Miffed by alleged conflict of interest by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the discharge of his duties, the Minority in Parliament has said it will petition the Financial Services Authority of the United States of America.
The Minority, which also vowed to ensure a full-scale parliamentary inquiry, are unhappy that a friend of the minister, Trevor G. Trefgarne of Franklin Templeton Investment Limited subscribed to the April 3 bond issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
A former Deputy Finance Minister and Spokesperson for the Minority on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, stated this on Tuesday at a press conference, adding that Mr Trefgarne is also the board chairman of Ghana’s Enterprise Insurance Limited, a company owned partially by the current finance minister.
“Putting these apparent facts together, we have reason to believe that there is a relational interest between our Finance Minister and Trevor G. Trefgarne which creates a potential lack of transparency and conflict of interest.
“As we all know, the Constitution provides unequivocally that public officers shall not put themselves in a situation in which their private interest conflicts with their public obligations. There is no record available to us to the effect that the Finance Minister made known publicly this relational conflict of interest.”
According to the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam MP, there is the likelihood that the bond was issued in a way to favour friends, relatives and business partners of the minister.
“This situation is best described as cronyism and nepotism, cooked for his friend and associates, and not transparent.”
The Minority MPs further said that they “wish to call for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into whether, and the extent to which, this situation of lack of transparency and conflict of interest has adversely affected the welfare of the people of Ghana.
“Failing such Parliamentary inquiry we the minority shall have no option but to resort to using the conflict of interest jurisdiction of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Furthermore, we also intend to exercise the option of filing a report/petition with the Financial Services Authority of the U.S.A to investigate Franklyn Templeton.”