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PURC fines ECG board members GH¢5.8 million for ‘dumsor’

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The Commission's March 18 letter also requested that the ECG disclose the total number of scheduled outages conducted between January and March. In a letter dated Monday, April 15, PURC stated that its study of the given data revealed that 4142 outages occurred throughout the time. "The Commission determined from its review of data given by ECG that there were 4142 outages to consumers in ECG's operational zones between January and March 2024. ECG-planned outages accounted for 165 of these, or 3.98% of the total. Further investigation revealed that 40 of the 165 planned ECG outages were accompanied by public announcements, but the remaining 125 outages received no warning.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has issued hefty penalties of GHS 5,868,000.00 on members of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) board who served from January 1 to March 18, 2024.

This action was brought because they violated Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413, which mandates prior notification to customers before any power outage.

The fine affects Keli Gadzekpo, the Board Chair who resigned on March 26, as well as Samuel Dubik Mahama, the current ECG Managing Director.

In a letter dated March 18, PURC instructed the ECG to produce a load-shedding timeline by April 2, 2024, which was shamelessly ignored without reason.

The Commission’s March 18 letter also requested that the ECG disclose the total number of scheduled outages conducted between January and March.

In a letter dated Monday, April 15, PURC stated that its study of the given data revealed that 4142 outages occurred throughout the time.

“The Commission determined from its review of data given by ECG that there were 4142 outages to consumers in ECG’s operational zones between January and March 2024. ECG-planned outages accounted for 165 of these, or 3.98% of the total. Further investigation revealed that 40 of the 165 planned ECG outages were accompanied by public announcements, but the remaining 125 outages received no warning.

“Further, 38 of the 40 notices did not comply with the requisite three-day statutory notice prescribed under Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413. This indicates that in 163 instances of planned outages, ECG did not comply with the law.”

The regulator stated that it will impose 3,000 penalty units on ECG for each breach committed in its failure to comply with the timeline guideline.

It further said that the fee will be enforced on ECG’s board members according to the ownership structure.

“For failure to comply with the 3-day statutory notice required under Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413, the Commission in accordance with Regulation 45 of L.I. 2413, hereby imposes a regulatory charge of 3,000 penalty units on ECG for each of the 163 breaches, amounting to Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 5,868,000.00).

“The Commission has determined that having regard to the nature of ECG’s ownership and business, the imposition of the penalty of Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 5,868,000.00) on ECG would be counter-productive, as payment from ECG’s revenue would have a rebounding adverse effect on quality of service and consumers who pay tariffs to the company.”

The nine board members have up to May 30, 2024, to pay the fine “into a dedicated fuel account under the joint control of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance.”


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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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Ghana’s economy is recovering quickly – Amin Adam

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“As a result of the policies we have implemented, economic growth has become more robust than ever anticipated. Projected to grow at 1.5% last year [2023], we grew at 2.9%.” “The signs of growth we’re seeing from the data also show that this year will be strong, and so, when I say the economy is strong, I mean it. Inflation has also been on the decline, from a peak of 54% at the end of 2022, and 12 months later, it came down to 25%. “We are working to ensure inflation reaches 15% by the end of this year. And by the end of 2027, inflation comes with a single digit.”

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of Finance, has once again guaranteed the public that the economy will recover strongly.

He also mentioned that inflation has significantly decreased in recent months, indicating that the economy is on the right track to recovery.

Speaking as the special guest of honour at the Health Sector Annual Summit 2024, Dr Adam expressed confidence that inflation will continue to fall and be much lower by the end of the year.

“The economy is rebounding strongly, and as the manager of the economy, I can assure you that our recovery is quite robust. We face tremendous problems, yet the future seems increasingly promising.

“As a result of the policies we enacted, economic growth has been stronger than expected. We increased at 2.9% instead of the projected 1.5% growth rate last year [2023].

“The signals of growth in the statistics also indicate that this year will be robust, so when I say the economy is strong, I mean it. Inflation has likewise been declining, having peaked at 54% at the end of 2022 and falling to 25% a year later.

“We are aiming to guarantee that inflation reaches 15% before the end of the year. And by the end of 2027, inflation will be a single digit.

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Articulator truck kills four people in Kubease

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Tragically, four of the bus's passengers died on the spot as a result of their injuries, while others on board suffered varied degrees of injury. Following the event, wounded passengers were immediately transferred to the Ejisu Government Hospital for treatment.

A catastrophic accident on the Accra-Kumasi road in Kubease, close to Sekyere-Nkwanta, claimed the lives of four people, including a one-year-old baby.

The deadly crash happened when an articulated truck lost control on a specific stretch of road, drifting out of its allocated lane and colliding with a Benz Sprinter bus transporting the victims.

The force of the incident was so intense that the Benz Sprinter bus somersaulted and crashed into a neighbouring ditch.

Tragically, four of the bus’s passengers died on the spot as a result of their injuries, while others on board suffered varied degrees of injury.

Following the event, wounded passengers were immediately transferred to the Ejisu Government Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the corpses of the deceased were respectfully laid at Juaben Government Hospital’s mortuary.

The police have taken the driver of the articulated truck into custody to help in the continuing investigations into the horrific event.

The community and authorities are in shock and grief over the unexpected loss of life and the traumatic consequences of the incident.

As road safety remains a vital problem, this occurrence emphasises the importance of alertness and obedience to traffic laws in order to prevent more catastrophic incidents on Ghana’s roadways.

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