The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit which accused the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, of procedural error and conflict of interest in the issuance of the $2.25 billion Eurobond in 2017.
In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, May 5, a seven-member panel of the court, presided over the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, held that the suit had no merit. The court, however, said it would file its reasons for the dismissal of the suit by the close of Wednesday at the court’s registry
The suit was filed by the Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG) in 2018. DYMOG in January 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 invoked the 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 contended 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. The reliefs sought by the plaintiff included: (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.
The youth group 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.