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File arguments within 21 days – Supreme Court to parties in $2.25bn bond case

File arguments within 21 days – Supreme Court to parties in $2.25bn bond case 1

The Supreme Court has asked parties in the suit in which the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been sued over the issuance of a $2.25 billion bond in 2017, to file their legal arguments within 21 days.

According to the court, lawyers of the Dynamic Youth Organisation of Ghana (DYMOG) the plaintiffs in the case and the Attorney General should file their arguments simultaneously, in other for a date to be set for judgment.

DYMOG in January 2018 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 that: “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.

Background

File arguments within 21 days – Supreme Court to parties in $2.25bn bond case 2

DYMOG in its lawsuit in January 2018 contended that the Finance Minister in issuing the $2.25 billion bond to Franklin Templeton placed himself in a conflict of interest situation because one of the directors of the US-based investment group Trevor Trefgarne was also a director of a company, Enterprise Insurance, owned by the Minister.

Among the reliefs, the group sought included, “(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.”

DYMOG also sought a declaration that “by issuing or overseeing the issuance of the said bonds to Templeton without disclosing his relational interest with a director at Templeton, one Trevor G. Trefgarne, the 1st Defendant has acted in contravention of Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.”

The bond in question was issued in February 2017, shortly after the Akufo-Addo government was sworn into office.

DYMOG also joined CHRAJ to the suit at the apex court after accusing it of allegedly overstepping its limits in the controversial 2.25 billion-dollar Eurobond issued to Franklin Templeton.

DYMOG sued the Commission for clearing the Finance Minister of the allegation of conflict of interest in relation to the issuance of the government bond.

The group claimed that CHRAJ, in reviewing a petition on the controversial bond, decided to make some assertions on the matter that are ‘totally’ out of context thereby infringing the provisions of the 1992 constitution.

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