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Ofori-Atta will deliver the 2024 budget to Parliament today

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Before the presentation, groups such as the Ghana Union of Traders' Association (GUTA), the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, and a slew of other trading associations urged the government to implement major tax cuts to ease the economic and financial burden on Ghanaians. The Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana also advocated for the reinstatement of road tolls in the budget to assist in the rehabilitation of Ghana's deteriorating roads. Some Members of Parliament have also urged the government to share the hardship of Ghanaians by cutting spending rather than raising taxes.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will give the government’s 2024 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament today, November 15.

The Finance Minister will carry out this constitutional procedure on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The presentation of the budget was in doubt due to the lack of a communiqué from the Finance Ministry, but a statement issued on Tuesday, November 14 reiterated and ensured of the presentation.

“In accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Minister for Finance will, on behalf of the President, lay before Parliament the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government of Ghana for the 2024 Financial Year, on Wednesday, 15th November, 2023,” the Ministry announced in its statement.

Before the presentation, groups such as the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, and a slew of other trading associations urged the government to implement major tax cuts to ease the economic and financial burden on Ghanaians.

The Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana also advocated for the reinstatement of road tolls in the budget to assist in the rehabilitation of Ghana’s deteriorating roads.

Some Members of Parliament have also urged the government to share the hardship of Ghanaians by cutting spending rather than raising taxes.

“We met the Minister of Finance at the Finance Committee and he indicated that he intends to raise an additional GH¢11 billion which is about 1 per cent of our GDP and we told him that we think the people of Ghana have been taxed so much and the tax burden is already high and so it will be inappropriate to come with new taxes and so the Minister should rather come with cost-cutting expenditure measures,” one lawmaker told Citi News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Nii Ayikwei Okine.

Financial analysts encouraged the government to prioritise income creation while cutting spending.

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Presidency mourns driver killed in Akufo-Addo’s convoy tragedy

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According to reports, a KIA Rhino truck collided with the car, causing the collision. The driver of the Toyota Land Cruiser died on the scene, while three other passengers suffered varied degrees of damage. President Akufo-Addo, who visited the funeral of former Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah in Kumasi over the weekend, was not in the convoy when the tragedy occurred. Social media videos show the heavily crushed Toyota on the side of the road, with several security guards nearby.

The Jubilee House has expressed condolences to the family of the driver who died in an accident involving President Akufo-Addo’s convoy.

The incident occurred near Bunso on Sunday, May 19, when the convoy returned from Kumasi after following the President to a series of activities throughout the weekend.

Unfortunately, Kwesi Arthur, the driver of a Toyota Land Cruiser, died in the process.

“In addition, numerous close protection and police personnel from the President’s security detail sustained varied degrees of injury and underwent initial care at the Suhum Government Hospital. According to the May 19 announcement, the injured are now being airlifted to the University of Ghana Medical Centre for additional treatment and monitoring.

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One killed in Akufo-Addo’s convoy accident at Bunso Junction

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According to reports, a KIA Rhino truck collided with the car, causing the collision. The driver of the Toyota Land Cruiser died on the scene, while three other passengers suffered varied degrees of damage. President Akufo-Addo, who visited the funeral of former Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah in Kumasi over the weekend, was not in the convoy when the tragedy occurred. Social media videos show the heavily crushed Toyota on the side of the road, with several security guards nearby.

A car in President Akufo-Addo’s convoy has been involved in an accident.

The accident is believed to have occurred near Bunso Junction in the Eastern Region.

According to reports, a KIA Rhino truck collided with the car, causing the collision.

The driver of the Toyota Land Cruiser died on the scene, while three other passengers suffered varied degrees of damage.

According to reports, a KIA Rhino truck collided with the car, causing the collision.

The driver of the Toyota Land Cruiser died on the scene, while three other passengers suffered varied degrees of damage.

President Akufo-Addo, who visited the funeral of former Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah in Kumasi over the weekend, was not in the convoy when the tragedy occurred.

Social media videos show the heavily crushed Toyota on the side of the road, with several security guards nearby.
Akufo-Addo’s convoy involved in tragic accident at Bunso Junction [Photos]

President Akufo-Addo, who visited the funeral of former Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah in Kumasi over the weekend, was not in the convoy when the tragedy occurred.

Social media videos show the heavily crushed Toyota on the side of the road, with several security guards nearby.

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Cecilia Dapaah’s husband shocked by stolen money

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He was surprised, however, when investigations revealed that she, along with the other accused, masterminded the deed. On May 3, Mr. Osei Kuffuor, 85, a Professional Architect with over 50 years of expertise, stated this while under cross-examination by counsel for Sarah Agyei, the second accused. Augustine Gyamfi, Counsel for the Second Accused, stated that his client had been a loyal housekeeper for the Complainants (Cecilia Dapaah and her husband) and questioned why she should be associated to the incident. In his statement, Mr. Osei Kuffuor, the first of the six Prosecution Witnesses, stated that he was astonished when investigations showed Sarah Agyei's connection to the other defendants.

Daniel Osei Kuffuor, the husband of former Sanitation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah, told the High Court in Accra that he was “shocked” and “surprised” to find that one of her former housekeepers, Sarah Agyei, masterminded the alleged theft of money from them.

Sarah Agyei, he claims, was quite dependable during her five-year tenure as a housekeeper.

He was surprised, however, when investigations revealed that she, along with the other accused, masterminded the deed.

On May 3, Mr. Osei Kuffuor, 85, a Professional Architect with over 50 years of expertise, stated this while under cross-examination by counsel for Sarah Agyei, the second accused.

Augustine Gyamfi, Counsel for the Second Accused, stated that his client had been a loyal housekeeper for the Complainants (Cecilia Dapaah and her husband) and questioned why she should be associated with the incident.

In his statement, Mr. Osei Kuffuor, the first of the six Prosecution Witnesses, stated that he was astonished when investigations showed Sarah Agyei’s connection to the other defendants.

“I was astonished to learn that they were related. Because I had no suspicions for the previous five years, I was surprised to learn that she was involved in this case,” Mr Osei Kuffour told the court.

When asked by Counsel if he was astonished and “still did not believe” that the 2nd Accused was engaged in the affair, Mr Kuffuor, who was testifying as the first prosecution witness, responded, “Now that I have had all the information, I know that she is even a part of it and she was even the mastermind.”

While questioning the Witness, Counsel argued that the Witness had no information that his client (Sarah Agyei) masterminded the conduct, and that if he had such information, “you would have stated it clearly in black and white in your witness statement.”

The Witness said, “I have the information,” and that “at the time of the theft, I never imagined that A2 (Sarah Agyei) was the mastermind.”

Mr Tuffour said, “I have been in several interrogations when they were together, and I know what I heard.”

Counsel then inquired as to “which interrogation” he was present for.

The Witness then stated, “About one, two, or three,” adding, “We were just visiting and were called in.”

The Witness stated to the Court, “One occasion after A2 (Sarah Agyei) had been apprehended by the police and they were even going to the premises, and so on, we followed them.”

“We knew what was happening,” he said,” adding that, “We took interest in what was happening.”

The Witness consequently disagreed with Counsel for Sarah Agyei’s suggestion that the 2nd Accused “never involved herself in this theft,” and that, “she had been a faithful house help working for you (Witness).

Allegation

Counsel for the A2 (Sarah Agyei) said his client (Sarah Agyei) was arraigned because of the Witness’s allegations that the stolen money was shared amongst some people

“You see, one time during a search at the house, there was my wife’s jewelry box in the house and my wife said this is my jewelry box and A2 said she found the box in a garbage bin in our house and she liked it and she took it,” the Witness said.

“It was part of the jewelry stolen from our house,” he said, adding that, “We found this in her house.”

It was the case of Counsel for the 2nd Accused that, the said jewelry box was thrown away by “your wife (Cecilia Dapaah) after they had cleaned her room and asked your wife whether she can keep it.”

But the Witness, Daniel Osei Kuffuor, disagreed.

“I can tell you that nobody cleaned that bedroom/storeroom. My wife herself entered that room. Nobody was allowed to clean that room,” he told the Court.

Abandoned Jewelry box

It was the case of Lawyer Gyemfi that, after several searches at A2’s (Sarah Agyei) house, he (Witness) could not find any jewelry of Cecilia Dapaah in the 2nd Accused house.

But, the Witness said, “It was only one visit that we were there that we found this abandoned jewelry box in her house.”

The Witness,  however, said “I did not hear that,” when they went with the police the first day to A2’s house, “her own kente cloth that she used for her engagement, your wife (Cecilia Dapaah) claimed it was her kente cloth.

Further Cross-examination continues.

Breakdown of stolen cash

On May 3, Daniel Osei Kuffuor, the husband of former sanitation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah gave a breakdown of monies stolen from their storeroom by their house to help Patience Botwe and six others.

The 85-year-old Professional Architect with 53 years of experience said the accused persons stole two sets of $210, 000 and $200, 000 from their storeroom.

In addition to the dollars, he said another set of £300,000 belonging to him and GHc300,000 being contributions that Cecilia Dapaah’s siblings made towards the funeral of her late mother were also stolen.

“Subsequently, my wife and I found out that some of our valuables as well as huge sums of money had been stolen from the storeroom.

“This included an amount of 210,000 US Dollars which belonged to my wife’s deceased brother, Nana Akwasi Essan II alias Charles Dapaah,” he said.

Other monies he said were stolen from their storeroom were: “Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($200,000 USD) belonging to Dorcas Wiredua, my niece who is also my client.

“Three Hundred Thousand Euros (£300,000) belonging to me,” and “Three Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc300,000) being contributions that my wife’s siblings and her made towards the funeral of her late mother. Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc50,000) belonging to my wife,” he stated.

Charges

Patience Botwe, 18, and Sarah Agyei, 30, together with Benjamin Sowah, Malik Dauda, Christiana Achab, Job Pomary, and Yahaya Sumaila have all denied the various charges pressed against them – ranging from Conspiracy to steal, stealing, dishonestly receiving, and money laundering.

Despite being granted bail, they cannot meet their respective bail conditions and are still in lawful custody.

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