Conflict of interest $2.25bn Kenbond case: Judgement on April 22

The Supreme Court has set April 22, 2020, to deliver its verdict in a lawsuit against the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta over allegations of conflict of interest in the issuance of $2.25 billion bonds.

Ken Ofori-Attta

Sylvester Williams, Chief State Attorney, at the sitting on Tuesday, February 18, prayed the court to dismiss the leave application of the plaintiffs to amend their action.

The court refused to grant an application for leave by the Plaintiffs to amend their action and said the amendment was of no relevance in the said action before the court.

In 2018, the apex court adjourned till further notice (sine die) the case in which Ken Ofori Atta, was sued over his role in the $2.25 billion bond issuance due to an alleged procedural error.

This was after the pressure group, Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) sued the Finance Minister, the Attorney General and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice [CHRAJ] over the $2.25 billion bond issuance.

The group in its suit is invoking the proper jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret Article 284 of the 1992 constitution which states: "A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office."

The applicants contend that the Finance Minister in issuing the bond to Franklin Templeton had put himself in a conflict of interest situation because one of the directors of the US-based investment group Trevor Trefgarne is also a director of a company owned by the Minister.

Meanwhile, after months of investigations, CHRAJ, on December 22, 2017, came out with its report exonerating the minister because the group could not substantiate its claims on the conflict of interest allegations.

Among the reliefs the group is seeking include; (a) A declaration that by going beyond investigations to make a pronouncement (of guilty or otherwise) on the 1st Defendant in respect of the allegation of breach of conflict of interest, the 2nd Defendant has contravened Article 287 of the 1992 Constitution.

(b)A declaration that by interpreting Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution (as disclosed between paragraph 3 of page 127 and paragraph 3 of page 133 of the Report) the 2nd Defendant has contravened Article 130(1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution.

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