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Government is acquiring new presidential aircraft-Defence Minister



Government is already in the process of acquiring a bigger jet for use,” he said at a press briefing at the Jubilee House on Monday.

Mr Arhin was answering a question on whether the government intended buying a bigger aircraft to accommodate the President and his entourage on official foreign trips as the current presidential jet had proven inadequate for the purpose.

He explained that the move to get a bigger fit-for-purpose aircraft was part of a cost saving measure on the travels of the President and other key state functionaries.

Mr Arhin did not give the specifics of the aircraft deal, but said the Defence Minister would shed light on the development at the appropriate time.

The President’s foreign travels have generated discussions on the airwaves and on social media lately, with some Ghanaians asking why the President has to fly in hired private aircrafts when the country owned a functional presidential jet.

But the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul told Parliament that the configuration of the current Presidential jet, a falcon 900EX purchased during the era of former President John Kufuor, did not meet the travel needs and security of the President.

“This aircraft will carry a load of 11 persons minus the crew. When this aircraft is travelling to the eastern part of the USA or Asia, it will not load a crew of more than eight plus the luggage. So it depends on where it is going.

“Secondly, I have also said the aircraft has to do refuelling stops, and also in this COVID-19, when you are travelling to multiple destinations like the president’s recent travel, the Falcon couldn’t have been taken because he would have had to do technical stops which are not desirable, and when he is travelling with more than 20 people like he has been doing for business trips that brought huge sums of money for this country, he will need more than just a Falcon, otherwise, the others would have to go a day ahead before the president to prepare themselves,” Nitiwul stated.

Former President Kufour before leaving office in 2008, made provisions for the procurement of two aircrafts for the Ghana Air Force, which included a larger jet for use by the President and his delegation on state travels. But the deal was however abrogated by the Mills administration.

According to the Defence Minister, if that arrangement had held, that bigger aircraft would have been deployed for the strategic lifting of troops, and could be reconfigured into presidential jet for the president’s travels to save the country the huge amounts spent for delegation who traveled ahead of the president.

He told a private radio station in Accra that since the cancelation of the deal for acquisition of the bigger aircraft by the Mills administration, the country had spent in excess of USD 50 million on official trips of the government.

Touching on the issues arising from the appointment of Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies Chief Executives (MMDCEs), Mr Arhin dismissed the allegation that some of the MMDCE’s nominated by the President were not originally shortlisted for those positions.

He said the claim by some civil society organisations (CSOs) that about 44 per cent of the MMDCEs were not recommended by the three-member committee that vetted their nominations, and 10 per cent of the nominees did not apply for the positions, was false.

The Communications Director stated that those allegations were based on a supposedly leaked report on the nominees shortlisted for the MMDCE positions.

“I can say on authority that that report was not the report that was submitted to the President,” he said, adding that the President was not bound by any law to resort to any report to hire or fire his appointees.

“He is not bound by the recommendations of any report. He decides what he has to do,” he said, stating emphatically that the President was satisfied with his appointments and unruffled by the threats that some of his appointees would not secure the two-thirds majority votes to gain approval of their local assemblies.

“It is a human institution so we expect that there would definitely be agitations. If at the end of the day, voting is conducted and a nominee is rejected, the President can renominate that person on two occasions.

“If on all the two occasions that person is rejected, the Constitution gives him the power to present somebody else. Agitation is a normal phenomenon of human life,” he said.

Mr Arhin also indicated that President Akufo-Addo had begun a process to assess the work programme of his ministers for the rest of 2021.

He explained that the consultative meeting with the Ministers will ensure they were in tune with the President’s agenda for his second term in government.

Mr Arhin said the President was scheduled to embark on a week’s tour of the Eastern and Ashanti Regions from Friday,
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48-Year Old Ghanaian Poisoned To Death In South Africa – Family Demands Justice



Newton Kwaku Boateng, a 48-year-old Ghanaian businessman based in South Africa, died mysteriously after being poisoned to death in his own house in Gauteng Province.

According to reports from the deceased’s brother George Effah Boateng, he died on Thursday, March 2, 2023, after struggling to fight for his life after drunken a poisonous tea but no one could come to his aid despite attempts by his house help to come to his aid but were prevented by his wife Alinah Mahlangu, a South African national, while his cell phone was snatched from him, preventing him from calling for assistance.

His wife Alinah Mahlangu prior to reporting the incident to the Kempton Park police station in the Gauteng Province, the deceased’s Range Rover, which was parked in his garage, vanished to an unknown location, along with the deceased’s other valuable personal belongings, which were all taken from his flat.

When the Ghanaian community in South Africa learnt of the mystery surrounding their countryman’s death, a delegation was dispatched to meet with the wife and question her about the cause of death.

According to the deceased wife’s narrations, the deceased died after taking a tea leaf, but a preliminary examination of the body revealed bruises and cuts around the neck and back, as well as signs of being strangled after being poisoned.

The inconsistencies in the deceased’s South African wife’s comments infuriated the Ghanaian community in South Africa, who suspected foul play and wrote to the High Commission, which wrote to the police on Tuesday 7th March 2023, asking for cooperation in the investigations.
She was also accused of secretly transporting Newton Kwaku Boateng’s body to a private funeral home without a police escort and without the knowledge of any family member or members of the Ghanaian community, which the family and the Ghanaian community in South Africa described as a very bad ploy to conceal the true truth from the public and called on the Ghanaian High Commission to intervene immediately.

Both the deceased’s family and the disgruntled Ghanaians have accused the deceased’s South African wife of suspected foul play, alleging a cover-up in collaboration with the police, as well as threats against those appointed to oversee the investigations, autopsy, and final conveyance of the body to Ghana.

Mr. George Effah Boateng, the deceased brother who lives in South Africa and was given power of attorney by the late Newton Kwaku Boateng’s family, has also gone into hiding to protect his life after receiving threats from some friends of his late brother’s wife and unknown persons.

Mr Effah had previously expressed concerns about matters such as investigations and attempts by the wife to relocate the deceased’s body from the funeral home into an unknown mortuary while investigations were ongoing, which were vehemently opposed by the family, resulting in threats to his life.

The late Newton Kwaku Boateng’s brother believes his relative was murdered, and that the wife is a major suspect, but that she is working to prevent the family from gathering information, particularly the autopsy report, which indicates the cause of death.
She later held a memorial service on March 9, 2023, without the consent of the family or the Ghanaian community, a decision that was condemned by the Ghanaian community in South Africa.

Mr Godwin Attipoe, head of the family of the late Newton Boateng explained that “We are completely devastated and enraged. We are heartbroken and demand justice for our brother, whose life was taken under mysterious circumstances, while law enforcement agencies, rather than exposing the truth, are now attempting to shield and cover up the perpetrators “.

He revealed that the South African police have been making excuses for weeks after Newton Kwaku Boateng’s death, claiming that they are still investigating the incident despite the fact that it occurred in his own flat and that autopsy results are pending.

“We have been denied several attempts to obtain the autopsy report to determine what could have caused the death of our brother by the wife, who is in collusion with the police, and would call on the Ghana High Commission in South Africa to assist the family in supervising the autopsy on the deceased, which the South African police and the wife have refused,” Mr Godwin Attipoe added.

Mr. Richard Kweku Boateng, a cousin of the deceased based in the United States of America, reiterated that the family has not authorised the wife Alinah Mahlangu or any of her accomplices to represent the family on the issue of acquiring the autopsy report or burring their relative in South Africa, and would like to request that the Ghanaian High Commission in South Africa intervene by mediating and ensuring that the autopsy report is successfully completed and subsequently conveying the body to Ghana for burial.

Mr. Richard Boateng emphasised that the family also warned the deceased’s wife to stop plotting to overturn and possibly cause of death of their relative, as they had been reliably informed of allegedly colluding with the South African investigative body in charge of the case to destroy the dockets, as there had been threats from the deceased’s wife to some family members to stop requesting an autopsy report.

“Even though the Ghana High Commission in South Africa has given us the initial backing with letters to see to the murder investigations, autopsies play an extremely important role in medical malpractice lawsuits because they provide detailed information about the cause of death and will urge that the commission come to the aide of the family at this crossroads; legally, autopsies are only required under certain circumstances, including if there is suspicion of foul plundering,” Mr Attipoe filed an appeal.

If someone dies but is not under the care of a medical professional, an autopsy may be ordered.
The official cause of death for the deceased in this case is unknown. However, the family stated that they still have unanswered questions.

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Philanthropist Cum Influencer, Abena Odo Donates To Korle But Teaching Hospital



Social media influencer and philanthropist, Abena Odo through her non profit organization “Abena Odo Foundation” has donated items to the ‘Reconstructive Plastic Surgery & Burns Centre’ unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, ahead of the yuletide holidays.


The items presented were packs of toiletries, dispensaries, drinks, water, food and some undisclosed amount of money. The team was warmly welcomed by management or the unit and thanked them for such benevolence done themselves. The food/drinks were shared on the spot to the sick and hurt.


Abena Odo in an interview with KTV at the premises explained that she set up her “Abena Odo Foundation” to aid people (expecially young ones) who are devastatingly burnt by fire or heat and who cannot afford to foot their bills. Also, her foundation assists alland pays bills for nursing mothers who are left to sleep on the bare floor after delivery because they cannot afford to pay for their bills. She further asserted that her passion towards this quest was activated when sometime back she visited a friend of hers in a hospital and found a nursing mother on the floor with a fresh set of twins. She said it literally broke her heart, hence she set up the foundation.

After barely two years in existence, “Abena Odo Foundation” has supported and paid bills and of burned patients and freshly delivered mothers who find it difficult to pay their bills. The ‘Reconstructive Plastic Surgery & Burns Centre’ unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, confirmed that it was Abena’s second time coming to donate items to them.



Abena Odo at the end, solicited for more hands to be on deck to help these victims because she could not do it all alone.

Watch snippets of the donation front below.

Contact Abena Odo Foundation by this Mobile money for further enquiries and sponsorship – 0593324910.

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