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The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has dragged the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to court, to stop it from investigating a conflict of interest petition in relation to the $2.25 billion bond issue before it.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta in addition wants the court to compel CHRAJ to overturn some of the declarations it considers irrelevant to the petition.
The suit sighted by hbtvghana.com stated in page 2 of the 19 page suit that , “An order of prohibition or the nature of a prohibition directed at the Respondent (CHRAJ) prohibiting it from carrying out purported investigations into A CASE OF NON DISCLOSURE OF ALL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES BY A PUBLIC OFFICER, HONOURABLE KEN OFORI ATTA (MINISTER OF FINANCE), when the respondent had already in its decision dated 22nd December ,2017 purported to make prejudicial findings on the matter and any further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit”
It will be called that, the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, in a press conference on 1st February, 2018 stated that the Finance Minister believes CHRAJ went “beyond the matter of conflict of interest to make pronouncements on other matters that it was not seized with the capacity to make.”
Mr. Hamid said CHRAJ went beyond its mandate to probe the conflict of interest claims by passing comments on the actual bond issue.
“CHRAJ can only make pronouncements on conflict of interest situations and not issues to do with the bond issuance and its ancillary subjects.” he stated.
CHRAJ, whilst clearing Mr. Ofori-Atta of any conflict of interest claims, said the Finance Minister failed to declare Databank as an asset to the Auditor General.
Surprisingly, the suit fell short of all the concerns raised by the Minister of Information , Hon Mustapha Hamid except the issue on Assets Declaration.
The controversy over the bond begun after the Minority called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into how persons they referred to as very close friends of the Finance Minister, purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond issue in April 2017.
The NDC Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer, Yaw Brogya Genfi, subsequently petitioned CHRAJ to investigate the bond on grounds that
Mr. Ofori Atta attempted to promote a personal interest for himself, as well as family and friends,.
On the substantive matter of conflict of interest, CHRAJ cleared Mr. Ofori-Atta of any wrongdoing, stating 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.”
CHRAJ however also said that the Finance Minister, breached certain processes in the issuance of the bond.
In relation to this, Yaw Brogya Genfi also a National Youth Organizer aspirant of the NDC dragged the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta before the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) again over the non-disclosure of all assets his and liabilities .
According to the petition dated January 19, 2018 it was in furtherance to a response to his earlier petition to investigate a case of contravention or failure to comply with Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by The Honourable Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, a public officer.
“Your report established among other things that the Respondent (Minister of Finance) did not disclose all his Assets. It is imperative that CHRAJ investigates further this flagrant disregard for the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and other statutes to protect the national interest as per its mandate under article 287 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana”