President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has defended a decision by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to commence legal action against the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), over aspects of the institution’s report on the $2.25 billion bond saga which somewhat indicted the Minister.
According to Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, Ofori-Atta will soon go to court to compel CHRAJ to overturn some declarations in its report released after it was petitioned by the Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Brogya Genfi, to investigate the matter.
Genfi, in April 2017, petitioned CHRAJ to investigate the $2.25 billion bond issued by government, citing possible conflict of interest in the deal with regards to the Finance Minister and his alleged acquaintances, whom Genfi claimed had bought the bond at convenient rates. CHRAJ, after months of investigations, said Ofori-Atta breached certain processes in the issuance of the bond but cleared him of all claims of conflict of interest.
CHRAJ also stated in its report that, Ofori-Atta failed to declare all his assets; a claim government officials have rubbished.
Sharing his view on the matter during discussions on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Franklin Cudjoe said Ofori-Atta’s intended court action is long overdue, saying it will help clear his image.
“I think that the Finance Minister has legitimate reasons to do so because they are an important institution. And for them to come out with such a report and then make other comments which incidentally has gained political capital for the NDC, lowers the stature in a way, of the Finance Minister, and I think he [Finance Minister] needs to redeem that aspect of what is becoming a campaign against his person.”
“So for me, I think he should have done that much longer. But let me say that these things as they happen also go to strengthen our democracy…so the Finance Minister should go to court and I support his action,” he added.
Minority pushes for Ofori-Atta’s dismissal
On the back of the CHRAJ report, the Minority called on President Akufo-Addo to sack the Finance Minister, for breaching aspects of the law in the issuance of the bond.
They have also suggested that the Finance Minister could alternatively resign over the matter.
“We serve notice that in the event that the President, Nana Akufo-Addo does not exercise appropriate judgment, we will initiate an action of censurship against the Minister. We in the minority feel strongly vindicated by the [CRAHJ] report… All of us must uphold the laws of Ghana including the Minister for Finance,” Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said.
I’ll join Ofori-Atta’s suit – Brogya Genfi
In a related development, Brogya Genfi has said he will file a joinder application should Ofori-Atta drag CHRAJ to court over its findings on the issuance of the $2.25 billion bond.
“I am very interested in it and as an interested party, I am going to join anything that the Finance Minister will institute against CHRAJ because I sent the petition to CHRAJ,” Genfi said in a Citi News interview.