…….Council Of State Bargains With Minority In Exchange For Non-Prosecution
It has become more apparent that the devil is really in the detail of the $2.25billion bond sale to Franklin Templeton as the Akufo-Addo government employs the dirtiest of tricks in the book of blackmail in attempt to gag the minority from crusading for full disclosure on the deal.
After denying vehemently that the bond sale had not been done inappropriately, including unleashing Vice President Bawumia to insult the Minority MPs as ignoramuses for crusading for full disclosure, the NPP government has proposed that the Minority give up the crusade in exchange for a reprieve from prosecution of actors of the former NDC regime.
The indecent proposal, which specifically asked that the Minority MPs withdraw their petition with the Securities and Exchanges Commission of the US had been made yesterday with the Council of State, fronting for the Akufo-Addo government.
At a meeting with members of the Minority side in Parliament at State House, the CoS is said to have played that wild card to the total shock of minority MPs who had attended apparently in expectation that the CoS was going to fully disclose information about the transaction that the Finance Minister has been holding to his chest all these while.
In attendance at the meeting from the Minority side were Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrissu, MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo and MP for Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Casiel Ato Forson and three others.
Prior to yesterday’s meeting, the CoS and government had denied plans to meet the Minority to beg it to rescind its crusade for full disclosure, but GBC online confirmed an earlier report by The Republic and other media outlets that the CoS had indeed arranged to meet the Minority, reporting late evening that the meeting had indeed come on.
According GBC’s Francis Edzorna, the meeting had taken place at around 12:20 pm yesterday.
An immediate response from the NDC delegation to the CoS’ proposal is not yet known but the opposition party have since been left between a rock and a hard place. Already, the writing on the wall is very indicative of the current government’s intent to witch hunt even on the strength of trumped up charges.
The Economic and Organized Crimes Office is carrying out shakedowns on former regime actors and people associated with the erstwhile Mahama government.
Among a growing list of EOCO invitees from the former government include Stephen Opuni, former CEO of COCOBOD, Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, former Chief Executive of MASLOC and Ibrahim Mahama, younger brother of former President Mahama.
In the case of Ibrahim Mahama EOCO’s attempt to walk through his mind with dirty feet saw the anti-graft agency even constitute itself into an unsolicited debt collector for the Ghana Revenue Authority at a point just to humiliate him.
Sources say President Akufo-Addo’s unprecedented deployment of the Council of State for the hatchet job had been planned to be on the hush-hush. However, soon after a secret invitation had been thrown to the Minority, the information leaked with the media reporting that the CoS was scheduled to meet with the minority to beg and cajole for softening on stance on the bond sale.
The leakage had forced the CoS to release a statement to the effect that no such meeting had been scheduled but The Republic has it on authority that claim by the CoS was a shabby lie. GBC online, an online portal of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, has also since reported that indeed the meeting had come on at the State House in Accra.
Rather than cajoling however, sources say the CoS attempted to negotiate from a strong position of blackmail.
This blackmail attempt follows a tall bag of tricks deployed by the Akufo-Addo government to discourage the opposition NDC from crusading for a full disclosure, including the use of pure insults.
A couple of weeks ago, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia had told journalists in the US that the Minority’s quest for full disclosure was born out of ignorance on the art of bond sale and adviced them to go and read.
Meanwhile, the NDC itself is sentimentally divided over the attendance of some of its members at the meeting.
The meeting had happened at a time that Parliament is still on recess meaning many minority MPs were not aware of such a decision to meet on the negotiation able with the Majority side and the Council of State.
Sources however say that the Minority MPs who had been invited for the meeting had in turn, informed some big wigs of the NDC party even though negotiators from the government side were hoping that the meeting would be held secretly with just a few of the Minority MPs.
The development has deepened suspicion that Ken Ofori Atta’s secretive sale of $2. 25billion dollars to Franklin Templeton was a corrupt and dirty sell.
On 3rd April, the Finance Ministry had suddenly released a statement announcing that it had issued a 7 year and 15 year bond at a coupon rate of 19. 75% and that a respected global investor had taken significant position in the 15 year bond.
Refusing to name the ‘respected global investor’ the government had zipped up as the media investigated and realized that the global investor in question was Franklin Templeton and that Templeton had bought 95% of the bond.
It soon emerged that Trevor G. Trefgarne, a director of Templeton is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Group, a company owned by the Finance Minister.
Then, it also emerged that Ken Ofori Atta, the Finance Minister, had sold the bonds on the blind side of the Attorney General who was supposed to have advised on the sale before it would take off.
As Ken Ofori Atta’s dirty fingerprints smudge all over the deal, the Minority in Parliament demanded Parliamentary Enquiry on April 17, threatening to petition the US SEC if the Parliamentary Enquiry was not constituted.
Parliament, dominated by the ruling party, ignored the request leading to the Minority following through with the petition to the US SEC.
It is while the US SEC may be working on the petition that the government has called a truce, but on terms of blackmail, demanding that the Minority in Parliament beat a retreat on the crusade for full disclosure in return for a reprieve from prosecution of members of the former NDC government.
Shockingly, the NPP government is said to have used the Council of State to propose that dirty deal with the Minority.
A couple of weeks ago, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia had told journalists in the US that the Minority’s quest for full disclosure was born out of ignorance on the art of bond sale.
After initial denials about the CoS’ meeting with the minority, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the Editor of the New Crusading Guide and propagandist-In-Chief for the ruling party yesterday evening betrayed a soft stance on the denial posting on his facebook wall that if the CoS has decided to meet the Minority in Parliament it was by no means an indication that the Council had intent to compromise the Minority.
According to Baako, if even the CoS had any such intent, the Minority in Parliament was not a bunch of pliable people that could be easily manipulated into abandoning their stance on the bond issue. It is not clear if it is the whole membership of the CoS that is in on this blackmail.