Gitmo Two deal laid before Parliament |

The agreement between Ghana and the United States on the resettlement of the two former Gitmo detainees in Ghana has been laid before Parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, subsequently referred the agreement to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee for consideration.

The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda, were brought to Ghana in 2016, for a period, after which they were expected to be reintegrated in their home countries.

The move was however condemned by many including the now-governing New Patriotic Party, who described them as a security threat.

The Supreme Court, in June, however, ordered that the agreement covering the resettlement be submitted to Parliament for ratification or otherwise, failing which the two ex-detainees would be repatriated.


The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby

Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.

The plaintiffs were seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that per interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.

By: Sixtus Dong Ullo/

Published on 27 July 2017 | 2:27 pm at Source

Cabinet approves establishment of Electricity Market Oversight panel – Starr Fm

Ghana’s electricity sub-sector will soon have an oversight body regulating its activities, as envisaged in a Legislative Instrument passed by Parliament in 2008.

Officials of the Energy Ministry say the Electricity Market Oversight Panel (EMOP) would among others, seek to monitor the general performance of electricity transmission, ensure smooth and efficient operation of the wholesale electricity market, monitor pre-dispatch schedules and ensure long-term optimisation of hydro-electricity supply sources in the country.

As part of efforts to improve the governance and operations of the electricity sector, Parliament passed the Electricity Regulations, 2008, L.I. 1937 which provided for the implementation of a Wholesale Electricity Market to facilitate wholesale electricity trading and to allow for private sector investment and competition in the procurement of electricity in Ghana.

The L.I. 1937 also provided for a number of key policy decisions, including the structure of the wholesale electricity market, as well as the market rules intended to govern the market.

However, there was a need for an oversight panel to ensure its effective implementation.

At a Cabinet meeting on Thursday July 21, 2017, the Minister of Energy was tasked to constitute the Panel and see to its inauguration, to enable the restructuring of the electricity sub-sector and energy sector as a whole.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 2:17 pm at Source

Army worm invasion totally defeated – Agric Minister – Starr Fm

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has declared that the army worm invasion has completely been defeated.

“Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the nation that the fall army worm invasion has been defeated totally,” Dr. Afriyie Akoto said Thursday on the floor of Parliament.

He added “the situation which has been created by some people that the army worm is consuming the planting for food and jobs [program], Mr. Speaker is not correct, it is wrong.”

The army worms invaded several farms in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta and Eastern regions early this year.

Over 15,000 hectares of farmlands have been destroyed nationwide by the worms. Farmers who were affected by the worms were given pesticides by the Agric ministry to fight the invasion.

The “fall army worm” is not actually a worm. It is a super-hungry caterpillar that eats up crops before it grows into a butter fly.

They look dull yellow to gray in colour with stripes running down the length of the body.

They lay their eggs on seedlings and leaves of plants and within 5 to 10 days, the tinny caterpillars hatch to launch a massive onslaught on food crops.

The pests attack leaves of crops, flowers and even the stalk.

They feed on several crops including -staple food source – maize, cotton, soya bean, potato and the cash crop – cocoa.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 1:32 pm at Source

Economic growth depends on non-oil sector – IFS – Starr Fm

The Executive Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) Prof Newman Kusi has said the country’s ability to fund projects that will boost the economy depends on the non-oil sector.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, July 27, 2017 Prof Kusi said: “Even though the coming on stream of these new oil fields are jacking up the growth of the GDP, in terms of its effect through revenue available to the government, so it means that the government ability or the country’s ability to be able to fund all the other necessary projects that will grow the economy to increase the base of taxes term and increase revenue depends critically on the non-oil sector.”

According to him, the non-oil sector grows the economy during the first half of the year and attention must be paid to that sector.

“What we need to understand or coming back, we see that the growth rate of about six point something that we talked about was due entirely to the growth of the oil,” he noted.

He added: “As of now, if you take the oil, the crude oil production the government receives at length less than 20% of the total oil revenue that comes.”

“We should not be so much dependent or so much excited as to the fact that the TEN (Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme) and Sankofa gas and oil are coming on stream,” he stressed.

He emphasized: “The most important thing that we need to ask ourselves is that, how much of the revenue that will be generated with the coming on stream of these new fields will come to government or come to the country to support our activities.”

“The answer is less than 20 per cent,” he predicted.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 2:05 pm at Source

Tamale flood “heartbreaking, devastating” – Suhuyini – Starr Fm

The MP for Tamale North constituency, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini, has described as “depressing, devastating and heartbreaking” a flood disaster that hit large parts of the Northern region two days ago after heavy rains and stormy weather.

The disaster occurred Tuesday morning after the five-hour downpour drenched many parts of the regional capital, Tamale, killing three persons including two children and uprooted dozens from homes.

Properties of unquantified proportions including livestock and other assets were lost leaving victims in uncertain situations and hopeless circumstances.

Communities within the Tamale North constituency like Fou, Taha, Gumani, Kalpohini, Nyanshagu, and several others were most affected with many buildings swamped by floodwaters causing massive damage.

Many roads were ruined and rendered inaccessible. At Fou, Taha and parts of Gumani, houses were submerged, scores of dwellers trapped and belongings washed away by the winding passage of the waters.

The MP on an assessment mission just a day after the disaster, visited closely all the constituents, house after house and commiserated with victims over their loses.

Alhaji Suhuyini immediately after arrival into the constituency was accompanied by some party executives in the area to a burial site where the body of a victim, 59-year-old teacher, was later interred.

He also chanced on a sad drama where some residents were refusing to handover the body of a seven-year-old boy, another fatality in the disaster, found in the Fuo neighborhood to the police for investigations.

The MP hurriedly intervened and ensured the body was released to the police for an autopsy at the Tamale Teaching Hospital and was later handed back to the family. The body was also later buried in accordance with the tenets of Islam.

He expressed worried over the inability of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in the region to provide aid packages for the affected residents, but said he was going to collaborate with his colleagues in Parliament and benevolent individuals and groups to assist the victims reorganised.

“That is the challenge now because as we all know we have a National Disaster Management Organization so if you have a situation where those who are supposed to manage the disaster themselves need management then you wonder as a Member of Parliament where to take the cry of the people to, but I believe that there are well-wishers out there- NGOs and other institutions that would be touched by the plight of these people and together we will partner them to see what kind of support we can give them.

“When we went to the Fuo village, you saw how a room that fell rendered a mother and children homeless and you can just imagine how exposed they are to mosquito bites and consequent malaria that they are prone to acquire, and that can tell you that things city dwellers or people who are comfortable enough may consider less important as little as a mosquito net is something that is useful in this circumstance and we welcome whatever support that anybody wants to give and through us Insha ‘Allah we will be that channel through which reliefs can reach out to the people.”

“I’m also speaking to my colleagues in Parliament, Hon. A.B.A Fuseini (Sagnarigu constituency MP) and Members of Parliament Tamale Central and South and we are putting our heads together to see what we can also do on our own to support”, an emotional Suhuyini said.

Some of the victims he visited gave frightening accounts of how they escaped the disaster and circumstance under which their properties were totally ravaged.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 12:45 pm at Source

Ghanaians are difficult to govern – Napo – Starr Fm

Education minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh has berated the attitude of Ghanaians stating that Ghanaians are difficult people to govern.

According to the minister, although Ghanaian contractors are always pushing for more contracts, they do not want to be punished if they breach the terms of their contracts.

“Ghanaians are very difficult to govern. If you touch that contractor now, you will see a line of people in the office pleading on his behalf,” the Manhyia North MP told journalists at a press conference in Accra to announce the implementation of government’s flagship education policy- Free SHS.

He noted: “There is a program to equip, where we build schools, to equip them with ICT labs. I don’t know how you can equip ICT labs without furniture, but it just happened that we are the same Ghanaians who are given the contracts to equip the schools and we are the same Ghanaians who will take the money and never do the work.”

“We are the same Ghanaians who will rush to the minister for more contracts but don’t want to be punished.

“The president visited Okuapeman Senior High School and the headmaster’s plea was to have a science laboratory refitted. When we came to check, the contractor had been paid 100 per cent of the money. When the contractor was called, he said they took the money and went to do another school”.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 1:33 pm at Source

Ayorkor Botchwey storms Parliament with Gitmo 2 – Starr Fm

Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is expected to appear before Parliament to answer questions about the status of the two Guantanamo Bay ex-detainees being kept in Ghana.

The two, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby of Yemeni origin are among 17 detainees transferred from the prison camp in Cuba by the United States.

The decision to host the detainees in Ghana provoked a firestorm of controversy and outrage among Ghanaians, with many expressing fear that the move would undermine Ghana’s internal security and expose the country to attacks from religious extremists.

An International Relations expert, Professor Keith Bluwey, had said that the decision was “reckless” and “dangerous”, adding that the government was only interested in the financial benefits that it may derive from it.

“It is not in our interest, these people are not ordinary refugees who are being found places of rest, these are criminals, terrorists to the core, Osama Bin Laden activists and they should have no place in Ghana,” he said.

Last month, however, the Supreme Court of Ghana ruled that the two are living illegally in the country.

According to Starr News’ Parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan, the minister is to present a paper outlining whether or not to  keep the two or send them back.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 11:58 am at Source

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Umaru Sanda – Cowboy to interviewing gem |

Some of the human interest stories that have been making the rounds (or in social media parlance, trending) over the last week must certainly be about two videos: Rashida Black Beauty showing her wearing her birthday suit and showing her “goods” to the world and a bridegroom sucking the soul out of his bride at their wedding.

There has been spirited conversation about the impropriety of this particular action by even leading to her invitation by the Berekum police for interrogation, according to news sources. She really riled the internet and some other entertainment media with her antics and some have taken the advantage to hurl Molotov cocktail at the former Viasat 1 and all who supported her Jigwe Awards nomination and award.

Then there was the trending video of the young man who at his wedding was asked by the pastor to kiss his bride and he went overboard with his attempt at kissing the woman. The dramatic nature by which he sucked his new wife left many aghast and wondering what exactly it was that motivated his action.


However, what I really want to talk about is not the propriety or otherwise of an 18-year-old nouveau celeb’s naked video or the action by a bridegroom to show the whole world how he had waited for too long to kiss his wife and couldn’t be bothered how the world interpreted his passion. I want to talk about a young journalist and broadcaster who I think is really punching above his weight.

I have met Umaru Sanda Amadu only once and we spoke briefly in Dangme. I got to know, within that short moment that the current anchor of the flagship news programme and the leading talk programme on Citi FM, grew up around my hometown. Asutsuare and environs are Osudoku communities and it’s around that place he lived, schooled and grew up.

I have come to know that when he was young, Umaru used to combine his schooling days with taking cattle to graze. He had to educate himself, but he also had to ensure that the cattle under his care were well fed and had water to drink.

I read a post of his on Facebook a while back where the news anchor mentioned a particular teacher who took interest in his education and encouraged him to not just limit himself to being a cowboy. In his estimation, where he finds himself now is because of the mentoring he had from that teacher, without which he probably would end up as just another Fulani herdsman minding his cattle and not taking any interest in education.

My interest and for which I thought I would write about Umaru Sanda in this column today is not to talk about his cattle herding past, but to use that as a perspective to talk about how impressed I am about his way of going about his work as a news person and an interviewer.

I have followed Sanda’s stories a bit as a news person or a journalist and I think his subjects are well chosen and his stories are well treated. He has a penchant to give fair and balanced view of the subjects he talks about and treats his sources with care.

Umaru has a knack to make stories and documentaries that could win awards anywhere. Indeed in 2014, a documentary he made on the scarcity of water and the implications for citizens, especially residents of Accra, captured the essence of the problem the situation posed to residents. This documentary led to him winning the WASH award in Sweden.

My interest really in his new status as the star boy at Citi FM when it comes to interviews. Before he would become the main anchor on Eye Witness News and host of the Big Issue on Citi FM though, Umaru made a big statement with an interview he had with former sports minister and MP for Ningo Prampram E.T. Mensah.


Sanda posed questions to Mr. Mensah on the situation at his constituencies and what his constituents felt about his personality, his style and his performance. The questions were tough and at a point the young reporter from Citi FM cornered the experienced politician.

E.T. Mensah is known to be a tough customer for interviewers who cannot stand their ground to ask the right questions of him. Sanda in this interview came to party with all guns blazing and at a point cornered the wily politician.

I may be wrong, but I hold the view that that interview and the manner in which Sanda cornered him, was the beginning of the end of E.T. Mensah as MP for Ningo Pramrpam. Not long after that interview, the NDC held its primary in the constituency and Sam Dzata George properly defeated his senior colleague and former mentor to represent the party at the national elections.

Let’s face it, Richard Sky has an abrasive style of interviewing that is markedly different from how Sanda goes about his interviewing. Sky likes to push and force his interviewees to accept his side of an issue. Like any good interviewer, Sanda pushes his subjects too, but in a very subtle and tactful manner.

I wasn’t a fun of the Big Issue nor was I of the Eye Witness News because of the style that Sky goes about his interviewing. However, since Sanda took over these shows I have become a customer and a very well satisfied one at that. His style is pleasing to the ear is all I can say about why I spend time these days listening to Eyewitness News instead of News Night on Joy FM.

This is my hope: Umaru Sanda Amadu, the man who has risen from being a cowboy around Asutsuare in my hometown would continue to be the host of Eye Witness News. I can’t be bothered if he is taken off The Big Issue, they should just keep him on the evening news show.

Also, can they give the ladies who usually come on Eye Witness News, Pearl Akanya Ofori and Eugenia Koranteng a lot more active roles to play on the show than just being there to assist Sanda to conduct his interviews and present his news.

By: Francis Doku

Published on 27 July 2017 | 12:31 pm at Source

Gov’t revamps GITC to fight dumping – Starr Fm

The Trade Ministry has announced that government will soon be going hard on foreign firms that dump their products in Ghana.

Dumping occurs when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price below the price charged in its home market or below its cost of production.

The development provide unfair competition and kills local companies and announcing government’s resolve to clamp down on the disturbing development, deputy Trade Minister, Ahomka Lindsey said the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) will be charged to monitor and prevent the scourge from worsening.

Speaking at the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and Industry, he said “we are fully aware of the challenges of dumping within our market space and the GITC which used to be a tariff organization is being revamped under the law to provide the process where the commissioners can directly address areas of dumping.”

“This is the commission that the president is going to inaugurate and that will have the ability to hear from you the participants on areas where you feel the countries are dumping products within our country and we can under WTO rules take measures to protect where we could prove there is clear dumping,” he added.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 12:23 pm at Source

I’m clean – KT Hammond – Starr Fm

The MP for Adansi Asokwa KT Hammond has described as “nonsense” claims that he benefited from the controversial AMERI power deal signed in 2015 between the erstwhile Mahama administration and a UAE power company.

“I am saying this is nonsense. This is crap,” he stated in an interview with Starr News’s parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan.

Commentary in some circles, including some members of the ruling government, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) alleged that the Adansi Asokwa legislator was rewarded for seconding the approval of the contentious deal.

In his reaction, however, he held that the allegation is incomprehensible, daring the government to arrest him if it is believed he did something wrong.

“Let them arrest me. At least yesterday [Tuesday] I heard they raided Dr. Donkor’s [house] and all that. So if the NPP people are telling you that I benefited let them arrest me,” he stated.

Meanwhile, he has filed an urgent motion in Parliament to have the House overturn the deal.

According to excerpts of the motion, the deal was suspicious based on some fresh information available to Mr. Hammond.

The motion has been approved by the leadership of the House but is yet to be tabled.

Published on 27 July 2017 | 11:59 am at Source