Court sets April 16 to empanel jury in Mankessim murder case

The Cape Coast High Court II has set Tuesday, April 16, 2024, to constitute a jury to sit on the murder case of a 25-year-old prospective nurse, Georgina Asor Botchwey at Mankessim in September 2022.

The court, presided over by Justice John Mark Nuku Alifo, made the decision at the case management conference held in chambers on Thursday, at which all parties were present.

Present at the conference were Principal State Attorney, Vincent Nyineku and Madam Monica Geraldo-Delima, the Assistant State Attorney for the prosecution, Mr Daniel Amosa holding brief for Michael Monney, for Christopher Ekow Clark Quansah, who is the first accused and Mr Roland Hamilton, for Michael Darko, the second accused.

The two accused persons, Quansah, alias Nana Clark, 65-year-old trader and Darko, 48-year-old pastor, were also present.

The court agreed that the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the deceased would be in Court to present his report, while the prosecution was also expected to engage Akan language interpre

The case has been adjourned to Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

Quansah and Darko are standing trial for allegedly murdering Asor in cold blood at Mankessim.

They pleaded not guilty to the offences of conspiracy to commit murder and murder when they appeared before the Cape Coast High Court II on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

They also pleaded not guilty to three charges of unlawfully possessing explosives, firearms and ammunition.

The court shot down an application by counsel to admit them to bail.

The judge directed the prosecution to file all disclosures and witness statements and serve same on the lawyers of the accused within two weeks to ensure an expedited trial.

The facts of the case are that the deceased, Georgina Asor Botchwey, a resident of Yeji in the Bono East Region and an applicant seeking admission at the Ankaful Psychiatric Nursing School in the Central Region, arrived in Cape Coast on Thursday, September 8, 2022, for an interview at the school.

Upon arrival, Botchwey called Darko who was
her senior sister’s fianc√© and informed him about her presence in the region and her mission there.

Darko then offered to pick her up after her interview at the Nursing School and later arrived in a taxi as had been arranged and sent her to Pedu Junction in Cape Coast, where Quansah had parked his Benz Car with registration number GT 8686-C, and she joined them.

Quansah then drove them to Akwaakrom near Mankessim, seized the deceased’s iPhone and locked her in a room.

The accused persons went to Asikafo Ambantem, a suburb of Mankessim, where they allegedly dug a hole in an uncompleted storey building belonging to Quansah and went back for the lady.

On September 9, 2022, around mid-day, Quansah and Darko allegedly killed Georgina by hitting her head with a club and when she fell Darko held her neck till she died.

The two allegedly took away some pubic hair of the deceased and left the uncompleted storey building around 0200hours the next day.

A complaint was lodged with the police by the deceased’s broth
er, Alfred Duodu, a soldier, after frantic efforts made to reach his sister proved futile.

The police later picked up an intelligence that it was Darko who picked Georgina at Ankaful.

Armed with the information, the police searched for Darko, who was arrested on Friday, September 19, at Anomabo and he admitted to the crime.

He subsequently led the police to where the deceased had been buried and the body was exhumed.

Further police intelligence led to the arrest of Quansah from his hideout at Ekumfi Akwaakrom.

The accused persons were first put before the Cape Coast District Court II, presided over by Madam Bernice Mensima Ackon, and were charged with conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Out-grower attitude affecting commercial agro-processing

The outputs of commercial agro production and processing companies are being affected by the attitude of some farm out-growers.

Mr Chris Amponsah Sackey of the Projects Department of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) said major agro companies in the country faced growing disappointment from out-growers they contract to meet input demand.

He raised the concern at a stakeholder breakfast meeting in Ho organised by GEPA, saying the situation needed to be addressed to save numerous agro processing companies springing up across the country, under the Government’s industrialisation initiative.

Citing the experience of Caltech, Ghana’s largest processor of cassava, he said the company was facing growing dishonesty from its out-growers.

He said Caltech depended on the supply agreement with hundreds of farmers in Volta Region where its factory was located, and the Company’s operations had been significantly hit as the out-grower outputs failed to meet targets.

Mr Amponsah said some farmers under contra
ct refused to sell their produce to the Company despite receiving free seeds and other input including land preparation.

‘They are spending time and money chasing out-growers for their produce. This is affecting majority of these companies, and out-growers need to understand the concept and help grow industrialisation,’ he said.

Mr Amponsah told the GNA that it was an attitudinal challenge, therefore education should be considered for the farming community.

He called for law-backed and strict agreements for such endeavours, saying, the Government and sector stakeholders should consider disciplinary measures to help sustain out-grower programmes.

‘Education is key. We need to disabuse mindsets. Out-growers should understand that they are helping themselves and the nation as well,’ adding that the Volta Region’s prominence as a cassava production and processing hub was being affected by the situation.

The Volta had great potential and could significantly contribute towards the realisation of the targeted 2
5.3 billion dollar export revenue for the country, as starch also could fetch over two billion dollars for the region, but the cassava industry was suffering, Mr Amponsah said.

The breakfast meeting brought together stakeholders in the Volta Region to deliberate on growing the export economy.

Participants included the leadership of the Association of Ghana Industries in the Region, the Ghana EXIM Bank, and the Director of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council, Mr Augustus Awiti.

Mr Alexander Dadzawa, the Programmes Director of GEPA, said the Volta Region was fast becoming an export hub and commended the various entrepreneurs that help up the sector.

He said the Region among others embraced the GEPA’s coconut revitalisation project, and should sustained the patronage to help expand the prospects of the tree crop

Ms Doris Bansah, the Regional Director of GEPA, said the meeting aimed at strengthening collaboration among the various stakeholders, noting a ‘lack of full linkage’ among stakeholders on export

She said it was the first meeting of its kind by the Authority in the Region and should help address the ‘low economic and slow pace of progress of the export sector in Volta.

Source: Ghana News Agency

The next NDC government will create accelerated export development programme

Former president John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flag bearer, has announced that when voted into power, his government will create an accelerated export development programme.

Mr Mahama said he, as president, would personally chair that programme while stakeholders in maritime and port would have representatives on it.

The NDC leader said this when he met and interacted with industry players in the maritime and port industries, such as the Importer and Exporters Association of Ghana, the National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, and port workers, among others.

He said the accelerated export development programme would look at factors that could make it easier for exporters to export their products so that it encourages more exports, as the country needs to balance its trade between imports and exports.

‘If more exports go out, it will bring more dollars that will balance out the dollars we have to send out,’ he said.

The form
er president further said that in the imports sector, NDC was thinking of developing a transit terminal for the landlocked countries on the country’s northern border to enable their containers to be transported there directly.

He said, ‘It makes it easier for them to take their containers from there instead of bringing their trucks and hauling their containers all the way. If we have the resources, it will be good to build a rail line to service that terminal. So that as soon as their containers arrive, we just put them on the rail, and it takes them through the destination.’

Mr Mahama further said he will also licence financial companies and non-banking financial institutions to help importers, explaining that if their containers arrive at the port and they are unable to come up with the needed money to immediately clear the goods, they could then fall on these companies through an agreement for a short-term loan facility.

‘When your container comes, they will pay for it and move it to a special location.
So, the government will receive its money, GPHA, and the freight forwarders will all have been paid; the owner of the container will now work with that company and take his container and things,’ he explained.

The NDC flagbearer, however, added that the government will regulate their interests to prevent the companies from taking advantage of the importers.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GNCCI builds capacity of Chemu SHS female students in entrepreneurship

The Tema Chapter of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), as part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day, has organised a day’s capacity building for female students of Chemu Senior High School.

Ms Delali Buahini, the Tema Regional Manager of GNCCI, said even though International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, they thought about the theme and decided to catch the attention of the girls in entrepreneurship.

Ms Buahini said, ‘We thought about the theme, which was ‘inspiring inclusion’ so we thought of catching them young by having this training for them, because if they would be included and their voices would be heard, then they would need the right capacity building and the right set of skills.’

She said it was important to educate the youth about the way forward, how businesses were evolving and dynamic, and how best they could position themselves for the future.

She encouraged the young ladies to consider entrepreneurship as they climb the educational ladder so
as not to be unemployed graduates.

Ms Paulina Abrokwa, the Chief Executive Officer of Trade Links Logistics Limited, said entrepreneurship was the way to go, as getting a job has become a daunting task nowadays.

Ms Abrokwa said once a person develops a skill or knowledge in any area, they could turn it into a business to earn a living and support their dependents.

She said being an entrepreneur also provides the opportunity to employ others, adding that even though it is not an easy path to choose, it is doable.

She stated that it was not easy, especially for women, because of the many responsibilities of taking care of children and the home at the same time.

She added, however, that the moment women become determined and make time to go into entrepreneurship, they succeed.

She encouraged women to learn, add value to themselves, and put their skills to use to obtain economic power and self-reliance.

Ms Jenny Naa Akweley Laryea, the Creative Director of Twinnie Craft, said that even though it was diffic
ult to do one’s own business in Ghana, it was worth it and satisfying.

Ms Laryea said some of the challenges are difficulty accessing financial resources and support, adding that ‘but with hard work, being loyal, staying true to yourself and

the brand, and making sure that you produce quality for people, your business will survive.’

She added that there is peace in having one’s own money as a woman, and therefore she encouraged women to develop their hobbies into careers, as it was very important for women to have some source of income for themselves and their children.

Source: Ghana News Agency

STMA participates in global urban development meeting in Spain

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in the Western Region has participated in the second global meeting to discuss strategies to transform and develop urban cities.

The meeting held, in Barcelona, Spain, was under the Partnerships for Sustainable Cities programme, established in 2018 and supported by the European Union (EU) to foster peer-to-peer exchanges among cities of EU local authorities and partner countries around shared challenges.

It sought to promote collaboration and innovative solutions in areas such as urban planning, good governance, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, with a particular focus on resilience and fragility.

The programme also aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11, aimed at making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

Mr Isaac Aidoo, Daniela Prinzivalli and Margherita Maniscalco, coordinators of the three-year Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP), funded by the EU, and implemented by the STM
A and Palermo Municipality participated in the meeting.

A statement signed by Mr John Latse, STMA Communications Officer, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the participating municipalities at the meeting determined their own priorities within a set of broad themes, including urban governance, social inclusiveness, resilience to climate change and other shocks, and greening of cities among others.

The statement said stakeholders at the event adopted strong territorial approaches to develop their respective urban areas.

‘By working together, municipalities from Europe and partner countries can contribute to achieving this goal and creating more liveable, sustainable, and resilient cities,’ it said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Court shift system starts March 25

Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo has introduced court shift system in some selected courts to improve efficiency and access to justice delivery in the country.

The shift system, to be rolled out on pilot basis, would start on March 25, 2024.

They will sit in the morning from 8:30am to 1:30pm while the afternoon session would be from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

In a directive issued to the staff by Justice Cyra Pamela C.A. Koranteng, the Judicial Secretary, the pilot would start with the Adentan High Court 1 and 2, Amasaman High Court 2, Weija Circuit Court, La and Teshie District Courts, Madina District Court A and B and the High Court in Nsawam.

According to the directive, the rationale for the shift system ‘stems from the fact that, findings from a physical count of dockets undertaken in all courts nation wide demonstrated that a number of identified courts have huge case loads with some in excess of 600 pending cases.

‘It is envisaged that the court shift system when implemented will reduce the backlo
g cases in the specified courts, improve accessibility to justice for citizens by offering flexible court hours that accommodate diverse schedules and enhance the overall effectiveness of the judicial system.’

Source: Ghana News Agency