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Supreme Court dismisses $2.25bn Eurobond suit against Ofori-Atta

In a unanimous decision, Ghana’s Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 5 May 2020 dismissed a case filed against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in connection with his issuance of the $2.25 billion Eurobond in 2017.

The decision of the panel of justices was announced by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.

The details of the Supreme Court decision would be made available on Wednesday, 6 May 2020.

DYMOG dragged Mr Ofori-Atta, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Attorney General to court after expressing dissatisfaction with CHRAJ’s probe of the same issue.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) had raised the funds through 15- and 7-year bonds with the coupon rate of 19.5%.

The ministry further raised an additional amount from another 5- and 10-year bonds and by 3 April 2017, the MoF said it had $2.25 billion funds.

The reliefs sought by the plaintiff were as follows:

A declaration that by going beyond investigations to make a pronouncement (of guilt 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.

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;

A consequential order that the content of the report as specified in the reliefs above be expunged from the Report;

A declaration that the failure of the 1st Defendant to declare his shareholding interests in Data Bank Financial Services Limited, Data Bank Brokerage Limited and Data Bank Financial Holdings Limited to the Auditor-General before taking office as Minister of Finance, as found by the 2nd Defendant at page 120 of the Report, contravenes Article 286(1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution;

A declaration that the occupation by the 1st Defendant of the office of a director in Ventures and Acquisition Limited, a private company, while in office as the Minister responsible for finance without the due permission of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament on the grounds stated by the law, contravenes Articles 78a(3) of the 1992 Constitution;

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;

A declaration that by issuing or overseeing the issuance of the said bonds without disclosing his interests in the securities industries in general, the 1st Defendant has acted in contravention of Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution; and any other reliefs that this Honourable Court deems fit under the circumstances.

Story by Naa Anyema Collison

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