Minority Trails Smelly $2.25Bn KenBond Scandal To Luxembourg

……Exposing NPP Corruption Scandals

…And files another petition to CSSF

The Minority in Parliament has taken a step further in the investigation into the smelly $2.25 billion bond scandal hanging on the neck of Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance.

According to the Minority, fresh evidence on the scandal has linked the Franklin Templeton company used in the bond deal to Luxembourg, hence the decision to yet again file a petition with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), a body responsible for financial regulation in Luxembourg in Western Europe.

The CSSF is responsible for the supervision of credit institutions, experts in the financial sector, investment companies, pension funds, regulated securities markets and their operators, multilateral trading facilities and payment institutions.

It has been described as the competent authority for the public auditor oversight in Luxembourg and has been in operation for years with high credibility in financial matters around the globe.

Speaking at a press conference on a wide range of issues at parliament in Accra yesterday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu, said, research by the Minority revealed Franklin Templeton used a subsidiary company registered in Luxembourg to purchase 95% of the $2.25 billion scandalous bond.

He stated that, “to satisfy additional jurisdiction issues, based on this revelation, a group of Minority MPs, comprising  Dr. Dominic Ayine, Samuel Okudzeto and Isaac Adongo,  have filed a whistleblower complaint  with the regulator in Luxembourg, known as the Commission de Surveillance de Secteur Financier(CSSF), which has begun looking into the matter.”

Beside the CSSF, the Minority had earlier filed a similar petition before Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States of America (USA) to investigate a possible conflict of interest in government’s recent $2.25 billion bond issue.

Hon. Iddrisu stated that, through its petition, the SEC has appointed a respected case manager, Jennifin Carr, to spearhead investigation.

Locally, the Minority hinted that it is also heading to the Supreme Court, the apex court of the land, to make a determination as to whether the $2.25billion bond is one of those economic and financial issues that needed parliamentary approval per Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and other related articles forbidding the Government of Ghana from entering financial transaction with another sovereignty state without parliamentary consent.

The Minority in its conflict of interest allegations suggests that a non-executive director on the board of investment firm, Franklin Templeton, who purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond, is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group, which has links to the Attorney-General and the Finance Minister.

On the BOST contaminated 5million litres fuel saga, the Minority accused President Akufo-Addo of tacitly endorsing corruption as a result of his failure to comment on the scandal that hit the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).

The MD for BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng, in June, this year, sanctioned the sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina, a transaction the minority has described as “gravely smelly.”

Following public outcry and Minority calls for interdiction of the MD of BOST, Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, constituted an eight-member committee to probe the circumstances leading to the sale of the off-spec product.

However, before the committee would begin its work, the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) had cleared the BOST MD of any wrongdoing.

But the Minority said, the development leading to the exoneration of the BOST MD is an indication of the presidency’s unpreparedness to the fight against corruption.

“The signs are now crystal clear that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has no commitment to fighting corruption,” the Minority Leader stated.

He noted, “What we have been treated to in this embarrassing spectacle is a new government that has arrived to dash the hopes of many Ghanaians by entrenching the canker of corruption.”

“Now we know that the NPP’s approach to fighting corruption is holding press conferences to equalize as the Majority in Parliament shamelessly exhibited last week,” he added.

Mr. Iddrisu indicated that, the Minority would not obstruct justice, if there has been any wrongdoing by any Ghanaian, stating, “Let that person be taken through due process.”

The Minority Leader expressed the fear, if the BNI does not refrain itself from political tagging with its shabby finding, it would soon lose its integrity in the eyes of the public.

He pointed out that, following revelations by a Member of Parliament on the Majority side alleging that the embattled BOST MD was a major financier of the presidential campaign of Akufo-Addo and that Mr. Obeng Boateng is untouchable, “it is now obvious to many a Ghanaian that under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government there will be different strokes for different folks.”

The MP for Tamale South said, “NPP financiers who loot state coffers and engage in unbridled corruption will be left off the hook under his watch.  In any case, this distasteful episode affords us an exclusive insight into how people came by their appointments under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government.  These are very troubling times for our motherland.”

The Minority also berated the NPP government for saddling the country with debts through loans which they said were not the best tools for the country’s economic growth.

The Minority leader said, the supposed $15billion from China, which the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, could not disclose details, is yet another scandalous deal to hoodwink Ghanaians, as the government kept changing figures and the actual transaction and its  purposes.

He said, any attempt to mortgagee the country’s natural resources for the said China loan would be resisted by the Minority and well meaning Ghanaians unless the terms and conditions are brought on the floor of parliament for deliberation or published to the public.

In the view of the NDC MPs, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia,  “must be dreaming” if he ever believed the Chinese will part with a whopping $15billion with no guarantees.

Hon. Iddrisu explained about 58% of Ghana’s bauxite reserve had already been given out to the companies which do not amount to even $19 billion.

He wondered why the Chinese will offer to accept 5% of that reserve for $15billion and over when it is clear they can just acquire a license, like one of its companies has done, without paying a ridiculous sum of $15billion.

The Vice President led a government delegation to China and announced on his return a deal that will potentially hand Ghana a $15 illion worth of investment by the Chinese government.

He brought with him two MOUs and promised that details of the agreement will be brought to Parliament for scrutiny before passage.

The Minority also called for transparency into what they said government’s attempt to issue a 15-year domestic bond to settle the Energy Sector debts, stating that there was the need to make it known to Ghanaians.

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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