…Over $2.25billion dirty bond sale
Following the shocking revelation by the Attorney General in April, this year, that the sale of the $2.25billion bond to Franklin Templeton by the Finance Minister had been done without recourse to her, it was expected that cleaning up her act by summoning information on the issue from the Finance Ministry would be the natural thing to do.
Strangely however, it has emerged that almost a month after the FT scandal broke, the AG has managed to remain ignorant about that jumbo debt transaction as Gloria Akuffo sits comfortably like a broody hen, while the scandal hatches one by one.
The Justice Minister’s 8th May reply to Lawyer Kwadjogah Adawudu, spelt it out of the horse’s own mouth that she has not been able to assert her authority as the principal legal advisor to government from whom information can be sourced, as far as the deal with FT is concerned.
“Please be informed that the information being sought per your letter is not available to me and I am therefore unable to respond to the questions posed therein,” Gloria Akuffo had written back.
The AG had then enclosed a Banker’s Draft with face value of Ghc1, 000 that Lawyer Adawudu had attached to his query letter for the purpose of facilitating the process to make the information available to him.
The development has deepened suspicion that Gloria Akuffo, as Minister for Justice and Attorney General, is too lazy and clumsy for the crucial Cabinet portfolio that makes it her duty to be principal legal advisor to government.
Almost a month after a scandal had broken on a deal that is going to cost Government not less than $400million a year in interest payments for 15 years before a principal of $2.25billion is coughed up, the Attorney General says she does not know the details of the deal!
Poignantly, the Attorney General’s Department is only a few paces away from the Finance Ministry from where Ken Ofori-Atta had pulled the surprise of selling the 2.25billion dollar bond on the blind side of everybody, including the AG.
Both the AG’s Department and the Finance Ministry are within the Ministries bureaucratic enclave in Central Accra. Even a casual attempt by a tortoise to crawl over to the Finance Ministry from the Attorney General’s Department for information would be successful by now, a whole month down the line, however the Justice Minister says she still does not have information on the deal from the Finance Ministry’s end!
What is even more interesting is that Lawyer Victor Kwadjogah Adawudu had provided a Banker’s Draft of Ghc1, 000 in the 4th May letter requesting for the information, to be used by the AG to facilitate the process of acquiring that information.
Gloria Akuffo’s air of laziness around the matter of the $2.25billion bond sale to Franklin Templeton has raised many eyebrows. This show of laziness follows from her earlier revelation that she was ignorant about the sale in the first place.
Her professed cluelessness also comes after recent shocking revelations that a decision by the Ashanti Regional Principal State Prosecutor to discontinue a criminal case against some eight goons of the ruling party’s goon squad, Delta Force, had been taken without recourse to her.
Meanwhile, it has become apparent that the cluelessness of AG Gloria Akuffo afflicts the rest of the Justice Ministry, as a recent foul-up by the Deputy Attorney General indicates that institutional memory at the AG’s Department is in a messy clutter.
On 20th May, Hon. Joseph Dindiock Kpemka, had said on Newsfile, a political talk show hosted by Accra-based Joy FM, that all the information that Lawyer Victor Adawudu had requested from the AG’s Department had been furnished to him.
According to Hon. Kpemka, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tempane, every scintilla of information that Lawyer Adawudu had requested for had been provided to him by the Justice Ministry.
Lawyer Adawudu has since released a press statement debunking the claim by the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
“It is… unfortunate and regrettable that Hon. Joseph Dindiock Kpemka, who appears not to be properly informed about the issue failed, neglected or refused to crosscheck his facts before disseminating such untruth to Ghanaians and the entire world,” the press statement by Lawyer Adawudu had said.
Then offering unsolicited tutorial, Lawyer Adawudu urged his learned colleague to do the commonsensical thing of crosschecking issues with his minister before going to town on some issue.
“Further, my humble plea to the learned Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General is that he should always cross check his facts to avoid future embarrassment. The high office of Deputy Attorney General carries special responsibilities which should be carried out with all seriousness, and painstaking attention to truth and factually accuracy.”
Lawyer Adawudu had also not failed to serve notice that he would do everything possible to assert his right as a citizen of Ghana to have full disclosure on the Franklin Templeton deal.
Meanwhile, The Republic has picked up information that the NPP government is making attempts to cajole the opposition NDC to soften its stance on the bond sale to FT.
Some government actors (name withheld for now) are said to have approached some members of the opposition to plead with them to tone down on the shady deal as they claim the Minority’s crusade is painting the whole country black.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels