Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reflectors installed at accident prone spot in Kumasi

The Urban Roads Department in Kumasi has erected Reflective Channelizer Cones on the concrete triangle located in front of the Akyempimhene’s Palace on the road heading towards Adum from the Asafo-UTC interchange in Kumasi.
The erection of the traffic signals followed last Friday’s fuel tanker accident at same spot, which led to the loss of three lives.
There had been complaints from the public on the location of the concrete triangle which had been causing numerous accidents at the spot with the most fatal being last Friday’s incident.
The triangle initially had some small reflectors slapped on the concrete but it got defaced a few months after its construction.
As a result most motorists run over it at night and sometimes even at day time resulting in accidents.
In last Friday’s incident, the driver of the fuel tanker with registration number GT 7560 X was heading towards Adum when the driver suddenly lost control in front of the Justmoh Construction building after climbing the concrete triangle.
The fuel tanker overturned afterwards and burst into flames. A huge explosion was heard, which shook several houses, near the accident spot, shattered wooden doors, ceilings and glass doors and windows of some of the buildings.
The fire spread through parts of Adum and the crowded cold store area opposite the Asafo Neoplan Station causing massive destruction to property as the fuel spilled through drains. A number of people were wounded and the three deceased who were attending to nature’s call at that early morning in the drainage were burnt beyond recognition.
The erection of the Reflective Channelizer Cones on the road and on the triangle, which is to impart information to road users that a concrete triangle exists at the spot, has therefore been welcomed by some residents.
Officers of the Urban Roads mounted the reflectors at the weekend to help avert further fatalities at the spot which had been noted for accidents ever since it was constructed about a year ago.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Police arrest fake currency dealers

FOUR people have been arrested by the Police in Kumasi for allegedly dealing in fake currency to the tune of GH¢ 150,000. George Agyemang, 45, and Twum Adjei, 41 both car dealers and residents at Teshie Nungua in Accra were arrested on Monday, August 18, 2008 in Kumasi while their accomplices Mallam Mohammed Awal, 35 and Nuhu Musah, 42, a.k.a. Manoah were also arrested the following day at Mamobi in Accra. The Police have since retrieved GH¢ 90,005 of the fake currencies. Two of the suspects, George and Twum had succeeded in putting GH¢59,995 in circulation before they were arrested. A fifth suspect whose name was only given as Adam was on the run. He was said to be using a black convertible Mercedez Benz CLK 55 Amg with an unidentified Togolese registration number and the police have mounted a search for him. Police investigations have revealed that George and Twum sold the car with which Adam had absconded with to Mallam Awal and Nuhu in receipt of the fake currencies as payment. Briefing the press in Kumasi today (Monday), DCOP K. A. Opare-Addo, the Ashanti Regional Commander of Police, said George and Twum agreed to sell the car to the other suspects at a cost of GH¢ 150,000 and agreed to receive payment in the fake currencies. The commander said on Monday August 18, 2008, police received information that a group of people from Accra had in their possession a large amount of forged Ghanaian currency notes and were lodging in a hotel in Kumasi. He said the information indicated that the suspects were making efforts to change the forged currency into genuine ones by defrauding unsuspecting individuals. He said the police trailed George and Twum to a room at the Silicon Hotel at Kentinkrono in Kumasi. When they were searched, fake GH¢50 denominations all with same serial number VB 0352416 totalling GH¢71,000 and GH¢20 denominations all with same serial number VB 0352461 totalling GH¢17,100 were found on them. Again GH¢10 denominations with same serial number of LB 2392169 totalling GH¢950 and GH¢5 denominations with same serial number totalling GH¢955 were also found on them. The Police Commander said all the fake currencies in possession of the suspects amounted to GH¢90,005 and that during interrogation, they mentioned Mallam Awal, and Nuhuall based in Mamobi in Accra as their sources of supply. George and Twum therefore led police to Mamobi in Accra where they identified the two other suspects Awal, and Musah for arrest. George and Twum told the police that they agreed to sell the black convertible Mercedez Benz CLK 55 Amg with the unidentified Togolese registration number to Awal, and Musah who then transferred it to Adam. DCOP Opare-Addo said George and Twum agreed to receive payment for the car in fake currencies amounting to GH¢ 150,000. He said since only GH¢ 90,005 were found on them during their arrest, the police suspected that some innocent persons might have been victims to the difference of GH¢ 55,995 which the suspects could not account for. Mr Opare-Addo said the suspects who bought the car in forged currency could not have used all their money and that they suspected they still have more of such currencies hidden somewhere. He therefore appealed to members of the public to be on the lookout when indulging in any form of transaction that involves money so as not to fall prey to such circulating currencies.
Picture shows the fake

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fuel tanker catches fire in Kumasi. One person dead

ONE person was killed and a number of others wounded when a fuel tanker overturned and burst into flames at the Nsuase area of Adum in Kumasi this morning (Friday). The deceased was burnt beyond recognition and his remains had been deposited at the morgue while the injured were receiving medical attention. The fire spread through parts of Adum and the crowded cold store area opposite the Asafo Neoplan Station causing massive destruction to property as the fuel spilled through drains. Thick black smoke drifted into the early morning skies, as frightened residents rose from their beds to escape to safe areas. Fire fighters had a difficult task controlling the blaze, and had to spend about two hours before bringing the situation under control. The accident was said to have happened at about 5:10am and the fire started afterwards whilst people siphoned the fuel. An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that the tanker with registration number GT 7560 X was heading towards Adum when the driver suddenly lost control in front of the Justmoh Construction building.
A huge explosion was the heard, which shook several houses, near the accident spot, shattered wooden doors, ceilings and glass doors and windows of some of the buildings.
This caused people to rush out of their homes onto the streets. They rescued the driver and his mate and rushed them to the hospital. The eyewitness said some people hurriedly went for buckets to siphon the fuel and it was during that process that they saw fire running through the drains from the cold store area towards where the tanker fell. The fire caught the tanker and it exploded. When the Daily Graphic got to the scene fire fighters from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) were battling the blaze. They sprayed water and foam on the burning tanker to cool it and prevent whatever gasoline residue was in the tank from exploding. The road from the interchange area leading to Adum through the Justmoh Construction area was closed to traffic in the morning. National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) officers were yet to ascertain the number of casualties at the time of filing this report. Residents in the cold store area and some portions of the Nsuase area evacuated from their homes in the heat of the fire.

Fraudster arrested in Kumasi

A forty-four-year-old man, who is alleged to have defrauded a number of people of various sums of money running into millions of Ghana cedis, has been arrested by the police. Victor Osei Sarfo who was arrested last Thursday after an 18-hour trail by the police in Kumasi, allegedly operated in various parts of the country. He was said to have posed as the son of Ambassador D. K. Osei, the President’s Secretary, and in some instances impersonated ACP Bright Oduro, Second in Command of the Greater Accra Regional Police. He also variously posed as a police detective, a BNI operative, an aide at the Castle, as Ambassador D. K. Ose himself on telephone and also impersonated a number of other personalities including Members of Parliament to defraud his victims. He again posed as a friend of high ranked police officers as well as politicians. Some of the names he used in his operations were Osei Kwadwo and Nana Osei but when he was arrested by the police he gave his name as Victor Osei Sarfo. Osei is said to have preyed on individuals and police officers, convincing them he could help them secure promotion in their various places of work as well as secure visas for them to travel outside the country especially to the United States of America (USA). Four mobile phones, two of which he used in his activities as belonging to Ambassador Osei and ACP Oduro were retrieved from him when he was arrested. A number of his victims had been showing up at the Asokwa Police to lodge complaints against him since he was arrested last Thursday. Police in Accra had demanded for his transfer to Accra to assist in investigations in similar cases involving him. The Crime Officer in charge of the Asokwa District of Police in Kumasi, ASP David K. Gyabaa, told the Daily Graphic that preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspect was an ex-convict who was jailed for 10 years. He was also said to have jumped bail while facing trial in a court of law and was being sought for adding that investigations had revealed that the suspect had a serious criminal record. ASP Gyabaa said the suspect was arrested after he attempted to defraud a police officer at the Asokwa Division of Police. He said police officers at Asokwa had known Osei who was also known as “Boga” as a self styled informant who had given information to the police on numerous occasions leading to the arrest of criminals. He said it was through such activities that the suspect came into contact with one of the officers at the Asokwa Police station whom he assured that he was a friend of ACP Oduro and that he could speak to him on his behalf for him to facilitate promotion for him. He said the suspect later pretended to be ACP Oduro and called the victim with one of his four mobile phones, telling him the victim that Osei had discussed his case with him, and that he was discussing the issue with Police Commissioner Adu Gyimah. He later asked the victim to give GH¢150 to Osei for onward transmission to him to facilitate the promotion. ASP Gyabaa said at another time, the suspect called the victim again under the name of ACP Oduro and informed him that Osei had given him the money to work on the promotion. He said the suspect after that incident called the victim and told him he had already given the money to ACP Oduro on his behalf so he should hurriedly arrange to get him the money. The police officer said the victim suspected Osei to be a fraudster and thus discussed it with his senior officers who agreed for them to call ACP Oduro directly on the purported telephone number he had used to call him. When they did the police officers detected that, the voice on the other side was not that of ACP Oduro. Hence they arranged with the victim to raise the GH¢150, recorded all the serial numbers on the notes and gave it to the victim for onward transmission at the Ultimate Drinking Spot near the Asokwa police station where the suspect had agreed to meet with the victim to collect the money on Thursday August 14, 2008. The Police officers laid ambush and picked him at about 7pm on that day when he showed up to collect the money. ASP Gyabaa said a number of complainants started showing up after his arrest to lodge complaints of fraud against him. He said the Police called Ambassador Osei to find out his relationship with the suspect and Ambassador Osei denied categorically ever knowing the suspect. He said Ambassador Osei informed them that he had received information that someone had been going round posing as his son to defraud a number of people. The police officer said complaints received on the suspect as of now includes a GH¢450 he had allegedly collected from a woman to ensure that her daughter was enlisted in the Ghana Armed Forces for which he had given the woman a prospectus indicating that the girl was about to be enlisted. Again, there has been a complaint from a youngman whom the suspect collected GH¢200 to assist him enlist in the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS). Another one was from two nurses at the Atasemanso Hospital, whom he had allegedly collected GH¢1500 and GH¢2900 respectively to assist them secure visas to travel to the USA. There were also three nurses whom he allegedly collected GH¢4400 and a doctor also at the Atasemanso Hospital, whom he duped GH¢3000 to help secure USA visas for some members in his household to enable them travel to the USA. Yet another one was a man from whom he collected GH¢400 to help secure a USA visa for him. ASP Gyabaa said the victims cut across and described him as a confident trickster, fraudster, slippery, intelligent and a radical who had the phone numbers of many supposedly big men in society on his phones and could imitate their voice on telephone. He said the suspect had in some instances introduced himself to his victims as a “commando” in the PNDC regime who was trained in Cuba. The suspect had since been put before court on charges of impersonation, defrauding by false pretences and extortion and remanded into prison custody while police were conducting further investigations on him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barman testifies against Loving Cee. In fraud case

A prosecution witness in the case involving William Des Bordes a.k.a. Loving Cee, a Kumasi based radio presenter who is facing trial for defrauding by false pretences has told the Ashanti New Town Circuit Court that, the accused physically attacked the hotel manager by pushing her off when she demanded that the accused settled all his bills before leaving the hotel premises on the day he was checking out.
Gyasi Muller, a bar man at the Cedar Crescent Hotel who was testifying when the case came up for hearing on Monday August 18, 2008 said that the accused was checking out of the hotel on June 19, 2008 when the incident happened.
He said the accused arrived at the hotel premises in the company of a friend who was driving a pick-up vehicle in which they packed the accused’s personal belongings.
He said the manager of the hotel; Ruth Naa Bekoe demanded payment after the accused had appended his signature to his bills.
He said he was at the bar when he heard exchanges between the manager and the accused over the unpaid bills since the bar was close to the reception.
He said he went to the reception and heard the accused saying that the hotel manager would hear from him later since his mother’s house was nearby and close to the hotel and that there was no way that he would abscond.
He said the accused retorted that the hotel would hear accordingly from him but said the manager also replied that she did not know the accused in person and since he checked in as an individual at the hotel, he needed to settle all his bills before he moved out of the hotel.
The witness said the accused then moved towards the car park and the hotel manager followed suit but said the accused pushed the hotel manager away and threatened to beat her up.
He said the accused then zoomed out of the hotel premises in his car and after that, the hotel staff tried to prevent the friend of the accused from also driving off with the pick-up, in which the accused’s personal belongings had been packed into.
The witness said the friend of the accused forcibly screeched the car out of the hotel premises causing a stone to roll from the tyres of the car to hit an eight-month-old daughter of the hotel manager, resulting in a cut on the cheek of the little girl.
During cross examination, counsel for the accused wanted to know how long the witness had worked at the hotel to which the witness answered he has worked there for two years.
Counsel put it to the witness that he only worked at the bar and was not the one who determined the bills of customers at the hotel.
The counsel also said that the accused had been civil in all his dealings at the hotel and that he never said the hotel manager would hear from him later on the day he was checking out of the hotel.
Counsel said the accused was rather challenging the manager that a quantum of the payments he had made at the hotel had not been deducted from his bills.
He said the accused never pushed the hotel manager and also never said that his mother’s house was nearby and that he would not abscond and that they would hear from him later.
The case was adjourned to September 5, 2008.
William Des Bordes a.k.a. Loving Cee is in court answering a charge of defrauding by false pretences after he lodged at the Cedar Crescent Hotel in Danyame, Kumasi between December and June 2008 with his wife and two children. He is said to have piled up a substantial bill for the six months stay at the hotel, deceived the hotel management and paid part of his bills leaving him with part. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On his first appearance in court, he was remanded into one week prison custody by the Ashanti New Town Circuit Court.
He however spent only one night in prison following an appeal filed by his lawyers at the High Court to secure bail for him the following day.

Cocaine: Man, 34, Under Guard At Hospital

A 24-hour police guard has been placed on a 34-year-old man at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, where 73 thumb-size pellets of a whitish substance suspected to be cocaine were removed from his stomach.

Mohammed Joojo Gyimah, a native of Achiase in the Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region and a labourer in Barcelona, Spain, reported at KATH with stomach pains after swallowing the pellets.

Doctors on duty quickly alerted the police before performing surgery on him to remove the pellets when he was rushed there.

All the pellets have since been removed and he is still on admission. It was detected that two of the substances burst in his stomach, which caused the discomfort.

The suspect reportedly told the police that he attempted to smuggle the substance to Barcelona in Spain but had to abort his plans upon arriving at the Kotoka International Airport, since he experienced severe stomach upset and felt dizzy.

He said he came to Ghana from Spain about five months ago and that a lady friend of his in Spain asked him to send the substance along on his return.

He said he met one Asare, a native of the Brong Ahafo Region, at a place near the Prempeh College in Kumasi where the said Asare supplied him with the substance to be taken to Barcelona for a fee of 2000 euros, while his airfare was taken care of.

He said Asare accompanied him to Accra and on their way to the airport, they stopped somewhere for him to swallow the substances but when he arrived at the precincts of the airport, he experienced severe stomach upset and felt dizzy so he aborted the journey and quickly returned to Kumasi in an attempt to get the pellets removed.

He said he was not successful in getting someone to help him until he collapsed and was rushed to KATH by members of his household.

The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, who confirmed the story, said the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the police received the information about the incident on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 and quickly rushed to the hospital.

He said when they arrived, the suspect was in critical condition under observation at the Intensive Care Unit.

He said a 24-hour guard was placed on the premises of the hospital until all the pellets were removed the following day.

Inculcate reading habit in children

Newly appointed Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs Gladys Amaning says her vision was to promote reading skills at the basic level of education in Kumasi.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic Mrs Amaning said improving reading at the primary level was very instrumental in enabling pupils to have a grasp over the English language.
“I believe if we are able to inculcate reading in the children at their preliminary stages, then we stand the chance of making them excel in all fields of their endeavour”.
Mrs Amaning spoke to the Daily Graphic on her vision as a new Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Education. She assumed office in June 2008.
There have been calls for intensified supervisory activities in schools, so as to eliminate all impediments that contribute to falling standards.
A new methodology for the teaching and learning of the English language has been launched by the International English Language Teaching Commission. The commission seeks to replace the present methodology which it considers cumbersome and full of technicalities.

The falling standards in the English language and education in general have been attributed to the inability of students to express themselves in simple English and understand examination questions posed.
Mrs Amaning said teachers’ inability to instruct properly in the language makes the situation even more alarming.
“For a start, we are beginning cluster based training for all teachers in September and I know for sure that in a year’s time we would start seeing results”, she said.

Mrs Amaning who started her teaching career in 1976 after completing a Diploma in Home Economics at the Specialist Training College in Winneba, now University of Education Winneba (UEW) said it had always been her conviction to help improve upon reading skills of students thus leading to an improved spoken and written English language.
She said science students for instance hold the conviction that they needed to be excused a bit when it came to English language.
This is a wrong perception since all students need to be able to express themselves in simple English and understand examination questions posed, she said.
Mrs Amaning’s first posting in her teaching career started at the Bagabaga Training College in Tamale where she spent a year and later moved to the Ashanti region.
She thought as a home economics tutor at the Atwimaman Secondary School (now Afua Kobi Senior High) from 1977 to 1980 and at the Technology Sec School from 1980 to 1992.
She was promoted to the position of an Assistant Director in Ghana Education Service (GES) and posted to the Ashanti regional office as a Home Economics Organiser where she served from 1992 to 1994.
She went back to school to obtain a Bachelor in Home Economics in 1997 and returned to the Ashanti regional education inspectorate division where she claimed she realised a falling standard of education at the basic school level.
“I saw there was a great challenge at the basic school level. Supervision was very low and it was as if no one cared about the falling standards”, she said.
She said she told the then Ashanti Regional Director of Education that she wanted to be posted to the basic level to go and help.
“At that point many people did not understand why I wanted to move from the regional office to the basic level but I embraced myself and was posted to the State Experimental School”.
“My vision was to find out the reason for the falling standards and I saw it was because of poor supervision. The students could not read so I decided to create a library on campus and asked each student to buy a story book “.
It wasn’t easy at that time I faced a lot of opposition and there was even an article in The Pioneer newspaper with allegations that I was squandering monies at the State Experimental School so I was invited by the BNI.
Mrs Amaning said she managed to move on with her vision and within one term, a student had read about 100 story books. “The children became interested in reading and within the eight years that I spent at State Experimental, standards improved tremendously at the school”, she said
She continued her education at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) where she pursued a Masters in Education Administration and completed in 2006. She was then posted to the Sekyere West in Ashanti as a District Director of Education, becoming the first basic school head to rise directly to the position of a Director.
She continued her campaign of promoting reading there and went to London to learn about methodologies in teaching English language at the basic level.
From there she came back to Mampong, formed a team of teachers to start teaching kindergarten pupils on how to read based on the experiences she had in London.
“I was shocked to see how the KG pupils were attacking words when we introduced the methodology to them”.
It was whiles serving at Mampong that she was transferred to Kumasi as Metro Director. Mrs Amaning, 56, is a native of New Tafo in the Eastern region and is married with six children.

"Wee" dealer arrested

The police in Kumasi have busted a suspected Indian hemp “wee” woman dealer who was conveying a large quantity of the stuff from Kumasi to Bolgatanga in the Upper East region.
The woman, Joyce Nketia was apprehended at the Bolga Lorry station at Krofrom on Monday in possession of the dried leaves suspected to be “wee”.
The stuff were in three separate travelling bags.
The suspect was arrested upon a tip off to the Tafo police that someone was trying to transport Indian hemp to Bolgatanga.
The police proceeded to the Bolga Lorry station at Krofrom and saw three travelling bags on the ground.
When the police asked for the owner, Joyce Nketia owned up and on interrogation as to the contents, she stated that the bags were given to her by one Akwasi of Kwadaso to be taken to Bolgatanga.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Unit said she was subsequently arrested for investigations and when the three bags were forcibly opened, they were found to contain quantities of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis.
He said the suspect later took police to a wooden kiosk at Kwadaso where she claimed the supplier lived but Akwasi was nowhere to be found.
The Police Inspector said the exhibits would be sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory for analytical examination.

Lover butchers girlfriend in ksi

A KUMASI-based carpenter who could not bear the pain of losing his lover to another man is alleged to have butchered the woman with a machete at Fante New Town in Kumasi. A few weeks before the gruesome murder, the deceased, Sabina Amoh, 23 and a seamstress was said to have separated from the boyfriend, whose name was given as Kofi Saul Campbell, and the deceased’s pastor was intervening for her to give the boyfriend a second chance. However, when Sabina heard a knock on her door this morning (Friday) and opened the door to find Kofi, little did she know that the he had hatched a plan to kill her. Relations of Sabina told the Daily Graphic that the deceased responded to Kofi’s call after the latter had knocked on her door at about 5am and the two moved out of the house. Moments later, Sabina’s body was discovered lying nearby a refuse dump, close to the house bleeding profusely. She had sustained deep machete wounds on both ears and cheek and was lying in a pool of blood with little life in her. She was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) where she was pronounced dead. The body had since been deposited at the mortuary and the matter reported to the police. Campbell who was said to be a coffin maker at Fante New Town near the Labour offices where the incident happened was yet to be apprehended by the police for questioning.
He is said to be a native of Enyan Manmu whilst the deceased was also a native of Mankessim, all in the Central region.
Lydia Amoh, a senior sister to the deceased, said the two had been going out for the last two years and coexisted happily until a misunderstanding erupted between them recently. She said the matter was however sent before Sabina’s pastor who was trying to solve the issue amicably.

Loving Cee returns from prison to yob

Kumasi radio presenter, Loving Cee, could not have told a bigger lie when he denied on various radio stations last week that he had never been to prison.
Indeed, according to prison sources, Loving Cee a.k.a. Willian des Bordes, was taken to Kumasi Central Prison on Wednesday July 16, 2008 to begin a one week remand prison term slapped on him by an Ashanti New Town Circuit Court when he made his first appearance on a fraud charge.
Loving Cee however spent only one night in prison following an appeal filed by his lawyers at the High Court to secure bail for him the following day.
When he eventually resurfaced in court last week Wednesday, Loving Cee was to answer a charge of defrauding by false pretences after he lodged at the Cedar Crescent Hotel in Danyame, Kumasi between December and June 2008 with his wife and two children. He is said to have piled up a substantial bill for the six months stay at the hotel, deceived the hotel management and paid part of his bills leaving him with GH¢5940. He is also alleged to have engaged the hotel manager, Ruth Naa Bekoe, in a row over his unpaid bills on the day he was checking out of the hotel. The matter was reported to the police and subsequently sent to court. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution, led by Inspector Margaret Anhwere Mensah told the court presided over by Mr Owusu Afriyie that the accused (William Des Bordes) enjoyed various services at the hotel including laundry, food and drinks.
Giving evidence in court Ruth Naa Bekoe, the hotel manager said that the accused checked in at the hotel on December 25, 2008 and stayed there with his wife and two children (boys). The witness said even though the hotel rooms at Cedar Crescent went for GH¢70 and GH¢65 respectively per day, she agreed to give the room to the accused at a discounted rate of GH¢55 to which the accused made a deposit of GH¢100 with the explanation that he was staying for three nights. She said the accused did not leave the hotel when the three nights elapsed and continued to stay there till January 20, 2008 piling up a bill of GH¢2017.20 which included food and drinks as well as accommodation. The witness said she however asked the accused to pay just GH¢2000 to offset all his indebtedness as of that time to which the accused paid. However, the witness said the accused did not check out of the hotel and continued to stay there with the explanation that he had been detailed by Deutsche Welle (DW) Radio to cover the 2008 African Cup of Nations, hence he would stay for a while.
The accused further told the hotel management that DW Radio would be paying his bills so they should give him some time to take the money from them for onward payment.
The witness said she told the accused that, he checked in as an individual and that the hotel did not have any contract with DW Radio or the accused person’s current employers, Angel FM, so he should be paying his bills himself.
She said Des Bordes later paid GH¢500 and GH¢400 respectively on separate days in February to offset part of his indebtedness but he continued to stay at the hotel. She said the accused did not pay any money to the hotel from then on until May 10, 2008 when he paid GH¢1000 and June 3, 2008 when he paid GH¢500.
Prior to that, she said anytime they demanded money from him, he requested that one of the hotel staff should go with him to the office or to town for him to get money for them but on all occasions the hotel staff returned to the hotel without any money.
She said the accused on all the occasions abandoned the person he went with to town and the person had to find his way back to the hotel without the money. The witness said at the end of the month of May, she told the accused that she had received a contract to rent out all the rooms at the hotel and that the people who had rented it would be checking in on June 21, 2008 so she would want the accused to vacate his room by then. She said the accused subsequently asked her to prepare his bills for him so as to enable him settle it before he left to which she did and presented him with a bill of GH¢6940 as of June 18, 2008 to which the accused accepted and put his signature against the bill. The witness said the following day on June 19, 2008 the accused came to the hotel with a pick up and a friend and started packing his stuff into the car. She claimed she went to enquire about the payment of the bill and the accused responded that he would sort it out later but she claimed she refused to accept that explanation saying she needed to collect the money since the accused checked in at the hotel as an individual and needed to settle all his debts before he moved out. She said the exchanges resulted in a row and the friend of the accused moved the pickup out of the hotel premises, screeching in a manner that caused a stone to hit and injure an eight-month-old daughter of the witness. The witness said the matter was reported to Ridge Police Station and a medical form was issued for the little girl to be taken to hospital.
She said the matter was later transferred to the Central Police station where the accused did not accept the bill presented to him and felt he was being cheated. She stated that the police commander at the Central Police Station tried to resolve the matter and asked that if the accused claimed he did not accept the bill, then he should go back to the hotel and sit down with them and go through the bill to iron out the rough edges. She said the accused later paid GH¢1000 to the police as part of his indebtedness and boycotted all other meetings to resolve the matter until the matter came to court. Last Wednesday (August 6, 2008) when the matter was called in court the manager of the hotel, Ms Ruth Naa Bekoe who had earlier given evidence was cross examined by counsel for the accused, Mr Kwabena Poku Mensah. The counsel contended that the witness did not provide receipts for all payments made in respect of the accused's stay at the hotel. But the witness disagreed with him and said receipts were issued. The witness said she was waiting for the accused to make full payment of his indebtedness so as to issue him with a VAT receipt. Counsel: Are you aware he is an employee of Deutsche Welle (DW) and that DW was responsible for paying his bills. Witness: No. He did not tell us at the beginning that DW was responsible for his bills. He came in as an individual and that it was only when we demanded payment from him that he told us that he would take the money from DW and give it to us. The counsel contended that that the witness knew that the accused was a radio presenter and had worked with DW Radio, hence she threatened to tarnish his image. The counsel maintained that the witness asked the accused to pack his belongings out of the hotel and that the accused did not go out on his own volition but the witness disagreed with the counsel and said she gave the accused three weeks’ notice to move out. The prosecution said it has three more witnesses to call. The case was adjourned to August 18, 2008.
Des Bordes recently returned from Germany where he worked with Deutshe Welle (DW) Radio for five years. He has since been signed on to work with Angel FM in Kumasi after his work contract with DW Radio expired and was not renewed for him and subsequently asked to move to his homeland Ghana.
Meanwhile information gathered by Graphic Showbiz indicates that last Tuesday (August 5, 2008) des Bordes, in the middle of his programme rushed out of the studio of Angel FM with a mixer and crushed it on the ground to the surprise of staff and onlookers including drivers and passengers who were driving past the front of the radio station.
The cause of des Bordes’ action was not clear but it was learnt that technicians at the station had just done a new setup at the studio with the mixer.
Instead of calling for a technical assistance when he tried to use the mixer and it was not working for him, he got angry and removed the mixer from the studio and crushed it outside on the car park.
When contacted, officials of Angel FM refused to comment on the incident.

Three held over rape

The police in Kumasi have arrested three young men who allegedly gang raped an eighteen-year-old lady in a bush at Pankrono Estate at the weekend.
The suspects, Kwadwo Apau, 23, Kwaku Asiamah, 18 and Kwaku Dwumfuor, 20 were said to have kidnapped the young lady, sent her to Pankrono Estate and raped her in a bush.
They were said to have picked her at the Suame roundabout on Saturday August 9, 2008 in a taxi with registration number AS 2296 Q and sent her to Pankrono Estate for the ordeal after which they abandoned her and fled.
The driver of the taxi, Ofori Atta, 19 was arrested afterwards and led the police to arrest the three suspects.
The driver claimed he was innocent but the three other suspects admitted having sex with the lady and said the lady wilfully agreed to have sex with them at a fee.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Unit said the police were still investigating the incident.
He said the complainant told the police that she had gone to visit her boyfriend whom she named as Stephen and was on her way back to her house at Bantama at about 12am when she came across the suspects.
Inspector Tanko said the lady was picked by the driver of the taxi, which had the three suspects in it at the Suame roundabout bus stop with the intention of taking her to Bantama.
But he said the occupants kidnapped the lady and threatened to kill her with a locally manufactured pistol if she dared made noise drove her to Pankrono Estate and branched into a bush after seizing her mobile phone and GH¢40 she was holding at the time.
Inspector Tanko said the three suspects allegedly had sex with the lady in turns and later abandoned her in the bush.
The victim was said to have later came across a neighbourhood watch committee and after narrating the incident to them, the members of the committee became suspicious of a taxicab they had seen the driver pushing so they rushed back to the scene and arrested the driver and handed him over to the police at Old Tafo.
According to the police the driver told them that he had picked the three suspects in his car because he knew one of them.
He said whilst moving with them, his gas got finished so he decided to go and refill but when he returned the occupants were nowhere to be found and that it was during his attempt to restart the car that the neighbourhood watch committee members arrested and handed him over to the police.
Picture shows
From left to right Kwadwo Apau, 23. Kwaku Asiamah, 18 and Kwaku Dwumfuor, 20.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Poor drainage halts train services in Kumasi

Picture shows rail tracks submerged in floods with a locomotive trying to pass through it.
RUNOFF water always engulfs the rail tracks at Kaase after the slightest drizzle due to a major drainage problem in the area of the rail tracks.
The problem has gradually contributed to inactivity at the main Kumasi Railway terminal.
This is because the rail tracks get submerged under volumes of water at the Kaase level crossing area at the slightest rainfall in Kumasi.
As a result trains are unable to cross the Kaase portion of the rail tracks anytime it rains. This has resulted in erratic operations of the sleeper, commuter and haulage trains, leading to public disinterest and low patronage.
There are no intercity services currently running. The sleeper and commuter trains are no more functioning with the exception of intermittent haulage of goods such as cocoa. The railway station in Kumasi is currently engulfed with weeds as a result of the inactivity at the place.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicates that many of the staff have been moved from Kumasi to Tema and Awaso where activity in the sector is slightly vibrant than Kumasi.
The Kaase portion of the main route from Kumasi to Takoradi is not accessible during rainy days as the rail tracks get engulfed by drainage water at the slightest incident of a rainfall.
The drainage problem at the Kaase level crossing has come about as a result of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly’s (KMA) inability to extend the concrete lining of the Subin River from Kejetia to Kaase and beyond to the Suatrem River as a result of what the Assembly terms as insufficient funds.
The KMA in its attempt to ensure free flow of water in the Subin River lined the base of the river with concrete from Kejetia to Kaase but refused to extend the project beyond Kaase to the Suatrem River, with the excuse that it had run out of funds.
As a result, when it rains, the rain water flows smoothly in the concrete drains from Kejetia and adjoining areas to Kaase. But when it gets to Kaase, the water is unable to travel with same speed as a result of silt in that portion since there is no concrete lining at that portion thus the area gets flooded.
Trains are normally unable to move through the volumes of water that accumulate on the tracks. When they do, the traction motors, which is the power house under the locomotive and are very expensive gets submerged under water and become defective.
Investigations at the Railway offices in Kumasi have indicated that this has led to the destruction of many locomotives, which tried to move through the water.
Railway services have not developed much beyond what was established during the colonial period to cart cocoa and timber from the hinterland to the ports at Takoradi hence Kumasi is served by railway lines to Accra and Takoradi. Because of the barrier mountain range just to the north, the rail system does not yet go further to the north.
A source as the Kumasi railway station told the Daily Graphic that for them to run the commuter service, they need a regular and punctual time.
However because of the perennial problems with flooding, trains from Takoradi were many of the times held at Bekwai or Aduadem, which is the nearest substation to Kaase till the level of water subsided.
At times it could happen for days and there was no way you can run a shuttle service with this problem of perennial flooding and inconsistency in the service, the source said.
It said the public has gradually lost confidence in the Ghana Railway Corporation (GRC) with its train service and has opted for road transport. This is because when passengers are unable to be carried to Kumasi by the train, they spend an extra cost on road to get to Kumasi, when they are held at Bekwai or Aduadem as a result of flooding on the tracks.
The source said the Takoradi sleeper service has been suspended as of now because passengers are most of the times brought to Bekwai or Obuasi for them to continue the rest of the journey on road as a result of flooding on tracks between Bekwai and Kumasi.
It said the level of train activity in Kumasi has gone down tremendously in the last two years and that there was the need to find a solution to the flooding situation at Kaase so as to enable smooth running of the trains.
The source indicated that the KMA had been contacted to come to the aid of the railway system with respect to the flooding but the assembly was yet to respond positively.
Information also gathered by the Daily Graphic indicates that the Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways was aware of the problem of the perennial flooding and the sector Minister had paid a visit to the flooding site but the Ministry was yet to also respond positively to the problem.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cocoa production to go up

Ghana’s cocoa production was poised to increase to one million tonnes per year by the year 2010/2011, Mr Isaac Osei, Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocobod has said.
He said major reforms in the cocoa sector aim to boost total production from current levels of around 700,000 tonnes in order to achieve the target.
He said expansion in the cocoa and forestry sub-sectors, policy changes and good weather had in recent years led to improved production, from 300,000 tonnes before year 2001 to 700,000 tonnes currently.
He said the government’s prudent economic policies and support to cocoa farmers would ensure the tremendous increase in production.
Mr Isaac Osei was speaking at a handover ceremony of a new communal sanitation facility built by ADM Cocoa Ghana Limited for residents of Kaase, where Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company International is establishing a cocoa processing plant to produce cocoa liquor.
ADM turns crops into renewable products to meet the demands of the growing world. It has more than 240 processing plants around the world that convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses.
The new communal sanitation building was built by ADM as its first social responsibility project in Kaase where constructional works on the-state-of-the-art cocoa processing plant was still underway.
Mr Jack Sinclair, General Manager of ADM Cocoa Ghana Limited said the communal sanitation building was to help improve the quality of life of the village of Kaase.

He said the factory would offer employment for the youth so that they would not idle about when it was commissioned somewhere in March 2009.
He said when ADM started building its new state-of-the-art cocoa processing plant in Kumasi, it noticed that the neighbouring villages of Kaase on the edge of the site were missing basic hygiene facilities.
“Being new to the area, we thought that providing support to the community was an excellent way to get to know and help our neighbours as a way of exemplifying ADM’s commitment to good citizenship around the world”, explained Pieter Frieling, Deputy General Manager.
“At ADM, we firmly believe that supporting the economic and social development of the communities in which we operate is vital, and is an integral part of our commitment to make the world a better place”, he said.
The Kaasehemaa, Nana Abena Konadu II said the community was pleased to have the new toilet and showering unit adding that the facility would help reduce the risk of disease and increase the quality of life in the village.
She expressed appreciation to Nana Boakye Samuel, Chairman of the Cote d’Ivoire New Patriotic Party Overseas Branch through whose instrumentality ADM was able to secure the Kaase sight.
The communal sanitation facility was handed over to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) who will have the responsibility to maintain and operate the unit on behalf of the villagers. The area previously used by the village would be landscaped and planted with local tropical vegetation including cocoa trees.

1. The Kaasehemaa, Nana Abena Konadu II (left), Mr Isaac Osei (middle) and Jack Sinclair, General Manager of ADM Cocoa Ghana Limited (extreme right).
2. Inset is the sanitation building.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Suame Magazine In Industrial Breakthrough

The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), the development unit of Suame Magazine, has led mechanics at Suame to manufacture chain links to service the mining industry.

The chain links, hitherto imported by the mining companies, form a key component of the machinery used in the transport of raw materials.

When the Daily Graphic visited the workshop, the artisans were busily working on offers from the Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC) at Awaso in the Western Region.

SMIDO has established a workshop at Suame Magazine, which it intends to turn into a major chain link manufacturing factory.

Mr Kwabena Boateng, Manager of the SMIDO Chain Link Workshop, said the mining companies he had approached so far had expressed satisfaction with their innovative products in terms of quality and time of delivery.

He said their activities were not limited to the chain links but they hope to expand their capacity to manufacture as many types of equipment that were currently imported to service the mining industry.

Speaking with the Daily Graphic, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, the consultant to SMIDO, indicated that the chain link project was part of the planning process towards the integration of Suame Magazine into the major economic sectors of the country.

He noted that the prospects of building a modern industrial village for Suame Magazine would remain a tourist exercise, if it were not consciously planned to service the needs of the industrial sectors of the country.

According to him, the best social corporate responsibility role the mining companies could play in the country would be to support the development of the largest informal sector of Suame Magazine, which serves as a source of livelihood for many youth in the informal sector.

He said the current initiative to build a modern Industrial Village for Suame Magazine would be given a significant boost if the mining companies showed interest in Suame Magazine’s products to generate income to support the project.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

KMA fails in decongestion exercise again. But this time accuse media of failure of exercise

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly has once again back-pedalled on the decongestion exercise it claimed it was embarking on a sustainable base to evict traders who have taken over walkways in the Central Business District of Kumasi.
This time around the Chief Executive of KMA, Ms Patricia Apiagyei has accused the media of not supporting the Assembly in the exercise resulting in the failure of the exercise.
Answering a question on the fate of the decongestion exercise at the NPP’s 16th anniversary press conference in Kumasi, Ms Appiagyei said before the KMA embarked on the decongestion exercise, it appealed to all residents of Kumasi and the media to support the exercise.
However, she said some sections of the media criticised the KMA and that explained why the exercise had been stalled.
“Some media men criticised us as well as politicised it that is why we have relented on the exercise. We thought we were in partnership with you but we were wrong. You find people back on the pavements because the media did not support us”, she said.
This accusation has however been denied by some media personnel, who have described the Chief Executive’s accusations as baseless and unfounded.
“Why should the Chief Executive be bothered about criticisms if the assembly was treading a just course by enforcing the bye-laws of the Assembly”, Mr Kojo Marfo of Angel FM said as he responded to the accusation.
He said the accusation of the city mayor cannot be wholly true. “Some of us supported the exercise to the letter and praised it”.
“We cannot understand why she is probably categorising criticisms from one or two persons to be a general criticism by the media. Besides as an authority in the city, she should be prepared to enforce the law and go about good initiatives for the city and shouldn’t be bothered so much about critics once the initiative was a good one”, Mr Marfo said.
Last year, the KMA embarked on the exercise to decongest the CBD of traders who had indiscriminately taken over the streets and the pavements and millions of cedis were spent on the exercise, yet the hawkers are still on the streets doing brisk business with its attendant socio-economic problems.
Assurances were given by the KMA that the exercise was not going to be a nine days’ wonder but would be sustained to enable residents to appreciate the need to comply with the directives of the KMA.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at one of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs meetings charged the authorities of the KMA to gather the necessary political will to sustain the ongoing decongestion exercise in the metropolis.
Otumfuo told the leadership of the Assembly not to be afraid of the political consequences of the exercise but rather muster the courage to demolish all buildings and structures cited on waterways and unauthorised places to ensure sanity in the city.
He equally urged chiefs in Kumasi to support the Assembly to ensure the successful decongestion exercise in the city.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu then mentioned that the time had come to tell the people the truth that they could no longer do things the way they wanted but should follow right procedures in order to promote discipline in society and called for a passionate discussion on the decongestion exercise, while urging residents to desist from politicising the issue.
It is not clear what might have compelled the KMA, which in 2006 “blew” some GH¢100,000 on a similar abortive ejection exercise, to go back on its word in 2007, but the lack of political will, as the case has always been, cannot be ruled out.
However, Ms Appiagyei said, “we are not scared we would lose votes if we go back to sack the people”.
“It is because I was the only one under criticism. KMA needs the support of the entire residents of the metropolis and the media must be reminded that it has a role to play in that direction”, she said.
The activities of the hawkers, who have taken over pavements in the city centre, have compelled pedestrians to walk on the roads, putting them at great risk.
The irony of the whole situation is that the KMA collects daily tolls from these hawkers, whose very presence in the Central Business District is illegal, according to the bye-laws of the same KMA, thereby legalising an illegality in the process.
The decongestion exercise at its introduction was tailored to keep the hawkers out of the streets as there was going to be an influx of visitors to the city for the Ghana @ 50 celebrations and also for the 2008 Cup of Nations which saw Kumasi as one of the venues for the continental soccer fiesta.
Many were those who concluded at the time of the introduction of the exercise that, with this year being an election year, the decongestion exercise would be elapsed after the Ghana @ 50 and soccer fiesta celebrations.
Mr Edward Amedor of the Independent newspaper said he expected the KMA Chief Executive to face realities and admit that the decongestion exercise had hit the rocks instead of playing the blame game and shifting it on the media.
A huge number of petty traders have virtually hijacked the business district of the city which is seriously impeding the free flow of vehicles and pedestrians.
These lawless individuals have completely taken over all the pavements in the city centre and are busily going about their ‘normal’ duties as if there were no laws to bring them to order.