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Bagbin’s suggestion to lock Parliament for lateness is long overdue – ACEPA

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Dr. Draman noted that closing the Chamber's access points would be a more practical response to absenteeism than taking people before the Privileges Committee, which has done little to address the problem.

Dr Rasheed Draman, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has praised the Speaker of Parliament’s suggestion for harsher measures to address MPs’ tardiness in the House.

On Friday, December 8, Alban Bagbin said that from next year, access points to the Chamber will be shut at 10:00 a.m. on each sitting day.

Dr Draman told Nana Tuffour Boateng on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News that implementing the idea will help reduce tardiness and absenteeism.

“We are not only dealing with MPs showing up late; we are dealing with the Chamber being empty over and over again and the Speaker after making attempts to deal with this issue has failed and so it is very welcoming to hear the Speaker say that at the beginning of the next meeting, the Chamber will be locked.

“This is very long overdue, and some of us have proposed in the past and some MPs have picked an issue with our proposal that we should try and do what other countries do, take a realistic approach and try and put in measures that could be very biting when it comes to absenteeism and we were proposing that as it happens in other places, if you don’t show up, some of your salary is taken away in place to stop the lateness.”

Dr Draman noted that closing the Chamber’s access points would be a more practical response to absenteeism than taking people before the Privileges Committee, which has done little to address the problem.

“We have had people brought before the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves for more than some days mandated by the law and that has happened a couple of times and that has not changed the behaviour which has been very consistent even during most important occasions like the period when they have to pass the budget.”

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Akufo-Addo: Someone I defeated cannot succeed me in 2024 elections

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He assured the Paramount Chief of the Waala Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, that he would appropriately announce his successor to him in due time. "Before the election, I'm going to come here and say my due goodbyes to you and thank you for your cooperation while I was president. "God willing, I shall arrive with the guy who will be my successor. Wa Naa, you know that the guy I removed from the seat cannot be my successor, and as a traditional monarch, you understand what I mean," he said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has repeated his decision not to hand over power to former President John Dramani Mahama.

He refuses to hand over power to a successor whom he has previously beaten in an election.

President Akufo-Addo delivered these statements to the chiefs and people of Wa on a working visit to the Upper West region to commission a 15 MW solar power facility at Kaleo.

He assured the Paramount Chief of the Waala Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, that he would appropriately announce his successor to him in due time.

“Before the election, I’m going to come here and say my due goodbyes to you and thank you for your cooperation while I was president.

“God willing, I shall arrive with the guy who will be my successor. Wa Naa, you know that the guy I removed from the seat cannot be my successor, and as a traditional monarch, you understand what I mean,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo delivered these statements to the chiefs and people of Wa on a working visit to the Upper West region to commission a 15 MW solar power facility at Kaleo.

He assured the Paramount Chief of the Waala Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, that he would appropriately announce his successor to him in due time.

“Before the election, I’m going to come here and say my due goodbyes to you and thank you for your cooperation while I was president.

“God willing, I shall arrive with the guy who will be my successor. Wa Naa, you know that the guy I removed from the seat cannot be my successor, and as a traditional monarch, you understand what I mean,” he said.

As Ghanaians prepare for the December 7, 2024 election, President Akufo-Addo has committed to keep the country peaceful.

“Our country is regarded across Africa as a leader in democratic governance. I want to tell you that we will keep that reputation this year. But I need your help and cooperation.

“I want us to work together to make sure that the peace and stability of our country is maintained all through the electioneering period and after,” he said.

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Supreme Court finds decision to compensate presidential wives unlawful

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Among other things, the NPP Chairman requested a "Declaration that per Article 71(1) and (2), the positions of the ladies do not fall under the category of Public Office Holders." The writ said that

The Supreme Court ruled that Parliament’s decision to provide wages to the president and vice president’s spouses was unconstitutional.

According to the Supreme Court, the approval violates the 1992 Constitution since the first and second ladies are not public officeholders.

This comes after Kwame Baffoe, also known as Abronye, the Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), launched a lawsuit against the Attorney General in July 2021.

Among other things, the NPP Chairman requested a “Declaration that per Article 71(1) and (2), the positions of the ladies do not fall under the category of Public Office Holders.”

The writ said that“… Per Articles 108 and 178 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana: Parliament, cannot on its own accord, initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments which would necessarily be paid from public funds, without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and duly passed into law.”

Again, the action requested the court to declare that Parliament’s consent to pay wages to the First and Second Ladies is inconsistent with Article 71 clauses 1 and 2 of the Republic of Ghana’s 1992 constitution, and hence invalid, void, and unenforceable.

A seven-member Supreme Court bench chaired over by Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo granted three of the four reliefs requested by the Bono Regional Chairman.

Mr Abronye’s fourth relief, requesting that the Court declare that parliament cannot initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments, which must be paid from public funds, unless a bill to that effect is drafted, introduced by the government, and duly passed into law, was not granted.

Although the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) for South Dayi Constituency, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, filed a similar suit, his reliefs, which centred on the recommendations of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee, were dismissed, with just one granted.

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Prison sentence begins immediately Sedina Tamakloe arrives in Ghana

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Regarding the potential of her serving her jail sentence overseas owing to Ghana's terrible prison circumstances, the NPP member stated, "That is a point, but you cannot expect us to upgrade our prison conditions to the point where they have one person to a room with a TV set." Madam Tamakloe received a ten-year jail term for causing the state a financial loss of GHC90 million. Daniel Axim, the organization's former Operations Manager and collaborator, received a five-year prison sentence as well.

Kingsley Amoako-Boadu, a private legal practitioner, has stated that former Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) Sedina Tamakloe’s jail sentence will take effect as soon as she lands in Ghana.

He added that because she is not available within Ghana’s jurisdiction, the punishment can only begin once she comes.

“The jail term begins when she arrives in Ghana,” he explained on Key Points in April 2024.

Regarding the potential of her serving her jail sentence overseas owing to Ghana’s terrible prison circumstances, the NPP member stated, “That is a point, but you cannot expect us to upgrade our prison conditions to the point where they have one person to a room with a TV set.”

Madam Tamakloe received a ten-year jail term for causing the state a financial loss of GHC90 million. Daniel Axim, the organization’s former Operations Manager and collaborator, received a five-year prison sentence as well.

Madam Tamakloe was jailed in absentia while seeking court authorization to go to the United States for medical treatment.

Following the judgement, Deputy Attorney-General Alfred Tua-Yeboah stated that the state has begun proceedings to extradite the former MASLOC chief to Ghana to complete his sentence.

“We’ve started the processes and with this judgement, that is going to speed up the process. In Ghana we have various clauses, you can choose to just stay, but so far we have laws regulating how you can be extradited from one country to Ghana if there is a judgment like this one. Rest assured, she would be brought down and face justice,” he explained.

It would be recalled that speaking on the jailing of Sedina Tamakloe who was tried in absentia, on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Tuesday, April 16 Kpebu said “The main change we may face is prison conditions. INTERPOL will do their bit so that they will spread it all over the world, all the police agencies of all the countries in the world asking for her to be extradited to Ghana. But one of the key things we will be facing is the prison conditions in Ghana because I am aware in the past certain countries have refused to extradite persons to Ghana because of our very inhuman prison conditions, so that is the biggest challenge we will have when it comes to extradition, but a lot of countries do extradite persons back to Ghana.”

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