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Ofori-Atta to respond to censure motion on Friday



Ofori-Atta, Gabby, Newscenta, Censure motion, Committee, sitting,

The Bipartisan Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee investigating Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in respect of Censure motion has ruled that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority present documents it will be relying to execute the motion of censure to the Minister and the committee.

Consequently, the documents were listed.

Conflict of interest saga

Lawyer for the Minister, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, also questioned the capacity of the Committee to probe allegations of conflict of interest when the Supreme Court had already pronounced on it.

Ofori-Atta to respond to the motion on Friday


After all the heated exchanges between the Minister’s lawyer and some of the Committee members, Ofori-Atta is to respond to the motion on Friday, November 18, 2022.

KT Hammond on evidential basis

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, MP for Adansi Asokwa, and Co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee said the matter had elements of criminality, political and civil responsibilities.

He said the committee had decided that there must be evidential basis for the allegations that were being made.

Dr Ayine on right to be heard


Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, Co-Chair of the Committee and MP for Bolgatanga East, said Article 82(4) of the 1992 Constitution provided that during the debate for the vote of censure, the finance minister, who was the subject matter of the Motion, had the right to be heard.

Request for documents

On the first day of the Committee sitting, the minister’s lawyer, Otchere-Darko, asked the Committee to furnish them with the documents.

Rules of natural justice

He argued that the rules of natural justice and fair hearing required that the accused is not only heard but furnished with the documents that formed the bases of the allegations made against him.


He, therefore, insisted that the Minority, led by its Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, provides the documents.

This, he said, will enable his client better assess the allegations based on which his removal is being pushed for.

“It would not be fair for the Minister of Finance to be ambushed right here without any preparation to start answering questions.

“All we are asking for in the interest of justice is that we should be furnished with the full particulars of the facts in support of each of the allegations contained in the letter and then the supporting documents,” Mr. Otchere-Darko said.

He argued that any development beyond this point may amount to ambushing the embattled Minister with questions that may be outside the scope of the probe.


The request was met with hesitance from the Minority, who appeared unprepared and insisted that they documents were already in the public domain and did not have to be tendered.

Ruling on document provision

After back and forth on the matter, the co-Chairmen, K.T. Hammond and Dr Ayine ruled that the minority furnish Ofori-Atta and the Committee with the documents.

The Finance Minister had written prior to the hearing requesting full particulars of the allegations against him in the Minority’s motion.

While the committee’s clerk said he had not received the formal record of the evidence from the Minority, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said he had sent the notice of evidence via hyperlinks because the clerk’s notice to him had come in a letter sent via WhatsApp.


Quasi-judicial proceeding

The Sekondi MP, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, for example, argued that the committee was a quasi-judicial proceeding and required conditions for a fair hearing for the Finance Minister.

“The purpose for which disclosures and exchange of documents are made is clearly known to all of us. It prevents the element of surprise,” Mr. Mercer said.

In a retort to this argument, later on, a member of the Minority and one of the chairs of the committee, Dr. Ayine, argued that the committee was an administrative body and not a judicial-adjacent one.

“We are a political body mandated with the task of investigating… that is the essential task we are here to investigate this morning,” he said.


Minority Leader states 7 grounds for censure motion

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused Ofori-Atta, of mismanaging the Ghanaian economy and given seven reasons for which it brought a motion of censure against him, last week.

He said the seven grounds included an allegation of “despicable conflict of interest” in which he (Mr Ofori-Atta) was directly benefitting from Ghana’s economic woes.

This is because his companies received commissions and other unethical contractual advantage, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.

He alleged an unconstitutional withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund, in contravention of Article 178 of the 1992 Constitution, for the construction of the National Cathedral.


The Minority Leader alleged illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution as well as misreporting of economic data to Parliament.

He said fiscal recklessness led to the crash of the Ghana cedi, which was reported to be the worst performing currency in the world.

Dr Forson, the Ranking Member for the Finance Committee, accused the Minister of deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament.

Documents Minority relied on

For its evidence, he said the Minority would be relying on IMF staff reports from 2018 to 2021, fiscal data from the Ministry of Finance, Budget statements from 2019 to 2022, mid-year budget statements from 2019 to 2022, the Auditor General reports from 2018 to 2020, PIAC reports from 2019 to 2022, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Public Financial Management Act, the Petroleum Management Act, the constitution and standing orders of Parliament.


He also said the Minority will make reference to an analysis by external experts.

IMF cleared Ofori-Atta of alleged data misreporting

Mercer, has accused the Minority Caucus of rehashing old and debunked allegations against Ofori-Atta.

He noted that the allegations of misreporting data were first raised in May 2020 but was rejected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as being untrue.

He, therefore, wondered why the Minority NDC will use the same issues as bases for a motion of censure against Mr Ofori-Atta.


He responded to a presentation by Dr Forson, which centered on misreporting of the fiscal deficit, fiscal treatment of expenditures above or below the line and general public sector accounting.

The Sekondi MP said the immediate past Country Representative of the IMF, Dr Albert Touna Mama, debunked the allegations in May 2020.

According to him, the IMF Country Representative said all the figures were known by the IMF and therefore it was untrue that there was misreporting,” Mr Mercer said.

IMF compelled to clarify

He said “as much as possible to stay out of debates” they felt compelled to clarify statements made by Fact Check Ghana, an affiliate of the Media Foundation for West Africa concerning the $1 billion IMF COVID-19 relief fund to the government.


Fact Check Ghana, published on its website that government presented data to the IMF which was different from figures in the annual budgets for 2018 and 2019.

But, Dr. Albert Touna Mama in a media interview stated that Fact Check Ghana misrepresented the facts because the government was not the one that presented the figures that the IMF published in its statements as Fact Check Ghana reported.

Difference in methodology

The IMF Country Director explained that the difference in figures was as a result of a difference in the methodology of calculation, adding that the figure in fiscal deficit in their statement was a figure they generated themselves from the data government presented to them, having added financial and energy sector payments in line with their methodology, which is different from government’s methodology.

Speaker refers censure motion to Ad-hoc Committee


Speaker of Parliament has deferred the motion of a vote of censure against Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance to an Ad-hoc Committee for investigations.

The eight-member committee, which has four members from each side of the House, has seven days to present their report to the House for debate.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu; Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, MP, Klottey-Korle; Mr Bernard Ahiafor, MP, Akatsi South; Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP, Okaikoi Central; Mr Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, MP, Asante Akim Central and Mr Egyapa Mercer, MP, Sekondi are members of the committee.

Mr Ofori-Atta was accompanied to the hearing by his wife, Professor Angela Ofori-Atta; Dr John Ampontuah Kumah, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Mrs Abena Osei Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance.







27 killed in 57 politically motivated violence in Nigeria



Nigeria, Newscenta, election, violence, 27 killed, 57 violent incidents,

A geopolitical research firm, SB Morgen has revealed that 27 Nigerians were killed in 57 politically-motivated violent incidents between January and December 2022.

This is contained in a report the firm released titled: “Insecurity and the 2023 Elections,” adding that elections in Nigeria are a hotly-contested affair, with vested interests from the politicking to the aspirants.

Giving an in-depth analysis of the forthcoming elections as per insecurity, the organisation revealed that early signs have shown that the violence that characterised previous elections in the country is set to beset the 2023 general election, citing the current security climate. “Nigeria faces a plethora of different and sometimes strikingly similar security crises.”

According to the report, Nigeria has hardly had it good during elections in its history, adding that the 1993 presidential election was judged the freest and fairest in the country’s history. However, violence followed the military’s decision to annul the polls. Six years later, a successful presidential election was conducted for the first time in 20 years.

“The 1999 polls were expected to usher in a new era of politics, but the successors have not lived up to the billing. The closest thing to free and fair elections in the current democratic dispensation was the 2011 elections which international observers judged credible. Still, the process was marred by violence which left over 800 people dead in at least three days of violence in many parts of Northern Nigeria.


“The 2023 general elections take place in about seven weeks. Early signs have shown that the violence that has characterised previous elections is set to beset it, especially because of the current security climate. Nigeria faces a plethora of different and sometimes strikingly similar security crises.”

According to the group’s report, a lot goes into what makes or mars the conduct of an election, citing raging Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, with bigger problems for the military as it now fights a more formidable enemy-the factional Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) whose recent attacks in Taraba tell of a strong presence beyond the fringes of the Lake Chad.

“In the North West, it’s the second year of the military’s counterterrorism campaign against bandits. Its most notable success is the dislodgement of Boko Haram’s first breakaway group, Ansaru, from its traditional operational base in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna. Bandits have continued to successfully stage attacks in Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and sometimes in Jigawa.

“Similarly, in the North Central, the country continues to deal with multiple threats from militant Fulani groups, bandits and an ever-expanding 1SWAP who have staged successful attacks in the FCT, Kogi and Niger States the past year. Down South, the problems of youth gangs have never been solved, and the activities of the secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra in the East stand as the biggest southern headache.

“The group’s activities have targeted not only the state but every symbol associated with it, including INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission). Towards the end of 2022, attacks against INEC offices were launched in states Osun, Ogun, Imo and several other parts of the South East.


“It is amid these challenges that the elections will hold in February and March. The federal elections lead the way to be held on 25th February, and for the first time in Nigeria’s history, it is likely to be headed for a run-off. The uncertainty that has trailed this possibility has male political actors and proxies battle it out, sometimes taking advantage of the decrepit state of security in the country to stage attacks on perceived enemies.

“In July 2022, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Dr Innocent Barikor, escaped death in Port Harcourt. In mid-December, gunmen allegedly killed the 2003 Labour Party candidate for Onuimo Local Government Area state constituency in Imo Christopher Elehu. A month earlier, the campaign convoy of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, was allegedly attacked In Maiduguri.

“In October, the campaign train of the Lagos Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates, including governorship candidate Dr Olajide Adediran and his deputy, Funke Akindele, were attacked by suspected political thugs.”

Noting how political violence escapes scrutiny under the air of general insecurity, it recalled that three delegates of the PDP governorship primary election in Minna, Niger State, and one other person were killed by gunmen in late May.

“The security landscape presents worrying challenges to the political stakeholders and the country. Under the present circumstances, it is nearly impossible to conduct a hitch-free election in every part of the country. As a result, INEC is preparing itself for supplementary elections in areas where voting might not hold due to violence. Such a solution is within the realms of acceptance for thinly-stretched security services already battling insecurity on multiple fronts


“The 2015 general elections were postponed for six weeks because of the military’s operation to liberate territories held by Boko Haram to enable the conduct of elections. In 2003, the momentum has shifted, with more armed groups holding territories in a menace of the proliferation of vast ungoverned spaces. The 2023 elections taking place in the country’s deeply insecure terrain will surely have a profound impact on the credibility of the polls and the legal proceedings that may arise under the present circumstances.”





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Nigeria elects new president today, 3 out of 18 are top contenders



Nigeria, Newscenta, elections, president, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi,

Voters in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, will head to the polls today February 25 to select their next president.

18 presidential candidates

A total of 18 presidential candidates will take part in the forthcoming election.

87.2m registered voters

Their fates are to be decided by a total of 87.2 million (87,209,007) voters registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria’s electoral body, across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.


2nd round in 3 weeks if no clear winner emerges

If there is no clear winner, a second round will be held within three weeks.

The duopoly

Convention suggests a candidate from one of the two main parties will win – Atiku Abubakar or Bola Tinubu.

But, Peter Obi’s supporters are hoping he can spring a surprise if they can mobilise the large youth vote to back him.


Peter Obi

Young Nigerians, who say they have grown tired of older politicians, are mobilizing behind a candidate they consider more youthful and who promises real solutions to their problems.

At 61, Peter Obi is the youngest of the three and currently the most popular.
Young Nigerians are calling for a new era and seem poised to demonstrate that, with 71% of those who completed their voter registration aged between 18 and 34, according to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

With his “Hope Alive” campaign slogan, Peter Gregory Obi, presidential candidate of the Labor Party (LP), is taking his first shot at the presidency, promising to tackle insecurity, improve the economy, and fight against corruption.

Obi, born on July 19, 1961, is a former governor of the southeastern state of Anambra. During his tenure as governor, from 2006 to 2014, he implemented several policies and programs aimed at improving the state’s economy, infrastructure, improvement of education, and the welfare of citizens.


After his tenure as governor, Obi has continued to play an active role in politics.

On October 12, 2018, he was named as the running mate to Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of PDP.

In March 2022, the former governor declared his intention to run for president on the platform of PDP but later decided to pull out in May 2022, announcing his resignation from the party and joining the LP to contest on its platform.

Obi’s presidential ambition attracts a huge number of the country’s youth.

The movement campaigns on the candidate’s perceived ideology of resourceful management and investment in key sectors, economic growth and development, frugality, and economic production rather than ostentatious consumerism and waste.


Bola Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s governing party.

A former governor of the southwestern state of Lagos, Tinubu is widely considered to be one of the most powerful and wealthy politicians in the country and has played a major role in shaping Nigeria’s political landscape.

Born on March 29, 1952, in Lagos, the APC presidential candidate started his political career in the early 1990s when he ran as a senator representing Lagos.

He went into exile in 1994, following the seizure of power by the military, and returned to Nigeria in 1998 to run for governor of Lagos during the 1999 general elections.


He won the 1999 governorship election in Lagos and served for two terms in office.

During his tenure, he implemented various policies and projects aimed at improving the state’s infrastructure and economic development.

He also initiated policies and programs to improve education, healthcare, and security, which were widely considered to be the foundation for the development of the state.

One of the founding members of the APC, Tinubu, with his “Renewed Hope” campaign slogan, promised to continue and expand some of the policies of the current administration, including the massive social investment programs launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governing party’s presidential candidate also outlined policy options for healthcare, the digital economy, women empowerment, judicial reform, federalism and the decentralization of power, and foreign affairs.


He also included huge investments in entertainment and culture, as well as expanding job opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.

Atiku Abubakar

Apart from being the oldest among all the presidential candidates in the forthcoming election, Atiku Abubakar, who is standing for election on the platform of the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was a vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.

Abubakar, also a businessman, was the candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria, where he was runner-up to Buhari, who ran for a second and last term granted by the constitution.

Born on Nov. 25, 1946, in the northeastern state of Adamawa, the veteran politician started his public service career as a customs officer, later venturing into the business world where he built a successful career in the private sector, and delved into politics in the early 1990s.


As vice president, Abubakar played a key role in the administration’s economic policies and the country’s efforts to tackle corruption and improve transparency in government.

After his tenure as vice president, he has remained active in Nigerian politics. He has run for president twice, in 2007 and in 2019, but lost both times to the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the incumbent, Buhari, respectively.

Abubakar, with his “Recover Nigeria” campaign slogan, says his agenda includes rejuvenating the economy, closing infrastructure deficit gaps, job creation, improving security, and restructuring the nation’s political and structural system, among others.

There will also be elections for 28 out of Nigeria’s 36 powerful state governors on Saturday 11 March.

469 legislators


There are 469 legislators made up of 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.

Permanent Voter’s Card

In order to vote, one needs to have a valid Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), which essentially shows that the person is registered to vote and proves the identity of the voter.

The PVC contains biometrical data of the voter, used as further verification on Election Day. This data is stored in the card.

The deadline to collect a PVC has passed, so those without it cannot vote.


To cast a ballot, a voter needs to arrive at the polling station between the hours of 8am and 2pm with their PVC.

As long as a voter is in the queue to vote by 2pm, the voter will be allowed to cast the ballot.

Nigerians living in the diaspora are not allowed to vote abroad.

Bimodal Voter Accreditation System

This election is different compared to previous ones because a new system is being used – the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is a device introduced in 2021 aimed at stopping election fraud.


The BVAS is essentially a small rectangular box with a screen that is more technologically advanced than the Smart Card Readers used in the past.

The key benefit of the BVAS is that it has the capacity to perform dual identification of voters on Election Day through their fingerprints and facial recognition.

This should stop people without valid PVCs from voting, as well as those who are ineligible to vote attempting to do so.

Another aspect of the BVAS is that it uploads vote results directly to the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) results portal for all to see, which in theory means results cannot be tampered with.

There have been concerns about the BVAS after it experienced glitches in state-wide elections in 2021 and 2022, but Inec insists these problems have been resolved.

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Justin Kodua: Alhaji Jawula’s death, a great loss to NPP and Ghana 



Alhaji Jawula, Newscenta, NPP, Ghana,

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed sadness at the passing of one of its staunch members, Alhaji MND Jawula.

Alhaji MND Jawula died at the age of 74 in Nashville in the United States of America.

In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the party, Justin Kodua Frimpong, the party expressed its heartfelt condolences to his immediate family, people of the Kpembe Traditional Area, the football community, and the rest of the nation.

It said the passing of Alhaji Jawula is “a great loss to this country and the NPP in particular.”

“The late Alhaji Jawula was a long-standing and staunch member of the NPP.


He was shortlisted for the running mate of the party ahead of the 2008 General Elections, at which time, he expressed his readiness to relinquish his traditional authority in order to serve the NPP and the Republic in that capacity,” the NPP said in a statement.

Alhaji Jawula, as he was affectionately called, also served as Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) from 1997 to 2001, and remained the Chairman of the Ghana League Organizing Committee until his death.

He founded the Guan United, a Division One Club in Ghana, and held several other influential positions in the Real Tamale United Football Club.

“The Late traditional ruler of the Kpembe traditional area in the Savannah Region, Lepowura Alhaji Mohammed Nurudeen-Deen Jawula, also proved himself distinguished Statesman, having served in the Civil and Public Services for over thirty years.”

“He rose through the ranks and headed various directorates at the Ministries of Health, Finance, as well as Harbours and Railways,” the party added.


Alhaji MND Jawula Cause of death

The cause of his death has not been officially announced but close sources say he had not been well for a while now.

He died on January 21st, 2023. He was 74 years old and born in May 1949.

Alhaji MND Jawula Wife

Alhaji MND Jawula was a married man but he kept the identity and name of his wife secretive. There are no details about his wife.




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