactment (a law in Ghana) that violated the Constitution could be challenged at the court.
With regard to the substance of the suit, he argued that there was the need for the EC to exclude an existing voter ID for the upcoming registration exercise to cure all the sins of existing voter ID cards issued under previous C.Is.
Counsel made a case that the voter ID cards issued in 1995 under C.I. 12 were unconstitutional, as the C.I, did not include proof of eligibility before one could register.
Those voter ID cards, he said, were proof of identification used for the voter ID cards issued in 2012 under C.I. 72, which were also used for the voter ID cards issued by the EC in 2019 under C.I. 91.
“To compile new voter ID cards with old voter ID cards would amount to importing the sins and ills of old voters registration processes,” Mr Dame argued.

Election 2020 will be won with records, not violence – Bawumia

In his excellency Dr . Mahamadu Bawumia ‘s acceptance speech , he uttered, “we have arrested the depreciation of cedi , brought down inflation, reduced interest rate , increase growth , reduced unemployment , deduced the suffering of the people in terms of paying for electricity and creating many jobs.”

He also stated that the NPP won the election in 2016 when another party had been in power , therefore, they could use their performance in the first four years to win the next election .

He also said that we should make sure that how we speak and what we say brings about peace and understanding , we want a very free -fair and violence – free election . The party will campaign based on its records and what they can do better for Ghanaians .

He also urged members of the New Patriotic Party ( NPP) and other political parties to be wary of their utterances to help observe a violent-free election.

Obinim arrested, charged with publication of false news and forgery

The police have arrested and charged the founder of the International God’s Way Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim for publication of false news.
The popular pastor was also charged for forgery of a document contrary to sections 208 and 159 of the Criminal and other offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) respectively.
Police say the controversial pastor was arrested on Tuesday but did not give details of the news he is alleged to have published or the forged documents.
Last week, social media was awash with claims that the pastor, who says he has been to heaven, had been arrested by the police following a complaint by Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong.
But according to the police, those reports are false.
The Criminal Investigations Department entreated the public to disregard a video circulating on social media on the earlier reports of arrest.
The video has no relation with the suspect’s arrest on Tuesday May 19, 2020.”
Police say Bishop Obinim was sent to the Magistrate court in Accra and has been granted a ¢100,000 bail with three sureties, one person to be justified.
He will re-appear before court on June