The Lighthouse Chapel International (LCI) in Ghana has revoked a car gift to a former bishop, Kwame Yirenkyi Ampofo. The automobile, a Chevrolet Tahoe, has become the subject of a police investigation following allegations of car theft made against the ex-bishop after he allegedly refused to return it.
According to a report filed by myjoyonline.com, Kwame Ampofo, an engineer by profession was gifted the said car which was originally used by Adelaide Heward-Mills, the wife of the church’s founder, from 2013 to 2016 and afterward, the Healing Jesus denomination, a part of Lighthouse Chapel, gave him the vehicle as a gift in 2022.
However, he was subsequently dismissed from the church due to a disagreement with its leadership.
According to the report, the bishop then mounted an attack on the church after his dismissal, and in response to his alleged attacks, Lighthouse Chapel International decided to revoke the car gift in a letter dated July 4, 2023, signed by Bishop Dr. Kofi Hene Asare, the Convener of the Bishop’s Council. In the letter, sighted by GhanaWeb, the church expressed surprise and disappointment at Ampofo’s behavior, citing a history of kindness and honor extended to him.
The church emphasized that it had not yet transferred the ownership of the car to the former bishop and was entitled to change its mind regarding the gift. As a result, Lighthouse Chapel International stated that it would not transfer ownership of the vehicle to Ampofo and upon his refusal landed them in the police station to ascertain the rightful owner of the vehicle.
“Before we could actually affect the transfer of the ownership of the car to you legally, you began to attack and insult the church which has been so benevolent to you. This was both a surprise and a shock to the Lighthouse Chapel International in the light of the long history of kindness and honour shown to you,” the church said in a July 4, 2023.
“… The church is entitled to change its mind on decisions about its intentions on any subject. The church no longer wishes to give you the car because we have had a change of mind and because we never actually transferred ownership to you. We WILL NOT transfer the ownership of this car to you,” myjoyonline.com quoted the bishop to have said.
In December 2022, the church dismissed Ampofo based on their internal investigations and organizational values. Having served as a bishop in charge of the Nsawam area since 1995, Ampofo had devoted himself entirely to the church, having resigned from his previous job in 2006. However, following his dismissal, he renounced the bishop title and turned to social media to counter what he regarded as false accusations by prominent bishops within Lighthouse Chapel.
In January 2023, a lawyer representing Lighthouse Chapel, Kweku Y. Pantsil, notified Ampofo of the revocation of the car gift. The church took issue with Ampofo’s characterization of the vehicle as a compensation package rather than a gift, leading them to consider the offer null and void.
Efforts by Lighthouse Chapel to retrieve the car from Ampofo proved unsuccessful, leading them to involve the police in determining the rightful owner.
President Akufo-Addo has nominated Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice.
If approved by Parliament, she is to replace the current Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah who has a month more to hit the retirement age.
In a letter to the Council of State, dated April 25, the President said the nomination is to avoid any vacuum that would occur following the retirement of the current Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah on May 24.
“Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah is due to retire from the bench on May 24, 2023, his 70th birthday. In order to avoid a vacuum and ensure that a new Chief Justice is immediately in office after his retirement, I have decided to begin the process of appointment now.
“Article 144 (1) of the constitution, which governs the appointment of a Chief Justice, requires that, I, first consult with the Council of State before seeking the approval of Parliament.
“Consequently, I am nominating Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice,” the President’s letter said.
per this nomination, will be If she successfully goes through the Parliamentary vetting, Justice Mrs Torkornoo will become the third female Chief Justice in the history of Ghana after Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.
Profile of the nominee
Sixty year-old Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, who hails from Winneba in the Central Region, graduated from the Ghana School of Law in 1986.
In 2001, she obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law and Organization from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Thereafter, in 2011, she graduated from the Golden Gate University, USA with an LLM in Intellectual Property Law.
Prior to becoming a joining the Judicial Service, Justice Justice Torkornoo worked as a private legal practitioner, first working as a volunteer at the FIDA Legal Aid Service.
She became a director of Fugar & Co. a law firm in Accra in 1994, and in January 1997, she co-founded Sozo Law Consult where she worked as Managing Partner until 14 May 2004 when she was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Ghana. She worked as a High Court judge until October 2012 when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal. Justice Torkornoo was sworn into office as Justice of the Supreme Court on 17th December 2019.
Justice Torkornoo has held several leadership roles in the Judicial Service including been the chairperson of E-Justice Committee, during which led the planning of automation of all levels of courts, procurement and incorporation of the use of electronic resources and software in the work of the Judicial Service.
She has also served as the Supervising Judge of Commercial Courts since 2013 where she has set the agenda for and chaired the meetings and programmes of the Users Committee of the Commercial Courts.
The government of Burkina Faso has summoned Ghana’s Ambassador to answer allegations by Ghana of Russian mercenary operations.
Boniface Gambilla was summoned by the Burkinabe government of over recent allegations made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the US, according to the Burkinabe News Agency.
President Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the US on Wednesday, raised concerns about the presence of Russian mercenaries on Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso.
“Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces there
“I believe the mines in southern Burkina have been allocated to them as a form of payment for their services. Prime Minister of Burkina Faso in the last 10 days has been in Moscow,” Akufo-Addo said, adding that it was a concern and distressing development for Ghana.
The Wagner group is a mercenary outfit run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Burkinabe ambassador to Ghana has also been recalled over the matter. The summons is to seek further clarifications on President Akufo-Addo’s claims.
Burkinabe authorities have not commented on whether or not they are working with the Wagner, which was hired in neighbouring Mali to help fight Islamist militants.
The prospect of Wagner expanding its presence in Africa has troubled Western powers such as France and the United States, who say the group exploits mineral resources and commits human rights abuses in countries where it operates.
Burkina Faso is facing an Islamist insurgency by some of the same groups that are present in Mali, and like its neighbour is ruled by a military junta that came to power on promises to improve security.
Mali’s decision to employ Wagner forces last year alienated it from regional and Western allies and was one of the reasons why French counter-terrorism forces pulled out.
Wagner forces have also fought in Libya, Central African Republic and Mozambique.
The management of Consolidated Bank Ghana and the company’s union leaders today called on renowned labor expert, Austin Gamey to mourn with him over the demise of his wife, Mrs. Gladys Gamey.
The team led by the Managing Director of CBG, Daniel Addo was accompanied by the Deputy MD, Thairu Ngungu, Chairman of PMSU, Godfred Agbevanu, and Chairman, Local Union, Charles Darko- Okai.
In his message, Mr. Addo expressed sympathy to Mr. Gamey and his family for their loss and prayed for God’s strength and comfort to keep them in their trying moments.
“We received news of the home call of Mama with shock. Our few interactions with her were very inspiring and uplifting. We sympathize with the family, but are comforted by our genuine conviction that she is now in a better place, with the creator and angels,” he said.
The late Gladys Gamey, according to a statement by the family, passed away on Good Friday while at the hospital in Tema after a short illness.
Mrs. Gamey was a Managing Director of Ausvog until her retirement and was a Director of the Gamey and Gamey Group until her demise.
Included in the CBG delegation were Vida Malik, Human Capital Shared Services, Hesthalynna Osafo, Exe Member (Organizer) PMSU, Richard Obeng Yeboah, Vice-Chair, PMSU, John Asamoah, Vice-Chair, Local Union, Richard Sam, Trustee Local Union, Mariama Razak, Executive Member (Organizer) Local Union.
The rest are John Opata, Human Capital Learning and Talent Officer, Kwame Mawuse Oteng, Human Capital Business Partner, and Ephraim Barnor, Human Capital Business partner.
Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) say they will withdraw their services effective today January 10, 2022 until further notice.
That, it said, was a result of the failure of the government to address the plight of members as a result of worsening conditions of service (CoS).
“National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG at its meeting held on January 7, 2022 reiterated its resolve to follow through with the decision to withdraw teaching and related activities until further notice with effect from Monday, January 10, 2022 and call on all UTAG members across the 15 branches to observe this directive,” a communique issued by UTAG, said.
The communique was jointly signed by the President of UTAG, Prof Solomon Nunoo, and the Secretary of UTAG, Dr. Asare Asante-Annor as well as the president of the various branches of the association.
As a matter of urgency, the association called on the employer to restore members to the 2013 interim market premium (IMP) of 114 percent of basic salary in the interim while government, “goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the university teacher.
“Following the uneasiness among UTAG members, any delay by the employer would further exacerbate the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders,” it said.
At its emergency meetings held on January 4 and 7, 2022, the communique said NEC of UTAG discussed the worsening condition of the university teacher and the failure of the employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timelines.
“It may be recalled that the Interim Market Premium (IMP), which was instituted following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy, got frozen, per a Government White Paper, in 2013, for the purpose of the conduct of a Labour Market Survey (LMS) to determine an MP payable to workers deserving of it. To date, this determination has not been made, which has resulted in the erosion of the university teacher’s salary.
“There was the hope that by completing and implementing the LMS Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the university teacher on relatively good salary stead. Regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable MP is meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved CoS,” it said.
Interestingly, however, the communique said there was an LMS in 2014 whose report did not see the light of day and it wondered if the 2019 LMS report would ever be implemented since it was already two years old.
“In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS report states that “Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies.”
The association wondered how could such a national agenda be attained if the CoS of the university teacher kept worsening year on year leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on the various campuses?
The communique said UTAG members saw the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the employer had employed over the years, which was unacceptable.
“We must also point out the fact that generally, our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance and would want to have government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development,” it said.
Members of the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists (GACRA) have called off their strike after a meeting with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and other stakeholders.
The association last Saturday began an indefinite nationwide strike following what it described as the expiration of the licenses of its members.
However, GACRA has refused to renew the licenses, as it says it has parted ways with the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) for the council’s failure to champion the cause of anesthetists over the years.
The GACRA said its members decided not to renew their licenses with the MDC because the latter had refused to recognise them as certified registered anesthetists, as amended by law.
Instead, the MDC insists on licensing the members of GACRA as physician assistant anesthetists.
Following the impact of the GACRA strike on healthcare delivery, particularly at the theatres, the MoH last Wednesday called the parties to an emergency meeting to help resolve the issue.
At the said meeting, which had the leadership of GACRA, representatives of all the stakeholders, including the MoH, the Christian Health Association of Ghana, the MDC, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and all the other agencies, a road map was proposed and it is expected that it will be implemented.
A spokesperson for GACRA, Mr. Seth McAndoh, confirmed the association’s decision to the Daily Graphic.
“There has been an engagement involving all the stakeholders. As a result of that and the extensive engagement, we have rescinded our decision and all our members are going back to work.
“From the agreement that we have reached, all the stakeholders are happy; we are also happy and will be going back to work. We hope all will stick to the road map to ensure harmony at work,” Mr. McAndoh said.
Bone of contention
Earlier, the President of GACRA, Mr. James Nwinsagra, had explained to the Daily Graphic that the withdrawal of services by GACRA members was a legal requirement caused by the MoH’s refusal to address an impasse with regard to the renewal of their licenses.
He said their action had not been an industrial action, per se, but had become necessary because the law establishing the association said if by December 31, last year members’ licenses had not been renewed, it would be illegal for them to offer their services.
He said the situation arose because the MDC, contrary to the ruling of the Labour Commission, had decided to register GACRA members as physician assistants, against their will and the law.
“The name physician assistant-anesthesia (PA) was forced on us by the MDC and no suggestion was taken on board. The need to change our name to certified registered anesthetics became extremely necessary in 2013 when statistics indicated that all anesthesia services in the country were almost provided by certified registered anesthetists, without the presence of physician anesthetists in or within the operating room. It has remained the same to date.
“We carried our concern to Parliament, and the name was changed from PA to CRA through the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013, Act 857.
“After the passage of the act, every attempt has been made by doctor anesthetists, through the MDC, to have the name reversed. As a result, the current development to have the act amended is no news. We have written to the MoH and other stakeholders and advised that that should not be done because it carries serious implications for the interest of the patients we serve.
“We have sighted a copy of a drafted amendment B of part 2 of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, championed by the MDC on behalf of the MoH to change the name from CRA to PA. This has generated a state of unrest among the rank and file of our members in the country.
“We wish to state that the name ‘certified registered anesthetist’ should not be changed to the physician assistant. We should be engaged in all discussions in relation to the amendment of the provisions of the act. There is the urgent need for us to have a separate regulatory council,” he explained.
A letter written to GACRA by the MDC, dated December 20, last year and sighted by the Daily Graphic said it was reminding members of the association registered with the MDC that they were required under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act to hold valid licenses before practicing medicine or dentistry in the country.
The impasse caused a lot of inconvenience at most health facilities across the country, as doctor anesthetists were made to work around the clock, while facilities without doctors had to postpone all surgeries.
The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) says its members will on Thursday, October 28, 2021, embark on a nationwide strike over the government’s failure to review their salaries and allowances.
Officials of JUSAG after an executive committee meeting a few days ago said they were giving the government a two-week ultimatum to resolve their grievances.
“Within two weeks from October 1, the government must take action on the recommended salaries. If within two weeks the government does not do anything about it, they should not blame us, because we will advise ourselves according to law,” the association said.
Although the deadline elapsed on Friday, October 15, 2021, the leadership of JUSAG insists they have not had positive feedback from the government, hence the decision to put down their tools.
Briefing the media in Accra on Monday, October 18, 2021, the President of JUSAG, Alex Nartey, entreated all judicial service workers across the country to join the strike action until their demands are met.
According to him, they have gone past negotiations.
“The strike is going to be a nationwide strike because it is a decision by the National Executive Council. We can’t tell how long it will take. It will be determined by how the government deals with the issue. We have gone belong to dialogue.”
“We don’t eat dialogue, but we eat the fruits of dialogue, and we have already dialogued, and we are waiting for the fruits of it.”
JUSAG last went on strike on November 13, 2019, also because of the government’s failure to review the salaries of its members.
At the time, JUSAG said the Judicial Council had failed to release the report on their negotiations for onward approval by the President.
The strike disrupted work at the courts nationwide.
Some supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Chereponi and East Mamprusi Districts of the North East Region have rejected the nomination of Hajia Rashida Mahama and Madam Zuweratu Mada Nashiru as District Chief Executives, respectively.
Some of the supporters in Chereponi went on rampage by vandalising party properties to express their rejection of the President’s decision “to impose on them a stranger who only joined the party in 2016”.
The aggrieved members went on a rampage as soon the official list of the MMDCES nominees was unveiled Sunday in Accra by the local government and rural development minister, Dan Botwe.
Amid armed security forces, the supporters chanted war songs, marching on from the town center to burn down at least six installations (pavilions) of the party in various locations in the township.
The rampaging supports violently proceeded to besiege the private residence of the Constituency Chairman and attempted to burn more of the party properties including two vehicles but was overpowered by the police.
At the chairman’s residence, a physical brawl ensued and one person identified as a brother of the MP was said to have been injured by the mob. The supporters chanted, “we want S.K Orlando”, and “No Orlando, No Peace”.
The Regional Deputy Nasara Coordinator, Abdul Rahman Sheriff, who monitored the violence said, he was disappointed by the failure of the security to forestall the incident despite the glaring signals.
“They are supporters of S.K Orlando; they came out to burn some party pavilions and one person has been injured”, the Nasara Coordinator told JoyNews.
“We are talking them”, he continued.
They are hardworking and are party people too, so why should we do that? It could be you and someone so we have asked them to exercise patience.
The party executive also took on the police for allowing the situation to deteriorate.
“The police should have made some arrest because it was a mob and they were moving. Once they arrested some of them, the rest would have calmed down”.
Meanwhile, some party members in Gambaga in the East Mamprusi municipality have also rejected the President’s nominee for the area.
The supporters said, the nomination of Hajia Rashida Mahama, was because of her family ties and relationship with the President and not her competence and capabilities.
They have therefore threatened to vote against the party as they did in 2020 if the nominee is confirmed.
Some aggrieved public sector workers are demonstrating to register their displeasure over what they describe as poor conditions of service.
They are against the 4% and 7% base pay increase proposed by the government for public sector workers for 2021 and 2022 respectively.
In addition, the national minimum wage was increased by 6 percent for 2021 and 8 percent for 2022.
The group wants public sector salaries to be increased by 25% instead.
The protest began from the Obra Spot in Accra, and it is expected to end at Independence Square.
The leader of the group, Norbert Gborgbortsi, said, “no one was sponsored to be here. We all came here because we are aggrieved. This is just to show the government that we have the numbers. This is just the beginning. If the government does not respond to our petition earlier presented with the week, they will hear more of us.”
A protester who claimed he joined from the Upper East Region, Ishmael Twum, insisted that they are not going to settle for any excuse from the government.
“The four percent increment is about GHS20 to GHS40. What can this do for us? How can they improve on the conditions of service of Article 71 holders and leave us behind.”
“Government cannot pin this unfair treatment on the current economic conditions. In which country are the Article 71 holders?” he quizzed.
TUC urges calm amid agitation over base pay increase for 2021 and 2022
The Trades Union Congress has urged unions upset with the base pay increments for public sector workers for 2021 and 2022 to exerciser restraint.
At a press conference by Organised Labour on July 26, 2021, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Yaw Baah, said the base pay increase of 4 percent for 2021 and 7 percent for 2022 could have been worse.
The Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has suspended the 2021 Students Representative Council (SRC) election-related activities following a clash between two halls of residence on campus.
Supporters of two SRC presidential aspirants affiliated to University Hall (Katanga) and the Unity Hall (Conti) clashed Sunday during the vetting at the Great Hall of the University.
The feuding groups went on a rampage and destroyed school property, including chairs, flowerpots, and glass doors.
In a statement signed by the University Relations Officer, Dr Daniel Norris Bekoe he said, “Investigations so far revealed that one student is officially known to have sustained a minor injury in the palm from a broken bottle and is currently undergoing treatment; at the KNUST Hospital.”
It added that a joint security unit made up of the police and the University’s security personnel has since managed to restore calm on campus.
KNUST management has also indicated it will institute a committee to thoroughly probe the disturbances and put forward recommendations to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.
The University authorities, however, assured parents and stakeholders that it will continue to provide a safe and secure environment for academic work on campus.