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Auditor-General’s Report: I don’t blame judges for unlawful purchase of vehicles – Political Science lecturer 

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A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Kwame Asah-Asante, says judges who were implicated for unlawfully buying vehicles in the latest Auditor-General’s report should not be blamed.

According to him, the said judges are not at fault because, there is a a defective system which encourages such practices. 

Speaking on the AM Show on Wednesday, he explained that, the judges only played according to the existing practice whereby uncleared port vehicles are auctioned by the state, and therefore they did no wrong.

He, therefore, called for a review of the country’s policies on uncleared vehicles at the port. 

“I am also surprised that we still have a policy which is not only insulting, but distasteful in the mouth of every rational human being. People will go outside, work and get cars bring them to this country, and then [because] they’re not able to pay taxes on them, the state finds a way of giving them out without proper value for money”, he told host, Benjamin Alakpo.

Dr Asah-Asante continued, “I don’t blame the judges because they’ll apply, and [because] they want the right things to be done, once you say it’s okay you can buy, they can. 

But we have to look at the policy itself; whether it’s worth maintaining. I think this policy is moribund. It must be jettisoned and thrown into the lake of fire. We don’t need this’’.

His comments were in connection with the recent Auditor-General’s report which indicated that at least 16 past and current judges of the Superior Courts were fingered for the purchase of state owned vehicles contrary to Regulation 158 of Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378).

The regulation provides that the Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall obtain the prior written approval of the Minister for the transfer, exchange, sale, donation, contribution-in-kind, trust and any other disposal of any vehicles of the covered entity

Regulation 158 also states that, any such disposal, lease and other action referred to in Sub-regulation 1 that is made without the written approval of the Minister, is void.

However, the report revealed that some judges, including recently retired Supreme Court judges, Yaw Appau and Julius Ansah as having acquired state-owned vehicles contrary to the provisions of this law.

The Auditor-General therefore wants the vehicles recovered.

Meanwhile, former President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges, Justice Victor Ofoe has jumped to the defence of his 16 colleagues fingered by the Auditor-General for unlawfully purchasing their official vehicles

Justice Ofoe rather questioned the work done by the Auditor-General saying he does not understand why the Auditor-General believes their actions are unlawful.

“I don’t know under what law he is talking about”, Justice Ofoe told JoyNews.

Justice Ofoe argued that the Auditor-General should have sought answers from the Chief of Staff; adding that the purchase of vehicles in such a manner is not new.

“Purchase of vehicles has been there for a long time not today. We applied, and they said sell, and we buy. If there is any wrong at all, we applied and they said sell to him. It is valued by the transport office and we pay”, Justice Ofoe stated.

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Power crisis: We had a maintenance hiccup – ECG boss

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"We are experiencing major maintenance issues; the current issue has nothing to do with fuel." You rely on a power plant to generate around 360 megawatts, and at 4 p.m., the gas emergency safety valve malfunctions. What are you doing? It's a machine. "The machine failed us and we kept on saying that it's a machine issue that we were trying to fix," he said. Recognising the impact of the mechanical breakdown on the power supply, he apologised for the lack of timely contact with the public. "I must apologise to Ghanaians, when it started we should actually have the confidence to have a chat with everybody and put out a statement."

Samuel Dubik Mahama, Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has ascribed frequent power disruptions in Accra and other locations to maintenance concerns rather than fuel-related problems.

Numerous neighbourhoods have been experiencing inconsistent power supply for several weeks without prior notification from ECG.

Speaking on Starr FM on Thursday, February 29, 2024, Mr Mahama informed listeners that ECG is working hard to rectify the issues and restore electricity to the impacted areas.

According to him, the current challenges are mostly related to severe maintenance concerns, not fuel shortages.

“We are experiencing major maintenance issues; the current issue has nothing to do with fuel.” You rely on a power plant to generate around 360 megawatts, and at 4 p.m., the gas emergency safety valve malfunctions. What are you doing? It’s a machine.

“The machine failed us and we kept on saying that it’s a machine issue that we were trying to fix,” he said.

Recognising the impact of the mechanical breakdown on the power supply, he apologised for the lack of timely contact with the public.

“I must apologise to Ghanaians, when it started we should actually have the confidence to have a chat with everybody and put out a statement.”

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Over 70% of people between the ages of 15 and 49 discriminate against persons with HIV

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The survey also found that rural regions had a larger percentage of people with discriminating views (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) than urban areas (73.4% for females and 67.3% for males). "The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males)." According to the GSS research, the Ahafo area has the greatest rate of discrimination against people living with HIV (87%). The Savannah region follows at 86.8%, with the Oti region at 86.4%.

According to a Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) research, more than 70% of men and women aged 15 to 49 who are aware of HIV have discriminatory attitudes towards persons living with the virus.

These attitudes include the view that HIV-positive children should not attend school with HIV-negative children, or that they should avoid purchasing fresh vegetables from a shopkeeper living with HIV.

The GSS released these numbers on International Zero Discrimination Day, March 1, 2024, with the motto “Save lives: Decriminalise.”

The survey also found that nearly eight out of every ten females (78.4%) and seven out of every ten men (72.1%) aged 15 to 49 who are aware of HIV had discriminatory attitudes towards persons living with the infection.

“Nationally, almost eight in every 10 (78.4%) females and seven in every 10 (72.1%) males aged 15-49 who have heard about HIV have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV. The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males).”

The survey also found that rural regions had a larger percentage of people with discriminating views (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) than urban areas (73.4% for females and 67.3% for males).

“The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males).”

According to the GSS research, the Ahafo area has the greatest rate of discrimination against people living with HIV (87%). The Savannah region follows at 86.8%, with the Oti region at 86.4%.

“Among females aged 15 to 49 in eight regions – Ahafo (87.0%), Savannah (86.8%), Oti (86.4), North East (85.9%), Northern (85.7%), Upper West (83.8%), Western North (84.4%) and Upper East (80.1%) – over four in five have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV.

“In comparison, three regions – North East (85.2%), Northern (83.1%) and Oti (81.5%) – have more than four in five males aged 15-49 with discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV,” GSS’s stated in its report.

The survey also emphasised that those with greater education are less likely to have discriminatory attitudes towards people with HIV than those with little education.


“Individuals with discriminating views are more than twice as likely to have no education as those with secondary education or above. Discriminatory attitudes among females aged 15–49 vary from 91.5% for those with little education, falling through elementary (89.3%), secondary (78.9%), and more than secondary (44.8%).

“Among males aged 15-49 with no education, 90.0% exhibit discriminatory attitudes, compared to 86.8% for those with primary education, 73.6% for secondary education, and 43.4% among those with secondary or more education.”

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IES predicts a slight increase in petrol, diesel, and LPG prices

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“Given the Ghana cedi’s poor performance, coupled with the rising prices of petroleum products on world fuels market, IES expects prices to increase marginally in the early days in the month of March [2024]”.

Consumers could expect more marginal rises in the price of petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the next few days, assuming no intervention, according to the Institute for Energy Security.

According to the energy research group, this is mostly attributable to the deteriorating Ghana cedi.

“Following the continual price increases recorded by all refined petroleum products under consideration on the global fuels market over the last two weeks, the local market is anticipated to follow these developments.
“Given the Ghana cedi’s poor performance, coupled with the rising prices of petroleum products on the world fuels market, IES expects prices to increase marginally in the early days in the month of March [2024]”.

World fuel market

According to the IES, the Global Standard & Poor (S&P) Platts platform tracking of refined petroleum price data issued at the end of trade on February 26, 2024, indicated diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices at $871.75, $840.43, and $599.48 per metric tonne, respectively.

The released pricing statistics for the time showed an increase in refined petroleum products under examination.

Specifically, the net price impacts revealed a 1.56%, 3.24%, and 2.92% rise in diesel, petrol, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas, respectively.

Local fuel market performance

The second pricing window of February saw petroleum product prices rise at the pumps, in accordance with local fuels market expectations.

The IES tracked the actions of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and found that liquid fuel prices increased by an average of GH¢0.45 for diesel and GH¢0.30 for petrol per litre. LPG prices increased by GH¢0.65 per kilogramme.

According to an IES examination of gasoline pricing data from the past two weeks, the national average price for petrol is GH¢12.24 per litre, while diesel is GH¢13.32.

LPG costs GH¢13.65 per kilogramme.

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