Politics | Jul 5, 2017

$2.25bn bond saga: Minority files second external petition in Luxembourg

Even before the Securities and Exchanges Commission of the US concludes its investigations into a petition brought before it by some members of the Minority, an additional external petition has also been filed in Luxemburg.

According to the Minority, this latest move is to satisfy additional jurisdictional issues since their investigations have revealed that though Franklin Templeton was registered in the United States of America, it appears it used a subsidiary company registered in Luxembourg to purchase the $2.25 billion bond.

Based on this revelation, a group of Minority Parliamentarians comprising Dr Dominic Ayine, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Isaac Adongo have filed a whistleblower complaint with the regulator in Luxembourg known as the Commission de Surveillance de Secteur Financier (CSSF).

Addressing the press, Cassiel Ato Forson explained that the Minority is also considering the option of going to the Supreme Court to ask for determination under Article 181(5) of the Constitution.

“We will also go to Supreme Court to require the Minister to provide us information under Article 12 (F) of the Constitution because the information we sought is in the public interest,” he added.

He argued that information on tradable bonds are public information everywhere in the world, unlike Ghana where it is said to be sensitive information by the Majority.

Dr Ayeni, a former deputy AG and Minister of Justice

One of the three who filed the petition, Dr Ayeni, a former deputy AG and Minister of Justice said things would not have gotten to where it has had there "been a lot of transparency in the system and the Finance Minister has been candid and forthwith when he appeared before Parliament."

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament that the recent $2.25 billion bond is above board and followed due process.

According to him, the accusations by the minority may be due to a genuine lack of understanding of the processes of bond issuance.

The Minister’s statement is in response to a half-hour motion filed by Parliament to summon him to provide full disclosure on the bond issuance.

But Dr Ayeni said the Minority need material information that is useful for the resolution of the issues that are at stake.

"If you come to Parliament and deliver a wonderful speech about how this bond is going to help the economy and so on and so forth, yet material information about the basic fundamental document (prospectus) is not made available to Parliament, what have you?" he queried.

He said what the Minister brought was the 2016 prospectus which was used by the previous Finance Minister last year in some bond transactions.

Dr Ayine emphasised that the Finance Minister was summoned by the Minority Leader to provide the requisite documents which he failed to do.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim |abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com

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