Posted: Thursday 1st May 2014 at 10:00 am

Kufuor Has Given Legitimacy To Fishy Merbank Sale – Analyst

The head of the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has launched a gun-scatter-attack at ex-President John Kufuor for attending a rebranding ceremony of Merchant Bank, now Universal Merchant Bank.

Dr Amoako Baah told Joy FM’s Evans Mensah the decision by Mr Kufuor to attend the ceremony was imprecise and gave “legitimacy” to a “fishy” deal.

Mr Kufuor and former chief of staff Kwadwo Mpiani, both attended the rebranding ceremony in a serene atmosphere, quite contrary to the atmosphere that surrounded the sale. But their decision to attend has ruffled many feathers within the NPP.

Some members of the NPP are seeking audience with the ex-president to find out the reasons why he attended the ceremony.

The New Patriotic Party was at the fore-font in opposing the 90 per cent sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund.

Its MPs tabled a motion in Parliament demanding an inquiry into the sale but the motion was dismissed by the Speaker.

A civil society group, Centre for Freedom and Accuracy led by Andrew Awuni also went to court demanding an abrogation of the sale but the court in part, ruled in favour of Fortiz.

Some members of the NPP do not understand why the ex-president would attend the rebranding of a bank, whose sale they are vehemently opposed to.

Amoako Baah agrees with the critics saying, there is “something fishy about the whole deal.”

He said even if he has no evidence to point to any wrong doing, simple mathematics is enough to tell him that 200 million cedis for 75 per cent shares in Merchant Bank is bigger than 90 million cedis for 90 per cent shares in the same bank.

South African bank, First Rand had offered to pay 200m cedis for 75 per cent shares in Merchant Bank but the bid was dismissed in favour of the Fortiz bid. Dr Amoako Baah said the sale “was wrong. He [Kufuor] knew it was wrong; the party believes it was wrong.”

“If the sale was wrong what has made it right for Kufuor to attend [the rebranding]?” he questioned.

He said as former president, he must stand for justice and for the ordinary workers.

Dr Baah was even more disappointed with the reaction by Kwadwo Mpiani who challenged critics to go and file a complaint with the party’s disciplinary committee if they believe Mr Kufuor has flouted any part of the NPP constitution.

He said the fishy Merchant Bank sale has moved beyond the legal level; it is purely ethical.

He noted the president, even as a statesman has the right to choose which ceremony he attends, even if he is invited.

He is convinced the choice Mr Kufuor made on the Merbank rebranding was inimical to the party’s interest.

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