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General News Wed, 9 May 2018

KenBond case: CHRAJ has settled the matter – Attorney General tells Supreme Court

The Attorney General has put up a spirited defence of the controversial findings of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

Pressure group, Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) is contesting portions of the report authored by CHRAJ on the petition against the processes that governed the issuance of the controversial 2.25 billion dollars bond.

The CHRAJ investigative report on the petition filed by Yaw Brogya Gyamfi concluded that the Finance Minister did not engage in conflict of interest even though he placed himself in a potential conflict of interest situation by not declaring his interest in some companies.

DYMOG in a suit before the Supreme Court argues that CHRAJ overstepped its jurisdiction and ended up interpreting Article 287 of the 1992 constitution, a privilege preserved for the apex court of the land.

The Attorney General in a 13 page response intercepted by radiogold905.com and filed by Chief State Attorney Sylvester Williams however believes CHRAJ only exercised powers conferred on it by the 1992 Constitution in investigating the matter and making findings of fact, recommendations and conclusions.

The AG is of the opinion that CHRAJ needed to define what constitutes a conflict of interest situation in order to make the findings it put out.

The AG is of the opinion that Act 456 the mother regulation of CHRAJ, gives the commission the authority to investigate issues of conflict of interest without resorting to the Supreme Court for a working definition of what constitutes the offence.

“The fact that CHRAJ attempts to define what constitutes a conflict of interest situation; should not and could not be construed as interpreting article 284 of the Constitution as canvassed by the Plaintiffs,” the Attorney General argues.

One of the reliefs DYMOG relates to CHRAJ’s conclusion that Ken Ofori Atta failed to declare his interest in Databank Financial Services Limited, Data Bank Brokerage Limited and Data Bank Financial Holdings Limited in declaring his assets to the Auditor General thereby putting himself in a potential conflict of interest situation.

DYMOG believes that the Finance Minister in failing to declare his shares in the companies in question flouted Article 286(1)(a) of the 1992 constitution.

Article 286(1) of the 1992 constitution states; “A person who holds a public office mentioned in clause (5) of this article shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all property or assets owned by, or liabilities owed by him whether directly or indirectly. (a) Within three months after coming into force of this constitution or before taking office, as the case may be.

The AG however holds the opinion that the Supreme Court does not need look into a matter that has already been established as fact by CHRAJ hence no issue of the interpretation Article 286(1)(a) of the 1992 constitution has arisen to warrant the attention of the apex court of the land.

The Attorney General also dismissed the claim that the Finance Minister contravened Article 78(3) of the 1992 Constitution by holding the position of Director in Venture and Acquisitions Limited whiles serving as Minister without permission from the Speaker of Parliament.

The biggest question that has arisen from the floatation of the controversial 2.25 billion dollars bond is whether the relation between Ken Ofori Atta and Trevor Trefgarne influenced the offloading of majority of the bond to Franklin Templeton.

CHRAJ found that the relationship between the two men did not affect the issuance in anyway even though Databank and Enterprise group Limited were notified of the availability of the bond.

DYMOG however argues that the Minister flouted Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by overseeing the issuance process without disclosing his relationship with Trevor Trefgarne who is a Director of Franklin Templeton and his interests in securities.

The Attorney General however dismissed the assertion as an attempt by DYMOG to question the CHRAJ report through the backdoor.

Source: radiogold905.com