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22.06.2015 Feature Article

BankSwitch Judgment Scandal: The Culprits Must Be Brought To Book

BankSwitch Judgment Scandal: The Culprits Must Be Brought To Book
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I got this news with shock when JOY-FM first reported on the alleged scandalous actby the MINISTRY of TRADE’s fiat to Destination Inspection Companies (DICs) to assist in paying the GhC197 million the Permanent Court of Arbitration has ordered the Government of Ghana to pay as damages to Bankswitch.

It is high time the leadership of this country woke up to the PATRIOTIC call for PROBITY, ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY – being the under-pinning beliefs of the National Democratic Congress(NDC)which is in government now to be given meaning.

I am of this opinion because the ugly development of this judgment debt was very-very stoppable but the leadership of this country chose to wax its ears on earlier warnings. This is so because some senior officers of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority had earlier advised government not to frustrate the Bankswitch agreement because it was a good deal and was to fast-track the clearing processes in their work.

It was during the late President Mills’ tenure when these officers were invited to the Castle, the then seat of government in 2009 or there about, to demonstrate how the Bankswitch operates when some politicians behind rival companies were frustrating its take-off.

The information I got from the officers was that the late President was so impressed upon the demonstration and ordered its implementation. However, it was alleged that a lower authority assumed a kind of ‘SUPER AUTHORITY’ – being the then Minister of Trade, over that of the late President’s, thus stopping the project from taking-off.

It is, therefore, not strange that it is the same Ministry that has written to the DICs to assist in the payment of the debt to enable them benefit from some business rewards in the maritime clearing industry. The 35 million dollars each the Ministry of Trade is requesting some DICs to volunteer payment must be challenged by the entirety of the DICs.

However, it is unfortunate that the current Trades Minister is the personality faced with clearing this mess of a transaction and is taking the flack of trying to fix it.

As a citizen of this country, I wish to state I had cause to address a letter of concern on this subject matter to the sitting President as to the looming judgment debt which was then most likely to cost the state of almost a billion dollars. Nothing was heard from the Presidency and I doubt whether he got it.

Now – whether the President got it or not is not my business. What I wish to advocate here is that our investigating agencies must as a matter of urgency probe this issue and bring the personality or personalities who, with ‘INTENTIONAL NEGLIGENCE’ has caused us this debt to book. The former Minister for Trade, Ms. Hannah Tetteh and the entire Ministry ought to be investigated in order to get to the bottom of this scandalous loss.

In this bid, even though I have some reservations about OCCUPY-GHANA when it comes to their non-political stance – all the same, as a member of the National Democratic Congress, I wish to, via this medium invite them to help me push for an enquiry into this latest judgment loss. It is high time this CULTURE OF IMPUNITY by state appointees is brought under control and I must state that as a Ghanaian I feel so disappointed in agencies whose responsibility it is to take up such investigations before any promptings. In this particular instance these agencies were adequately prompted via media reports on it when the court ruled in favour of Bankswitch.

We sit in this country and all of a sudden a court of international recognition slaps us with a judgment debt of this magnitude for over a year now and no state agency is self-tickled to find out the cause? My heart bleeds for Ghana! It is now time for us to take the Chinese path if indeed we want to fight administrative/financial malfeasance in this country. We cannot fight CORRUPTION when all we do is to protect those who ride it wherever they find themselves when appointed into positions of trust to exact their ugly acts of criminality on us.

Don’t let us make a banter of “EVERYBODY IS EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW”. It ought to be made to work and it must start NOW.The advocacy is just starting.

Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi – June 22, 2015


Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi, © 2015

The author has 31 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: CamillusMaalneribaTiaSakzeesi

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