General News of Wed, 11 Jul 20186
A-G cleared to represent Finance Minister; given 7 days to file amendment of case
The Supreme Court has ordered the Attorney General’s (AG) Department to file its statement of case and that of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on the US$ 2.25 bn bond case within seven days.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Gabriel Pwamang, on Thursday, July 11, approved the AG’s application to amend its statement of case, based on merit.
It will be recollected that an objection was raised by the Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG), in the previous sitting, against the AG’s application to amend its statement of case, with claims that it will delay the case.
An objection also raised by both DYMOG and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that the AG cannot be the legal counsel of Mr. Ofori-Atta has been overruled.
The lawyers for CHRAJ argued that the issue of conflict of interest is a personal matter which the state, represented by the AG, cannot answer for since not all activities of public officials form part of their public duties.
According to the legal counsel for CHRAJ, the Attorney General will be acting in contradiction to Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution if Mr. Ofori-Atta is pronounced guilty of conflict of interest, because the AG at that point will be responsible for prosecuting the same person.
In January this year, anti-graft group, Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) dragged the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to the Supreme Court for violating its limits in the 2.25 billion-dollar bond issuance.
CHRAJ was sued for clearing the Finance Minister of the allegations levelled against him in relation to the issuance of the government bond.
The group accused CHRAJ of infringing the provisions of the 1992 constitution based on some assertions the commission made out of context while reviewing a petition on the controversial bond in which the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is being accused of conflict of interest.
Per the group’s lawsuit, the Finance Minister placed himself in a conflict of interest situation by issuing the 2.25-billion-dollar bond to Franklin Templeton because one of the directors of the US-based investment group, Trevor Trefgarne, is also a director of a company owned by the Minister.