General News of Friday, 29 December 2017
The Minority in Parliament has rejected claims that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has cleared Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta from any wrongdoing in the issuance of the US$ 2.5 billion bond.
A private citizen Yaw Brogya Genfi, petitioned CHRAJ in April to probe the Finance Minister of a possible conflict of interest in the issuance of the US$ 2.5 billion bond.
After months of investigations, CHRAJ stated that despite the fact the Finance Minister breached the law there was no conflict of interest.
“On the basis of the evidence available to the Commission, it has come to the conclusion and therefore holds that, the allegations by the complainant that the respondent has contravened Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by putting himself in a conflict of interest situation in relation to the issuance of the 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 15-year bonds, have not been substantiated,” it said in its report on the matter.
CHRAJ added that “evidence available to the Commission did not support the Complainant’s allegations that the initial pricing guidelines of the Bond were issued around 5:37 pm on March 30, 2017, by e-mail, which was after normal working hours; or that the transaction was opened at 9:00 a. m. on March 31, 2017; or that the public announcement of the transaction was sent by e-mail at approximately 9:09 am. on March 31, 2017, which meant that the transaction was opened before the announcement was made to the public; and also that the issuance summary was issued on March 31, 2017, at about 4:20 pm. by e-mail indicating that the Bond transaction had been closed and announcement made to the public.”
But the Minority in a statement stated that their position has been vindicated based on the findings of CHRAJ.
“The Minority Caucus in Parliament has become aware of findings contained in the decision of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on a complaint filed against the Finance Minister over the infamous US$ 2.25 billion bond in March this year.
“Contrary to some publications on a number of online portals to the effect that the Finance Minister has been cleared of wrongdoing, CHRAJ in its decision agrees largely with our stated position from the very beginning that the bond issuance did not follow due process.
“CHRAJ in its summary of key findings noted several breaches of statutory regulations governing the issuance of bonds and cited the Minister for conduct bordering on criminality. It is the considered position of the Minority that the adverse findings contained in the decision of the CHRAJ vindicate our position that the US$ 2.25 Billion bond issuance was fraught with irregularities and did not comply with Ghanaian law.
“We will engage the media next week to provide details of our position on the outcome of the investigations and consequential matters.”