Minority tenders CHRAJ report as evidence to US SEC in bond issue scandal

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 3rd-january-2018 Time:  7:32:50 pm

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The Minority in Parliament says it has tendered in the CHRAJ report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) as one of its primary evidence of wrongdoing by the Finance Minister in the controversial issuance of $2.25 billion bonds.

MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the CHRAJ report, was a vindication of their long-held argument of insider trading and a breach of processes by the Finance Minister in issuing the bond.

He is hoping the report will help their case submitted before US Securities and Exchange Commission in which they have, among other things, accused the Finance Minister of conflict of interest and breach of procedures in issuing the bond.

Background

The government early last year issued a $2.25 billion bond to raise money to refinance its domestic debt and to shore up the cedi.

The bond was patronized by buyers including US investment company Franklin Templeton.

However, the Minority in Parliament raised issues about the bond issue and accused the Finance Minister of conflict of interest.

They claimed the bond was issued in secret and “cooked” to favour Franklin Templeton whose director Trevor Trefgarne is also a joint shareholder of Enterprise Group, a company owned by the Finance Minister.

The Minority in Parliament first hauled the Minister before the House to answer questions about the bond.

Not satisfied with the responses, they proceeded to the US Securities and Exchange Commission accusing both Franklin Templeton and Finance Minister of Conflict of Interest.

An executive of the NDC also proceeded to CHRAJ with the same accusations and demanded the anti-graft agency to investigate it.

CHRAJ has since completed its investigations, cleared the Minister of conflict of interest but raised issues about the procedures used in issuing the bond.

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Dame has raised issues about the CHRAJ findings accusing the body of going beyond its mandate.

He would rather the issues about the processes involved in the issuance of the bond were left for the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine.

But Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa thinks otherwise. He accused the Deputy Attorney General of trying to intimidate the CHRAJ.  

“They were virtually threatening CHRAJ. This is not a good sign for our democracy. It is clear they are worried and they stand accused," he stated, adding, “the Finance Minister is worried because of what this CHRAJ report means."

He said the CHRAJ report “confirmed exactly what we said; the bond was not transparent, clear case of insider trading.”

“These are very serious infractions and violations of the law,” he told Joy News.

Asked when their case before the US SEC, will be completed, he said it is now at the evidence gathering stage but cannot say exactly when it will be concluded.

Apart from the case before the US SEC, he said they are going to trigger other processes in Parliament to force the hand of government to reform the breaches outlined by CHRAJ.  

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