Parliamentary probe on banking rot commences …OccupyGhana, others object to in-camera hearing

Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Parliament’s in-camera hearing on the banking crisis has commenced.
The 25-member Finance Committee is expected to focus on the role the Bank of Ghana (BoG) played in the collapse of the banks, and determine the extent of culpability of central bank officials.

It is also expected to invite the officials of the Finance Ministry, managers of the banks, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Boulders among others for questioning.

Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, had said the committee’s hearing on the matter would be private due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that considering what we call the sensitivity of the matter, Parliament’s Committee of Finance will meet in-camera to look at the matter,” he noted.

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, has presented its objection to the decision to probe the banking scandal behind closed doors in a strongly-worded petition.

The petition, addressed to the Speaker of Parliament stated that “we, as members of the public whose taxes funded the bailout monies, will want to be reassured there has been no cover-up in the inquiry because of the personalities involved in the instances of malpractice identified in the reports.

“Any sitting in-camera will breathe life into and give teeth to rumours that there are personalities behind huge kickback payments who are also cronies of politicians and who may be shielded by in-camera proceedings.”

Ahead of the sitting, some two Ghanaians petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, to allow for a public hearing of the legislature’s probe into the crisis.

The two, Nana Adofo Ofori and Anthony Mifetoo, indicated that the decision by the finance committee to hold the hearings in-camera was counterproductive.
According to the BoG, whereas some of the banks had liquidity challenges, others obtained their banking licences through dubious means and some of them allegedly squandered millions of cedis given them by the BoG as liquidity support.

Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament said they had agreed not to invite the directors of the closed banks.

According to him, representatives from the Central Bank, the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Finance Ministry would appear before them and answer questions on the issue. –citinewsroom.com/myjoyonline.com

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