Connect with us


Anas turns on Ofori-Atta; drags him to CHRAJ for conflict of interest



Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas wants the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta for alleged conflict of interest – one of the seven grounds on which the minority caucus in parliament has filed a censure motion against President Nana Akufo-Addo’s cousin.

The petition also levels similar allegations against the recently-dismissed Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, who was captured on an investigative piece by Mr Aremeyaw using Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s name to peddle influence.

CHRAJ Commissioner Joseph Whittal confirmed to the media that his office had received the petition.

“The allegations are that there is conflict of interest in terms of their official duties as public officers and the companies in which they have interest in terms of government bonds and, so, the case is going through the standard process of assessment in order to make sure that it meets procedural requirement under the Commission’s regulation as well as whether it is really within the mandate of the Commission”, Mr Whittal told Accra-based Joy News, adding: “Based on that, we will then decide what next steps to take”.

In June 2021, Bolgatanga Central MP Isaac Adongo alleged that Mr Ofori-Atta’s Databank and Mr Adu Boahen’s Black Star Brokerage, as transaction advisors to the ministry of finance, stood to make GHS210 million as managers of the government’s borrowing programme with an estimated GHS60-billion-a-year gross financing.

In a write-up, Mr Adongo said: “The fees to be shared by the transaction advisors of government borrowing programme, including Ken Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen’s companies is estimated at GHS210 million a year”.

READ ALSO  A fufu pounder is needed for a restaurant in Haatso, Accra.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker said: “This is a clear conflict of interest. The minister for finance has made government borrowing his private business and benefitting each time Government borrows through Databank either as a book runner or co-manager of Eurobond issuance”.

“Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank has now been joined by Charles Adu Boahen’s Blackstar Brokerage Limited to share the spoils. The combination of this deadly team is set to further engage in reckless borrowing as evidenced in the more than doubling of Ghana’s public debt from GHS120 billion at the beginning of 2017 to about GHS300 billion by the end of 2020. In addition to the about GHS180 billion increase in Ghana’s public debt, about GHS70 billion of the end 2016 debt of GHS120 billion were refinanced and in some instances re-profiled between 2017 and 2020”, Mr Adongo said at the time.

According to the opposition MP, it meant that a total of about GHS250 billion of the government’s borrowing programme “was carried out in the last four years with Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank acting as his transaction advisors”.

“The accrued fees shared by the transaction advisors, including Databank, is estimated at 0.35% of the borrowing programme of the government. That is about GHS875 million fees paid by Ghana to these transaction advisors”.

“No wonder Ghana is bleeding from excessive reckless borrowing without any meaningful benefits to the suffering taxpayers”, he added.

However, Danquah Institute founder Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, at the time, denied the allegation.

He said in a tweet: “In 2020, Adongo lied that ALA took $2m in fees on gold monetisation work”.

READ ALSO  Police secure court remand for 3 persons involved in gold scam and robbery

“Now, he claims Databank $ Black Star stand to make over GHS210m in fees”, Mr Otchere-Darko noted.

“A big misleading lie!” he said.

“To generate GHS210m in fees, a bond market specialist would have to sell bonds worth over GHS42bn to investors!” he added.