We feel vindicated-Minority

The Minority in Parliament says it feels vindicated by the investigations of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) regarding the controversial US$2.25 billion bond issued early this year.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)  contended that the issuance of the bond was fraught with corruption and demanded a probe into the circumstances leading to the issuance of the bond.

Mr. Yaw Brogya Gyenfi, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the NDC brought the matter before the Commission in April demanding an investigation in the bond issuance.

According to him, 95 per cent of the bond was sold to business associates of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, a circumstance he said smacks of conflict of interest.

The CHRAJ, in its report issued on Thursday, exonerated Mr. Ofori-Atta of allegations of conflict of interest as raised by the Plaintiff, Mr. Gyenfi.

“There was also no evidence before the Commission that there was a personal benefit to the Respondent or his private businesses and other relations,” it stated.

The CHRAJ, however, found breaches of the rules on the issuance of bonds.

It among the 21-point findings observed that Primary Dealers also doubled up as Bookrunners/Transaction advisors and that dual role gave them an undue advantage.

The “Respondent (Ken Ofori-Atta) is either a director, former director or shareholder, or beneficial owner, of several companies whose objects relate to the securities market sector.

“The companies include Databank and EGL (Enterprise Group Limited). As such, Respondent’s interests in the growth and wellbeing of those companies, have the potential to conflict with the interests of the state in relation to the securities market such as the issuance of bonds,” the report added.

These, the Minority in a statement signed by Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader said, are a confirmation by the CHRAJ that “the bond issuance did not follow due process.”

The statement added that “CHRAJ in its summary of key findings noted several breaches of statutory regulations governing the issuance of bonds and cited the Minister for conduct bordering on criminality.

“It is the considered position of the Minority that the adverse findings contained in the decision of the CHRAJ vindicate our position that the US$ 2.25 Billion bond issuance was fraught with irregularities and did not comply with Ghanaian law.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

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