General News of Friday, 29 December 2017
The Minority in parliament says media reports suggesting the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has cleared Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta of a conflict of interest, are misleading.
According to the Minority, the CHRAJ decision rather notes several breaches of statutory regulations governing the issuance of $2.25 billion bond and cited the Minister for misconduct bordering on criminality.
CHRAJ on Thursday released a statement on its five months’ investigations into allegations of conflict of interest made against the Minister by a citizen, Mr Yaw Brogya Genfi. He complained that Mr Tevor G Trefgarne of Franklin Templeton Investment Limited which purchased 95% of the bond and the Minister of Finance are “great friends.”
The findings included interviews with the parties involved, industry players, transaction advisors, security brokers and the Registrar General., and the review of guidelines, regulations, laws, and other documents.
CHRAJ concluded that, “On the basis of the evidence available to the Commission, it has come to the conclusion and therefore holds that the allegations by the complainant that the respondent has contravened Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by putting himself in a conflict of interest situation in relation to the issuance of the 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 15-year bonds, have not been substantiated.”
The Commission further gave wide-ranging directives in relation to the bond issuance processes to ensure transparency and clarity.
However, Minority Leader, Haruna Idrisu, in a statement issued Friday, says the reports in the media are inaccurate.
“Contrary to some publications on a number of online portals to the effect that the Finance Minister has been cleared of wrongdoing, CHRAJ in its decision agrees largely with our stated position from the very beginning that the bond issuance did not follow due process.
“CHRAJ in its summary of key findings noted several breaches of statutory regulations governing the issuance of bonds and cited the Minister for conduct bordering on criminality.
“It is the considered position of the Minority that the adverse findings contained in the decision of the CHRAJ vindicate our position that the US$ 2.25 Billion bond issuance was fraught with irregularities and did not comply with Ghanaian law,” the release noted.
The statement indicated further, the intention of the Minority to engage the media next week to provide details of their position on the outcome of the investigations and consequential matters.