General News of Fri, 29 Dec 2017113
Resign or be forced out – Minority to Ken Ofori-Atta over ‘damning' $2.25bn bond findings
The Minority in Parliament has asked Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to resign following the release of what it said are “damning” revelations on the $2.25billion bond.
The opposition lawmakers say the 141-page report by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) established that some “criminality and irregularities” were committed by the Minister during the issuance of the bond.
The investigations by the anti-graft agency followed a complaint filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser, Yaw Brogya Gyenfi, alleging some breaches of the law in April this year.
Tamale North Member of Parliament (MP), Alhassan Suhuyini told Araba Koomson on Joy FM’s Midday News Friday, CHRAJ’s report has exonerated the position of the minority.
“If you clearly study the report, you will come to the conclusion that the findings exonerate our position when we talked about the breaches of some statutory regulations,” he said.
The Finance Minister has insisted nothing untoward was done during the issuance of government’s biggest bond.
CHRAJ in the report said Mr Ofori-Atta’s status at Databank and Enterprise Group Limited whose objects relate to the securities market sector has the “potential to conflict with the interests of the state in relation to the securities market such as the issuance of bonds.”
It also faulted the Finance Ministry for miscommunicating the currency in which the bond was issued.
“The 5-year, 7-year, 10-year bonds issued in March/April 2017, were domestic bonds (cedi denominated) and opened for non-resident investors, but the Statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on 3rd April 2017 misled the public into believing that the bonds were dollar denominated,” CHRAJ said in page 133 of 140.
But the Commission said it found no evidence supporting the claim that Mr Ofori-Atta or his private businesses benefited from the bond.
In view of the breaches of procedures for bonds issuance, the minority has asked the Minister to resign honourably or be forced to do so.
Mr Suhuyini said it will amount to an “act of desperation and dis-ingenuity” for anyone to think that there was nothing damning about the report.
“We think the report has revealed some criminalities and irregularities and so it should not be reduced to just one matter,” he said.
He noted the minority will go through the “irregularities and statutory regulatory breaches” established in the report and make its position known to Ghanaians.