Wednesday, July 30, 2008


THE Brong Ahafo Region, which is considered as the bread basket of the country, also abounds in several tourist sites. If the sites are well developed, they could boost the local economy, create jobs and help reduce poverty in the region.
However, the tourism sector in the region is underdeveloped. The region can also boast of several eco-tourism sites, some of which are natural waterfalls, sacred grooves, colonial graveyards, slave route/transit points and many others that are underdeveloped.
To compound the problem is the low standard of service provided by some hospitality facilities in some parts of the region.
Other problems confronting the tourism sector in the region are poor tourism services (undocumented information) on historic and other eco-tourism sites offered by operators in the hospitality industry, poor environmental and sanitary conditions, inadequate utility services and a general lack of local initiatives in the tourism sector.
It is against this backdrop that Adars FM, a Kintampo-based private radio station, sought for funding from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) fund to promote tourism in the region through public sensitisation, capacity building for public-private partnerships (PPP) and advocacy to help develop the sector, which could contribute to the socio-economic development of the region.
The advocacy programme was also to encourage and sensitise tourism sector development players/investors to invest in their communities through the PPP, based on learning experiences from the Central Region, where the sector is well developed to help package and market the tourist sites in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Project Co-ordinator for the initiative to promote the tourism industry in the region, Mr Daniel Wiafe Akenten, said his station decided to undertake the advocacy to impress upon the public and private actors in the region to collaborate to develop the various tourist sites for their mutual benefits.
He told the Daily Graphic in an interview that during the advocacy programme, sites that had been neglected or underdeveloped when given the needed attention, could enhance local economic development for the municipalities and districts that were endowed with those resources as well as for the region as a whole.
Mr Akenten mentioned such new tourist sites that were in a similar state as the Nante Waterfalls and Ampoma Gyambibi Shrine in the Kintampo South District, the Wenchi Waterfalls in the Wenchi Municipality, Kunsu Slave Caves in the Kintampo North Municipality and the Techiman Natural Bridge in the Techiman Municipality.
Others are the Bantantwe/Mansra Clay Powder and Kokuma Waterfalls all in Kintampo.
Some of the tourist attractions, such as the Kintampo Waterfalls, Kintampo Fuller Waterfalls, Geographical Centre of Ghana, British Cemetery, also in the Kintampo North Municipality, as well as the Fiema/Buabeng Monkey Sanctuary at Nkoranza, the late Prof K.A. Busia’s Mausoleum in the Wenchi Municipality, coupled with the Kuribi festival of the Wangaras in Kintampo, the Yam festivals celebrated by the various traditional areas in the region, when developed, could make the tourism sector one of the highest income earner for the region.
“If the above-mentioned tourist sites are to be well-developed, then one can confidently say that the Brong Ahafo Region is one of the best tourist destinations in the country,” Mr Akenten observed.
He, therefore, made a passionate appeal to all stakeholders to partner the various municipal and district assemblies and the government, for that matter, to help develop the sector to boost the local economy.
The project co-ordinator also called for the establishment of a Tourism Commission to collaborate with the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) to help boost the tourism sector in the region.
He stressed the need for all municipal and district assemblies endowed with tourism resources within the region to take up the responsibility to develop their tourist sites.
Mr Akenten also called for the development of a framework for public-private partnerships for the tourism industry to be used as a catalyst for their socio-economic advancement.


THE Techiman Municipal Co-operative Officer, Mr James Okyere, has advised members of co-operative unions not to allow their selfish interests to override their unions’ goals as it could lead to their demise.
He said most unions had become dormant as a result of their members trying to pursue their interests at the expense of the unions’ objectives.
Mr Okyere gave the advice at the inauguration of the Brong Ahafo Co-operative Yam Producers and Buyers Union at Techiman.
The union, whose membership is drawn from Kintampo, Nkoranza, Prang, Wenchi, Subenso, Atebubu, Sunyani, Zambarima and Techiman, among others, aims at finding lasting solutions to their activities and the annual glut experienced by farmers in the region.
Mr Okyere reminded members of the union that it was easier for the group to achieve its stated goals instead of confronting their problems individually, adding “like a broom we are stronger to perform our task.”
He, however, stressed the need for members of the union to explore ways of adding value to their produce in order to attract more income.
The Kintampo District Co-operative Officer, Mr Seidu K. Kramo, advised members of the union to honour their tax obligations and use only approved receipts for their activities.
The Techiman Central Market Queen, Nana Abena Kyeremaa, expressed the hope that the union would provide a common platform for yam producers and sellers to address problems facing them.
The Chairman of the union, Mr Rockson Addai, on behalf of the executive members thanked the members for the confidence they had reposed in them.
They promised to work hard to advance the cause of the union.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The National Democratic Congress (NDC) running mate, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has disclosed that an NDC government will not abolish the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
According to him, an NDC government under Prof. John Evans Atta Mills would rather expand the programme and make it all-embracing.
Mr Mahama made the disclosure at well attended separate rallies at Sankore in Asunafo South; Goaso in Asunafo North; Acherensua in Asutifi South and Atronie in the Sunyani East Constituency as part of his 10-day working visit to the Brong Ahafo Region.
Mr Mahama was accompanied on his tour by Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, 2004 running mate of Prof. Mills; Madam Hannah Tetteh Kpoda, National Communications Director of the NDC; Mr Samuel Ofoso Ampofo, National Organiser; Madam Agnes Adoma, National Deputy Women’s Organiser, and some regional executive including the regional chairman, Mr John Owusu Agyemang. He also called on paramount and divisional chiefs in the constituencies.
The running mate and his entourage were met by enthusiastic supporters of the party amidst brass band music at the outskirts of the various towns they visited.
Among the paramount and divisional chiefs the NDC running mate called on were Okogyeadee Yaw Adusei III, Omanhene of Sankore Traditional Area; Agyewodin Gyamfi Ampem, Omanhene of Acherensua Traditional Area; Nana Osei Kofi Abiri and Odeneho Nsiah Ababio, of Kenyasi No. 1 and No. 2 respectively as well as the divisional chief of Ntotroso, Nana Twereko Ampen, to introduce himself to them and seek their blessings for the party in the December elections.
Mr Mahama also used the rallies to introduce to the people the parliamentary aspirants of the party, namely, Mr Eric Opoku for Asunafo South; Mr Mohammed Doku for Asunafo North; Alhaji Collins Dauda for Asutifi South; Eric Addai for Asutifi North and Mr Justice Samuel Adjei for Sunyani East. He urged them to vote massively for Prof. Mills and the party’s parliamentary aspirants in the December elections.
Mr Mahama assured the people that an NDC government would place the welfare of Ghanaians above that of the personal interest of those in government and would not discriminate against any section of the populace, since Ghana belongs to all Ghanaians.
He said the NDC would also not abolish the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), since it was the NDC that started it on a pilot basis and gave it a national character, adding that the NDC would not abolish the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), but would make sure that everything including school uniforms, books and other fees were free for all pupils.
Mr Mahama added that an NDC government would further give priority to agriculture, and that under an NDC government a Golden Age of Agriculture would be declared to support all categories of farmers to cut down on food imports as well as give cocoa farmers 100 per cent bonus as against the 70 per cent being given to them now by the government.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


A Traditional ruler in the Techiman Municipality has suggested to the financial institutions operating in the municipality to extend their working days to Saturdays.
The chief, Nana Joseph Ackession, who is the Odikro of Atabourso, a farming community, said extending working days to Saturdays would provide customers the opportunity to receive banking services at the weekends.
Nana Ackession made the suggestion in an interview with the Daily Graphic at Techiman.
He condemned the current practice in the municipality whereby some banks ask teachers to come for their salaries on a particular day as not in the best interest of teachers and other workers in the area.
According to the chief, during such days most teachers and other government workers desert the classrooms and offices to queue for their pay, resulting in low productivity.
Nana Ackession said teachers who were compelled to leave their classrooms to collect their pay left pupils in the classrooms, a situation that hindered education.
He urged teachers and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to dialogue with some of the banks to extend their working hours to enable teachers, as well as other government workers, to receive their pay at their own convenience.
Nana Ackession said the current practice whereby teachers were made to queue for their pay tarnished the image of the teaching profession in the municipality.


THE police in the Wenchi Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region have arrested a 29-year-old man suspected to be a member of a fake currency gang.
The suspect, Justice K. Ajoda, is a popular carpenter at Techiman and was in possession of fake GH¢10 and GH¢5 notes at the time of his arrest.
Two other accomplices of the suspect, Baba Rasta and another whose name was not given by the police, managed to flee the scene on board a BMW saloon car with foreign registration number RT 6246AF.
The police have, however, intensified their search for them.
The circulation of fake currency has been on the rise at the Techiman Market in recent times, where such fake currency dealers use the money to buy foodstuffs and other items from unsuspecting traders on market days.
The Wenchi Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Kwame Nkrumah Akomea, who confirmed the story, said his outfit had information that some people at Dwomo, a suburb of the Techiman, were dealing in fake currency.
He said based on that, an informant was made to feign interest in the business and therefore made some contacts with the dealers.
According to Supt Akomea, the informant had several conversations with the suspect and his accomplices on the phone and later agreed to meet on a proposed day to transact business.
He said around 2 p.m. on July 11, 2008, the police commander sent the informant in the company of some plain clothed policemen to the area to transact business with the fake currency dealers.
He stated that on reaching the scene at Dwomo, the informant met with the suspect who showed him samples of the fake GH¢10 and GH¢5 notes.
Supt Akomea said the informant expressed interest and based on that, the suspect rang his accomplices to come over so that they could transact the business, adding that they came in the BMW saloon car with registration number RT 6246A F.
He said the plain-clothes policemen who had taken positions at vantage points, managed to arrest the suspect with some of the fake currency notes but his two accomplices fled the scene in the BMW car.
Supt Akomea stated that the suspect would be processed for court soon while intensive search had been mounted for the arrest of the other suspects.
He urged the public, especially food vendors and traders, to be vigilant and not panic as a result of the fake currency menace in Techiman, since the police were wild awake to flush out the economic saboteurs.


A seven-member executive of the Techiman branch of the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG), under the chairmanship of Mr Adamu Acheampong (Medimafo Tease), has been sworn in.
The ceremony, which attracted more than 600 master craftsmen and women, also saw the reconstitution of various subcommittees on land, welfare, projects, publicity, task force and disciplinary matters.
Speaking at the ceremony, the outgoing Chairman of the association, Mr Thomas Effah, thanked the members for their support during his tenure.
He urged the members to bury their differences and offer practical support to the new executive to steer the affairs of the association.
Mr Acheampong, on behalf of the new executive members, expressed his appreciation to the members for the confidence reposed in them and said they would continue from where their predecessors left off.
He implored members of the previous administration to share their experiences with the new executive in order to move the association forward.
He also urged them not to adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards the association, saying that could hinder its growth.
Mr Acheampong said his administration would adopt an open-door policy, adding that plans were far advanced to establish a bank and a multi-purpose conference hall for use by the association.
He urged members of the association not to allow their political affiliations to divide their ranks, stressing that politics was about the development of the nation and, therefore, the fact that one did not belong to another’s party did not make him/her an enemy.
Mr Acheampong further urged the members not to allow themselves to be used to foment troubles in the municipality before, during and after the December 7 general election.
The Secretary of the association, Mr Saeed Ali, charged the members to embark on a promotional drive to increase their membership in the municipality and also pay their taxes.


THE evacuation of people from three communities in the Black Volta Basin is now complete, with the resettlement of residents of Agbegikrom which clears the last hurdle for construction works to proceed on the Bui Dam project.
Residents of Agbegikrom are the last to be resettled and that has brought to three the number of villages relocated at Jama in the Bole District of the Northern Region. The first two communities to be moved to the new settlement were Berehodi and Dam Site.
In all, 50 households, comprising 180 people, were resettled for heavy construction works on the dam to begin at the project site.
As part of the resettlement package, each household was allocated a two-bedroom housing unit with a bathroom and a kitchen attached to it.
In addition, a central place of convenience (KVIP) and a borehole have been provided. Other facilities provided include a community centre and a nursery school.
Each household was also given two acres of land for farming.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Environmental Officer of the Bui Dam project, Mr Salifu Wumbilla, said the resettlement exercise had brought about a vast improvement in the lives of the people affected.
Disclosing other forms of assistance to the resettled communities, Mr Wumbilla said an amount of GH¢100, being the first 20 per cent of the inconvenience allowance, had been paid to each member of the communities, irrespective of his or her age. He added that 100 acres of land had been secured for the people at Jama.
He stated further that other forms of cash assistance for each individual member of each household would follow.
Mr Wumbilla, however, said the amount would be given to the people in three phases, adding that the first was 20 per cent, followed by 40 per cent and another 40 per cent, bringing the cash assistance to 100 per cent.
In an interview, Madam Akosua Nketiah, a 30-year-old resident of Berehodi just before the movement to Jama, was full of praise for the government for providing them with such comfort.
“I am delighted that they are moving us from here because I have seen that the project is big and we and our children cannot stay here to obstruct the progress of work,” she said.
Mr Kofi Goku, a fisherman, who is one of the resettled people, for his part, commended the government for not neglecting them at the start of the project.
The Tain District Chief Executive (DCE), Madam Farizana Bintu Ibrahim, who witnessed the exercise, assured the people of the government’s support.

Monday, July 14, 2008


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

THE Sunyani Municipal Fire Officer, Mr Kwasi Baffour–Awuah, has appealed to the Ghana Water Company (GWC) to provide fire hydrants at vantage points in the municipality and in the newly created districts to ensure smooth operation of personnel.
He noted that the hydrants were very important when fighting fire and every effort must be made to put them in place.
According to him, lack of fire hydrants in the newly created districts, inadequate fire appliances and protective clothing as well as inaccessible roads to markets were some of the challenges that confronted the smooth operations of the service.
Mr Baffour-Awuah disclosed this in an interview with Graphic Nsempa in Sunyani.
He said the Sunyani market and some others in the region have experienced fire outbreaks as a result of overloaded sockets and cooking in shops.
He therefore advised people, especially market women to desist from such practices.
Mr Baffour-Awuah observed that the incidence of fire outbreaks in the municipality had increased considerably in the second quarter of this year as compared to that of last year with bush fires still prevalent.
He said a total of 30 fire outbreaks were recorded in the second quarter of this year as compared to 27 last year.
The Municipal Fire Officer called on the police to speed up the prosecution of bushfire offenders and others who contravened environmental protection byelaws.
He further attributed the increase in fires to the refusal by individuals to heed to anti-bush fire measures and the practice of slash and burn agriculture as well as improper wiring of buildings and illegal electrical connections among others.
He continued that 75 per cent of the municipality had been covered in the anti-fire door-to-door educational campaign while radio talk shows meant to sensitise the people to the fire menace had been held.


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

THE Management of B/A United Football Club has congratulated Berekum Arsenals for the club's outstanding performance in the just-ended Onetouch Premier League.
A congratulatory message signed by the chief Executive officer (CEO) of United, Mr Charles Kwadwo-Ntim commonly known as Micky Charles, said "Once again, you have justified yourselves as worthy ambassadors of the region, and brought honour not only to yourselves, but to the entire people of Brong Ahafo".
"We wish you success as you continue your journey into Africa," the message said.
United expressed the hope that Arsenals would exploit the experiences of the past to conquer Africa this time around
It continued that " May the good Lord be with you and guide you to succeed in all your endeavours".
United hoped further that the traditional bond of co-operation between the two clubs would be strengthened by Arsenals’ remarkable performance.
Arsenals placed third in the league and had thus qualified to participate in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
It would be the second time the club would participate in the Confederation Cup.
However, a big question remains whether the club would be able to participate in the competition in view of the huge financial demands.


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

A Total of 8,345 employers nationwide, as at December 2007, owed the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to the tune of GH¢54,442,670.00 (¢544.4billion) as non-payment of their social security contributions, Mr Amos Donkor, the Sunyani Area Accountant of SSNIT has disclosed.
He attributed the rising employer indebtedness to delays by some employers and those who refused to pay their contributions.
He said SSNIT had, therefore, adopted the prosecution of such defaulters as the last resort to help recover the amount owed SSNIT.
Mr Donkor made the disclosure at a day’s seminar to sensitise social security schedule officers of the various institutions and business concerned in the Sunyani area to the Employer Member Account Reconciliation (EMAR) system.
The EMAR is a computerised operational activity introduced by SSNIT, whereby monthly bills showing the financial status of establishments will be generated and distributed to employers to inform them about their financial status and also help promote excellent relations between SSNIT and employers.
Mr Donkor noted that the non-payment of contributions had some serious effects on the scheme, since it delayed the prompt and accurate processing of social security benefits as well as the administration of the scheme, adding that social security contributions were collected and invested to pay benefits to members as and when they were due for retirement.
He further disclosed that 492 employers in the Sunyani area were indebted to SSNIT to a total of GH¢442,971.89 and 33 of such employers were being prosecuted to recover the amount owed, since they had failed to take advantage of the window of negotiation as an opportunity to redeem their indebtedness to SSNIT.
He explained that SSNIT would prosecute for non-payment of contributions when those involved had not come forward for negotiations on how to redeem their indebtedness as a last resort.
Mr Samuel Nkansah, in charge of the Sunyani Branch of SSNIT, for his part, urged employees not to connive with employers to underdeclare their salaries, since pension benefits were paid based on the salary paid to them, saying that once they did that it would affect the payment of their benefit on retirement.
He disclosed that some establishments in Sunyani deducted the entire 17.5 per cent of pension contributions to be paid to SSNIT from the salaries of their employees, and noted that it was an offence for an employer to do such deductions
He explained that because the employee was supposed to pay only five per cent as social security contributions out of their salaries, while the employer topped it up with the 12.5 per cent, bringing the total to 17.5 per cent.
Mr Nkansah urged employers to endeavour to regularly update their SSNIT records, keep salary books, register all workers and submit their contributions report to SSNIT anytime payments of contributions were being made to ensure the success of the EMAR.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


THE Chairman of the Communications Committee of the Nana Akufo-Addo Campaign, Dr Kobina Arthur Kennedy, has disclosed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) manifesto will be ready by the end of this month or early August.
He said the Manifesto Committee of the party had finalised the draft for it to be launched in August
At a day’s media outreach and communication workshop for the party’s foot soldiers in the Brong Ahafo Region and attended by a section of media practitioners in Sunyani, Dr Kennedy stated that the election was between Nana Akufo-Addo and Prof John Evans Atta Mills, the NDC flag bearer, saying, however, that a vote for the latter was a vote for the third term of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
He, therefore, urged the electorate to reject Prof Mills.
The workshop was aimed at exchanging information and sharing ideas with the frontliners and the media.
Dr Kennedy explained that the reason a vote for Prof Mills would be for former President Rawlings was that Prof Mills was nowhere near politics when President Rawlings, in 1996, brought him in to be his running mate, and then came the infamous Swedru Declaration by President Rawlings that Prof Mills was the flag bearer of the party for the 2000 general election.
He, therefore, noted that any vote for Prof Mills was a vote for the third term of President Rawlings, since the NDC was founded on the principles and ideals of the former President and there were indications that Prof Mills was not his own man.
The Chairman of the Communications Committee also debunked the assertion by the NDC that it started the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on a pilot basis.
He said in 1996, the NDC promised, in its manifesto, to begin the scheme on a pilot basis but it never materialised, saying it was one Dr Bossman who began the scheme in Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region, not the NDC, as the party claimed.
Dr Kennedy reiterated the promise made by Nana Akufo-Addo that the NHIS would be free for all children under 18 during his regime, saying that the NHIS was one of the laudable policies and programmes introduced by the NPP government.
He, therefore, called on media practitioners, especially hosts of morning programmes on radio stations, not to allow themselves or their stations to be used as propaganda outlets for lies to be perpetuated by the NDC. Instead, they must ensure that all political parties presented their arguments based on facts and accurate statistics.
Mr Owusu Afriyie, popularly know as Sir John, a member of the Communications Team and Director for the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, urged the front-line soldiers of the party to arm themselves with facts and figures, as well as the achievements of the NPP government, in order to debunk the lies being peddled about the government by the NDC.
A three-member vetting committee, chaired by Mr C.K. Tandem, a member of the Council of State, has been set up to help select a running mate who will partner Nana Akufo-Addo for the December 2008 general election.
Other members of the committee are Madam Ama Busia, another member of the Council of State, and Prof Ofosu Armaah.
The committee is to vet the seven individuals who are currently being considered as the possible running mate for the NPP flag bearer.
Mr Gabby Otchere-Darko, a member of the Communications Committee of the Akufo- Addo Campaign and Director of the Danquah Institute, disclosed this.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


THE flag bearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, has said that agriculture would be the fulcrum of PNC’s economic recovery and emancipation for Ghana.
He said a nation that could not feed itself was not an independent one.
He has, therefore, pledged to support all farmers and fishermen with the necessary incentives to increase their productivity when PNC assumed power.
He said this would lead to an increase in incomes, reduce poverty and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Dr Mahama, who made the pledge at a press conference in the Techiman Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region on Tuesday, as part of his one-week tour of the region, stated that a PNC government would also set up agro-processing factories, and provide them with the necessary inputs to add value to agricultural produce in order to prevent the annual glut experienced by farmers.
The PNC flag bearer said irrigation would be the backbone of the party’s agricultural revolution to move the country from depending on rains.
He further said this would sustain an economic growth rate of not less than 10 per cent a year for at least two decades and even beyond.
The flag bearer noted that about 80 per cent of the national population derived its livelihood from self-employment in land-based economic activities, such as farming, poultry and fishing and, therefore, attributed a lack of real economic growth of the country to the neglect of the vast population of operators in the private sector, saying that “agricultural development is the same as rural development and poverty alleviation”.
He lamented that the nation’s rice import bill had risen from about $150million to about $450million since 2000, adding that this money could have boosted the economy in many other areas.
Dr Mahama, therefore, pledged that a PNC government would provide subsidies to local rice and small-scale poultry farmers in the country to increase their production, and would thus cut importation of rice and other poultry products into the country.
He promised that the School Feeding Programme under a PNC administration would use locally produced polished rice and also add a piece of locally grown chicken to each child’s lunch under the programme, as a way of encouraging local rice and poultry farmers to produce more.
He said a PNC government would use the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and the National Investment Bank (NIB), which were established to provide the necessary assistance for both agriculture and agro-based industry growth of the country, saying that "Ghanaians can, and will take control of the commanding heights of the economy under a PNC administration".
Touching on education, Dr Mahama pledged that a PNC government would establish public universities in all the 10 regions of the country.
He thus called on the electorate to examine the presidential aspirants' committmment and sincerity to move the country forward, saying that since he had demonstrated leadership of focus he was the right person to lead Ghana, and urged the electorate to give him their mandate.
The flag bearer was accompanied by Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, the National Chairman of the party; Hajia Ajara Ali, National Women's Organiser; Hakim Asante, National Publicity Secretary; Sadiq Kwashie, Deputy National Organiser, and Nana Kwadwo Kyeremeh, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman.
Alhaji Ramadan, for his part, said the party was working seriously to field parliamentary candidates in all the 230 constituencies to ensure that it had the majority in the next Parliament to make it easier for a PNC government in power to pass its policies in Parliament.
Dr Mahama and his entourage later called on the Techiman Traditional Council and Zongo chiefs in Techiman.
The flag bearer's tour of the Brong Ahafo Region has taken him to Tano North and South Asunafo North and South, Asutifi North and South, Dormaa West and East, Berekum, Atebubu/Amantin and Pru constituencies.

Monday, July 7, 2008

RAPED...After fried rice with concoction (NSEMPA, LEAD STORY)

By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

A MAIZE dealer at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region who allegedly raped an 18-year-old student of the Techiman Senior High School after making her drowsy with fried rice laced with a concoction is in trouble with the law.
Seidu Nuhu, the maize dealer, had proposed love to the victim but she turned him down and the best option for him was to lace the food meant for the student with an intoxicant to enable him satisfy his sexual desire.
Seidu has appeared before the Sunyani High Court on a charge of rape.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and the court presided over by Mr Justice Ato Assan remanded him in prison custody to reappear on July 9, 2008.
Two others, wanted for abetment, Comfort Forkuo and Antwi Korsah, both students of the Techiman Senior High School, failed to appear in court.
The facts of the case as presented by Ms Angela Oboshie Torto, an Assistant State Attorney, said Seidu was a maize dealer at the Techiman maize market.
She said Seidu visited Antwi at school recently and later in the day, the two together with the victim and one Eric Peprah, also a student of the school, left the campus for town.
Ms Torto told the court that while in town, they stopped at “More Questions”, a drinking spot for some drinks, and later left there for Seidu’s house at Techiman Zongo to enable him to change his clothing.
The prosecutor said while in the house, the victim refused to enter Seidu’s room but her friends convinced her that nothing would happen to her.
Eric left them and did not return to the house again while the other students including the victim, watched a movie in Seidu’s room.
While in the room, the victim and Comfort complained of hunger and requested for food so Seidu and Korsah went to town to get some fried rice for them.
Ms Torto stated that Seidu, who was holding the food, laced it with a drug and gave it to the victim.
Before the food was bought for the two girls, Seidu had proposed love to the victim, but she turned him down.
The prosecutor indicated that, when the victim started eating the food, she complained that it tasted bitter but she never suspected any foul play. The victim then felt drowsy and fell asleep on the carpet in the room.
Ms Torto added that Comfort rushed out to inform Seidu and Korsah about the state of the victim and they decided to take her back to the school.
They went to the roadside to look for a taxi to take them to the school but it started raining so they were compelled to return to the room.
While in the room, Comfort and Korsah slept on a mattress while the victim slept on the carpet.
Later, Seidu told them that he was going to sleep with a brother in a different house but surprisingly, he was found at dawn sleeping next to the victim on the floor.
Ms Torto continued that Seidu took advantage of the victim’s helpless condition and raped her.
Early the following morning, Comfort and Korsah took the victim to the school while she had still not regained consciousness.
The prosecutor said the school authorities were informed of the victim’s situation and upon their personal enquiries, Seidu was arrested, while Comfort and Korsah were also picked up later.
After police investigations, Seidu was charged with the offence.


THE Sunyani Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr Albert Zoogah has remanded into a home, three juveniles who stole Ghana Telecom (GT) cables estimated at GH¢4,800 in Sunyani, on June 29,2008.
The juveniles, Kweku Bataa, 14; Abawem Ella, 17, and Kweku Ababio, 16, who pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and stealing with explanation would reappear before the court on July 15, 2008.
However, the police are searching for a man by name Kwame, who has been mentioned in the case as an accomplice.
Presenting the facts of the case in court, Chief Inspector Kingsley Baafi said on June 29, 2008, Yaw Opoku Nkrumah of the Community Protection Unit (CPU) stationed in Sunyani, who is also the complainant in the case, met the two teenagers, Bataa and Ella holding a black polythene bag near the Sunyani Library.
The prosecutor told the court that the complainant being suspicous of the contents in the polythene , confronted the two teenagers who threw the bag away and took to their heels, sensing danger.
Chief Inspector Baafi said a witness in the case, also a CPU person assisted Nkrumah and successfully apprehended them.
He said after their arrest, they were asked to open the polythene bag and it was realised it contained burnt cables belonging to Ghana Telecom.
The two CPU persons then handed the teenagers over to the police who during interrogations stated that they took the booty from a man whose name they gave as Kwame’s residence.
Chief Inspector Baafi said based on that information, the police mounted a search for the said Kwame and Kweku Ababio on Saturday, June 30, 2008.
He stated that at Kwame’s premises, the police managed to apprehend Kweku Ababio, while Kwame, who was then bathing and had seen the police first, took to his heels, thus escaping arrest.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

A Sunyani High Court has given a man who stood surety for a teacher standing trial for allegedly raping a student at the Yamfo Senior High School (SHS) in the Tano North District of Brong Ahafo Region two weeks to produce the accused.
The accused, Gideon Agyagbo, 31, who was not in court when the case was called for hearing at the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Ato Assan, is said to have been granted bail earlier by the Duayaw Nkwanta Circuit Court and was ordered by the court to report to the police twice a week.
According to the police, who brought the one who stood in as a surety for the accused, he was reporting to them but two weeks ago he came to the police station to seek permission to attend a funeral in Ho in the Volta Region but had since not returned.
The police continued that several phone calls to the accused also hit a dead end and the police had no option than to redeem the bail bond.
The presiding judge after listening to the explanation by the police asked the man who stood as a surety for the accused to bring him (accused) to court at the next adjourned date.
The court therefore postponed the hearing of the rape case to enable the man who stood for surety to look for the accused.
The facts of the case as read in court by Ms Angela Oboshie Torto, an Assistant State Attorney, were that the victim, aged 18 years, is a student of the Yamfo SHS, who was writing an examination in the school which was being invigilated by the suspect, Gideon Agyagbo, 31, who is also a teacher in the school.
She said during the examination the accused caught the victim collecting a written answer from a male student in the examination room and collected their papers.
Ms Torto said the accused, after the examination, told the victim and the other students to see him with machetes to weed but the victim claimed she did not get one that day so she did not go to the accused for the punishment.
The Assistant State Attorney said on December 12, 2007, the victim went to the accused’s house alone for her punishment and she was given some dirty clothes by the accused to wash,and while washing them he went behind her and started fondling her breast.
Ms Torto told the court that the victim became offended and then asked the suspect to stop what he was doing; he stopped, but later came back and did it again, but when the victim asked him this time to stop, he rather pulled her into his room.
She continued that in the room the accused demanded to have sex with her but she refused, so he forcibly had sex with her without her consent.
Ms Torto said immediately after the act the victim rushed to the school and reported the incident to the assistant headmistress. The headmistress and two other female workers in her office took the victim to her house in the school to examine her and they found semen in her vagina.
The Assistant State Attorney said on December 17, 2007, the father of the victim reported the offence to the police. The victim was issued with a police medical form to the hospital for treatment.
The accused was arrested and after investigation he was charged with the offence.


From Samuel Duodu, Yamfo

Five suspected cattle rustlers have been arrested by the police in Yamfo for allegedly stealing a cow.
They are Sharack Ansu, a driver, Yakubu Sule, Adams Moro, Dawuda Sumaila, Issa Bar, Amadu Alhassan and Sule Salia.
They are alleged to have broken the legs of the cow to enable them have total control of the it.
Briefing The Mirror at Yamfo about the incident, Chief Inspector Samuel Amoani of the Yamfo Police Station in the Tano North District of the Brong Ahafo Region said around 2.45am on June 16, 2008, he and another policeman conducted snap checks at Yamfo Junction.
Chief Inspector Amoani said 30 minutes into the operation, a taxi cab approached the check point at a top speed and the vehicle was flagged to stop.
He said upon inspection, they found a big cow, which had been tied at the back of the vehicle, with some of the occupants of the taxi sitting on the animal.
He continued that when few questions were posed to the suspects, they could not give any convincing answers, but rather offered to give the police GH¢200.
Chief Inspector Amoani noted that one suspect, sensing danger managed to escape due to the fact that they were two at post.
He asked the public to co-operate with the police to flush out the bad nuts in society.
The owner of the animal, Kwame Marfo, has commended the police for the good work done in arresting the suspects.
He said the cow which, was valued at GH¢1,000, would now have to be sold at GH¢600, because its leg had been broken.
Meanwhile, the Duayaw Nkwanta Circuit Court has remanded the five rustlers to reappear on June 30, 2008.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

THE Paramount Chief of Basaa Traditional Area in the Atebubu/ Amantin District of the Brong Ahafo Region, Nana Wiredu Denteh II, has been granted bail in the sum of Gh¢2,000 with a surety to be justified by the Sunyani Magistrate’s Court.
The accused, charged with stealing Gh¢700 belonging to the traditional council pleaded not guilty and is to reappear before the court presided over by Mr Albert Zoogah on July 7, 2008.
After listening to the counsel for the accused and the prosecution, the presiding judge decided to grant the accused person bail.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Kinsley Baafi told the court that the complainant in the case was Nana Osei Atuahene II, Krontihene of the Basaa Traditional Area in Atebubu/Amantin and also acting President of the Traditional Council, while the accused is a businessman and paramount chief of the area.
He said in October 2005, a meeting was called by the traditional council for the accused person to render accounts on the financial standing of the council.
Chief Inspector Baafi said at the meeting, it was detected that the accused had withdrawn GH¢700 from the accounts of the traditional council for his personal use without informing the council.
He stated that the council asked the accused person to refund the money but he refused. Also on February 4, 2008, the matter was reported to the Atebubu Police, but the accused failed to turn up at the police station when he was invited for questioning.
The prosecutor said on May 16, 2008, the case was referred to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) office, at Sunyani, where the accused admitted the offence and was granted bail.
Chief Inspector Baafi said after the necessary investigation by the police, the accused person was charged with the offence and processed for court.


THE Board Chairman of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Mr Paul Koranteng, has given the assurance that the bank will continue to provide financial support to farmers and fishermen at interest rates that are below the bank’s base rate.
According to him, the decision of the bank to lower its base rate for farmers was to encourage the youth, without the needed collateral, to attract credit from the bank.
“We believe that food security is national security and we will continue to pursue programmes that will help sustain local food production and help generate employment for the youth,” he stressed.
Mr Koranteng gave the assurance at the ADB Berekum branch relocation ceremony in the Berekum Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region yesterday.
ADB, which has been operating in the Berekum Municipality for the past three decades, decided to relocate the Berekum branch to create a conducive atmosphere for customers to conduct their banking transaction with ease, since the old premises had become inconvenient due to the branch’s growing customer base.
Mr Koranteng used the opportunity to remind the people of Berekum that the bank had introduced a special scheme for young farmers dubbed “Young Farmers Programme” to encourage the youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to accept agriculture as a business.
He added that the programme had been designed to enhance incomes of farm families in the rural areas, replace the ageing agricultural labour force, reduce the high rate of youth unemployment, and to increase food security at the household level.
Mr Koranteng therefore advised the youth to form groups for the purpose of engaging in agricultural ventures in order to qualify to access the benefits under the programme.
He disclosed that the stock of loans for the various sectors in the Berekum area had grown from GH¢3.9 million as at the end of May 2008, adding that as many as 3,600 farmers, foodstuffs traders and workers were the beneficiaries.
The ADB Board Chairman stated further that 1,800 farmers in the cashew sub-sector were currently enjoying facilities amounting to over GH¢884,494 compared to GH¢6,145 in December 2006, and that in spite of the many challenges in the area of agricultural financing, the ADB would continue to provide support for sub-sectors such as cashew, cocoa maintenance, foodstuff marketing and forestry.
As part of the social responsibility of the bank, Mr Koranteng said the bank had decided to provide financial support for the refurbishment of the delivery and maternity ward of the Berekum Holy Family Hospital, which was currently in a bad condition.
In a speech read on behalf of Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Abraham Kwadwo Kwakye, reiterated that the government had not taken any firm decision on the sale of ADB.
He stated that even when a decision was eventually reached, it was not envisaged that the business of the bank would in any way be disrupted. He therefore urged customers of the bank to continue to have confidence in their dealings with the bank.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour bemoaned the high loan default rate associated with agricultural financing, and said the onus was on both the financing institution and the loan beneficiaries to utilise the credit judiciously to prevent a high default rate.
He appealed to the people of Berekum and its surrounding towns and villages to give ADB their fullest support by patronising the services of the branch and urged the branch management to also consider tailoring their services to the peculiar needs of the local area.
Mr Yaw Opoku Atuahene, the Managing Director of the ADB, for his part said the bank was not only relocating its branch, but to also put together all the necessary facilities required to make banking enjoyable to the customers of the branch.
The Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area, Daasebre Amankona Diawuo ll, who chaired the function, in his remarks expressed his gratitude to the ADB for contributing towards the total development of Berekum, as well as its decision to rehabilitate the maternity ward of the hospital.

— Story: Samuel Duodu, Berekum