Monday, December 12, 2016


1.       Several allegations were leveled against the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) by two directors of the Company. (i.e. Director of Administration,  Mr. Henry Aidoo and Director of Finance, Mr. Stephen Armaah) and a petition was made to the Board of Directors, The Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing and the Presidency.

2.       Pursuant to that the Office of the President ordered the Sector Minister to conduct an investigation into the matter.

3.       Subsequently, the Managing Director, the Director of Administration, and the Director of Finance were all asked to proceed on leave in December, 2010 to allow unimpeded investigation to be conducted.

4.       The Minister sometime in February, 2011 during the course of the investigations visited the office of the SHC and met with workers at a durbar. He informed them that after the investigation the report will be sent to H.E. John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana, for advice and further action.

5.       Contrary to the aforesaid a letter dated 27th May, 2011 from the Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, MP Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing directed the Board Chairman (Mr. Steve Akuffo) to recall the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Ankrah) to duty. Because the investigation has been completed and the report duly submitted.  But the said letter failed to state the fate of the other two directors (.i.e. Director of Administration, Mr. Henry Aidoo and Director of Finance, Mr. Stephen Armaah)

6.       The two Directors were by a letter dated 8th June, 2011 signed by the Managing Director, Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah pursuant to a letter also dated 8th June, 2011, from the Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, MP and Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing directed the Director of Administration, Mr. Henry Aidoo and Director of Finance, Mr. Stephen Armaah to report at the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing for re-assignment.

7.       This directive was contrary to what the Minister told the staff at the durbar aforesaid as well as the recommendations made in the report.

8.       This move by the Minister with the full consent of the Board is only geared to allow Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah cover up his corrupt acts, namely; 

a.       Sale of House No. 40 North Labone, which belongs to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as legitimate owners, to a private person (one Justice Hammond). And indeed upon resumption of duty the Managing Director has been seen working feverishly on the property file to cover up the SYNDICATE referred to in the Ministerial Report. 

b.      The sale of a plot of land at North Kaneshie to Tonbico Pharmacy, which plot of land is a matter of dispute between the SHC and DIC.

c.       The double sale of land at Frafraha, Adentan firstly to one Alhaji Amin Tijani and his wife and then to MR. LOVELANCE DENNIS and his wife MRS. HOOGENBOOM DENNIS, has resulted in a court suit pending at the High Court, Land Division, Accra, intutiled;

MR. LOVELANCE DENNIS & MRS. HOOGENBOOM DENNIS                             


2. HAJIA FARZIYYA TIJANI                                    
3. STATE HOUSING COMPANY                     
 4. LANDS COMMISSION                                
d.      Conflict of interest on the part of the Managing Director (Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) who tried to smuggle his private Company Phf Ltd. a Housing and Estate Development Company, where he is still the Chief Executive Officer (i.e. Director and Shareholder) to partner SHC (also a Housing and Estate Development Company) in business. Mr. Ankrah admitted before Hon. Hannah Bessiew, Deputy Minister of Water Resourses, Works and Housing, when the matter came up in 2010 that he conceded that it was an administrative lapse that he did not resign his post as Director of Phf.Ltd before taking up the post of Managing Director of SHC.

He further employed one Kenneth William Adokoh who is the Mgr. Strategy and Policy Implementation of Phf Ltd to work and drew salary at SHC.

e.       Personally accepting cheques contrary to the financial procedure of SHC for the transfer of property which later bounced on presentation at the Bank when indeed he had long before granted the consent of SHC to the transferee.

f.       The Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) on several occasions maintained that he cannot be removed from office by anyone. This is so because he has links with the Ahowi brothers, whom he sold a plot of land at Dansoman belonging to SHC to their sister to operate her preparatory School (MAY DAY MONTESSORI AND PREPARATORY SCHOOL), the said plot of land has been a long standing issue as to the exact ownership, and a lot of gurus in the ruling NDC and a lot of high profile government officials.

9.       Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah is well known in the corridors of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, soon after establishing his Phf. Ltd, soliciting for contracts and his intention of propagating his so called “Social Housing”.

10.     When the position of Managing Director became vacant in 2008, after the Managing Director, Mr. Kwaku Sarpong, (deceased) went on retirement, He lobbied for the position under the then NPP administration but was not successful.

11.     It was only when the NDC took over the administration of the state and during the tenure of Hon. Albert Abongo as Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, that the Board of SHC choose to appoint without due process.

12.     Again, on an application for consent to use a leased property of SHC as collateral for a loan or mortgage from any financial institution will attract a percentage fee (1% to 2.5%) on the amount being sought by the lessee. This is clearly inconsistent with the Mortgage Decree.

13.     All these and more were part of the allegations leveled against the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) which the Minister and the Board have tried to sweep under the carpet.

14.     The resumption of duty of the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) has caused fear and panic among staff of the SHC who especially were against his style of leadership and his corrupt acts. In fact he has started asking some staff to go on leave contrary to section 27 of the Labour Act, 651, 2003.

15.     Staff  have been warned by the Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, MP and Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing that if they do not cooperate and work with the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah) and go on to agitate then the Company would be put on divestiture or closed down. Anybody caught leaking information to the Press or intends to agitate will be dealt with.

1.       The humble wish of majority of Staff is for President John Evans Atta Mills to SET ASIDE the Ministerial Report dated May, 2011 and institute a fresh investigation to be conducted by an independent body beside the Board and the Ministry. This will unravel THE CORRUPT ACTS perpetrated by the Managing Director (Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah). Workers believe that the Minister did not tell the President the whole truth.

2.       Substantial evidence were deliberately overlooked by the investigating Committee, and more have been discovered, and if same is tendered for scrutiny will manifest the truth about the corrupt acts aforesaid.

3.       The threats of closure or otherwise of SHC by Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, MP and Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing to the effect that if workers who are about 120 in number, nationwide, do not cooperate and work with the Managing Director, Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah is most unfortunate.

4.       Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah is now running State Housing Co. Ltd like his Phf. Ltd creating opportunities for his partners and friends to benefit financially from the vast resources in terms of land to acheive their cooperate agenda, which they can not as private firms.

5.       If the Minister and the President believes Mr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah is as competent as they claim, then Mr. Mark Ankrah should be redeployed or appointed at the Ministry of Water Recourses Works and Housing to help the NDC government solve the Housing deficit problem or the confusion over the STX deal.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Kan-Dapaah writes Samson-Oje

Dear Air Marshal Oje,

I did not have the benefit of listening to your Press Conference held on Friday, 25 November 2016, but I have read the reportage as captured on Ghanaweb the same day and to tell you the truth I was not amazed. You will recall that I had the great honour of serving my country as Minister of Defence and in that capacity I worked with you and many distinguished servicemen and women. I got to know you personally during that period and as you are aware I have tremendous respect for your high sense of professionalism and patriotism. I think that some of your pronouncements and indeed posture at the press conference were an attack on some of the values that the military hold dearly. I have since taken the liberty to discuss it at length with my friend the former Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Kwame Osei Prempeh and we have decided to send to you this Open Letter. We do this not out of malice but because we believe that certain principles must be protected.

Our first concern is that your pronouncements at the said Press Conference pose a threat to the Liberal Democratic  path (a hybrid of the US/Westminster systems) which we have embarked on since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1993 and this must be of concern to all well-meaning Ghanaians. The concept of civilian control of the military has been dealt a big blow. Coming from the CDS and considering the timing, we think that this is rather unfortunate and should be a matter of great concern to all of us – politicians, including the ruling government, civil society groups, the Council of State and the public at large.

Secondly, we are of the opinion that considering your position as the CDS, especially your mentoring responsibility, your posture was too aggressive and your choice of words and patronizing manner as you delivered your warnings to your compatriots (including His Excellency the President) left much to be desired of a top military officer in a liberal democracy. Not surprisingly, many people have commented that your attitude was akin to military dictatorship or the authoritarian democracies that are gradually emerging in our part of the world.  Certainly your posturing did not suggest to many observers that as the head of our Armed Forces you would want to submit yourself to civilian control. Did the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council or the Minister of Defense authorize you to come up with all those policy statements which have serious implications for the security of our country?

You stated that you have assessed the security situation in the run up to the election and you see enemies of state everywhere who are hell bent to disturb the peace and stability of our dear country and that such law breakers or “warmongers” would be crushed on election day. But, if we may ask why not before? Why do you want to wait till the day of the election? Again what would happen after the so called warmongers have been crushed on the day of the election?

Thirdly, two fundamental issues arise out of this conference and must be answered.
  1. Did you as the CDS, hold the press conference on your own initiative without the approval of the Commander in Chief or his representative, the Minister of Defence?
  2. Did the President and the Commander in Chief or the Minister of Defence approve the press conference and thus the plan to crush unarmed law breakers on Election Day with military force?
An affirmative answer to either question has serious implications not only on civilian control of the military in a liberal democracy but also the use of military force in any   internal security operations.

Fourthly, we find it strange that you as CDS took the centre stage at a joint press conference with the Inspector General of Police in a security operation in which the military must only play a supporting role. Any wonder that some members of the populace have argued that  the purpose of the press conference was to create fear and panic  with a view to intimidating  voters who want to exercise their franchise?

Our humble advice to you is to tone down the rhetoric and also reduce your public pronouncements. Such public pronouncements should be led by the Minister of Defence with the CDS in support to explain operational issues, if necessary. That way, the Minister takes responsibility for any lapses and shields the CDS from public attacks which have the potential to erode confidence in the military.

If indeed, you had the permission of the President to embark on this media blitz where you threatened to use the full force of the military on unarmed civilian protagonists in an election in which the Commander in Chief himself is a candidate then this must be worrying.

Equally disturbing is the moral question of using the military force against one’s own citizens in an election disturbance which the civil police should ordinarily be able to handle.

Furthermore, it raises the issue of unwittingly inviting the military into the political space. We must at all times insulate the military institution from politics and public attack and ridicule.

It is important to emphasise that civilian control of the military in a democratic dispensation is all about the civilian authority being the ultimate decision maker in as far as the use of  military force is concerned .The military then carries out the execution of the assigned tasks professionally and  without much interference from the civil authority.

Our humble plea is that at this point in time we must focus on finding solutions to all issues which have the potential to trigger violence even before the elections on 7th December 2016. We do not have to wait until Election Day before we “crush” the warmongers so to speak. That will be too late in the day and in any case, what happens after we have crushed the warmongers? The unintended consequences are too dire (including military takeover) for us to contemplate.

At this stage, permit us distinguished CDS, to ask you to join us to admonish the major actors during this election season as follows. The main actors in this election are the political parties, the Electoral Commission, Civil Society groups including the media, Ghanaians, our security agencies and most importantly our President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who is also a candidate and has the responsibility of controlling the security agencies.

We appeal to all the actors to exhibit professionalism tinged with a high sense of integrity and selflessness in discharging whatever duties are expected of them.  In particular we urge you to advise the President not to get the military involved in any contentious election duties (such as keeping ballot boxes  in its custody) in order to avoid dragging the military into any quagmire.

The current arrangement whereby the military plays a supporting role to the police in election security should suffice for now if we are to avoid embroiling the military in any election dispute. The military is so vital an institution whose image we must all protect.

All political party leaders should urge their members and supporters to refrain from any acts of provocation that can lead to violence. Whereas it is the responsibility of the governing party to ensure there is peaceful election, the opposition parties should also note that they cannot achieve their aim of effecting a change in government if the election cannot take place due to violence. They both have a shared responsibility of peaceful co-existence and therefore must exercise restraint even under extreme provocation.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has a very herculean task. The success or otherwise of this election rests squarely on its shoulders. There will always be provocation from the political actors. The EC’s ultimate goal is to deliver a free, fair and transparent election. The professional abilities, integrity, selflessness and above all the emotional intelligence of its staff will come into play if the EC is to succeed. The Commission has a rich history of delivering credible elections and we recall the wonderful work of Justice Abban (Electoral commissioner in the 1970s) who fearlessly refused to change the people’s verdict to the wishes of the then military government during the UNIGOV referendum in 1978. How we wish we could return to those good old days when the value of integrity and selflessness of state officials was the norm rather than the exception.
Our final advice to the security agencies is for them to discharge their responsibilities to the best of their ability bearing in mind the timeless values of Service and Integrity.

We assure you, our distinguished CDS that we have published this Open Letter without any malice and we hope that you will carefully consider the suggestions and pieces of advice contained in this letter.
With assurances of our highest esteem, we remain,

Hon. A. Kan-Dapaah,                                                                  Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh
Former MP and Minister of Defence                                Former Deputy Minister of Justice & Deputy Attorney General

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Woyome sues church, demands a refund of his tithes, offerings and donations



SUIT NO. AC 109/2004



The plaintiff who said he was a businessman living at Tesano brought this action against his former church (the 1st defendant) of which he used to be a Deacon and its Head Pastor (the 2nd defendant), requesting for the immediate re-payment of monies he said he advanced to the defendants as loans.

These monies, as endorsed on the writ of summons dated 18/6/2004 are: (a) ¢620,720,000.00 and (b) US$5,000. Plaintiff requested for immediate repayment with interest from 9th August 2003 to date of payment.

His pleaded case was that he was a member of the 1st defendant church and a Deacon of the church until his purported removal from the position of a Deacon by the 2nd defendant who is the head pastor of the 1st defendant church. While a member of the church, he made several personal donations to the church to ensure that the activities of the church were not hampered by lack of funds. He again advanced loans to the defendants without interest anytime defendants were in need of money. He particularized the loans he said he advanced to the defendants under paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 of his statement of claim filed together with the writ on 18/6/2004. According to him, the total of all these monies granted to the defendants as loans came to ¢620,720,000.00 and US$5,000.

He prayed the court to grant him judgment since the defendants have ignored all demands made by him for the repayment of the loans.

The 2nd defendant represented the 1st defendant. In their statement of defence filed on 27/7/2004, the defendants categorically denied plaintiff's claim. They denied that the plaintiff ever granted loans to the defendants to the tune of ¢620,750,000.00 and US$5,000 or to any tune and demanded strict proof of this allegation by the plaintiff.

According to them, when the plaintiff became a member of the church he, like all other members, contributed financially to the programmes and activities of the church by way of gifts, donations, offertory and tithing. They described the plaintiff as someone who was always ready to top up monies collected by way of appeal for funds for specific projects as a way of expressing his appreciation for God's bountiful blessing upon his life.

However, at a point in time, plaintiff and others attempted to remove the 2nd defendant as the head pastor of the church and when that failed, he resorted to this court action as a last resort. They described the plaintiff's action as an afterthought and one brought in bad faith and called for its dismissal.

The main issues that came up for determination by the court were as follows:

1. Whether or not the plaintiff ever granted loans to the defendants to enable the defendants carry out programmes of the church.
2. Whether or not those monies given to the 1st defendant by the plaintiff was in appreciation of Gods bountiful blessings upon his life.
3. Whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to his claim or any of the reliefs endorsed thereon.

The plaintiff testified and called three witnesses. Two of the witnesses (i.e. P.W.1 and P.W.2 by name Pastor Asomaning and Pastor Newman) were former pastors of the 1st defendant church who have left the church just like the plaintiff and established their own or joined other churches while the third (i.e. P.W.3) who is a Liberian refugee in Ghana said he used to be an accounts officer and administrator of the church but now a pastor. P.W.3, however, did not tell the court how he became a pastor and the particular church in which he is a pastor.

The defendants, on the other hand, testified through the 2nd defendant but called no witness.

It is a notorious principle of law that he who asserts must prove. This simply means that a plaintiff who comes to court to make an assertion or to put up a claim against a defendant must lead satisfactory evidence to prove that claim. The onus to establish his claim lies on him and him alone. This is called the 'Burden of Proof' in Law. It always rests on the party who makes an assertion.

According to our Evidence Decree (1975) NRCD 323 and the highest court of the land, i.e. the Supreme Court, the standard of proof required by law of a plaintiff or a party who makes an assertion in a civil action is to lead such evidence as would tilt in his favour the balance of probabilities on the particular issue. See sections 11 and 12 of NRCD 323 and the Supreme Court cases of BISI & OTHERS v. TABIRI @ ASARE (1987-88) 1 GLR, 360 and ADWUBENG v. DOMFEH (1996-97) SCGLR, 660.

The Supreme Court in the Adwubeng V. Domfeh case stated at holding (3) as follows:—
"Sections 11(4) and 12 of the Evidence Decree, 1975 (NRCD 323) (which came into force on 1st October 1979) have clearly provided that the standard of proof in all civil actions was proof by preponderance of probabilities—no exceptions were made. In the light of the provisions of the Evidence Decree, 1975, cases, which had held that proof in titles to land, required proof beyond reasonable doubt no longer represented the present state of the law..."

In the instant suit, since it was the plaintiff who said he granted various loans to the two defendants totaling ¢620,750,000.00 and then US$5,000, an allegation the defendants denied, it behoved on the plaintiff to lead such evidence that would tilt in his favour the existence of the facts asserted in his claim. Simply put, he has to lead cogent evidence to establish his assertion. Unfortunately however, the plaintiff could not lead any such evidence to establish his claim.

On the contrary, the plaintiff and his witnesses who described themselves as pastors or men of God, proved to be disgruntled former members of the 1st defendant church who after failing in their bid to get rid of the 2nd defendant as the leader of the 1st defendant, took this action against the 1st and 2nd defendants, among several others, as the evidence clearly revealed, to show the 2nd defendant where power lies. The evidence on record coupled with the serious contradictions in their testimonies manifested their intentions.

In the first place, the court is at a loss as to why the plaintiff roped the 2nd defendant into the action since according to him and his two pastor witnesses, (i.e. P.W.1 and 2), the alleged loans were granted to the 1st defendant church, (which is a limited liability company with a personality of its own), through P.W. 1 and 2.
From the evidence before the court, none of the alleged loans was received by the 2nd defendant personally.

From the testimony of P.W.1 Pastor Asomaning, it was he, in his position as Administrator and Finance Officer of the 1st defendant church and P.W.2 who contracted all these loans for and on behalf of the 1st defendant church. If that was the case, then why sue the 2nd defendant for monies he did not contract personally? Why didn't the plaintiff sue P.W.1 and 2 who said they contracted all the loans for and on behalf of the 1st defendant church together with the 1st defendant church in the action but instead sued the 2nd defendant who never contracted any loan personally from the plaintiff? This is where the agenda of the plaintiff and P.W.1 and 2 could be discerned as was contended by the defendants in their defence.

While the plaintiff could not lead any evidence, either oral or documentary to support his claim that he granted loans to the tune of ¢620,750,000.00 and US$5,000, to either the 1st defendant or the 2nd defendant or both, the particulars of the alleged loans given under paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 of his statement of claim do not tally with the total figure of ¢620,750,000.00, which he gave as the cedi component of the loan.

The total of the alleged loans, which plaintiff said he gave to the defendants in cedis, from his own pleading, is ¢524,720,000.00 and not ¢620,750,000.00, which he gave as the total.

Again in his testimony in court the monies plaintiff said he gave to the 1st defendant church as loans were:—
i. ¢208 million for the church to rent an auditorium for church services and,
ii. ¢35 million for the purchase of a car for the use of the 2nd defendant.

When he was requested by his lawyer to mention other monies he gave to the church as loans, this was what he said:

"A. I would say to the Honourable Court that from the period of 2002 to 2004, several cheques of several amounts were given to the 1st defendant as I said in my evidence. It is the S.S.B. Bank. As to mention the amount exactly, I don't think that would be fair to me".

From this answer, what plaintiff was saying is that he could not tell the court the exact amounts he gave as loans to the 1st defendant and that it would not be fair to him for the court to demand for the exact figure. However, when he was pressed by his counsel to mention the total figure, he said it was ¢630 million plus $5,000.

So seriously speaking, the plaintiff who brought the defendants to court to demand for the repayment of a loan facility of ¢620,750,000.00 and another $5,000 could not lead any evidence to establish how the said loans were contracted, where contracted, when contracted and the terms of payment.

While he said there were no written documents witnessing the alleged loans since it was not the practice of the 1st defendant church to prepare documents covering loans, his witnesses, who are all rebels of the 1st defendant church contended that there were records covering all the monies received from plaintiff as loans since they (i.e. P.W.1 and 2) were the ones who contracted the loans for and on behalf of the 1st defendant church. They could not, however, provide a single record to support their contentions. Interestingly however, while P.W.1 said the loans were in the form of cheques only and none was ever in cash, P.W.2 said some were by cheque and others in cash.

Again, the plaintiff and his witnesses (i.e. P.W.1 and 2) all gave different figures. P.W.1 gave certain figures, which are not included in the particulars given in plaintiff's statement of claim. P.W.2 also could not tell the court the total amount allegedly given to the 1st defendant church as a loan. As for P.W.3, he said he was not personally involved in the contraction of any of those monies and that it was P.W.1 who told him about the monies.

Again, while plaintiff said he gave out a loan of ¢35,000,000.00 to the 1st defendant for the purchase of a car for the use of the 2nd defendant, P.W.1 said he bought the car for ¢17,000,000.00 together with plaintiff's brother and took the car to the 2nd defendant's house. This means that the 1st defendant was not given any ¢35 million as a car loan as claimed.

Again, while plaintiff said he made several demands for a refund of these monies from P.W.1 and 2, he could not produce even a single demand notice, which he served on the 1st defendant through either P.W.1 and/or P.W.2 as he claimed.

In effect, plaintiff could not lead any evidence to prove his assertion that he ever gave out any monies to either the 1st defendant or the 2nd defendant or both as interest-free loans, which they were expected to pay at any time or on any date.

In the court's view, there was no need to have placed the defendants in the witness box to defend anything since no case was made out against them at the close of plaintiff's case.

The court believes the contention by the defendants that all monies that the plaintiff volunteered to the 1st defendant were monies freely given to the 1st defendant as his contribution towards the growth of the church. They were not monies meant as loans to be repaid at anytime as plaintiff and his witnesses who are no more members of the 1st defendant church wanted this court to believe.

The plaintiff cannot therefore succeed on his claim, which this court finds frivolous, unmeritorious, unwarranted and at best, an afterthought as the defendants contended in their statement of defence. It is accordingly dismissed with costs of ¢10 million against him in defendants' favour.

(Justice of the High Court)

1. Robertson Kpatsa, Esquire for Plaintiff.
2. Ace Anan Ankomah, Esquire for the Defendants