The Attorney General is asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the case alleging that CHRAJ overstepped its bounds in determining the conflict of interest claims against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in issue the 2.25 billion dollar bond.
The group, Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) in January took Mr. Ofori-Atta, CHRAG and the AG to the Supreme Court claiming CHRAJ in determining a petition on the controversial bond, made some serious pronouncements, which in its view, contravenes aspects of the 1992 constitution.DYMOG on May 8, 2017 petitioned the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the transparency of the bond, its classification and a claim of possible conflict of interest in the issuance of the said bond.
Prior to that, CHRAJ was on April 25, 2017 petitioned to investigate the issue of lack of transparency and a possible case of conflict of interest against Mr. Ofori-Atta in government’s issuance of the 2.25 billon-dollar bond.
In its findings, CHRAJ established the finance minister breached the Guidelines for the Government Securities Market for Primary Dealers” that regulate the issuance of Government Securities.
It also held that bonds are forms of government borrowing irrespective of the type, hence the issuance of the 2.25 billion-dollar bond ought to have gone through parliamentary approval as per Article 181 of the Constitution.
The finance minister, in CHRAJ’s view, breached that provision of the constitution.
CHRAJ further established Mr. Ofori-Atta’s interest in Databank and Enterprise Group Limited whose objects are linked to the securities industry, places him in a high conflict of interest situation.
It again claimed Mr. Ofori-Atta’s failure to declare all his assets in Data Bank Financial Services, Data Bank Brokerage Limited and Databank Financial Holdings Limited was a violation of Article 286 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
CHRAJ overstepped its remit
But DYMOG is accusing CHRAJ of going overboard to make some pronouncements on the matter that are outside its remit, something the group argued “constitute a blatant violation of our Laws”.
‘No issue for interpretation’
However the Attorney General and the Finance Minister in a joint statement of case filed at the Supreme Court said, “there is no single issue for interpretation or enforcement” of the 1992 constitution.
The two argued that CHRAJ did not err in anyway in making a determination on the case, which has formed the basis of the plaintiffs’ instant action.
The AG and the Finance Minister averred that CHRAJ acted within the confines of the law in determining the matter, adding “the case of the plaintiff is based on the report of CHRAJ which is mandatorily required by the constitution to do so.”
“Act 456 provides an avenue for redress, if the recommendations or the findings CHRAJ needing compliance is not satisfied within three months,” the two defendants stated.
For them, “whether or not Mr. Ofori-Atta was guilty of conflict of interest situation regarding the issuance of the issuance of the government bonds is a duty conferred on CHRAJ by the constitution, 1992 and not the Supreme Court”
They are thus praying the Supreme Court to dismiss the case as the plaintiffs are just abusing the court process.
The case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on Thursday, May 10.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana