The government in April this year, auctioned a total of 2.25 billion dollars in four bonds.The first two bonds, totalling 1.13 billion dollars, was issued at 15 and 7 years period with the same coupon of 19.75%. In addition, the Ministry of Finance raised the Cedi equivalent of USD1.12 billion in 5 and 10-year bonds via a tap-in arrangement.
The Minority then raised concerns over the bond issue and called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into how some persons they referred to as very close friends of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, purchased 95% of Ghana’s recent 2.25 billion dollar bond.
The Bank of Ghana and Finance Ministry have insisted that the bond could not have been manipulated as claimed by the Minority but officials and Members of Parliament of the opposition NDC have insisted a probe is required.
A statement issued by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, said Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa filed the complaint on behalf of the Minority with the Enforcement Division of the SEC in Washington DC. On May 1.
US$2.25 BILLION BOND SCANDAL – MINORITY SUCCESSFULLY PETITIONS SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The National Democratic Congress Minority in the Parliament of Ghana wishes to bring to the attention of the good people of Ghana that in fulfilment of the pledge we made at our April 17, 2017 media encounter and consistent with our constitutional and democratic mandate, we have successfully filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States of America.
This will lead to the commencement of investigations by the US regulatory body into the infamous US$2.25 billion bond issuance in which a US registered company – Franklin Templeton purchased 95% of 15-year and 7-year bonds.
The SEC will primarily be investigating suspected conflict of interest and insider trading which are violations of US law by the Hon. Trevor G. Trefgarne who is a Director of Franklin Templeton and a Board Chairman of Enterprise Group – a company owned and founded by the Finance Minister of Ghana, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta.
The Minority’s complaint was filed with the Enforcement Division of the SEC in Washington DC on 1st May, 2017 by our Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee – Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on behalf of the Minority. In a response, the SEC thanked the Minority for the fruitful engagement and provided a reference number for the case as: TCR1493656314549.
The Minority also wishes to observe that, note has been taken of the interest shown in this matter by Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) after receiving a petition from a private citizen and assures that the investigations being conducted by the United States regulatory body will not conflict nor undermine CHRAJ’s investigation. The Minority takes this opportunity to re-emphasize our commitment and cooperation in assisting with both investigations in any way we can in the supreme national interests of Ghana and the United States of America.
Signed, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu
[16th May, 2017]