A deputy Attorney General believes the adverse findings against the Finance Minister in the controversial $2.25 billion bond issue will not stand the test of time in any court.
At the very least, Joseph Kpemka says CHRAJ should have given Ken Ofori-Atta a listening ear before making a damning verdict of non-disclosure of his assets.
By failing to do that, Kpemka believes CHRAJ has fundamentally breached the principles of law and the Commissioner will have to explain when he appears before the Supreme Court.
“Before you condemn a man, hear him,” he said on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday when he was discussing the fallouts of the controversial $2.25 billion bond.
There appears to be no end in sight for the scandal which broke early last year. At every turn, it takes a different twist.
The Minority in Parliament accused the Finance Minister of conflict of interest in floating the seven and 15 years bond last year.
According to the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson, the Minister “cooked” the bond for his friend and business partner Trevor Trefgarne of Franklin Templeton, the company which bought 95% of the shares issued by the Finance Minister early last year.
Trefgarne was a co-Director of Enterprise Group a company owned by Ken Ofori Atta.
A member of the NDC, Brogya Gyamfi proceeded to CHRAJ alleging among other things that Ken Ofori Atta “attempted to promote a private or personal interest for himself or for some family members and business associates, and the promotion of the private interest has resulted in, or was intended to result in, or appears to have resulted in, or has the potential to result in an interference with the objective exercise of his duties and an improper benefit or an advantage by virtue of his position.”
The allegations, numbering about 13 were brought before CHRAJ. Out of the 13, nine were thrown out because they could not be substantiated.
Chief amongst them was the conflict of interest allegations against the minister.
However, there were other adverse findings against the Minister one of which is that the Minister failed to disclose all his assets before taking office, contrary to the laws of the country.
The Finance Minister has not been happy with the adverse findings, arguing, at no point in the complainant’s petition was there an issue of asset declaration.
He did not understand how the Commissioner of CHRAJ will seek to make findings outside the petition brought before him
He has therefore proceeded to the Supreme Court to have that aspect of the findings expunged.
When the matter came up for discussion on Newsfile, Joseph Kpemka accused CHRAJ of providing underserving “ammunition” to the opposition National Democratic Congress.
He insisted CHRAJ’s findings of non-disclosure of all his assets, something that was not before it, was unfair to the Minister and should have, at least, given him the opportunity to defend himself before the release of the final report.
But an NDC Member of Parliament said the Minister or his lawyers should have known that an investigation of conflict of interest will naturally probe into his assets.
Rockson Dafeamekpor said CHRAJ had every right to probe into the assets declaration of the Minister who by law was expected to declare all assets before assuming his new role.
Drawing an analogy, the MP said if you are sent to arrest an armed robber but you go and meet a drug peddler instead, you still arrest him anyway.
Meanwhile, Brogya Gyamfi, the NDC executive has returned to CHRAJ with a second petition asking the anti-graft institution to proceed to ask for the removal of the Minister of Finance for breaching the assets declaration law.