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Anti-Graft Drama in Ghana: Anti-graft Prosecutor Resigns, President Denies Interference

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President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has denied allegations of interference made by former anti-corruption chief Martin Amidu, describing the accusations as “errors of fact”.

The president, in a nine-page statement on Tuesday, said that neither he nor any member of his government interfered with Mr Amidu’s work and adequate resources were made available to enable him to do his work efficiently and effectively.

He addressed some critical claims Martin Amidu made such as interference in the work of Martin Amidu, the Agyapa mineral royalties deal, and the claims that the Government of Ghana has failed to provide the needed resources for the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

“I refer to your letter dated 16 November, 2020 pursuant to which you resigned your position as the first Special Prosecutor appointed in accordance with Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) (hereinafter, the “Letter”).

“The President has taken note of your resignation per the President’s Chief of Staff’s letter to you of even date herewith (SCR/DA/96/135/01/A).

“We note, however, that, even before the President had been given the opportunity to react to the contents of your four (4) page Letter, it had been put into the public domain prior to receipt by the President. I am directed by the President to respond to correct the errors of fact contained in your Letter in order to provide a complete public record of the issues,” parts of the letter signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President, reads.

Mr Amidu resigned as Ghana’s anti-corruption chief on Monday, citing among other things interference by President Akufo-Addo.

Mr Amidu’s appointment two years ago was greeted with high expectations as he was seen by many in Ghana as the right man to fight corruption among public officials.

His resignation comes less than three weeks before the general election, in a country where promises to deal with corruption feature prominently during electioneering campaigns.

North Africa Politics

Algeria’s President Tebboune to Return Home after COVID-19 Treatment in Germany

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Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is set to return home from a German hospital “in the coming days” after treatment for COVID-19.

“The president assures the Algerian people that he is recovering and will return to the homeland in the coming days,” the office said in a statement, published on Facebook.

In late October, Tebboune was transported to Germany for an in-depth medical examination following a doctor recommendation.

Shortly after, the office announced that the president was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In compliance with the recommendations of his medical team, the 75-year-old Algerian leader continues to undergo the rest of recovery procedures after leaving a specialised medical facility in Germany, the office added.

Tebboune has served as the president of Algeria since December 2019.

He assumed the post after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika following months of protests.

Since the start of the pandemic, 83,199 cases of the coronavirus have been registered in Algeria.

To date, the North African country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 2,431, while the number of recoveries is approaching 54,000.

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Ghana to Bury Ex-President Rawlings December 23

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Jerry Rawlings calls for review of Ghana's constitution

The remains of deceased former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, will be buried on December 23, his family has said.

James Victor Gbeho, Head of the funeral planning committee, in a press release on Monday, said the family, in consultation with government, has agreed on the date.

The funeral rites for the 73-year-old will come off at the Independence Square in Accra.

Mr Gbeho said, “The family is working in conjunction with government on the finer details of the funeral ceremony and will communicate the arrangements in due course.”

Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving head of state and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), died on 12 November at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.

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Akufo-Addo, Mahama Go Toe to Toe as Ghana’s Presidential Election Draws Closer

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President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will face former president John Dramani Mahama, leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the West African country’s December 7 presidential election.

The election has been dubbed the “battle of two giants.”

It is the third time Akufo-Addo and Mahama will compete against each other for the highest office in the country, with each previously having won one poll each– Akufo-Addo in 2016 and Mahama in 2012.

Although 12 candidates are vying for the presidency, including two women, only Akufo-Addo and Mahama are said to have a chance of coming out victorious.

The electoral campaign has been dominated by Ghana’s economy, infrastructure development, education, corruption, and debt relief.

Akufo-Addo, 76, has been touting economic growth during his current four-year term in office as well as the streamlining of government services and implementation of free schooling for senior high school pupils.

Mahama, 62, has meanwhile stressed the many infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, he realised during his presidency, promising do invest more in this area if re-elected.

Political analysts of the University of Ghana in the capital, Accra, predict a slim win for Akufo-Addo in the December elections.

Polls have indicated voters prefer Akufo-Addo’s policy-driven approach to run the nation of 30 million people, the university’s head of the political science department, Kaakyire Frempong.

A candidate is required to gain at least 50 per cent of votes to be elected in the first round.

Ghana’s roughly 17 million registered voters will also elect 275 legislators from 914 candidates on Dec. 7.

Akufo-Addo’s NPP is expected to once again gain the majority of seats in parliament.

Voting will take place at more than 33,000 polling stations between 7 am and 5 pm (0700 and 1700 GMT).

The electoral commission will announce results within 72 hours after the election.

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