– NPP US$2.25bn Bond Scandal
…Over Botched Meeting To Bargain With Minority
Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the chairman of the Council of State, sent a verbal invitation to members of the minority in parliament for a discussion on the minority’s insistence on getting to the bottom of the government’s US$2.25 billion domestic bond deal, which was transacted in secrecy, this paper has learnt.
The Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, who confirmed this to The Republic, noted that, as a result of the invitation which was agreed verbally, a high powered delegation made up of five members from the minority group in parliament went out to meet members of the Council of State.
He said the invitation was done verbally between the chairman of the Council of State, Nana Siriboe II, and the minority hierarchy.
According to him, the five-member delegation from the NDC minority side showed up at the venue of the meeting scheduled by Nana Siriboe, before they were told that the meeting had been cancelled “because information concerning the meeting had been leaked to the public.”
“We sent a delegation to the council after they have requested that we come along with five members. We even insisted that the invitation be made official through writing, but they also said it is not every meeting that required a written invitation. So the minority duly appointed a five-member delegation to the meeting only to be told that we have acted in bad faith because the information about the meeting was out in the public,” Hon. Adongo reiterated
The five-member team from the minority included the Minority leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu; MP for North Tougu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo and MP for Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Casiel Ato Forson and one other.
The member of the Finance Committee of Parliament also expressed shock at efforts from the Nana Siriboe II to deny the fact that he invited the minority for a meeting and insisted that the Council of State chairman was the one who verbally sent an invitation to the minority group for a meeting.
He said the minority is committed to ensuring that the right thing with respect to the US$2.25 billion bond transaction is done well and in a transparent manner, giving a hint of an amount of US$ 560 million from the bond transaction, which is expected in the country from the US.
The minority in parliament has consistently maintained its suspicion concerning the $2.25 billion domestic bond issued in April 2017, hence their complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States of America for further probing
They believe that this will lead to investigations by the US regulatory body into the bond issuance in which a US registered company, Franklin Templeton, purchased 95 percent of 15-year and 7-year bonds.
“The SEC will primarily be investigating suspected conflict of interest and insider-trading which are violations of US law by the Hon. Trevor G. Trefgarne, who is a director of Franklin Templeton and a Board Chairman of Enterprise Group – a company owned and founded by the Finance Minister of Ghana, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta,” a statement from the minority explained.
Before that move the minority has already called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the bond issue, amidst concerns over the perceived secrecy and conflict of interest in the bond issue.