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Finance Minister requests 15 extra working days to respond to CHRAJ

KEN OFORI 1FM Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Mon, 22 May 2017 Source: kasapafmonline.com

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has requested an extra 15 working days to respond to queries of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on whether or not he contravened the constitution in the public offer of the US$2.25b.

CHRAJ had in their letter dated May 5, 2017 asked the Minister to comment on whether or not he had breached provisions of the 1992 Constitution in the public offer of the bond within 10 days.

The request for the Minister’s comment was based on a petition filed by former Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Brogya Gyemfi in his complaint to CHRAJ, in which he alleged that the Minister had placed himself in a conflict of interest position and thus in breach of the constitutional provision.

But the Chief Director of the Finance Ministry, Patrick Numo in a letter dated May 11, 2017 asked for the extension of time to properly respond to issues raised by CHRAJ to the Minister.

The Minority NDC in Parliament last week petitioned the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate US$2.25 billion bond issuance in which Franklin Templeton, a US registered company purchased 95% of 15-year and 7-year bonds.

They claim the bond, participated by only two investors, was “shrouded in secrecy to the extent that Ghanaian investors were denied the opportunity to participate in the deal.”

The MPs said one of the investors who patronised the bond, Franklyn Templeton, has a link to Enterprise Group Limited of which Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is a co-founder.

They said one Trevor G. Trefgarne, who is the Board Chairman of Enterprise insurance Limited and also on the Franklyn Templeton Investment Company as a Director, might have influenced the manner in which the bond was issued.

However commenting on the matter on Joy FM’s News File show Saturday, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako who’s the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper said the NDC Minority will be hugely embarrassed following their petitioning of the US SEC.

According to him, the Minority by this move “are seeking to internationalize their incompetence, ineptitude and embarrassment” as they have embarked on an exercise in futility. He added that the move is just a waste of everybody’s precious time.

“As to what the outcome of this probe will be, I know in my mind’s eye that this is going nowhere. They have embarked on a fishing expedition but they’ll make no catch, they’ll go to sea and come empty handed..the net will be empty. They are asking the US to look into conflict of interest and insider trading, there’ll be nothing there for them and they will be embarrassed.”

He said there was absolutely nothing illegal, unconstitutional or improper over the transaction, adding that there’s enough evidence that what happened in the case of the issuance of the US$2.25 billion bond is same as has happened since 2015.

“The 2017 budget, if you go to paragraph 851…the liability managment thing, it captures the appropriate legal regime for this, same way with Appropriations Act 2017. It appropriated the domestic financing of the 12 billion, so there’s proper legal basis in terms of transparency. When Parliament adopted that format about issuance calenders it was meant for transparency.” Baako noted.

Source: kasapafmonline.com
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