$2.25bn bond issue: Minority will be embarrassed – Baako

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper says the opposition National Democratic Congress and Minority in Parliament risk being embarrassed because as far he is concerned the $2.25 billion bond issue was above board.

According to Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, the Minority is very much aware that there is no basis for their complaints, but are enjoying the propaganda that comes with championing the baseless cause.

Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokroko’, he said a call for a probe into the bond issue is a sheer waste of time and space and they “will be embarrassed at the end of the day.”

The Minority in Parliament called for a probe into government’s local bond issued in April, citing a conflict of interest situation involving the Finance Minister. 

The Minority in Parliament, led by a former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson at a press conference alleged that the bond was issued in secrecy and  denied reports other investors were given an opportunity to participate in the bond.

The Minority further alleged that the transaction was “cooked” to favor a particular investor, Franklin Templeton, while the transaction did not receive parliamentary approval.

A member of the NDC, who is also the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the party petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the issue.

Related:Minority petitions US agency to probe $2.25bn bond issue

In his petition, titled “Petition to investigate conflict of interest in the recent US$2.25 billion bond issued by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance,” Brogya Genfi alleged that the minister had placed himself in a conflict of interest position, and thus, in breach of constitutional provisions.

The Finance Ministry after CHRAJ’s order to respond to the issue in 10 days wrote back to the Commission requesting an extension of the time.

That has been granted, but some members and sympathizers of the NDC say the request for the extension is deception.

They believe the Finance Ministry is asking for an extension because it wants to cover up the inconsistencies in the bond issue.

But Mr Baako disagreed. He said there is nothing wrong with the request for an extension.

“Requesting for extension is not an admission of guilt or no case, and it is also not a vindication of the complainant’s case so I don’t see why people are prematurely ejaculating just because the minister asked for an extension.

“There is nothing unusual about the application for an extension, it is normal,” he added.

Mr Baako said the issues raised by the petitioner are ones that have to be answered with proper documentation, hence the need to prepare adequately before responding to CHRAJ.

He said in the end the Minority’s “ineptitude, incompetence and ignorance” will be revealed.

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh

But the Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Minta Akandoh, who was also on the ‘Kokroko’ programme, says the request for an extension is fishy.

He said  the minister has  nothing to worry about if he feels he did everything right but he added, asking for an extension to respond to CHRAJ smacks of deceit.

Mr Akandoh disagreed with Mr Baako’s suggestion that the Minority will be embarrassed.

He insisted that the minority has every right to ask questions if they feel that due diligence was not carried out in the transaction.

He has no doubt that something fictitious went on during the issuance of the bond.

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